Weltmeister Short Shifter

sketch3.gif Have you noticed that reach to fourth gear is a bit long? I actually have to lean forward a bit to reach the shift knob for that gear. Porsche and other vendors have addressed this problem with short shifter kits.

The tube that comes out of the transmission must be rotated and slid forward and aft to access the various gears. This action is managed at the shift lever with two pivot points, the center one at the top of the housing and a second ball joint at the end of the shifter. Mechanical advantage of the shift lever is provided by the ratio of the lengths of the arm on each end from the center pivot. Change the position of the center pivot point and you can decrease the mechanical advantage which will make the motion shorter but the force required will increase.

Porsche short shifter kits are still available for later years but not for my car. The Weltmeister short shifter is designed to fit on 1970-72 914 and 1965-72 911/912. It increases the distance from the center pivot and the lower ball joint. They supply an aluminum adapter plate that mounts between the the shifter housing and the tunnel to fill the increased length.

There are three problems with this system.

  1. The early 911/912 had a screw on shift knob. There are no threads on the the Weltmeister lever. I solved this problem by cutting the end off the old shifter and mounting it on the new one as an extension.
  2. There is a bump on the heater control of early cars that is not accounted for in the adapter plate. A shallow hole must be drilled in the aluminum.
  3. The heater control can not completely move to the off position until a notch is made in the adapter plate.


The initial test drive after the change are very satisfactory. The shift positions are much more positive, and as expected the throws not nearly so long. My solution makes the shift lever about an inch longer than Weltmeister intended. This is an improvement. Without the extension it is a bit short.

And after a couple of days:

Snick, Snick. The new shifter goes snick. I did not expect such a dramatic difference in gear changing as created by the new short shifter. If you have not done this to your old 911/912, do it. Clearly more has changed than the ratio of the two levers around the center pivot point. The tolerances are much tighter leading to a feeling that the shift lever is actually attached to the transmission. No longer will I complain about vague shifting - it does not have to be that way.

From Wonder Wand to Weltmeister. Recommended.
031701-247 This picture shows the bump in the heater control mounting plate. There is a corresponding hole in the the shift lever housing that captures this bump to prevent the heater lever bracket from rotating.
031701-248 Pre-assemble the housing with the adapter plate and mark the aluminum. Drill a pilot hole through the plate at this position. Turn the plate over and drill a shallow hole just large enough to accommodate the bump.
031701-254 The top of the aluminum adapter plate must be notched to accommodate the heater lever at its fully closed position. I used a grinding wheel on a Dremel tool to accomplish this task.
031701-250 Disassemble the old shift lever from the housing and replace with the new shift lever. Complete details are in the notes with the picture. Be careful with the springs.
031701-251 There are rods through the housing that capture the springs. This picture shows the ends of those rods with their snap clips.
032401-263 After considering many options we decided to mount the old shift knob on the new shifter by making a threaded extension from the old shifter. Here we are cutting off the end of the old shifter. No turning back now!
032401-266 The end of the short shifter shaft has a 0.365 in diameter hole. The nearest tap tap size is for a 10mm bolt which has an ideal hole size of 0.339 in. The 10 mm bolt will be loose in the threads.
032401-269 A 10 mm stud is epoxied into the extension. The fit again is sloppy, so a couple pieces of wire were wrapped around the stud to center it in the extension.
032401-270 The epoxy begins to set up in 5 minutes and is pretty hard in 30 minutes.
032401-271 More epoxy was put on to the threads of the stud just before screwing into the short shifter to glue the assembly together. When the knob is unscrewed, you want to leave the extension on the end of the shifter, not stuck inside the knob.


For some, the Weltmeister short shifter is too short.
mk-017 Mike Klein has added an extension below the bend. Check out his comments.
Last modified: Sat, 24 Mar 2001


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