Dual pivot Trunnion explained.
When we designed the shifter for the 2011 Mustang we ran into quite a few snags along the way. We wanted the shortest throw possible with out sacrificing the shift effort and improving the overall feel and feedback. Our first thought was to machine a single ball pivot like the factory shifter and simply move the point of rotation up for shorter throws. We machined a few different shifters with different throw reductions and found that ONLY 20% throw reduction could be achieved with a single point of rotation do to the closeness of the gates and the reverse lock out. Anything over 20% just simply made the car undriveable. We COULD have settled for 20% reduction, we were all tooled and the CNC machines were setup to run this, we COULD have been the 1st to the market with a shifter back in May, but we decided to toss this design out the window and start all over.
After a few months of trial and error, we achieved 40% throw reduction by making a trunnion that tilts on TWO points of rotation. There is one pivot for the front to back throws (1st-2nd) and another pivot for the left to right throws (neutral side to side movement). This allows for shorter throws front to back but does not sacrifice the neutral movement. The shifter completely changed the whole shifting dynamic of the car and we knew we had a WINNER.
Our 1st design single pivot
When using a single ball pivot for rotation, every time you move the ball up to reduce the throws, the sideways movement also is reduced in the same manor. We all know the 2011 mustang has very close gates (sideways movement) but it has a fairly long throw front to back which is what makes for a odd 2-3 shift. A single pivot 20% throw reduction shifter does NOTHING to address this issue. So by using TWO pivots on a trunnion block we were able to reduce throws front to back with out changing the sideways movement to much. This put the shifter in a perfect balance for the amount of movement needed to hit the 2-3 shift perfectly every time.
The shifter pictured at right, was one of our first designs, and we tossed it out.