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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love the Black Forest Industries GSB knob. Now that I have said that there are a few areas I felt could be tweaked. I have never liked the way the knob interfaces with the stock boot. So after much thought about how to handle the issue, and 3 hours wandering around Ace hardware looking for a way to implement it. I came up with the following.

Buy these:


Cut one like this:


Install on the end of the knob like this:


Install boot over modified rubber tip and secure like this:


Install shift knob normally and invert boot to see this:


The second thing that bugged me about the knob was the coin. I had issues getting it to sit evenly and flush. The thickness of the leather around where the coin was supposed to sit caused the diameter of the coin bore to shrink maybe 0.5 to 1mm. Not much but just enough to make it difficult to get it to seat correctly. So I found a socket (1/2 in drive Kobalt shallow 21mm) that had a OD of 27mm and inverted it, so the 1/2 drive side sat directly on the coin and after putting a couple layers of paper towel between the socket and coin, tapped the socket with a hammer to drive the coin into place.

Which created problem #3. Now the coin is sitting aproximatly 0.5mm under the top surface of the shift knob. (no its not bent...)


I could have probably ordered another coin and placed it on top of the existing one, and it probably would have been perfectly flush and good looking. But something about the flat coin bothered me. And I always liked the convex lens that the stock knob had so I did a little more digging and found this.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321470601938?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
I now have 39 spare ones...

and, Installed, it looks like this:



There is now a smooth transition between the leather and the plastic lens. The dome stickers are not a perfect dome, the top is slightly flat but the circumference has a radius that seems to my hand match the BFI knob. It now feels like a OEM knob.
And within 5 min of me ordering the dome stickers from ebay, I found this.... and ordered it.



http://mk3shift.bigcartel.com/
The site is run by a fellow texer- DannyMK3

When I get the new decal and install it I will post more pics!
 

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I like what you did with those rubber tips. I had the same "issue" with my boot being scrunched up so I had a friend of mine 3D print me a little sleeve :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I would have ordered a BFI knob if they sold a nicely-itegrated trim+boot+knob assembly; I also dislike the very non-OEM-look of the boot interface.

I went with an OEM Audi S3 knob+boot instead, which retains the OEM look throughout. The fact that there are no metal touch points is a big plus as well (metal gets scorching/freezing).
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?8378041-Installed-8V-Audi-S3-manual-shift-knob
I remember seeing your post and that was a option for me for a while. But I'm a little sentimental about the DE/20th knob look. When BFI came out with this copy the choice was made.

I got the 20th shift pattern sticker from MK3shift and installed it this morning. I'm really happy about the way it turned out.


 

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Good to see someone putting some effort into customizing our product!

Some more thoughts:

We intentionally left certain dimensions like the factory knob so that things like this could be done - we, for obvious legal reasons can't sell VW branded product outside of their intended channels but it gives you guys the opportunity to modify the knob to look like an OE part.

Cool solution for the shift boot, and a good way to make the OE size boot fit this knob.

We do sell an appropriately sized boot - both in alcantara and actual Nappa leather (not the factory vinyl):

Leather and Alcantara MK7 Boot

We also designed the knob to have 2 areas to attach the boot, below the divide line, as you have modified to work - and above that divide line, like the factory DE/20th/ Mk5/6 accessory knob. The factory actually attaches the boot above the divider with a foam wrapped zip tie.
 

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How can the coin on top be removed?...
 

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I was looking for this thread and the OP a few weeks back but couldn't find it (was too lazy to search; admittedly). I have to say that this is pretty nice modifications to this "mod" and I thought my OCD was bad. I was really concerned with how the boot was going to look after getting this knob and I have to say that the rubber makes this look perfect. I am planning on doing this as I tried to get my boot not to pinch at the shaft but still couldn't totally iron it out... I think it's worth trying this. The coin though where I think the BFI logo looks classy- I do like the coin with the H pattern + GTI logo, and how it's not recessed. I do have to ask though the same question as the above.. if anyone actually had any luck removing one of these coins or if it's going to be more problems then what it's worth.

Overall, I really love this knob though - it's one of my favorite mods to my GTI but with these tweaks I think it can be made even better.

Side question: has anyone with this knob have had any rattling noises when moving through certain gates? It doesn't necessarily feel loose the knob but when going from like 3rd to 4th I feel like the knob has a lot of metallic clanging? This has also been voiced by others on the GOLFMK7 forums but I'm wondering if anyone ever identified what it was or how to re mediate? I used blue loctite on the set screws and again the knob really does feel secure so it's not a question of the knob being loose or at least I don't think so...
 

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I was looking for this thread and the OP a few weeks back but couldn't find it (was too lazy to search; admittedly). I have to say that this is pretty nice modifications to this "mod" and I thought my OCD was bad. I was really concerned with how the boot was going to look after getting this knob and I have to say that the rubber makes this look perfect. I am planning on doing this as I tried to get my boot not to pinch at the shaft but still couldn't totally iron it out... I think it's worth trying this. The coin though where I think the BFI logo looks classy- I do like the coin with the H pattern + GTI logo, and how it's not recessed. I do have to ask though the same question as the above.. if anyone actually had any luck removing one of these coins or if it's going to be more problems then what it's worth.

Overall, I really love this knob though - it's one of my favorite mods to my GTI but with these tweaks I think it can be made even better.

Side question: has anyone with this knob have had any rattling noises when moving through certain gates? It doesn't necessarily feel loose the knob but when going from like 3rd to 4th I feel like the knob has a lot of metallic clanging? This has also been voiced by others on the GOLFMK7 forums but I'm wondering if anyone ever identified what it was or how to re mediate? I used blue loctite on the set screws and again the knob really does feel secure so it's not a question of the knob being loose or at least I don't think so...
I removed the coin with a super thin knife. Do it very carefully and you won't harm the coin or the leather. A pin or needle would work better.

I'd be willing to bet the rattle is because the set screws aren't tightened fully. I had a rattle and it went away when I torqued them further. Used Loctite 222.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I have this knob in my Mk4 R32, but I figured I'd mention it here since it's the same knob:

I was also unsatisfied with BFI's flat shift pattern coin. I bought a Mk4 20th AE knob so I could steal the acrylic dome and use it on my BFI knob. I discovered BFI's top half is billet steel, and the diameter of the hole the shift pattern coin sits in is about 1.5mm too small, and the diameter of the BFI shift coin is identical to the Mk3/4 golf ball knob acrylic dome.

I used a small drill bit and a file and increased the opening a bit, and recovered it in 1.75oz fine grain sheep skin. Still working on a custom shift pattern for my acrylic dome though. The thicker leather is nicer than BFI's stock leather, but it is much more difficult to apply cleanly to the knob top.

In the process I also picked up one of Critar's billet aluminum top pieces too, but BFI's steel top is heavier and proves a better feeling throw.

 

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Thanks OP & all for helpfull comments. When installing the BFI knob for my manual transmission, I needed to apply the blue Loctite to the threads between the knob and the shaft (not found on the automatic version) as well as the 3 set screws on the collar.

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