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Unread 01-20-2009, 07:27 AM   #76
Magneto
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As soon as I see the phrase "trimming on the tub", I figure it's time to jump in here. Please, for the love of all that's holy, don't ever trim your tub. That is a sign that it's time to step back and hit the fundamentals.

The benefits of a very user-customizable kit like this is also one of its dangers. I was alerted to this post by our customer and installer and I feel bad that the process did not go a lot easier as it has on the installations we've done here in-house at Novak and by direct report from customers. I hope you all won't mind me throwing out a few tips:

1. Always position the lever bracket into the anchor bracket hole that best corresponds with the port in the tunnel. If your transmission / engine combo is short, then you'll use a rearmost hole in the anchor bracket. If your trans / engine combo is long, then you'll use a foremost hole in the anchor bracket. Though not always possible, it is ideal that the shifter cane - in its vertical position (12 o'clock at the lever bracket) - be as close to the center of the tunnel port (and therefore, the console slot). This would roughly correspond with somewhere between 4Hi & Neutral.

2. Always seek maximum mechanical advantage. If you've followed the above rule, this is step is largely already accomplished. Remember that maximum mechanical advantage means that your shifter lever will be at a complimentary angles at the beginning of travel as at the end of travel. In other words, its angle forward in 2HI will be the same but mirrored angle as it would be in 4LO, e.g., 2HI = 10:30 o'clock and 4LO = 1:30 o'clock. These values will vary since you are able to choose the leverage by virtue of the three positions in the pivot plate as well as the multiple positions in the lever bracket.

3. Always use the simplest cane bends as possible. Complicated geometries in the cane are usually indicative of bandaid-ing symptoms arising from not following the above two suggestions. If it is possible to go with a straight stick - definitely do it - though this is a rarer possibility. If you have a particularly long transmission and cannot fully satisfy rule #1 above, then you can do an immediate bend out of the clamp bracket to position the remainder of the cane under the center of the port in the floor.

This newer design as commented above, has been out for about a year, actually. We and our customers have really liked the design. The number of tech calls has dropped like a rock and people have been very good to call or write and tell us how much they like the shifter. But we don't rest on laurels much and we'll always make any improvement that makes sense.

The one concern that we need to look at is the clamp bracket and it's bend angle. It is a CNC fabrication process so we've been good to batch test, but may need to make sure that each and every one has the right bend for full clamping. I was really surprised to see that weld to tack the cane to the lever bracket.

Never forget to refer to the instructions. They have really evolved over the past few years and I think they offer a lot of guidance in a (hopefully) small amount of space.

What else can I clarify, address, soothe, rebut? C'mon. Hit me... I can take it. If not, I'll try to keep the crying down to a manly mimimum ;-)


Eric at Novak

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Unread 01-20-2009, 08:25 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magneto View Post
The one concern that we need to look at is the clamp bracket and it's bend angle. It is a CNC fabrication process so we've been good to batch test, but may need to make sure that each and every one has the right bend for full clamping. I was really surprised to see that weld to tack the cane to the lever bracket.

Eric at Novak
Eric, thanks for this reply, and per our email correspondence my primary outstanding issue (not counting the cross threaded handle) is that I can rotate my cane while the clamp bracket is as tight as I'm physically going to be able to make it. It doesn't take a significant amount of effort and as I pull back to shift gears, it feels like it wants to rotate on it's own and while I can still shift it seems easier with 2 hands (one on the cane and one on the handle), and as I don't have more than 2 hands it isn't obviously optimal.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 08:55 AM   #78
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This sounds like a geometry setup issue. Reach your digital camera up there and snap some side shots of the assembly; one pic with it in 2HI and one pic with it in 4LO. It think if I can see that, I'll have some good ideas.

When set up right, you can shift it with minimal effort, granted things are kosher in your transfer case itself.

Eric
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Unread 01-20-2009, 10:19 AM   #79
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Eric (Magneto) is a good guy who helped me with my Novak installation, welcome to JF... it's very good to have you here!

Also, that photo I posted in post #11 above is what you asked me for Eric but I don't think I ever sent it to you since it seems to be shifting pretty good now. Does the geometry of how I put it together the final time look ok to you? It seems to be shifting good now but if you have another way to put it together so it will shift even better, I'm all ears.

On having to tack-weld the cane, I tried everything possible to get the cane to stay put and not rotate out of position but after having to remove the bottom of my Jeep twice in two days to try to stop it from rotating, the tack-weld was the only solution that worked. So far, so good.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #80
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Hey, Jerry. I should have recognized your name faster than that. Thanks for the warm welcome!

In your photo (from #11 above), what range/mode is your transfer case in?

We've checked our clamp brackets here and all those in inventory have a good grip on the rods, but we are tightening the next batch so that the cane can never escape - sans weld! If either of you need a new clamp bracket, just let me know.

