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I was one of the "lucky" ones, who received the shifter without the white ring around it, which holds the rubber boot. I installed the shifter anyway and went for a spin. I noticed that the shifter was much noisier than the stock shifter. I also noticed if I try to hold the rubber boot without touching the gear lever shaft, the noise went away. It dawned on me that the rubber bott acts as an amplifier that makes the whining noise comin g from the transmission louder. It behaves as an old graomphone funnel. So I decide that I try to sound-proof my shifter. Here is a short DIY, what I did.
I cut out an octagonal piece out of soft sponge, which is approcimately 2 inches across.
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The finished product, with the rubber boot around the sponge. Notice that the boot does not touch the shaft. The sponge also acts as a sound insulator.
I can tell you that my shifter is less noisy with the sponge than the stock shifter.
I hope it helps someone.
Mine came sans the white ring also. Maybe I should try this sponge silencing method, but since I haven't installed mine, I don't know if the sound is really that bad (plus I'm lazy about doing the install twice to test it)
Kudos bump. I just sent a message to AxialFlow about getting a white ring thingy before seeing this thread. I was actually concerned about the gear oil smell I was observing instead of any tranny noise. Hopefully the smell doesn't permeate the sponge. If it does, then hopefully I can get a ring.