Go to any car show in the world and look at the shift knobs of all the manual transmission cars. You'll find 8 Balls, pistol grips, custom molded this and thats. The trend is that very few knobs are the originals. This is because the shift knob is an intimate part of the driving experience and therefore the most frequently customized part of any manual transmission equipped vehicle. The aftermarket offers thousands of options to choose from. This is my review of the Sneed4Speed Billy Club shift knob.
(Full disclosure: Sneed4Speed liked the RightFootDown Editor-In-Chief, Will Byrd, so much that they sent the entire RFD team shift knobs to review.)
The Sneed4Speed Billy Club shift knob comes in this very simple package. No sense in wasting material by packaging a shift knob in to a shoe box. The knob is packaged well. I can shake the container and the knob doesn't move around much.
My shift knob is the Pro design. This simply means the surface on the sides are textured rather than smooth to provide that extra level of grip. The knob itself measures just over six inches long and a little under one and three-quarters inch diameter. It's made of delrin so it is considerably light weight. It's not the Bulldog of shift knobs. The Billy Club is more like a greyhound dog – bred for hauling ass.
The shift knob has a small screw at the bottom which should be tightened to prevent the knob from rotating on it's own and backing off. I twisted the knob all the way down so that screw was facing forward and out of view. Here it is installed.
I did not measure the height of the factory shift knob but as you can see the difference is staggering. The taller knob accentuates the slop in the factory WRX shifter. Rowing through the gears reminded me of my time spent in manual transmission Ford Rangers. To be honest, I was not a fan at first, but as with all new things I knew I had to spend some time with it to give it a chance to win me over.
And win me over it did. I've put about forty miles on the car with this knob through plenty of side streets, back roads and stop and go traffic. The knob is so tall and close to the steering wheel that I now spend less time with my hands off of the wheel to shift.
As added value, the Billy Club shift knob is tall enough to double as an arm rest. I mean wrist rest. This is perfect in the WRX since the center arm rest is so low that it's virtually useless. My only complaint with this knob installed is that the throws are now on the long side. I'd imagine the Billy Club shift knob installed on a short shifter would be absolutely perfect.
So would I recommend this knob? Absolutely. If your car already has a short throw shifter or if you installed a short throw shifter only to find that the throws are too short, give this knob a try. It may look funny but if performance driving is your thing then Sneed4Speed has your shift knob. I like this knob so much that I may now have to buy a short shifter to tighten up the slop.