There are many times in the automotive aftermarket that a replacement part is manufactured from a new material or new style just because it can be done - there is no added value.  That can be ok if you are looking for improved aesthetics, but it can add a lot of cost to rebuilding or keeping up a car for no performance difference, and potentially no value at all if the part can't be seen.

The items above may seem to fall in that category, but there is more to the function that may be apparent at first glance.

The first item is a clamp. Not much to look at, huh?  Well, it is made from aluminum so it's light weight.  Mounted down low in the center of the car holding the shift coupler to the shift rod, that would be a stretch as a selling point.

Actually the idea for this product was suggested by a customer who welded the nut onto his factory coupler clamp. Notice that the threads are made into the clamp.  This means that the tedious and awkward job of tightening the coupler during adjustment has been reduced by one hand.  Typically, you have to hold the wrench with one hand on the bolt, hold the shifter position with your second hand, and hold another wrench on the nut with your third hand.  That's while contorting yourself to reach the rear tunnel area.

This simple change makes this painful job quite a bit less aggravating.  Oh, yeah, it's also machined out our of lightweight aluminum like airplanes and it looks cool :).


The next item is the lowly cone screw.  It does not look like much but these little devils have added hours to many an engine-drop.  They are responsible for thousands of miles of clutch wear in one trip home when they loosen up and cause you to make the drive home with only 3rd gear.

The experts suggest that the cone screw should be replaced every time it is removed.  This is because the screw has a hole drilled in the side of the threads and a nylon patch is inserted.  I know you are familiar with a nylon insert locking nut (nyloc); this is the same idea applied to the male instead of the female threads.  And they do wear out once used.

But that is only part of the situation, another condition exists - dissimilar metals. The shift rod and cone screw are steel while the coupler cage is cast from aluminum. Galvanic corrosion on the threads can lock the screw in tight, then the small internal hex rounds out when you attempt to loosen it.  It is about this time that most people begin to doubt the quality of German engineering while applying a greasy rag to busted knuckles.  Here, the locking patch is a detriment, if anti-seize compound is applied to the threads then the locking patch does a good job of wiping it off on installation.

What we have done to solve this is make a cone screw without a locking patch and coat it with a good dose of anti-seize.  The screw is longer to accept a jamb nut.  This simple design separates the locking task from the installation/removal of the screw, is reusable forever, and when you drop the screw, the nut will keep the little guy from rolling across the floor and under the darkest corner of your workbench.