Thread: My Review: Rogue Octane vs. UUC EVO3

My Review: Rogue Octane vs. UUC EVO3

UUC EVO3 w/ DSSR vs. Rogue Octane w/ WSR


In May of 2003 I started researching Short Shift Kits. After changing my mind several times (trying to choose between Rogue and UUC) I decided to purchase the Rogue Engineering Octane with the Weighted Selector Rod. The UUC EVO2 was on backorder and I was impatient, so the decision was made for me when I went to place an order. I have since been in quite a few cars with different shift kits, and I have to say that no other car requires as much effort and is as notchy as my Rogue SSK. Since I was unhappy, I decided that I should make a change. I wanted to replace the Rogue SSK with one that didn�t require as much effort to get into gear, one that lets the shift knob sit up a bit higher, one that is adjustable without taking the entire unit out of the car, and one that was smoother. UUC then released the EVO3 and DSSR, so I thought that this would be a great chance to compare the two leading manufacturer�s most recent products. I�ve broken the review into three parts; 1) My initial thoughts on the Rogue SSK after installation and my follow up with Ben Liaw 2) My initial thoughts on the UUC SSK after installation and my follow up with Rob
3) A direct comparison between the two.

Rogue Octane w/ Weighted Selector Rod (WSR)

Installation time: 2 hours
Installation Cost: $70.00 (Labor charge was $70 per hour. I was quoted one hour for the installation, but it took them two hours. They honored their original quoted installation charge).

My immediate reaction was how low the shift knob sat in the car. The Rogue Engineering web site did not mention that the shift knob would sit lower in the car, so wasn�t sure if this was a feature Rogue it or a faulty installation. I called Ben Liaw to let him know about the situation, but I didn�t have a picture available so I tried to describe the problem that I was having. Ben mentioned that it should sit a bit lower, however I don't think he realized how low it was in the car.

He mentioned that the shift lever is height adjustable by moving the pivot ball up or down. I was a bit skeptical of this though, because reason for the Pivot Relocation Adapter (in blue in the picture) is to correct the shifter geometry. I figured that by moving the pivot ball up or down, the geometry below the pivot cup is going to be effected, negating the purpose of the adapter. He mentioned that in its stock position if you look down from above at the pivot ball (after removing the rubber boot) that there should be two clip lines visible, and then the clip that holds the pivot ball. I checked when I got home and sure enough that's what I saw, and I emailed him a picture. Since the pivot ball was in the correct spot, I wasn�t sure what else to do. I received a reply to my email basically saying �That�s the way our shifter is�. I heard nothing more after that email. I later found out that the reason the pivot ball is adjustable is because the same shift lever is used in multiple applications. The adapter is used to correct the geometry.

The next issue I had was the immediate and noticeable difference notchiness of the shifts, and to a lesser extent the effort required. I was under the impression from the website that the WSR was supposed to �virtually eliminate the gearbox notchiness and gear whine that is associated with some manufacturers� kits�. I don�t have a degree in physics, but I don�t understand how adding more weight to the bottom of the shifter can help reduce the effort required to shift. Common sense to me is to add the weight at the top (by using a heavier shift knob) to give you more leverage.

Although the quality of parts are top notch, this kit simply does not work for me. In my opinion it is uncomfortable to drive, the shift knob sits too low in the car, and the notchiness is certainly more than I expected.

UUC Motorwerks EVO3 with Double Shear Selector Rod (DSSR)
$355.00 ($454.00 w/ DSSR)

Installation time: 1.5 hours
Installation Cost: $90.00 (wasn't charged for the last half hour)

Since I didn�t have a picture showing my kit fully assembled, I attached the photo on the right that shows the ERK (Effort Reducing Kit) installed. The tech that installed the kit said that it went together very easily, and he was impressed with the quality of the parts. He has installed many short shift kits and said that this was the easiest assembly of parts that he has worked with. He also commented on the smoothness of the working parts, specifically the bearing lower pivot point and the pivot ball assembly, and he was impressed with the DSSR and the way that it attaches to the connection points on the shift lever and the transmission. He was happy with the installation, and mentioned that once he had the Rogue kit out it only took about 30 minutes to put in the new kit.

I had him install the shift lever at its lowest setting, and I was surprised! It sits about as low as the Rogue does. This was okay though,, because I knew that I could adjust it upwards by three quarters of an inch. When I first sat in the car, I ran through the gears and the difference was immediately noticeable. The notchiness is reduced, but there is another difference that I wasn�t expecting! The shift lever glides between the gears smoothly, with much less effort required to shift. I took the car out for a test drive, and I also noticed that the shift throw is much shorter!

Head to Head Comparison

When comparing the parts on the bench, I first noticed how much of a difference there is between the bearings of the UUC kit and the bushings of the Rogue kit. It makes the pivot point between the UUC shift lever and DSSR much smoother than the bushings found in the Rogue kit. When I worked the parts back and forth, I can only describe the pivot point in the Rogue kit as �tight� (and this is after 5k miles). For example, when I hold the UUC shift lever in one hand and the DSSR in the other, and let go of the DSSR it swings right down at the bearing pivot point fluidly, with no binding. When I do the same with the Rogue kit and let go of the WSR, it slowly swings down. I can only attribute this to the difference between the bearings and the bushings. I also noticed that the top of the Rogue shift lever is twisted. You can see the twist in the picture above, with the twisted part circled in red. It may be difficult to see, but the slot that the gearshift knob locks into is twisted to the right (if looking from above). I�m not sure if this is part of the design, or a mistake during the bonding process.

While driving, I found that the effort required to shift was dramatically reduced and much smoother with the EVO3. I also found that the shift throw was reduced. While it�s difficult to visualize and describe the difference in effort and smoothness, I�ve attached some comparison pictures so you can see for yourself the difference in the shift throw.

I like the fact that I can adjust the height of the shift knob by only moving the upper-section of the shift lever, and the geometry of the shift linkage is kept intact. I did notice a slight reduction in vibration, and a slight reduction in shift lever play with the DSSR installed. In my case, since the car only has such low mileage, I look at the purchase of the DSSR as �preventative maintenance�. I think the bearings and shift linkage geometry play a big part in the smoothness of the EVO3 between gears.

The only negative aspect of the UUC kit was an audible �click� when the car slipped into gear. I thought this might have been the �snick� that I have read about in other reviews and posts, so I contacted Rob at UUC. He suggested that the locking height adjustment collar on the shift lever might not have been tightened completely. I took off the shift boot and used a wrench to lock it down, and the clicking went away. Problem solved!

Overall, I�m glad that I made the switch. While the UUC kit with the DSSR is more expensive, I think you get what you pay for with this kit � a quality product using state of the art technology that is specifically designed for your model BMW.
2002 Ti-Silver 330ci