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How to Change/Install a Manual Shifter

This is a discussion on How to Change/Install a Manual Shifter within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Changing the shifter on a manual transmission is a relatively easy mod to do, and can easily improve shifting technique. ...

  1. #1
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    How to Change/Install a Manual Shifter

    Changing the shifter on a manual transmission is a relatively easy mod to do, and can easily improve shifting technique. This is off of my '99 WS.6, and your car may vary slightly.




    First off, disconnect the battery. Then, I would recommend chocking the wheels, as you may be shifting the tranny out of gear, and also moving the emergency brake lever.

    Next, remove the shifter nob, simply unscrewing it counter clockwise. Then remove the shifter boot - BE CAREFUL as the plastic ring around the base of the boot is very brittle and will crack easily.



    After that, you will need to remove the three 3/8" head bolts. Two are in the center console -



    The third is under the ash tray. Pull up on the tray to remove it and get to the bolt -



    Next, remove the ash tray light bulb assembly. It should simply pull out -




    Next, pull out the TCS cover plate (if you have it) to access the plug for the TCS switch. -



    The TCS plug should have a depress on it (I used a small flathead screwdriver to depress it), and then pull out -



    Next, you can slightly raise the console to access the plug for the cigarette lighter -



    It will have a depress on it (simply depress with your finger), and then pull out -



    You should then be able to fully remove the center console. This will give you unobstucted access to the shifter.



    Next, remove the inner shifter boot. There are seven 9/32" bolts holding it down. Once removed, you should see the following -



    Now, you simply have four 1/2" bolts holding the shifter on. Remove them. You may need to pry on the shifter lip slightly to remove the shifter. I had to tap on it slightly with a prybar from underneath the car.

    Simply lift the old shifter off.

    Before installation of the new shifter, consult the manufacturer's instructions. Some may suggest using some RTV sealant around the bottom of the shifter plate where it mates to the tranny surface. Others may have a gasket. Then bolt the new shifter in place. After that, follow the instructions for setting the stops - if you have them.

    Reverse all the steps to put everything back. Then start banging gears with your new shifter!

    Hope you find this helpful!
    Last edited by Knight; 08-07-2011 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice work! How is the feel compared to the stock shifter?

  3. #3
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Much improved, IMO. No more accidental 5th gear shifts!

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    I was being polite and didn't want to bring that little incident up... I just figured it was the heat and all that day. I'm still laughing about that fact that when we turned on to your road, we looked and saw all the "traction tests" and just knew we were in the right place.

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    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    I like to establish my dominance and mark my territory

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    Nice job Walt.

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    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Thanks Jon.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    nice write up Walt. I got some pics from my Pro 5.0 shifter install if you want to use for a write up sticky that may give other views. I was going to do one but got too busy.

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    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Thanks Scott. If you want to send the pics to me, I'll throw them in. Might give some better angles.

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    Member blackcar's Avatar
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    Good write up, but I have a couple of questions.

    First, why remove the shifter boot? It has been about 9 years since I changed the shifter out in my first Camaro, but I don't remember removing the boot. Why take the chance on breaking it? Or am I forgetting something

    Second, does anyone have instructions for setting the stops? The Camaro I have now someone had already changed the shifter. To me it doesn't feel like it is going all the way in gear. I have noticed that if I have it in gear, have the clutch pedal pushed down, and I am coasting it will pop out of gear. esp in 3rd.

  11. #11
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    I removed the boot to allow access to the ash tray light. The wiring on my car is pretty tight, and wouldn't allow me to raise the console enough to access it, so I removed the light first. Some cars may have longer wiring for the light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcar View Post
    Good write up, but I have a couple of questions.

    First, why remove the shifter boot? It has been about 9 years since I changed the shifter out in my first Camaro, but I don't remember removing the boot. Why take the chance on breaking it? Or am I forgetting something

    Second, does anyone have instructions for setting the stops? The Camaro I have now someone had already changed the shifter. To me it doesn't feel like it is going all the way in gear. I have noticed that if I have it in gear, have the clutch pedal pushed down, and I am coasting it will pop out of gear. esp in 3rd.
    Hopefully this is just a stop screw setting and not your synchro's in your tranny. Popping out of gear is indicative of your synchronizer keys going out.

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    Member blackcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    I removed the boot to allow access to the ash tray light. The wiring on my car is pretty tight, and wouldn't allow me to raise the console enough to access it, so I removed the light first. Some cars may have longer wiring for the light.
    I see. That makes since.
    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Hopefully this is just a stop screw setting and not your synchro's in your tranny. Popping out of gear is indicative of your synchronizer keys going out.
    I hope so too. It doesn't do it while I'm giving it gas, just coasting with the clutch pedal down.

  14. #14
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Scott (SMWS6TA) was nice enough to send over some pics of his shifter swap. It provides some different views that may help.










    Setting stops





    A comparison shot of the stock vs PRO 5.0 shifter


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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Damn that thing is short!

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    The one on the left is the Pro 5.0 and the one on the right was the stock. You can't tell in that pic but the shaft with the ball on the stock is about an inch longer then the PRO 5.0. The axis on where the shaft pivots on is further up on the Pro 5.0 when compared to the stock shifter.

  17. #17
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Neat, This will help me over the winter with my trans, clutch and shifter swap. Thanks guys.

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    Hey I got a quick question I'm replacing my factory shifter right now. The plastic cup in the picture above stayed in my car like the picture. I didn't pry it out and put it on the ball of my new shifter, is that a problem? I just installed the new shifter right on top. Do I need to pry the cup out and put it on the end of the new shifter?

  19. #19
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    I don't see any problem with that. As long as the shifter linkage has properly fit into the tranny linkage, and you can shift into each gear properly, you should be just fine.

  20. #20
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    Thats what I thought....it worked ok before and since it didnt come out with the stock shifter, I figure that one wasnt fitted on the knob either...thanks

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