The HT-Spec TSX has been running around with an HT-Spec Shifter package for about 4 months now, and initially, I was really happy with the shifting. The action was so solid and direct it felt as though I was reaching inside the transmission with my bare hand and moving the gears!
However more recently I have been driving around a lot more than I used to and had started noticing that I needed to force the shifter into gear quite a bit when shifting. When speed-shifting it was even worse and it started causing me to miss shifts. This shifter situation became a real problem for me. I knew it was not the knob of the short shifter causing the problem. However the solid aluminum shifter bushings we include in this HT-Spec kit seemed to be a suspect.
When you install these bushings, the tolerance between the actuating arm on the transmission, the bushing, and the collar on the end of the shifter cable all need to be quite tight. This makes installation a little tricky. Even worse is the fact that as the engine moves around between shifts the bushings bind up, causing the resistance to movement that I was feeling. It maybe doesnâ€™t make sense reading it, but if youâ€™ve ever installed them youâ€™ll know what I am getting at. There just isnâ€™t any wiggle room in the bushings and this makes the shifting pretty tough at times.
Hybrid Racing makes an excellent solution to the need for added shift feel and solidity WITHOUT increasing the effort. The following DIY Install Pictorial explains how!
Here they are. The big advantage of the Hybrid Racing bushings come in the form of a spherical bearing in the large bushing.
You can see the bearing a little better in this pic.
These bushings reside in the engine bay under the intake arm, as shown in this pic. First, remove the airbox lid and you’ll gain enough but limited access to work. Removing the lower box makes the job a lot easier.
Looking in from the side you can see the smaller bushing.
With the lower box in it is tough to see the larger bushing, but it is here in this pic. Come to think of it, removing the lower box really would have been a good idea for this DIY. Oh well, it’s a pita this way but you can do it.
Remove the cotter pin and washers off the shaft and put them aside. The cable bushing end will slide off the shifter arm.
To get the bushing out of the cable end simply stick in a screwdriver and tweak it. The rubber bushing will pop right out.
The little taper on the inside hole REALLY aids in installation. Again, the solid bushings don’t have this feature and it is a bit of a bitch to install without disconnecting the cables farther up the line.
Here I diverge from the HR install instructions a bit. They say to install the bushing flat side out. It made a bit more sense to me to put it flat side side in. It works either way, so it is up to you.
There is a special clip included with the bushings to hold them securely in the cables. These were a little tricky to install but it helps to see how they work, as in this pic. Start with one layer and work them on.
So far you’ve got this far. Lookin’ good!
I finished the install with another change to the HR instructions. I reinstalled the plastic and metal washers from the OEM assembly. This is completely not needed, but I felt the bearing in the other bushing would be more protected from debris, and there is slightly less play in the lateral direction this way. I don’t think it makes a difference on the feel at all, but I thought this method was best.
Here is the larger bushing. Installing flat-side down really did make it more sensible to re-install the washers. I never looked back!
My initial impression was, WOW AMAZING. Such a small change made such a big difference in feel. Without the bushings binding on the shift lever shaft I can flick through the gears with the twitch of a wrist. The same solid movement is there without an additional force. This bushing is now the more recommended one on our HT-Spec Shifter package. It does cost quite a bit more than the solid bushing option, but it is worth every penny!