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OMG!!! What a massive difference in Shifter.....


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So as noted in my earlier thread, I was really beginning to question the shifter in this car. Most notable issues for me, were the terrible centering of the shifter in the boot opening area, and mainly the terrible mushy rubbery feel of the shifter. Did not feel or act like a short throw shifter at all to me.....

 

Thanks to some very sound advice from other owners, I decided to replace the shifter handle before going the full extent of replacing the entire shifter. So glad I made this decision. I finished the conversion awhile ago, and just cannot believe how improved the shifter is now, not to mention the feel and placement of the shift knob.

 

Having read about the horror of removing the factory shift ball, I was kinda prepared for it. After destroying two cheap strap wrenches attempting to remove the ball, I finally said screw it, pulled up the center console, and unbolted the factory shift lever from the trans. This is when I caught the obvious causes of my dissatisfaction with the factory shifter......How could you possibly have a good feel of the shifter, when it is surrounded with rubber?

 

I ended up putting the shift ball in my vise between two pieces of wood, and using an 18 inch crescent wrench on the opposite end of the shift lever, on the flat surface, and the factory ball walked right off......

 

IMG_0321_zpsf1647a6b.jpg

 

 

As far as the poor placement of the factory shift lever and ball, the offset factory handle certainly explained that. Here is a pic of it out of the car, along with the new Hurst straight stalk that I bought. Difference being this Hurst stalk will use the factory boot if desired.

 

 

IMG_0325_zpsa9e3eb88.jpg

 

Once the new stalk was bolted on, I could tell right away that this was going to be a vast improvement....

 

IMG_0328_zps78b93691.jpg

 

The only modification I had to make with this whole install, was to the boot retainer I bought along with the shift ball. It is meant to actually thread onto the shift lever. Because the shift lever I bought was different thread size, I just drilled out the threaded end of the retainer, so it could slide over the new stalk freely...

 

IMG_0329_zps51f97a7d.jpg

 

At that point, it's a matter of reinstalling the center console, sliding the boot retainer over the stalk, and nesting it inside the factory boot....Then just thread on the new ball, and the problem is now solved. Note how the shifter is now properly placed in the boot opening.

 

IMG_0330_zpsb57b0f05.jpg

 

For comparison sake, here is the measurement from the dash to the center of the shift pattern on the factory shifter....This is in first gear.

 

IMG_0320_zpsb80374a9.jpg

 

And here is the same measurement after the install of the straight shifter handle and new ball....As you will see, this pulls the placement of the shifter back almost a full 2 inches.....

 

IMG_0331_zps1ed288b6.jpg

 

And the finished product, that I just love.......

 

IMG_0330_zpsb57b0f05.jpg

 

IMG_0333_zps1f8cb344.jpg

 

IMG_0332_zps6101ec33.jpg

 

The only additional noise I heard at all, was the distinctive "click-click" when engaging gears. The feel is rock solid. This is how it should feel, in my opinion. It also drops the height down about an inch or so, that for me feels so much more ergonomic with the center console. This shifter now feels excellent, as I would have expected it to........

 

Mike

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Mike,

 

Your write up is the gold standard for how to present a modification project with words and photos. I have a feeling you must do a fair amount of writing in your profession. The finished product looks great. And, being a 60's car guy, the Hurst shift handle makes it all the better.

 

Jim

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I have to wonder if replacing and or simply removing all that surrounding rubber and adding metal bushing to the stock shifter (mounting holes) would eliminate the mushy feel.

From the pictures the shifter looks to be surrounded with rubber and from looking at the stock and Hurst shifters I would guess the stock shifter has rubber inserts where the mounting bolts pass through it.

 

Nice, has anyone taken the stock shifter rod and reversed it so its closer to the driver in all gears? Or has anyone just removed the rubber bushings for a more solid feel?

