Stiff Shift 3.0
The new version of the adjustable ball joint housing
After the stiffer ball insert had been made, it was evident to use the genuine Renault gear stick with the adjustable ball joint housing. Originally the Stiff Shift 2.0 was developed for the Fast Road Shifter. This gear stick uses a solid metal ball which is insensible for being compressed. The genuine gear stick mounted with a flexible ball insert and plastic ball shells. These parts are elastic, thus compression causes the deformation of the ball. But the stiffer ball insert can significantly decrease this deformation, making applicable the adjustable ball joint housing on the genuine gear stick. Stiff Shift 2.0 works well with the genuine stick, but it's difficult to fit because the gear knob must be removed during the installation. So it was a matter of course to develop a new adjustable ball joint housing for the genuine Renault gear stick that can be fitted easier. This is the way how the Stiff Shift 3.0 has been born. It works like the older version - the shift force may be adjusted from the drivers seat - and can cease the huge play in the gear linkage caused by the genuine sloppy rubber ball joint housing. Of course, it's no need to remove the gear knob when it's being fitted, so it's much easier to install. I have already been testing Stiff Shift 3.0 in my little Clio 1.2 runabout since March, there were no problems during the covered 6000 km. I would have liked to know how it performs under race conditions therefore I asked my Spanish rally driver friend, Rodrigo Freitas - who used the Stiff Shift 2.0 in his race car last year - to take part in testing. Mr Freitas told me it had been performing as good as the older version of the adjustable ball joint housing.
Ongoing development: Single Degree-of-Freedom system modeller software
The vehicle suspension article series will explain how the spring and damper work together in a car. This simple software will help understand the dynamic behavior of a mass-spring-damper (SDOF) system.