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  #1  
Unread 01-27-2007, 10:33 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
How-to [How-to/Review] Ford Mustang aftermarket shifter install

I've had a Pro 5.0 shifter in my Mustang since shortly after I got it. Although it's been good to me, I always thought that the centering springs were a little too soft, and it let a good bit of excess noise into the cabin. I decided I'd give the newer MGW design a try; it was supposed to have better noise isolation.


Here's the shifter; pretty sturdily constructed if you ask me. The design differs from the common Pro 5.0 and Steeda Tri-ax shifters, both of which have a solid shaft that goes all the way through the shifter base. Unlike these designs, the MGW shaft is multi-piece (probably to reduce vibration) and the handle clamps around a circular shaft, rather than bolting alongside a flat one.


Another shot of the shifter itself.


The handle. Since it clamps onto a round shaft, you can orient the shifter handle in whatever direction you find most comfortable. It's a pretty nice feature.


Tearing apart the interior of a Mustang is pretty easy. The ball at the top of the shifter simply unscrews, and the entire outer boot/bezel assembly is just held in with plastic clips. A good firm tug is all you need, but be sure to unclip the cigarette lighter! Using a small socket, (around 8mm, if I recall correctly), undo the plate surrounding the inner boot and remove it, then switch to a 13mm socket and remove the four bolts holding the factory shifter down. You may need to apply some leverage to remove the shifter itself, because it is held in with sealant. If you can't rock it loose by hand, use a prybar and/or a mallet, but be careful not to nick the machined surface that the shifter attaches to.



Installation is basically the reverse of removal. Use some gasket sealant to lay down a bead at the top of the transmission, drop the shifter in so that the "ball" falls into the receiver cup inside the transmission, then bolt the shifter in place. If you elect to use shifter stops, set them so they're ALMOST contacting the shaft when the transmission is in third and fourth gear, then install the locknuts, being careful not to turn the stop screws.


If you bought an inner dust boot, install it now. Cut out the center rib of the factory inner dust boot and reinstall it.


The rest is really straightforward. Put the shifter handle onto the shaft, orient it in a comfortable way, and tighten its bolts. Snap the outer boot/bezel assembly back into the dash (don't forget to re-connect your cigarette lighter) and thread the ball back onto the top of the shifter handle.

I'm impressed overall with the quality of this product, although I've only used it for a pretty short time and it is probably not broken-in yet. Aftermarket shifters like this are nice because they have shorter throws and heavier centering springs which make it easier to find third gear. I've noticed that the MGW part has heavier centering springs than my Pro 5.0 shifter did, and manages to retain most of the precise feel of that design without as much noise and vibration.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung

Last edited by lemming : 01-28-2007 at 04:38 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 01-28-2007, 08:16 AM
Revrend Revrend is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
You have tools? Wow.

Looks good, any factory parts left on that car? : p
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  #3  
Unread 01-28-2007, 09:58 AM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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I've got a bunch of 1/4" and 3/8" drive sockets and some combination wrenches, but that's about it. I'm fine with doing little stuff like this, and geeky stuff like tuning the engine by reprogramming the ECU, but if something is complicated or messy, I'll just pay someone to do it. If I ever get a house or apartment with my own garage, maybe I'll develop a sense of adventure; as it stands, I don't think my neighbors really want to see a car up on jack stands in the parking lot.

The clutch, transmission, and driveshaft are still stock (until I manage to break something) but the engine, rear axle, and the entire suspension are almost completely aftermarket. I still have some misgivings about the engine setup (I don't like power adders, but I need to use one to make the amount of power I want), but the power level is pretty good and the handling is excellent for a Fairmont.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #4  
Unread 01-28-2007, 06:53 PM
tree the heavy's Avatar
tree the heavy tree the heavy is offline
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The noise is the one thing that I don't like about the Tri-ax, I might have to get one down the line.
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  #5  
Unread 01-28-2007, 07:01 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Yeah, at certain engine speeds, the buzzing from my Pro 5.0 was kind of annoying. There's no way I'd have wanted to go back to that rubbery stock shifter, but if the MGW unit stays quiet, it's definitely a keeper.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #6  
Unread 06-19-2007, 06:29 PM
NitrouStang96 NitrouStang96 is offline
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Yay for the first thread I've looked at since Rideroom's beginning... (re: sorry for the resurrection )

I have my shifter boot stuffed with a bunch of cotton balls, which does a lot for dampening the sound. Won't make a difference in vibration, though
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  #7  
Unread 06-19-2007, 06:41 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I suppose that would also work. It's not really overall sound that has ever been a problem, it's the rattling and vibration. The MGW part, now that I've broken it in, is still far, far better than my old Pro 5.0.

Which reminds me; I need to see if I can find a way to stop the panel around my AC controls from buzzing on the highways around here. If I just rest a finger on it, the noise stops, so I wouldn't think it'd take much.

It's a lost cause overall, though--this car is NVH Hell.
__________________
[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #8  
Unread 06-19-2007, 06:55 PM
NitrouStang96 NitrouStang96 is offline
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I have tiny pieces of paper folded up and hidden in a few different places in my car keeping various things from buzzing by putting pressure on them.
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  #9  
Unread 06-19-2007, 09:59 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
I could probably get some of the rattles under control like that, but overall, heck, I can't think of a single suspension bushing in the car that isn't either spherical or poly. Sort of a losing battle, no?
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #10  
Unread 06-20-2007, 02:10 PM
NitrouStang96 NitrouStang96 is offline
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Same here - I have to stay on top of those with one of the following:

Brake fluid
WD-40
Gold Grease (or that white stuff)

Squeaks, rattles, buzzes - it all annoise me.
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