posted on April 29, 2014 10:31
Project MKVI Golf TDI: Dieselgeek Sigma 6 Short Throw Shift Kit
In our LAST update we brought the torque and horsepower of our little Golf up 30% and 24% respectively! Before that we sorted out our wheels and suspension. The most glaring problem we had left in our daily driver was the row-boat shifting of the stock 6 speed manual. Installing a short-throw shifter is a very common modification drivers do to improve the interaction with the vehicle and in most cases is fairly easy to do. We looked no further than Dieselgeek, a small company out of San Antonio, Texas and their Sigma 6 short throw shifter kit for our MKVI.
Unboxing the Dieselgeek Sigma 6 without ever having installed a short shifter mechanism of this type left your author thinking “What the f*** is all this stuff?”
At almost $200 the shifter isn’t the cheapest option available, but it is the most well engineered and uses much higher quality components than competitive offerings or even the factory. The Sigma 6 Shifter does not replace the actual shift lever in the car like many short throw shifters; rather it changes the shifter linkage to modify the throw. The Dieselgeek shifter replaces the plastic and rubber cable ends found in the stock shift linkage which have a lot of slop and flex with all aluminum cable ends and teflon-lined steel spherical pivot bearings.
Installing the Sigma 6 isn’t as straightforward as a solid linkage type shift lever but fortunately the kit comes with a 29 page installation manual (online) with very detailed instructions on how to properly install the shifter. If you don’t like to read, there’s also a 4 part video installation guide available.
Don't let that 29 page manual intimidate you, it's not complicated--just thorough! Remove the airbox to get to the shift link beneath and you're already on page 8!
The shift linkage is made up of two cable ends and shift brackets. One cable controls the side-to-side motion of the shifter (like when you're shaking the shifter back and forth to make sure you're in neutral) while the other controls the front-to-back movements (e.g. first to second gear). The stock linkage is made of plastic and rubber componentry which is great from a cost and factory assembly standpoint, but not ideal for solid engagement and shift feel.