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X-Metal Generation IV Shifter Review / Ratings !!


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X-Metal (Boomer) Generation IV Shifter Review My little quest started when I first purchased my 05 SRT-10 Ram. A few ...




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Old 07-12-2006, 02:29 AM
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X-Metal Generation IV Shifter Review / Ratings !!

X-Metal (Boomer) Generation IV Shifter Review

My little quest started when I first purchased my 05 SRT-10 Ram. A few things that caught my attention were, of course, the snake under the hood, and a good looking Hurst shifter!! I was very happy with the truck until the day of my first drag race. Palms were sweaty, heart beating so bad I felt it in my throat…..light tree dropped and I was off!!! As I slammed through the gears, I had the biggest grin on my face, until my grin was stopped by the sudden sound of my rear axle hopping. WHAT HAPPENED I thought??? Some reading this may know exactly what happened, the infamous 1st, 2nd, 1st !!! or perhaps you had a 1st, 2nd, 5th??

Many of you have experienced what I went through and can relate, but a few of you have not had the pleasure of going through it , and may think “Wow, for a Hurst shifter…this thing is SLOPPY!!”

Intermission…..A little off-Topic History on the Transmission

From that day forward, I was on a mission to find a way to improve the shifter in this SRT-10. The transmission of choice in this monster is a Tremec 56, or T-56 for short. The transmission was originally designed and built by Borg-Warner, but as of 1998, Tremec began building it. The transmission uses a hydraulic clutch, and has a 12-inch clutch disk. The entire case, including the bellhousing, is made of aluminum. The T-56 has a synchromesh made of brass synchros for the GM and Ford applications, and stainless steel in the Dodge application.

X-Metal (Boomer) Generation IV Shifter Review (continuation)…


Since the T-56 Transmission was placed in many many vehicles, finding the shifter that would fit these trucks was a difficult task, until I found X-Metal engineering. After a long, anticipated wait for the Gen IV Shifter, it was finally available!! I immediately placed a call to Gary (Boomer), and after a very short wait, the Gen IV Shifter, was delivered!! www.VTCOA.com has the exclusive privilege of being the first to give our members a sneak-peak of the future release X-Metal Gen IV shifter.

As you can see, this shifter is packaged as if it was on a one-way trip around the world!! Not a UPS or FedEx driver could possibly damage the finish or exterior of this shifter!!





Installation:

Remove Center Console (screws under rubber cup-holder insert)
Remove Rubber/plastic flap
Remove the 4 Shifter Plate bolts
Remove shifter base
Reinstall in reverse order!
Simple..!






Now for the Solid specs

As some of you have the done researching on different shifters or want to compare raw data, this is the section for you!!

After a thorough discussion with Gary, I gathered some solid data on the shifter for your reading pleasure. The X-metal shifter is unlike ANY shifter on the market today, it is so forward thinking in its race bred design, that it is patent pending. X-Metal starts with QC7, a military spec aluminum alloy, which is used instead of Aluminum T6-6061. QC7 is a very expensive alloy, and very difficult to machine but its structural properties are superior. 6061 has the possibility to "disform" out of shape after machining, QC7 has a tighter more aligned molecular structure (whole ‘nother topic). So using this material was a very huge choice for the Gen IV due to the cost of manufacturing. Some may think “Ok, but isn’t this a little overboard??” X-Metal doesn’t think so…they take it one step further by hard coat anodizing the shifter base to give it a surface hardness that Gary states “is equivalent to hard steel”. He also says that the metal is then impregnated with teflon, to provide another level of protection and lubricity to the interior walls, and spring pockets.
All of the interior moving parts are of a military spec stainless steel that, after machining, goes through a week of vibratory polishing that stress relieves the part, adds to its strength, durablility, and makes a chrome like surface finish. The interior shaft internal parts go thru 137 machining operations...per unit! Sounds complex, but Gary says “It is necessary for the best results”. One of the differences that stood out to me, compared to the factory Hurst, was that this shifter does not use a 1/2 round ball and socket to pivot on, which seems flawed in its accuracy. Over time its clearances enlarge as the ball wears into the aluminum base. The factory ball and socket assembly is all held together with only the 2 springs, 1 on each side of the shifter rod, and on top, a pin inserted into the shift shaft. Under extreme shifting, the ball and socket do separate from each other. Most shifters tested only have 60psi springs pushing down on the shaft and with heat, (over 200 degrees) that loss of spring pressure only increases the problem. Imagine your knee joint being held together from your body weight, and nothing holding it together when you unload the joint.......So how does X-Metal resolve this? The X-METAL patent pending design utilizes a captured-hardened stainless steel, Teflon impregnated spherical bearing (similar to a Heim Joint) that the shift shaft is held into. The center bore is in perfect axial alignment with the center of the shifter base & bearing. With this design, it is also unique, that it doesn’t require the lubrication like that of the ball and socket design. SO how does this compare to the stock shifter. The stock shifter was designed to use a only 2 sets or pairs of springs pushing down on the shifter shaft by means of a horizontal pin inserted into the shift shaft; this is supposed to keep the shifter centered to a degree. The Gen IV shifter uses 30 variable rate pairs of springs that provide a calculated variable rate pushing up & down on the shifter, providing control in all shifter axis', and a unique dual gate pattern that not only keeps the center centered over 3rd & 4th gates, but also has a built in detent cams that lock the shifter into each gear for positive, precise engagement. It helps keep the driver/racer from making a “miss-shift” gear engagements, so the shifter wont pop back out of gear, as well as the mistake of going from 2nd to 5th, or worse.....1st or REVERSE! Gary states that springs we use go thru a 150 hour stress relieving and micro-niet polishing methods to insure the springs provide a more consistent, fade free action. This also puts the springs at their final set height, so that each shifter is set up by hand to insure proper spring preload on each gear position. Gen IV shifter base is engineered into 2 parts, not just one, which adds to the complexity and expense, but provides a much higher quality end result. Each shifter is also installed into a working SRT10 truck to further quality check and insure a quality fit goes into your truck.



















