Short shifters are an ideal aftermarket add-on for drivers looking for a more responsive stick shift, the looks of race car, or both, but you need to find the right one for your ride. In this review, we checked the AEM short shifter and put it through a battery of tests.
- Replaces the stock shifter
- Stick travel reduced by up to 30% for faster shifting, less driver fatigue, and a more professional feel
- Improves transmission shifting and driver comfort
- Easy to install in most vehicles
- 303 stainless steel stick with factory bend
- Accepts stock knobs
- Comes with a limited AEM warranty exclusive of the cables
- Makes it easier to shift gears. The shortened length of the stick shifter definitely made gear changing easier. But while faster shifting may appeal more to racing and tuning enthusiasts, what really stands out is the less energy and pressure required to push and pull the stick around. This alone makes it a boon for drivers who complain of sore arms due to frequent shifting.
- Installs like a stock stick shift and accepts most shift knobs. You only need a basic set of wrenches and screwdrivers to replace your old stick with this one. However, if you don't have prior experience in car repair, we suggest having it done by a professional instead.
- Solid rust-resistant construction. The shift is made entirely of a single piece of thick stainless steel which, coupled with the rust resistant properties of stainless steel, make it viable to outlast your vehicle before breaking down.
- Gives your car that racecar feel. The shift makes for a great complement to any tricked-out vehicle. We recommend leaving the stick uncovered to really give it that street racing look.
- Stick is significantly heavy. Despite its shorter size, the AEM stick shift is quite heavy.
- The dual bend may result in the stick locked in an awkward position. If not screwed in correctly, the stick may jut out in the wrong position.
- Too much play between the shaft and the cylinder. This may result in vibration radiating from the stick and rattling noises, though this can be remedied by using bigger O-rings.
The bottom line
If it is faster shifting, durability, and looks you're after, the AEM soft shifter has got it all covered. It does require, however, a bit of skill to install, so we recommend having a mechanic to perform the installation to ensure that it is fitted properly.