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I really wanted an alternative shift knob that screws in securely and came up with a solution using Suburu shift knob lockout adapters and a M12 * 1.25 threaded knob. If you used an actual Suburu knob you would not need the adapter sleeve which adds a little bit of height to the solution. Here's the step by step:

  1. Remove the boot and make a mark on the shift rod at the top of one of the vertical cutouts in the reverse lockout sleeve.
  2. Hack of old knob and remove the lockout sleeve. Drill a small hole where you marked the shift rod and install a lock pin so it sticks out far enough for the lockout sleeve to sit. Slide the sleeve on to be sure it can move easily and the tab is aligned with the 5th gear guide when the sleeve is resting on the lockout pin.
  3. If you want to shorten the shift rod, an angle grinder will make it quick and easy. I have great harborfreight welding blanket so I could cover everything from the sparks and particles.
  4. Expand the ID of the top inch or so of the shift rod using a 10.5mm drill.
  5. Tap the top of the rod with a M12 * 1.25 thread tap. This will accept a M12 threaded nipple - I cut the head off a bolt and used that. To keep the height low I bottomed out the nipple in the rod and test fitted the adapter and the knob - threading a little bit more until I could tighten the knob all the way down and the logo would be in the correct position.
  6. Measure the distance from the locking pin to the underside of the shift knob adapter or the shift knob reverse shift lockout opening. You need to cut the reverse lockout sleeve and epoxy it inside a Suburu reverse lockout sleeve. When the sleeve is resting on the locking pin the top of the Suburu sleeve should sit just inside the adapter of the shift knob opening for the sleeve. You should be able to slide the sleeve assembly up so the reverse lockout tab can slide over the 5th gear guide. There's a pic of the sleeve attached to the Suburu sleeve.
  7. You may have to mickey mouse a spring. A thin spring may fit between the top of the sleeve assembly and the adapter or knob to push it down like the OEM saab. I did not have one and installed another small locking pin below the lockout assembly and attached it to a hole drilled on the lip of the Suburu lockout sleeve which ends up covered by the shift boot. A long spring pulls the lockout down nicely. Not pretty, but not seen.
  8. Fasten the top of the boot to the Suburu sleeve and install everything. I had a few boots from various models and found one that was shorter then the 93. Not sure if it is from an NG93 or 95 but it fit around the lower retaining ring and looks better
Yes, it's a bit of work but opens the door to any 12*1.25 shift knob giving you some options. If you scrap the reverse lockout it'd be much easier. I wanted to keep the 5th gear guide in case others drive the car. I only have a few pics but hopefully you get the idea.

I also found that an oil pressure gauge can be fit in the center console in front of the shifter. I've always hated the limited options for that as well. Having it down low keeps me from looking at it too much.
 

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Very inventive. Nice work! I had been wondering if an STI based knob could be adapted.

I have recently been thinking of the same thing. I know [email protected] had a prototype rod for their short shifter awhile back(http://trolltuner.com/?p=854) that would accept aftermarket knobs. I've reached out to them a few times about it. Most recently I was told something may be coming soon.

Recently I thought it would be cool to turn a custom wood shift knob and I had been interested in messing around with 3D modeling and printing. So I tore apart a stock shift knob and replicated the insert that snaps on top of the reverse lockout guide. Now I just need to borrow a 3d printer and a lathe... :cheesy:

 
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