I had the MGW shifter installed a couple of days ago and to be honest, I wish I hadn't. Yes, the action is more precise and it is obvious that it is a quality piece of equipment. For performance driving I could see it being a "must have" modification. But for cruising and daily driving I find it noisy and it actually seems to emphasize the notchy feeling of the transmission that so many complain about. I keep forgetting that the centering spring is stronger than stock so several times I've ended up starting from third while thinking I had put it in first.
The shorter throw is only noticeable if you're thinking about it - that's a good thing because it feels very natural (it's not so short that it would feel like a major change).
The people at MGW are amazing to deal with. George even called me to discuss my shift knob selection and ended up sending me their new "gripper" knob (a textured composite round ball with a pony logo medallion on top) and I love it.
The performance shop I had do the installation (I have no way to raise the car enough to get my fat butt underneath... besides I'm getting older) didn't seem to follow all the instructions. I had to pull off the console and boot when I got home to adjust the lockout screw because getting into first and second involved brute force. I found that they hadn't seated the rubber boot properly and they hadn't put the factory sound deadener on top of the MGW stuff as they should. Fixing those things made a difference and it is currently acceptable... just not worth the almost $600 it cost in total with installation.
The stock shifter setup may be a bit sloppy but it is smooth enough for my driving style and very quiet. Obviously most members here are more interested in performance and the MGW shifter is a great choice for that use.
The thing about installing an MGW is that it takes time. I worked as a dealership tech for eight years, and I understand the mindset in the head of your wrench turner when he pulled your car in.
I would be willing to be there's no dynamat on the bottom of the shift housing nor is the lower heat shield in place, as that is a serious pain to install. You cannot properly adjust and install the MGW in less than two hours, period, unless you've done several. It's a lot of small, detailed steps aside from the obvious onext, which is simply bolting the new shifter in place of the old.
Regarding effort to pull it into first, I fully agree. Their spring rates are too high for daily driving. I removed the lower end cap from the 1-2 return spring which pushes the shifter back to center before ever installing it. I have no issues there, but used to occasionally hit 4th instead of 6th because I didn't do the same thing with the opposite centering spring. Which I'd like to do, honestly.
Regarding notchiness and clunking as it shifts, I personally prefer that. There is tactile and audible certainty the moment the trans
is fully in gear.