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Old 01-24-2014, 01:26 AM   #1
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Talking Beer Tap shifter mod

So I decided I wanted a beer tap as a shifter. Which one? Certianly not a typical Budweiser or other domestic brew. I decided on one of my favorite beers: Guinness! This tap handle was not only beautiful and simplistic, it so happened to be the actual one my local Irish pub used. When I heard they were changing it to a newer style, I asked for it and they happily obliged! This one is shaped perfectly to grab whether pouring a pint, or shifting gears in my Wrangler! If you ever wanted to have one like mine and want to know how to do this mod, read on.
My Wrangler is a 2012 JKU and the shifter is smooth and not threaded at the top like some vehicles are. It's also a manual 6-speed, not AUTO. The shifter 9/16" in diameter by the way. Not sure about other years.

***Disclaimer- if you attempt this mod and damage your vehicle or yourself, I'm not responsible. Proceed at your own risk. ****

Tools/parts needed:
Beer tap!
screwdriver to pry off old shifter knob
2-part epoxy resin
drill and bits
painters tape
4" metal shaft (optional)
vice
cutting tool (dremel, sawzall, etc)
foam/crack filler (optional)

The first thing you need to do if figure out which tap to get. Mine was free but they average $30-$60 on average online doing a search. My Guinness tap is more expensive since it is made of porcelain and is inlaid with 24K gold. Doing a search, mine averages $129 each. So it's all about what you want. One thing to consider though is that although mine is porcelain and durable, it's also a beeotch to cut.

Anyways, with mine and probably most taps I've seen, there is a hinged thing on the bottom connected to a bolt. Don't even worry about it as most taps are also too long and you will be cutting it in half anyway. I cut off everything longer than 6". You won't be able to go longer anyway because if you notice, the shifter isn't straight. It has bends in it and mine went down to the first bend which is fine since that's where the boot comes up to, at least on my 2012 it does. If it's porcelain, you will need a blade that cuts stone and masonry. Trying it with anything else is wasting time. Nothing will come of it. If it's plastic or wood, great. Before I cut my tap, I wrapped it in painters tape and cut along the line below it. Leave it on until you're completely done too in case the epoxy get on it or the tap splinters if wood or plastic. Keep in mind if you have a solid core and it isn't styrofam inside, you may be able to skip alot of this mod by drilling a tiny hole into the tap on the side and into the shifter so a screw can be inserted.

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Old 01-24-2014, 01:27 AM   #2
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Once cut, look into the bottom and you will probably see it filled with a styrofoam material. Mine was. I had to take my drill and basically use a big bit to get as much of it out as I could down to 4". I didn't go all the way to the bottom (which is really the top inside). Just up inside 4" is enough. This is because the styrofoam isn't very solid to handle the rigors of shifting and I wanted a solid feel. If you tried to slip the tap as is over the shifter and tried using epoxy or adhesive, it would probably either weaken the foam inside or simply not provide a solid contact surface and the tap may come off. That would suck.
Once cleared out, I then took a hollow metal shaft that I got from a metal mop handle. It fits with just a little gap when you place it on the shifter. More on that later. If your tap has something solid inside, you may not have to do what I did. Simply drill out a hole just big enough to slide over the shifter.
For my tap, I had to then take epoxy resin and mix about half of the tube. It sets within minutes so you need to be ready and patient. I scooped half of what I mixed and poured it into the tap. Then I smeared some on the outside of the metal shaft and inserted it far enough until it was flush with the bottom of the tap. Then if there are any gaps around it, fill them in with more epoxy. Let it set for 20-30 minutes. Mine sets in 15 but I like to allow extra time. While you wait, go take the old shift knob off.


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Old 01-24-2014, 01:29 AM   #3
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It's super easy, ususally. Insert a screwdriver into the crack at the top and kind of pry up moving around the shifter and it pops off. Easy.
Next pry the lower collar off the same way. It will fall down. Now the hard part. I've seen shifter removal videos and threads about just pulling hard on the last piece. it works for some people, but not for me. I felt like the Hulk could not get it off. I took a small prybar and a hammer and took one whack from the bottom hitting up and it popped right off. Cool.



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Old 01-24-2014, 01:29 AM   #4
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When your tap is ready, you will need to mix some more but this time not alot. I used half of what was left. Once mixed, I went to the shifter and the epoxy inside the tap shaft I made and gently put the tap over the shifter. This is now when you twist the tap a little to spread the epoxy so it bonds with the shifter. Make sure you get the shifter to line up with your hand so it's comfortable. Mine is slightly facing me to the left. perfect. If you used epoxy, let it set for at least 30 minutes to an hour before driving. Mine feels solid and there is no play in it at all. awesome. Don't forget to remove the blue painter's tape. I realize someone might say "But how will you ever remove it if need be?" Well, loctite isn't that hard to get off, but twisting and pulling hard enough you can get it off. I did this mod before on a truck a long time ago and also had to remove the tap like that. It came off with alot of twisting but it kicked my butt. LOL. Anyways, as I mentioned earlier, if your tap was already solid, you could drill a small hold and tap a screw into the shifter instead of using adhesive. Your choice. Enjoy!
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:11 AM   #5
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Cool
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMBruce View Post
Cool

That is the right word, Guinness should be served cool at 43F
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:31 PM   #7
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Very nice! Just wanted to mentioned that older JK's do have a straight shift arm. My 09 is straight, my wife's 14 has the slight bend. I would imagine it happened with the 2011 interrior redesign.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:18 PM   #8
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This is cool, I remember years ago quite a few column shifters had this mod.....usually with the same beer in a cooler in the back seat.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
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make sure the cops know that you constantly don't always have a beer while driving!

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