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5X Racing Bronze Shifter Bushing Fitment

Question:

Hi I ordered a bronze shift rebuild kit for a 96 miata. Everything worked except the bronze bushing. It said in the description that it would have a "snap on" fit. The one I got did not snap in at all and seems too big. Can u give me any advise? (Thanks to Jacob for submitting his question via email)

Answer:

We recently redesigned our bushings to eliminate the snap-fit feature as some customers were having trouble with the "snap-fit" part of it, and instead were seeing the bushings as too tight. Our redesign actually defeated the need for a snap-fit, and while it may seem too big, we assure you that it will work just the same as before. Truth be told, a little extra space in a moving metal-metal assembly is a good thing, as you don't want it too tight or else it might bind during the initial break-in period, (and be difficult to install) which also doesn't inspire driver confidence. With the differences in factory tolerances on the shifters, it leads to a different fit on each and every shifter out there. As not all shifter tips are machined to be exact at the factory, but rather to be within an acceptable tolerance range that can oftentimes be larger or smaller than the desired target size. Mazda (and every other manufacturer) has these allowable tolerances to eliminate wasting material, so they use a plastic bushing that can stretch and fit on all shifters within the "acceptable" tolerance range. Also, factor in years of wear and tear on the shifter tip, and some even being unknowingly used for a period of time with a broken plastic bushing, and you end up with an even greater range of shifter tip sizes out there. All of this leads to the differences in factory tolerances in the shifters affecting the fit of a "snapped in" bushing we had previously. Some were too tight and some too loose - both which prompted our customers to inquire with us about their concern - so we felt it was better to go with a solution that allowed a better all-around fit to accommodate the tolerance range better than the snap-fit style. 
What does this all mean? Some of our bushings will be tighter on certain shifters, some looser. What we would recommend is packing the bushing full of wheel bearing grease during the install to ensure both that the shifter bushing stays on the shifter tip (if you use that method, but we prefer placing the shifter bushing in the turret first, then installing the shifter into the bushing while it is in the transmission), and to allow lubrication for an easier break-in period. To visualize what I am saying, check out page 15 of our instruction manual for the shifter rebuild kits here:

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