Tag Archives: Shift Lever

DIY Short Shifter

I found the stock shifter throw on the ST to be way to long. I added the Mountune Quick Shift, but that wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to spend the money on the FRPP shifter or the Boomba, so I tried my hand at making my own.
Completed:
DIY Short Shifter Finished
Shifter Side

Tools needed:
Tools
Hack Saw
Adjustable Wrench
Die – M12 x 1.25 Purchase link: Century Drill and Tool 97617 High Carbon Steel Metric Hexagon Die, 12.0 by 1.25
1 inch Wrench – You’ll want something large, that you can get good leverage out of
Permanent Marker
Masking/Painters Tape
Rags
Tape Measure
Optional: Hose clamp

Procedure:
First remove the shift knob and trim. The shift knob just unscrews (counter clockwise). The trim piece is held in by 4 clips. You can use a trim removal tool to pop it up or you can use your hands and pull up from inside the shift boot.
trim removal
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Then I used the tape and rags and wrapped them around the shift lever and the rest of the assembly. As you thread metal shaving will drop down, this is to help catch them.

Take your tape measure and measure down how far you want to shorten it. I choose to drop it by 1 inch. Then use the marker to make a line at that point, this will be your stop line.

NOTE: The stock threading is 1 inch, so if you are dropping it by an inch or more, you could change the threadings pitch to accommodate a different knob that wasn’t previously compatible with our car.

Next take the die and thread it onto the shifter and bring it down to the bottom.
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Get your adjustable wrench and clamp down on the black plastic portion of the lever. I held on right next to the shifter cable. This is to stabilize the lever and stop it from moving as you thread. My hand in the photo above is holding onto the wrench, which I have under the rags.

Take your 1 inch wrench and place it on the die and start twisting clockwise. Keep twisting until you hit your marker line. I found it helpful every once in a while to do a quarter turn counter-clockwise to release all the shavings. If it gets really hard to thread, back the die all the way off and clean out the threads, you can also spray some WD-40 or thread lube.

Once you hit your mark it is time to cut. Leave the die at the bottom. This way after the cut you can come back up your threads to correct the top, instead of having to start fresh at the top and try to make it line up with your threads.

Measure from the top down to how much you want to cut. This is where I used the hose clamp. Once I got the cut line location, I used the hose clamp to be a guide and marker to help me cut a straight line, though tape would also work here. I just happened to have an extra clamp lying around.

Take your hacksaw and cut. It can be a bit hard to get started as you are cutting through threads.
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My cut wasn’t perfectly straight as it ended up following the thread lines a bit. This turned out not to be an issue.

Take the die and go back up the threads, to the top. I didn’t go straight off. I went till the die was half way off, then went all the way back down and back up again. Just to ensure that the threads were clean.
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At this point you can check to see if your shift knob screws back on. If you did it correctly it should thread right on.

Next you need to shave off the little tab on the back side of the lever. This tab is a guide for the reverse lockout and a stopper for your shift boot top. With the lever being shorter this now gets in the way. (You can see by looking at your shift boot top and see the track that stops half way through. This tab catches and stops you from being able to drop all the way)

I took a dremil and ground it flat. If you don’t have a dremil a file will work.
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Almost done. Now it’s time to adjust the reverse lockout link. I got hold of a smaller one, like what you get with the boomba short shifter. If you don’t have one of those you can simply use a piece of wire to connect the two pieces. It doesn’t have to be rigid as the only action you are doing is lifting up, it will drop on it’s own with gravity and the spring, in the shift knob.
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Once that is done, put the shift reverse lockout, shift boot, and shift knob back on. Test that you can get into all the gears and the reverse lockout functions. If so, clip the trim piece back on and clean up.
Final Cut:
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Project completed.
Total time: 30min-1hour.