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Hurst shifter install

Improving the “go as you row” in your late-model Mustang

Nic Conley - September 29, 2011 10:00 AM

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For Your Information:

 

Hurst Shifters

(818) 483-1366

www.hurst-shifters.com

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1 The Hurst Billet Plus shifter is literally a work of art, and includes the shifter, chrome handle and classic white shift knob.

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2 The factory knob will unscrew, and will not be used again, as it doesn’t fit the Hurst handle.

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3 The shifter bezel pops out of the center console easily, exposing a thick rubber insulating boot. Gently pull the boot from inside the console, being careful not to tear it. This will be reinstalled later.

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4 Now from under the car, loosen and remove the bolt that holds the shift rod to the shifter with a 13mm wrench.

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5 Then, remove the bolt securing the shifter brace to the transmission case. It’s a little hard to reach, but the bolt will come out by hand once loose.

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6 The rear brace and insulator comes off by taking off the two 10mm nuts holding it to the floorpan. Then, push the shifter forward, and up through the hole in the floor. It will come out from underneath, but only if the transmission is lowered a few inches. Unless you have access to a hoist, it’s not worth the effort. It comes out from the top fairly easily.

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7 The difference is easy to see between the stock shifter with its stamped steel brace and bracket versus the Hurst unit made of billet aluminum and utilizes polyurethane bushings.

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8 Remove the shift shaft bushings and the brace bushings from the stock shifter and install them in the new unit.

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9 Bolt the rear brace back up loosely until all bolts are installed. We removed the driveshaft so it would be easier to see how this shifter goes back.

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10 Then reinstall the forward brace bolt and tighten.

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11 The shift shaft bolt goes back in, then tighten all the bolts down. You’re all done down here.

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12 The insulator boot will go right back where it was from the top.

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13 Make sure the shifter handle goes on the right side of the shifter, and install the supplied bolts. A drop of thread locker ensures this thing doesn’t come loose later.

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14 The shifter bezel pops back on, the new shift knob screws on, and you’re done. Now, all that’s left is rowing through the gears and enjoy the MUCH improved shifter feel and substantially shorter shift throws.

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When the restyled Mustang debuted in 2005, it was an instant hit with everyone. Classic styling reminiscent of the first generation Mustangs, retro-style upholstery, gauges, and scoops reminded us of what a Mustang SHOULD look like.

Modern technology made sure we didn’t forget we were driving a new car though, it was truly the best of both worlds. Ford spent thousands of man-hours designing the car that would catapult them to center stage for years.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon though. Many things were designed with noise, serviceability, durability, and mostly cost in mind. In order to facilitate the instrument cluster and dash layout they wanted, the engine/transmission had to be moved forward, which would have meant the shifter would come through the floor under the dash. They designed a remote shifter that bolts to the transmission housing and the floor, and while it is acceptable, the shift quality is less than incredible, and is “spongy”, to say the least.

Hurst’s new Billet Plus shifter eliminates all the sloppiness and rubbery feel associated with the stock unit, plus it shortens the shifts to an incredible flick of the wrist. The shifter assembly retails for around $240, and while not as quick and easy as the old T-5 shifter swaps, can be done in an hour or so with hand tools. Hurst sent us one to try out on a project 2008 GT, and the owner couldn’t be happier with the results.

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