I picked up the USRT kit a while back and finally got around to getting it installed. I rebuilt my shiftbox and reinstalled my Neuspeed short shift while I was at it. Quick review follows the pics.
Removing the existing shift linkage is fairly straight forward and easy enough to do from the info in the Bentley manual.
Getting the shift box out was a pain. My exhaust system was very rusted. I decided that cutting the bolts that hold the front of the cat to the downpipe was the easiest way to go.
I also used a jack to hold the exhaust and move it up a bit so I could release the hanger ahead of the axle:
This gives you just enough room:
The main reason to drop the shift box is to replace the ball and cup at the bottom. You need to remove the shift rod to pull out the lever.
The bushing in the front of the shift box has to be pushed into the box to pull the shift rod out. Lube this up with some silicone spray to help. There are two small lips that most be worked through the hole:
Now just remove all of the old relay arms and bushings. Out with the old:
The ball cup is straight forward enough:
lubed and ready
I used a vise to push the shift ball out of the way to remove the pin and reinstall. It is a roll pin and just needs a few taps with a punch and hammer:
Here is the reassembled shift box:
I chose to grind off all of the studs for the relay arms as in the USRT instructions. I painted everything to prevent rust:
I am using a Neuspeed short shifter and the short relay arm is shorter than the stock part. I had to grind down some of the body of the USRT short relay arm and grind down some of the threaded part:
I measured all of the relay arms center to center and matched the length and angle of the ends as exact as possible. It would be VERY difficult to adjust this stuff in the car. Take your time here and make sure everything is tightened down:
I had to open up the large Delrin bushings as they were way to tight to fit on the relay shaft. Just a little sanding with some fine paper was all that was needed. Check the fit as you go:
I used some white lithium and a 22mm socket to get the front shift rod bushing back in:
I mocked up the entire assembly before installing it in the car:
In the car:
The artsy shot:
Moody night pic:
I have driven the car a few times and am impressed with the shifting. If you are expecting this to totally transform your A2 shifter, you will be disappointed. It still does not have that mechanical snick-snick feel of (insert your favorite shifter here), but it is very smooth and precise and 90% of the play is gone. Short of an upgrade to cable shift and a VWMS shifter, I do not think you could do much better.
Off to the family for cranberry sauce!