Sippin Gatorade from a straw while laying down in the tub, hot water raining down, Alina Barez streaming from the Bluetooth speaker. Lights off, pitch black. Dying. In other news, I did a thing! Check out my latest Miatafication.

So after a long night of drinking and a loooooong morning of holding a hoody wrapped over my face while curled up on the floor trying to block out the vile sunshine, I’ve learned a few things.

1) Schilling Chaider (Chai tea cider, I believe) is fantastic. Twas a pint to remember.

2) Schilling cold brew coffee cider was envisioned by the gods themself. Imagine mixing the finest hot spiced cider with a fresh, infinitely bold and flavorful roast coffee bean. Heaven. On. Earth.

3) at NO POINT should you ever ask a bartender to make something “super super sweet”. What the hell where you thinking AestheticsInMotion..?

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4) lastly, Chick-fil-A only serving breakfast until 10:30 should be a federal crime. The level of desire I had for chicken biscuits is terribly difficult to get across via this emotionless medium, so let me just say.... Never in my life have I so craved such a simple dish.

Total tally came up to two glasses of merlot, a cider sample plate, a pint of cider, the aforementioned super sweet drink that had two 6 second pours (of what, I have no idea. Possibly pure sugar), and.... Uh. Nothing. That’s it. I’m a lightweight, despite my decidedly not light weight.

I did eventually manage to get up and be a somewhat functioning human the next day. It just took me until 2pm. What did I do..?

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Installed a thing.

A new shifter!

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Step 1) remove old shifter

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Compare and contrast. The new hotness is 2" longer, black powder coated and with the fulcrum point changed, is a true short shift.

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Turkey baster was all I could think of to remove the nasty old oil! It worked!
Tell me this wasn’t genius? Why risk scratching the turret, resulting is disaster when you can just use a magnet

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Step 2) install new shifter

Delrin bushing
And of course we needed new fluid in the shifter turret! I should have done the transmission as well but... Another day.

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I added a second top boot to give it a slightly more finished look. This is temporary, I’ve got a good vision for how the shifter surround will look...

Step 3) pictures and test her out!

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I’ll be painting the nut and unused threads black so they dissappear

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This is an incredible kit. Every single piece you need is supplied, either OEM Mazda parts (which are not cheap) or custom parts made by the designer of the shift kit. It’s pricey, but I’m not trying to put junk in my car regardless of how much I could “save”.

Oh and did I mention it brings the already universally applauded NA 5 spd into an entire new dimension of shifting? This thing rocks. There is ZERO play. No wiggle room. The shifts are incredibly short, so much so that when testing it sans knob I though I installed something wrong because the shifter barely moved at all! Those short shifts mixed with the added two inches of shaft length ends up with a very similar throw length to stock, just zero slop. This is what I imagine a gated shifter must feel like...

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As for the knobs... They are beautiful and I couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out. I love getting something custom like this from a one-man business. The round knob feels incredible in hand and will be my daily. The purple is OEM miata shaped with slightly less rounded edges. Both knobs are fairly light, probably about 70% and 80% of the weight of the OEM knob, respectively. I’ll eventually try an anvil knob (1 pound) and if I like the heavy weight, I’ll get my guy to make me a new knob with some lead shot hidden in it or something....

Speaking of which, here’s some of his work. He’s a great guy and if you want something made I highly recommend getting in touch. Eventually I’d love a matching ebrake handle.

(note: these all have multiple images to scroll through)

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Okay, I’m going to change the oil, wash the car, then head home and order a pizza. Not bad for a hangover day