Sunday, May 5, 2013

To Duracon, or Not to Duracon... Never Mind...

So as my OEM shift knob (my second one!) was showing a bit of wear and tear:

 I decided to see if I could temporarily replace it with this nice Tomei brand Duracon shiftknob (S-10 model).
Why temporarily? After all, Duracon is a nice synthetic resin material that has none of the drawbacks that the leather does, no?  Actually, it has nothing to do with the material or the quality.  Rather, Japan’s tough road registration rules (“shaken”) require that the shift pattern be shown – either on the knob itself, or on a plate nearby.

When I opened the package, you can see the shift pattern sticker that was included.
Since I’m not inclined to affix the sticker on nearby, I was planning on using the Tomei shiftknob only temporarily, and then replacing with the OEM every time my car gets inspected.

However, upon fitting I discovered a problem (and no, I'm not talking about the dust around the boot!):

See how the knob, even screwed down to the bottom, does not sit flush with the boot? This is what I prefer:

A small detail, yes. But heck I'm OCD (OCD to the point where this photo bothers me, looks like my interior needs some may indeed!).  Yes, I realize I could have gotten the longer L-10 model, but there was one more issue...

I realized that I also like the SHAPE of the OEM grip - it conforms nicely to hand whether you grip like a pistol, or from the top. And leather, even this almost fake leather (Nissan claims it is real), beats out the hi-tech Duracon, ever time, for feel. (notwithstanding the heat resistance properties, etc.)

So for now... I guess I will soldier on with the worn out OEM (I actually have a new one somewhere, just have to find it...)


Karl said...

Hi Aki, I tried an almost identical gear shift knob it is identical to the one you have and also sat too high. Does feel lovely although it did offend my eye as well, so had to go to the spare parts shelf! Amusingly I too also have a spare OEM shift. Did you not consider the Nismo leather shifter though? This is what I currently use and I find it has a lovely feel.

Aki said...

Karl - damn, I see we wrote almost exactly the same thing! LOL. The NISMO shifter is nice as well, I may have to try that out. Thanks!

Rory Johnston said...

Interesting tidbit about the gear configuration sticker. I had always wondered why some people had those and thought they looked terrible.

I did just pass shaken the other month with a shift knob without the marking and without a sticker though ;)

Michael said...


Had a similar problem with the shifter boot falling way below what I desired and a quick fix was using lifting the boot and fitting a cable tie underneath to prevent it from falling below the point at which the cable tie is sitting. Didn't really notice the cable tie once installed.
Hope that helps :)

Aki said...

Rory - well consider yourself lucky! Or maybe I just get stuck with stickler mechanics! LOL

Michael - great idea, I'll have to try that when I find a knob that I like the shape of!

Karl said...

Well, catching up here.. I worked on a friends MX5 but the other day and was struggling with the same problem. A cable tie did do the trick, as has been suggested already... Did think of this as I was doing it, although if anything like how mine fitted it would be quite a stretch and probably still look a bit.. 'odd'