DIY Racing Sim Shift Box


Ask anyone who has ever owned a car with a manual gearbox – in real life and in video games, nothing beats stick shift. Rather than shell out gobs of money to purchase a pre-made shift box, forum member [nikescar] built his own for about $20.

Using some scrap wood and a plastic cutting board, he went to work building a prototype. The “H” shift pattern was designed in CAD and laid over the cutting board, which was hand-cut with a Dremel. Using some tips found online, he constructed a simple shifting mechanism, then wired in a cheap USB game pad found on Ebay. Using safety pins as temporary micro switches, he ran a few laps, and was quite happy with the results. Once the switches arrived, they were fitted to the shift box and it was off to the races.

[nikescar] reports that the shifter works extremely well, allowing him to row through the gears with the greatest of ease, sans any fear of breaking things. Keep reading to get a better look at the shift box internals.


13 thoughts on “DIY Racing Sim Shift Box

  1. Manual cars are more fun but a modern automatic can shift just as fast and just as firm or soft as a manual gearbox. With perfect shifts every time. They even get the same gas mileage with locking torque converters. I prefer a stick shift myself but just wanted to put my $0.02 in.

  2. One thing that is a little more harder to do with an auto or a sequential manual for that matter is if you want to miss a few gears when shifting down, like from 5th to 3rd. With a ‘H’ pattern it’s easy. would be interesting to see a controller and game that can support this technique.

  3. Well done Nikescar, for too long I’ve believed that H-shifters for games are either crummily made or horrifically overpriced, you just proved that a good H-shifter can be made for peanuts and these $500 kits are all just mark-up.

  4. I always wondered whether it would be possible to build a gear shift from a force-feedback joystick. You could have lots of fun coding in the ‘H’ complete with missed gears,etc…

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