 

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Mike,

 

Your write up is the gold standard for how to present a modification project with words and photos. I have a feeling you must do a fair amount of writing in your profession. The finished product looks great. And, being a 60's car guy, the Hurst shift handle makes it all the better.

 

Jim

 

 

Thanks for the kudos Jim. Actually, I am a Plant Manager at a large Juice Manufacturing Plant. Plenty of business writing involved, but moreso the realization that communication is key. That, and the fact that I have been doing forum write ups since I got my 2005.......

Thank you again, I too love the look of this. The new shift knob matches the seats and should have been there from the factory.....

 

Mike

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I have to wonder if replacing and or simply removing all that surrounding rubber and adding metal bushing to the stock shifter (mounting holes) would eliminate the mushy feel.

From the pictures the shifter looks to be surrounded with rubber and from looking at the stock and Hurst shifters I would guess the stock shifter has rubber inserts where the mounting bolts pass through it.

 

 

You are exactly correct. The stock shifter lever is surrounded in rubber. To use the stock shift rod, you would need bushings inside the mounting holes. The Hurst that I bought even had very small bushings for the mounting holes, I assume to avoid vibration and noise.

As far as just reversing the stock shifter lever, I think that is possible, but I would be concerned that it would actually bring the shifter too far back in the boot opening.

 

Mike

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I agree with Mike. I did this mod a while back and can't believe how much better the car shifts. I went with the taller chrome Hurst lever and a white Cobra ball with black stripes. I also used the Roush boot.

IMAG3488-1_edit0_zpsae017a80.jpg

Edited by Cdvision
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Having read about the horror of removing the factory shift ball, I was kinda prepared for it. After destroying two cheap strap wrenches attempting to remove the ball, I finally said screw it, pulled up the center console, and unbolted the factory shift lever from the trans.

<SNIP>

I ended up putting the shift ball in my vise between two pieces of wood, and using an 18 inch crescent wrench on the opposite end of the shift lever, on the flat surface, and the factory ball walked right off......

 

 

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to tell people to do it this way.

 

More times than I can count, more times than I can remember.

 

Using this method makes it SO easy and simple.

 

 

Phill

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I can't tell you how many times I've tried to tell people to do it this way.

 

More times than I can count, more times than I can remember.

 

Using this method makes it SO easy and simple.

 

 

Phill

 

 

Phil,

I believe I probably saw one of your advice threads, that convinced me to take this approach. It is SO easy this way. The factory ball had red loctite in it. But by using the 18 inch persuader, it was like a hot knife cutting through butter.....Thank you for the good advice.

 

I had a chance to drive the Cobra a bit today, and even got in some spirited runs from 0 to 100. I simply cannot believe how much better the shifter is now. Makes driving so much more enjoyable and accurate. The shift is now the flick of the wrist, and no hunting for third gear.... The way I was looking at it was, even if I changed out the entire shifter, I would have switched to the new Shelby shift ball and retainer regardless. So, the worst outcome would have been wasting 42 bucks for the straight Hurst stalk. But a it turns out, it was actually a savings of about 300 plus dollars to avoid the new shifter.

I still plan to replace the shift boot with a Redline boot with white racing stripes. They will also custom make the boot for a lower profile short shifter, which will work very well on this application.......

 

Mike

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Have done this mod on my '09 and my '11, of course on the advice of this forum. Like the OP says(and I've said before), much better & more positive shifting, like a stick-shift should work. No excessive noise/vibration, and no crappy/rubbery feel!!

 

Is that also a Hurst arm on your 09? Do you have a link to where you purchased it?

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I've read this thread a few times now, and maybe I'm missing something...or I'm stupid. How exactly did this improve the actual shifting of the transmission? Did you remove the rubber bushing? Is it just the placement of the shifter that feels better? From looking at your pics, the rubber bushing is still there. Wouldn't removing that actually take away the rubbery feel of the shifter? Or can't it be removed? One last thing. Where did you order the handle from?