Regarding Wade's install, I had forgotten to comment on the shifter-sticking-up-like-a-sore-thumb issue earlier; moving the lever bracket rearward into the rearmost hole and simplifying the bend will resolve this and give a much better sweep.

Eric
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Unread 01-20-2009, 01:01 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magneto View Post
Hey, Jerry. I should have recognized your name faster than that. Thanks for the warm welcome!

In your photo (from #11 above), what range/mode is your transfer case in?

We've checked our clamp brackets here and all those in inventory have a good grip on the rods, but we are tightening the next batch so that the cane can never escape - sans weld! If either of you need a new clamp bracket, just let me know.

Regarding Wade's install, I had forgotten to comment on the shifter-sticking-up-like-a-sore-thumb issue earlier; moving the lever bracket rearward into the rearmost hole and simplifying the bend will resolve this and give a much better sweep.

Eric
Eric... actually my Pics from Post above #66 I think are very acceptable, at least cosmetically. If the cane wouldn't rotate in the clamp bracket, I'd be a happy man right now. I'll still try to get some shots from the side if I can. I don't want to drop my RE Belly Pan again, unless I'm replacing the clamp bracket, which is sounds like I may need.

Also, I know each install might be "different" but it would be helpful to see other "suggested" configurations of what the shifter "could" look like in the various positions, and and example of what the corresponding cane bend for that configuration could look like. Again, each install could be tweaked to the owners personal preference, but it would at least give a starting point for guys starting out.

Jerry and I are running similar setups as far as Lift/Engine/Tranny/Tcase combo, so I'd suspect our "geometry" should also be similar
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Unread 01-20-2009, 01:23 PM   #82
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Hey, Jerry. I should have recognized your name faster than that. Thanks for the warm welcome!

In your photo (from #11 above), what range/mode is your transfer case in?
You're wecome Eric, we're happy to have you here and offering your help so generously.

I can't guarantee this but regarding the photo, I'd have to say with 99.9% certainty it was in 2Hi when I took the photo. Is there something about that configuration that is also making the shifter stick out so far in 2Hi? The shifters position and height is perfect when it's in 4Lo. And thanks for the offer of the new bracket but I'm happy with it as is and that small spot weld is fine with me.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #83
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You're wecome Eric, we're happy to have you here and offering your help so generously.

I can't guarantee this but regarding the photo, I'd have to say with 99.9% certainty it was in 2Hi when I took the photo. Is there something about that configuration that is also making the shifter stick out so far in 2Hi? The shifters position and height is perfect when it's in 4Lo. And thanks for the offer of the new bracket but I'm happy with it as is and that small spot weld is fine with me.
Not to sure the height can be fixed - the way your pic looks in 2HI is how mine looks in 2LO - the way yours looks in 4LO (or 2LO if you have it, the furthest to the rear of the console) is how mine looks in 2HI.

Eric - is it possible to get the new HEIM joints in the old "reverse" pattern shift style? I like that setup better but I'd much rather have a lot of shifter showing in LO than in HI.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 05:25 PM   #84
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How much trimming is done on the tub to clear the rod?
i installed two of them and didnt have to do much at all. it can probably be done without any if you get it just right. in the end, i trimmed it to fit the boot better. some touch-up paint for rust prevention and i was done.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 05:31 PM   #85
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hi eric, good to see you here.

what great customer service you provide. i am very happy with my novak shifter.

do you sell the newer style linkage so some of us can convert to that new style of allthread rod/ends? if so will you pm me or post the price here for me please? my zip code is 98632.

tim
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Unread 01-21-2009, 11:07 AM   #86
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Hey, Wade. The photos from post #66 are good, but do you have any sort of side view of the linkage from underneath? If you can reach your camera up there without removing your pan, that would be cool. Not to put you through more hassle, but I think it might be really useful. If not, that's alright. We've got another clamp bracket on its way to you.

Any of you guys needing a bearing end joint upgrade and new rod, go to the Novak site and e-mail your addresses from the Support link.

Nice to be on the forum.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 06:38 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magneto View Post
Hey, Wade. The photos from post #66 are good, but do you have any sort of side view of the linkage from underneath? If you can reach your camera up there without removing your pan, that would be cool. Not to put you through more hassle, but I think it might be really useful. If not, that's alright. We've got another clamp bracket on its way to you.

Any of you guys needing a bearing end joint upgrade and new rod, go to the Novak site and e-mail your addresses from the Support link.

Nice to be on the forum.
Not the best pics, but we'll see if this gives you enough to diagnose any areas of improvement...Thanks for your help and response Eric...Speaks very highly of your organization and it's dedication to it's customers.

