Moving from my B7 S4 to the TTRS, I was amazed how much better the shifter was; even with the JHM short shifter installed on my B7, the TTRS had a shorter throw and felt much more solid than I was used to. Once I adjusted to this new “normal” of the TTRS shifter, the honeymoon period wore off and I realized that the TTRS, while better, still had a lot of play in it. Thankfully this was a VERY easy fix thanks to my friends at 034 Motorsport. For just $30 their Billet Aluminum Shifter Cable Bushings take all of the play out of the shift knob itself, which makes finding the gears much easier and gives the entire shifter apparatus a much more solid feeling.
Installation was very straightforward, other than finding a short/stubby 13mm wrench like this one here to get the last of the three bolts; you cannot reach it with a socket wrench, so ideally you should have a 13mm combination wrench that has a very short handle. The bolts aren’t tight so you don’t need a ton of leverage, the last bolt is just difficult to reach. Likewise you have to remove the airbox to get to this, so when you’re installing the 034 Cold Air Intake is a great time to install this. Either way, it should take well under an hour to install with the right tools if starting from scratch, and just about 10 minutes if you’re already doing the CAI. 034 Motorsport has a DIY on their website here, and QuattroWorld user John has some additional tips and install pictures here, but it’s a pretty basic install.
The product itself is really simple – you basically replace rubber bushings with solid aluminum ones, which takes out some of the play in the shifter. It’s a shame Audi doesn’t do this from the factory, since there really is no downside to this modification. There is no additional harshness or vibration in the cabin, the only change is a shift knob just has less slop in it. You can see the difference in the products below, so it makes sense why this product would help firm things up.
Like I said it’s a quick and simple mod that makes a noticeable difference in shifting for only $30, so it’s definitely something to replace on your TT as soon as you get it. Oddly enough it was something that everyone in the TTRS forums recommended to replace right away, but for some reason I put this off thinking the stock shifter was good enough (and better than I was accustomed to) and hence nothing to tackle right away. In hindsight, I wish I had listened to others and spent the $30 to get this installed ASAP, it makes the driving experience much nicer for a mere $30 and 30 minutes of time.