Rogue Engineering OCTANE Short Shift Kits
is Ertalyte TX?
TX is an internally lubricated thermoplastic polyester that provides enhanced
wear and inertness over general-purpose nylon and acetyl products.
Ertalyte TX contains a uniformly dispersed solid lubricant, providing a
lower wear rate and coefficient of friction than unmodified polyesters like PET
or PBT and even internally lubricated materials like Delrin AF.
As the table above shows,
most thermoplastics have very low coefficient of friction, making them a good
choice as a pivot material. In the
past, even BMW used steel shifter pivot balls, but moved on to thermoplastic in
the late 90s. All new BMWs now have
thermoplastic shifter pivot balls, from their least expensive BMW all the way to
the $130,000 Z8.
Rogue Engineering, we know that stainless steel is not an idea pivot material,
because of its relatively high coefficient of friction and its inability to dampen
vibration. Ertalyte TX is 421% more lubricous than stainless steel and dampens
k = in.^3-min/ft. lbs. hr. x 10^-10
Though thermoplastics have their benefits,
using just any thermoplastic would not be ideal.
Durability is also an issue that must be considered.
As shown in the table above, some materials wear more quickly than others
do. If lesser materials are used,
premature wear can result. Whereas
UHMW had the lowest coefficient of friction, it also has inferior wear
characteristics. What good is a
pivot that wears out too quickly? Ertlayte TX is 315% more durable than UHMW.
The ambient temperature of a
BMW drive train can reach 200°F. At
these temperatures, some thermoplastics can start losing their advertised
chemical and physical properties. Extended exposure to
higher service temperatures cause some thermoplastic parts to become brittle,
and eventually fail. We have seen
the non-replaceable thermoplastic pivots of BMW factory shift levers become
brittle after just a few years of use. None
of the above listed thermoplastics meet the requirement of 200°F, except for
Ertalyte TX. Even though
Ertalyte TX is designed to handle such temperature and wear, the pivot of the
OCTANE short shifter lever is replaceable, if ever required.
what about those steel balls?
Many hours of
research and development go into our products to make sure that all bases are covered.
BMW's change to a thermoplastic pivot was hardly a cost savings measure, as
using multiple materials in the manufacture of a single part dictates a more complicated
manufacturing process. Although it
would have been much simpler to
a pivot ball into our stainless steel lower shaft of the lower section of our shifter lever, we knew that
this would not be the best solution. It
safe to say that those manufacturers using steel pivot balls are actually the
ones taking short cuts.
We've got the CNC program to prove it.
Like many of the parts in the
Rogue Engineering OCTANE short shift kit, CNC machining is the only method to
accurately duplicate the parts required. This ensures that the end user
gets the same product that we continue to improve and develop on a regular
basis. An important data point during development was the actual tolerance
of the pivot ball. During our development, we actually tested more than
ten different samples of pivot dimensions, in the effort to find the optimal
solution. What we discovered was that "factory-like" tolerances
were in fact, a bit stiff. Naturally, by machining new samples in specific
increments, we were able to determine dimensions that were unacceptably loose
and those that were too tight within the pivot. After selecting the best
fitting sample, we were able to test our findings. What we found was that
our pivot was in fact, 41% smoother than stock. An alarming discovery was
that our pivot was 300% smoother than another popular aftermarket shifter.
Although a detail such as the
actual pivot resistance may seem trivial in the scheme of things, we're used to
sweating the details. At Rogue Engineering, we wouldn't have it any other