2H






4LO






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Unread 01-27-2009, 02:20 PM   #88
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Hi Wade & All.

Ok. These photos are very informative and really revealing. Thanks for taking them, Wade. I hope that I can communicate clearly on my take of it.

In a word, the threaded rod pictured here is just too long.

The crux of this particular setup pictured is Mechanical Advantage and the sweep of the lever bracket. The best way to get the maximum amount of output force (or output distance) with the minimum amount of input force (or input distance) is to set your sweep up to be at an equal angle at the front of your rotation as you are at the rear of your rotation.

Otherwise stated: if you were pushing your buddy's Jeep out of a pit (because he wasn't using Novak parts ;-) ), you intuitively don't push at 45, 30 or even 10 degrees at the rear corner, you push as straight as you can parallel to the length of the Jeep. The same goes for the shifter. If your beginning and ending sweep angles are unequal, you're losing energy in the system *and* giving yourself strange cane / shift knob rises and falls in the cockpit. It's a lose/lose situation.

1. Choose a fulcrum hole in your lever bracket, starting with a middle one and pin it with the shoulder bolt and nut, temporarily.

2. Insert your mock-up cane and do a rudimentary bend to get it up through the port in the floor.

3. Pivot the lever bracket with your hand (all this occurs under the Jeep, for now), sweeping it forward and back, letting the mock-up cane touch the front and rear edges of the floor port/console slot.

4. Keep tweaking and bending your mock-up cane until the lever bracket sweeps forward the same angle (again, not the dog-leg portion) as it sweeps back.

5. Decide how much cane-to-port margin you want. You obviously don't want your body or console to touch the cane in any operating circumstance, but don't give yourself so much clearance that you limit your cane throw unnecessarily.

6. Thread your threaded rod into the bearing (Heim) end that you've attached to your pivot plate on the transfer case.

7. Hold the threaded rod against (but not threaded into) the bearing Heim end attached to the dog-leg of your lever bracket.

8. Use your burly arm (grabbing the actuator rod) to shift your transfer case into 2HI - pivot plate rearward.

9. Tilt the lever bracket forward, as if it was in 2HI, margin considered.

10. Get your Sharpie (TM) marker out and mark a small tick onto the threaded rod corresponding with the threaded rim of the bearing end. With one hand, grip the rod and the bearing end at the same time, holding the tick steady at its datum on the bearing end.

11. Shift your transfer case back and forth through the full operation. Watch your cane clearance and your lever bracket's forward tilt vs. it's rearward tilt. Are they the same (within reason) but opposite angle, e.g., 8 degrees forward in 2H and 8 degrees back in 4LO? If not move the threaded rod forward or rearward some vis a vis the bearing end and mark a new, tick. Try again if needed.

12. Mark a final tick on the threaded rod that allows for plenty of thread engagement into the bearing ends, but that gives you some adjustability to fine tune your angles later, if needed.

13. I would not cut my actuator rod at this time. If you want to get fancy and adjust your leverages vs. throws using the different bearing end location holes in the lever bracket and/or pivot plate, you can. Again, a nominal setup that uses the middle holes is best to start with. If you are a short throw / stiff shifter type of dude, so be it. If you are a long throw / easy shift sort of dude, okay then. That is what these variable holes are for.

14. On the #13 above, it is to your mechanical advantage to try to keep your acuator rod as level as possible. Because of design constraints, it will rarely be perfectly level, but do minimize its angle as much as you can.

15. When you're happy with it all, cut the actuator rod to length and put it together.

16. Enter 4wd shifting nirvana.

I have tried to be clear and brief, but guaranteed there is someone on this forum that may have a more efficient way of saying all this. It sounds long, but in practice, it can actually be a lot of fun and happen fast, if you are a sick sort of mechanical type guy like me.

In summary, you are wasting effort (hard to shift) to get less work (rotate the rotator plate) by not having your lever bracket at an even sweep, relative to the vertical plane, and it this is also causing your shifter cane to be jacked up too high in 2HI and too low in 4LO.

We know that by making this kit customizable, we were giving some installers the rope to hang themselves with, but I think most would agree that it is a very worthwhile trade-off and future adjustments can be done down the road according to driver preference.

Tell me what you all think.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 02:46 PM   #89
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I think you summed it up. I'll be referencing this thread when I install mine.
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Unread 01-27-2009, 06:36 PM   #90
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For a TJ, Eric, what length threaded rod have you found to work best? Mine is showing 5.5" of threads between the heims like Wade's. If I cut my threaded rod to the shorter length you recommend, what would I have to do to the geometry of the brackets (which holes to use) to get it to a more optimal configuration? I'd probably have to re-bend my cane (I have a spare I was given) but I wouldn't mind that if it lowered the knob's height in 2wd and improved the shifting.
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