My knob replacement

My knob’s been in a rather unpleasant state since I took delivery of it back in May and I’ve been wanting to do something about it for ages now.

It’s been in, I presume, almost daily use for the last fourteen years so it’s bound to be showing signs of wear. What can you expect after years of rough handling, what with wedding rings chafing against it and the thrusting back and forth action when in use? Even so, I’m always conscious of my knob when I have someone new in the front, I often find myself trying to see if they are looking across at it perhaps in disgust. I’d keep my hand on it so they couldn’t see the grubby, worn exterior.

It’s a shame it’s in such bad condition because actually it’s very comfortable to handle. It’s nice and firm with no give and it fits in my hand really nicely. It doesn’t get too hot in the sun, nor does it get freezing cold in the winter. A perfect knob actually. But, it just looks a bit shit.

So after seeing another Elgrand owner had bought an 8-ball shift knob I decided it was now time to change my knob too.

Funnily enough, I used to have a yellow spot (number 1) in my Mini back in the 80’s. A mate ‘happened across it’ and gave it to me. I’m sure the pub it came from has long since been knocked down to build houses. I drilled a suitable hole in it and because I didn’t have  a tap and die set I wrapped electrical tape around the gearstick threads and screwed the ball on tight. I can still picture using it on the long Mini gearstick.

I was all set to relive my youth by getting another yellow spot and did some searching on that popular auction site. There were quite a few available, but what thread dimensions did I need? Most were for VWs, and Elgrands have a different thread size. Turns out I needed M10 x 1.25.

While searching I saw several other ‘pool balls’ but my heart was set on the yellow spot…that was until I saw a Pokéball. About the same size as a pool ball (give or take 2mm) and comes with three different mounting thread options by way of additional threaded inserts, including the one I needed.

Dilemma! Do I go down the route of reliving my youth (that long gone Java green Mini 850 has many fond memories attached to it), or should I go with a Japanese theme perfectly suiting a JDM vehicle?

Well the Pokéball won in the end, including a vote from my wife. It was more expensive than the pool balls at about £21.

So here it is. I love my new knob.

Pokeball shift knob
Pokeball shift knob

The old one needed a firm grasp and a real hard twist anticlockwise to break it free, then it just unscrewed.

I screwed in the appropriate insert firmly after applying Loctite. When screwing it onto the shaft the circle sat at about the 9 o’clock position. I needed to add some sort of spacer to the top of the shaft so it needed about a quarter turn less to bottom out. I tried a few things, like cardboard, wood and washers until I found a small nut in my old RC spares box that was perfect. It bottomed out at about 4 o’clock and needed a little force to turn it to face rearward. I removed it, applied Loctite and spun it on again. Job done!

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