Final words and Ratings:

When driving with the shifter, the first thing you think is “Wow, this is very precise”. The sloppy-ness of the factory shifter is long gone, and the small tolerances are definitely evident. Many have asked me “What about the noise”?? Well, this is a precise shifter-to-transmission shifter, if you cant take the heat, then get out of the kitchen grandma: D. But in all fairness, sound was minimal to me. When really slamming through the gears, this is not your typical shifter, I can feel the “click” and know it is accurately going where I want it to go…and fast. 2nd to 3rd shift??? No problem anymore, the stiff springs guide you into 3rd with ease. Now the hard part is going from 5th to 6th and it not centering to 4th LOL, but that’s no problem…

Ratings

Customer Service - 10 / 10
Ordering, Shipping, Handling - 10 / 10
Installation Material/Instruction (for the do-it-yourself-ers) - 6 / 10
Quality / Craftsmanship - 10 / 10
Drivability and Comfort - 8 / 10 (this is more of a Performance shifter then a comfort shifter J )
Performance - 10/10 (currently - updates will follow)
Overall Value / Cost- 9/10 (Slightly on the High-Side pricewise, but the reason is obvious)


Last edited by RedSrt007; 07-14-2006 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:38 AM
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I know this thread is for Gen II but it looks like a Gen IV.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:10 AM
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good point, what's the difference ??

is the shifter handle/grip at the same height as the stock one ??

does boomer have a warranty on his new gen 4 shifter ??

thanks.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:20 AM
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Gary,
That is absolutly an engineering marvel.
You have taken the compound lever to a new level.
I wish I still had a stick so I could buy one of those.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:52 AM
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Nice write-up, now all you got to do is take it to the track
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparracing
good point, what's the difference ??

is the shifter handle/grip at the same height as the stock one ??

does boomer have a warranty on his new gen 4 shifter ??

thanks.
our shifters have a LIFETIME warranty! the shift handle location is adjustable in height, so you set it where it feels the most comfortable to you, and that gives you the option of setting it up for street/dailey use or lowering it when you go to the track.
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSTJACK
Gary,
That is absolutly an engineering marvel.
You have taken the compound lever to a new level.
I wish I still had a stick so I could buy one of those.
thanks, i appreciate that very much. its been a sleepless month waiting for the review!
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave T(BADVENM)
I know this thread is for Gen II but it looks like a Gen IV.
its a typo, this is the gen4
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:18 AM
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GARY SHIFTER LOOKS GREAT CANT WAIT TO GET MINE AND HOPEFULLY WITH SOME VALVE COVERS
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK1
GARY SHIFTER LOOKS GREAT CANT WAIT TO GET MINE AND HOPEFULLY WITH SOME VALVE COVERS
we have the 3d design work on the valve covers done, but the cnc we are using for them is down for about a week, as its lube pump circuit fryed on it.
the other cnc's are tied up running shifter parts, lowering kits, & billet interior parts. the Valve covers are most important to us, as we have a ton of Viper customers waiting on them also! so we are doing everything possible to get them going.
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