I am trying to convince my friend to buy this Marlin short shifter over LCEs short throw. He is looking at cost, but I'm trying.
I've read all the info here. What else can convince him Marlin is better?
Hey Wainiha, thanks for the question. I think in the end it will come down to personal preference, but I'd like to answer your question to set aside some important differences. The main reason why one would consider our kit over the LC, TRD, and other kits is that our kit is the first of it's kind to have serviceable shift pins. All other options ignore this hugely important issue. Please consider the following...
The above shows a used stock shift base where both pins are worn. The stock pins are pressed and then hydraulically swaged into place and are non-serviceable; Toyota does not sell replacement pins. The upper pin shown is not only worn out but if you look at it's fit into the base, the press-fit has worn off and the pin has been rattling and pounding itself into the soft cast aluminum back-and-forth with every gear shift resulting in a sloppy shifter that can never
be remedied even with our HD Seat and Socket.
Additionally, the lower pin is worn on its front and rear leading edges, which results in additional shift handle play/slop.
Below is a front view of the lower pin. You can see how it has an oval egg shape as a result of wear from many gear shifts. Also note how it's press-fit is not all messed up like the pin above, but eventually the hard steel pin will deform the soft cast aluminum and the press fit will be long lost.
The great thing about our Short Throw kits is that they replace the entire cast aluminum base with a new one-piece stronger billet
aluminum base. Because we are using higher strength billet aluminum, we can use higher strength threaded pins that will far outlast the stock press-fit pins, and you can replace them at any time if ever needed.
The LC kit simply insert a 1" thick piece of aluminum between your stock used base and the transmission, something we would call a short throw "spacer". This is a direct copy of our old short throw kits (take a look here at pictures of our old kits
). We have sold short throw "spacers" since the late 1990s, but due to the age of these transmissions, we decided it was time to manufacture completely new one-piece bases to replace the worn out parts that exist today. The issue is severe enough that it also affects our rebuilt transmissions as we have to set aside good used bases for every rebuilt transmission, something the common transmission rebuilder overlooks. Some rebuild shops don't even include a shift base because they don't want to mess around in sourcing good used bases, passing the burden to the customer to find a good used base. It seems trivial but supplying good used bases can make or break a rebuilt transmission, and Marlin has been taking the time to find and save good used bases since the 80s.To summarize
, the comparison is that even if the LC Engineering kit claims to be a short throw kit, it is severely limited if combined with a worn out stock shifter base. Using their kit with a worn out base may only yield a ~20% reduction in throw, and you'd have a sloppy shift handle. What's worse is that a short throw kit puts a larger load on the pins! So if your stock pins are only slightly worn now, once you install the LC kit you will accelerate their wear and eventually have poor shifting performance!
Another benefit of our kit which I believe is critical, is that we tig-weld the extension onto the end of the shift handle rather than bolting it on like the LC kit does. Unfortunately, this is where our core charge comes into play, however the reason for it may surprise you. I believe this is a critical difference because if LC's set screw vibrates loose from their extension piece, you can say goodbye to your transmission
So by using a "bolt-on" kit like LC's, you are putting your transmission at risk. Before you think this is an extreme comparison or I'm exaggerating, consider the bold red warning text from the last page of LC's own instructions:"If you fail to install the set screws correctly they can fall into the transmission and cause major damage. LC Engineering will not be responsible for damage due to incorrect installation!!! As the installer you take responsibility for the proper installation of this product." -LC Engineering Installer Step 12(f)
There is no such thing as an incorrect installation of a Marlin Crawler Short Throw Kit, and there is nothing that can fall inside and cause major damage to your transmission. Period.
Remember we're in Hawaii. Core charges may cost us too much in return shippng for any savings.
The shipping from Hawaii does put a damper on the deal. You can send us your shift handle ahead of time to defer the core charge, but this isn't necessary with the LC kit. I guess the question is would you rather spend $20 to ship your handle to us, or have accelerated shift pin wear and the fear of some set screw falling into your transmission sometime down the road? If I'm 500 miles from home and 10,000 feet up in the mountains, believe you me this is the last thing I want to worry about.
Lastly, if you are considering a W56A/B kit, keep in mind that our kit replaces 8 used leak-prone parts while the LC kit makes it worse by adding two more leak-prone parts
(their spacer and an extra gasket). So with the LC kit, there are now 10 parts involved that must be properly sealed
as apposed to simply our one piece billet shift base.