A while back, I installed Corksport’s short shift plate and shifter base bushing combo to improve our Mazdaspeed 3’s vague factory shifter feel. At the same time, I got a lightweight countersunk delrin knob from Carbing and while the trio of parts made for a fantastic feeling shifter, I didn’t like the way the Carbing knob looked. While the Carbing knob came with several shift pattern stickers, I thought it would look ricey so I really wanted a knob with an engraved shift pattern for more of an OEM look.
I ended up having a custom stainless knob made a with the shift pattern engraving and wrapped in black leather. Although the stainless knob would be much heavier, I still had Corksports super-light counterweight that I wasn’t using so I was confident I could get the same feel I had from the combination of a light knob and heavy counterweight.
Unfortunately, it was all for naught because I ended up not liking the stainless knob at all. The flat top was awkward to shift and the leather section was smaller than I was expecting. In fact, by comparison I really liked the Carbing delrin knob but I was still adamant about an OEM style shift pattern on the knob itself. Thankfully, I was able to return the stainless piece in favor of a custom delrin knob with a similar the same dimensions and a similar knurled grip to the Carbing but with a shift pattern engraved in red. Now I’m happy with the result as it looks and feels great.
It may seem silly to spend so much time and effort on something as trivial as a shift knob but considering how much contact the driver has with it, I should be happy with every flick of the wrist.