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I've read this thread a few times now, and maybe I'm missing something...or I'm stupid. How exactly did this improve the actual shifting of the transmission? Did you remove the rubber bushing? Is it just the placement of the shifter that feels better? From looking at your pics, the rubber bushing is still there. Wouldn't removing that actually take away the rubbery feel of the shifter? Or can't it be removed? One last thing. Where did you order the handle from?

 

 

Hello. The rubber bushing in question has now been removed. This pic shows the factory shift lever, with the rubber grommet surrounding the shift lever....

 

IMG_0321_zpsf1647a6b.jpg

 

 

Then, this picture shows the straight shaft installed, bolted directly to the transmission shifter with no rubber grommet.....note the green dot on the transmission arm.....

 

IMG_0327_zps954c14ae.jpg

 

 

I do not feel any major vibration transmitting up through the Hurst handle. It came with a couple of small bushing that fit inside the bolt holes, that I am sure help a bit. As far as how it makes such a difference? I can actually feel when the shifter is in a gear, rather than "bottoming out" in a gear and having the mushy rubbery give, it used to have. There is a very distinctive "Click, Click" when you engage gears. It feels just as good as the MGW on my 05 GT.

I had a friend drop by today, who had driven it stock. Had him take it for a drive, just to make sure I was not imagining the difference. He concurred....major improvement......

 

I picked up the Hurst handle on E Bay. Here is a link. If you do purchase this, make sure, as it says, to specify that you need the 8MM mounting bolt kit. They include it, with the grommets I mentioned at no charge.....

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&vxp=mtr&item=281104306090

 

Mike

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Ok thanks for clearing that up gotoatz! When I read threads like these in the past, I always thought you guy were talking about the large round rubber surrounding the base of the shifter at the bottom. Now it makes sense. This is something I will definitely be doing. Thanks again!

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Gotoatz,

 

Where did you get the knob? Does it have the same thread pattern as the factory stick? If not, what diameter/pitch are the threads? Do they offer any other color/stripe combos? Your set-up looks killer; definitely planning to make this upgrade!

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Gotoatz,

 

Where did you get the knob? Does it have the same thread pattern as the factory stick? If not, what diameter/pitch are the threads? Do they offer any other color/stripe combos? Your set-up looks killer; definitely planning to make this upgrade!

 

 

Thank you. Yes, as Tim noted above, the shift ball is from Shelby. Excellent quality piece, with many combinations available. The ball comes with three different thread inserts. The Hurst straight stalk is a different thread than the stock handle was, but Shelby has them all covered with the inserts.

I also believe the new shift ball is a tad larger in diameter than the stock knob, and has a much better feel to me......

 

Mike

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Great idea. I ordered the same items as you...can't wait. Did you have any problems aligning the ball without the threads in the adapter that normally allow it to jam with the ball? Thanks.

 

 

I did not. By retaining the factory boot, for now, there is a collar below the factory boot that is fairly secure. By inserting the one end of the boot retainer inside the boot opening, it allows the retainer to thread down against the collar, and the shift ball is very secure. Worst case scenario, if it does not hold up that way, I will pull it back off, and put a jam nut on the Hurst stick BELOW the shift boot, and it will never be seen.....

 

Good luck with yours. I am loving this set up more each day. Yes, I can certainly tell there is a bit more vibration noise without the "Factory Shifter Condom" in place, but I sure as heck don't care. I'll take the improved shifting over that little bit of vibration any day.....

 

Mike

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Wouldn't work on my 2011. Bolts front to back instead of side to side.....

Mike

 

 

Yep, 2010 up is that way. You have to have a round lever or one made specifically for 2010+ to work.

 

 

Phill

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I agree with Mike. I did this mod a while back and can't believe how much better the car shifts. I went with the taller chrome Hurst lever and a white Cobra ball with black stripes. I also used the Roush boot.

IMAG3488-1_edit0_zpsae017a80.jpg

 

What length lever did you use there Cdvision?
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