Grease on Your Hands

Step-By-Step Instructions: Installing a Short-Throw Shifter

Thursday, November 9, 2006; 2:01 PM

Want to make driving a manual transmission vehicle a more enjoyable experience? We'll show you how to do just that by replacing the stock shifter in a manual transmission vehicle with a short-throw shifter in a few simple steps.

Aftermarket shifters work by adjusting the height and length of the shifter, as well as the angles and lengths of the connection between the rod and the transmission. This can reduce the distance between each shirt, or "shift travel," by up to 70 percent, cutting the amount of time required to shift through your gears. You'll get that nice "snick-snick" racecar feel with your shifts, as well as better engagement between you and your car.

Before you start, here are a few reminders:

  • When working on a car, always wear eye protection and be sure that your working environment has plenty of ventilation.

  • If you're working under a car, secure it with a floor jack and jack stands or drive-on lift ramps.

  •  Always keep a healthy supply of rags on hand in case you get greasy!

    To install a shifter, you'll need a few tools and supplies:

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Basic socket and wrench set

  • Thin shop rag

  • The new shifter and, if you want one, shifter knob

  • Thread-lock

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