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Cravenspeed short throw shifter for ND

Cravenspeed short shifter kit installed in our 2016 MX-5 Miata.
Cravenspeed short throw shifter for ND
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Best ND short shift kit on the market
My Cravenspeed short shifter arrived this week and I immediately installed the shift knob. I liked the leather wrapped factory knob and didn’t know if I was was going to like this one (it was hard to tell from the photos). Amazing tactile experience with one of your primary touch points with the Miata. I don’t normally drive around with my hand on the shift knob (unless I am actively shifting), but I find myself wanting to be in constant contact with it because it feels so good in the hand, in multiple hand positions.
This morning I installed the short shift kit, which was very straightforward. Instructions can be found on the Cravenspeed website and are easy to follow. The most difficult part is prying the shifter housing loose from the transmission to install the spacer, because it has gasket sealer holding it to the transmission. I used a miniature crow bar (used for pulling nails) and was able to gain purchase.
Test drive went extremely well. Each shift was the same quality as the factory shift, with a 30% shorter throw. No strange vibrations coming through to the cabin; it just feels like an OEM experience with a reduced throw length.
In February I made the mistake of purchasing an inferior competitor product. It was the same price as the Cravenspeed product, but didn’t include the upgraded shift knob which retails for $119 by itself. After installing the inferior product, I immediately noticed NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) translating into the cabin, especially when in first, second, fifth, and sixth gears. I contacted their support and they told me “tough shift buddy, that’s just the way it is”. Every time after this “upgrade” that I got in my Miata, I was reminded of the horrible mistake I had made in giving this very reputable Mazda tuner my money. Unfortunately there were no product reviews on their site at the time of my purchase. Fast forward a few months, and my Miata was having difficulty going into second gear. I found if I didn’t pull the shifter all the way to the right before moving it downward in to second, it would go into gear better. It was so frustrating for me to drive my baby this way and extremely embarrassing to have someone else drive my (otherwise) very nice car. I was even worried that it had somehow damaged my transmission and Mazda would be the next one to tell me “tough shift”. When I took things apart this morning to install the Cravenspeed short shift kit, I noticed the failure point with the inferior product: the reverse lockout plate was made of soft aluminum and the collet on the shifter was made of hard steel - it ate the aluminum for breakfast in 7 short months.
Comparing the engineering that went into the Cravenspeed product and the inferior competitor product is night and day. The Cravenspeed assembly was designed to prevent NVH and meet or exceed OEM specs. I also know why Flyin’ Miata’s business is thriving - they sell the best products on the market and stand behind their customers.
I highly recommend this upgrade. If you want to leave your shifter stock, then I would also highly recommend just purchasing the weighted shift knob.
Review by Jeremy / (Posted on 9/29/2019)

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