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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, as I outlined in this thread: Buyer Beware! TWM Performance is not shipping orders or responding to inquiries!, it is pretty much impossible to procure a new M1 Abrams shift knob. I got my $157 back from TWM by opening a claim with PayPal (TWM never responded) & investigated going a different route.

Now, our shift rods are about 8mm in diameter at their thinnest, and ~11mm in diameter at the thickest point (it has a bit of a taper to it), meaning that, unless you want to hack away at your shift rod, you'll want to go with a shift knob that accepts an M8x1.25 or M8x1.0 thread pitch.

I couldn't find any shift knobs similar to the M1 Abrams that came in an M8 thread, so ultimately, I picked up this shift knob on eBay for $14.95:

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If the knob I used is no longer available when you read this, just search eBay for terms like "brushed aluminum shift ball", you'll find plenty of options.

This specific knob was advertised as being "brushed aluminum", with a M10x1.25 thread pitch, which is one of the more common ones (alongside M12), which I knew wouldn't fit my shift rod, but ultimately I was able to find an insert made by Diftech, part 10725, which is sold for $3.00, which would screw into the shift knob, converting its thread from M10x1.25 to M8x1.25. Diftech makes thread inserts in others, just browse their website to find the best one for your application.

Here's a picture of the insert:



And some details on my install:

Tools Required
M8x1.25 Die
Die stock
Diftech thread insert for your application (part 10725 to convert M10x1.25-->M8x1.25)

Instructions

1) Remove the OEM shift knob. This might be hard the first time, but ultimately you want to press down and turn CCW, you should get it off.

2) Now, you will see a cross pin that helped secure the OEM shift knob. This will get in the way of any aftermarket shift knob, so we'll need to press it out. I used a c-clamp with a very small socket (4mm? 6mm? something like that) to get it moving, like this:



3) Once you have the cross pin pushed out one side, you can pull it the rest of the way with vice grips, like so:



4) A lot of people seem to have trouble with this step, but it was very easy for me to thread the shift rod. I think it's all about using the correct die & die stock. The M8x1.25 die/die stock I used are made by Vermont American, I believe the die stock model number is 6350D. Go very slow with this step, ensuring that you have the die stock perpendicular to the shift rod. Make sure you have the car in gear so that the shift rod doesn't move around:



5) After threading the shift rod, you'll want to clean up the mess:



6) Now, you can either insert the Diftech insert into the shift knob, or just start by threading it onto the rod:



7) Finished product:



Not bad for $17.95. Eff TWM. Glad I didn't spend $157 on this nonsense.
 

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Looks really nice. How does it feel compared to the one knob?

Would the stock knob work again, if you so chose to go back?

I really like this look but worry about how it would get in the sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Looks really nice. How does it feel compared to the one knob?

Would the stock knob work again, if you so chose to go back?

I really like this look but worry about how it would get in the sun.
Knob feels great, I wouldn't focus too much on the weight since there's plenty of eBay options out there. I'm not saying that SwedeSpeeders should buy this specific eBay knob, but should just consider eBay knobs in general. The Diftech adapter/insert is the game-changer that allows us to use pretty much any shift knob out there.

Yes, you can revert to stock if desired, just be sure not to lose the cross-pin you removed. I taped mine to my OEM knob so I wouldn't lose it. If you want to revert to OEM, simply unscrew the eBay knob, re-insert the cross-pin, and re-attach the OEM knob. The threads that you created will not harm anything.

I have driving gloves in my car to cope with the knob during hot/cold weather. I've only had the knob a few weeks & we haven't had any extreme weather, so I can't attest to how well this works yet. You can also look into getting a "shift knob cover" for extreme weather. Search eBay for that. Lots of options.
 

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Agreed, this a great option! Thanks for the response.
 

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The one change I would consider would be to create a barrier over the spaceball before tapping the rod. It could probably be something easy like a plastic bag pushed down over the road or maybe something more inventive. I just wouldn't want those shavings getting down into the inner workings of the shifter and console.
 

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The one change I would consider would be to create a barrier over the spaceball before tapping the rod. It could probably be something easy like a plastic bag pushed down over the road or maybe something more inventive. I just wouldn't want those shavings getting down into the inner workings of the shifter and console.
I saw a neat, cheap solution - a paper coffee filter. Punch a small hole in it and slide it down over the shifter. It'll catch the shavings with ease.
 

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I saw a neat, cheap solution - a paper coffee filter. Punch a small hole in it and slide it down over the shifter. It'll catch the shavings with ease.
Brilliant. That's perfect.
 
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