This is something I've wanted to address for a while, but only finally had the chance to.
Having the Sport seats in my Focus, there's plenty of nice silver accent stitching in the interior. It runs all over those seats but doesn't continue to the rest of the cabin. I wanted to tie in other parts of the interior by using matching stitching, and the shift boot was one of those parts. I was prepared to restitch the original but then I saw that Redlinegoods had a pattern for the Mk3s so I placed an order.
I also took this as an opportunity to change to a different material for the boot. Since some Ford models like the new Taurus SHO have Alcantara accents, that's what I opted for; genuine black Alcantara.
It was a bit of a gamble to specify the stitching colour with only a photo on their website to estimate a match, but I feel it worked out pretty well.
Since it's now Christmas break I had the time to take the old boot out and switch over to the new one.
Yesterday I started on the process of installing the new shift boot. Overall it was fairly straight-forward, and I am very happy with the finished product.
It started by once again removing the stock boot and silver trim from the car and separating the two.
The OEM boot is held in with glue around the plastic base. I used a hobby knife to carefully cut them apart, trying to keep the original leather boot more or less intact. It came out just fine with the only cut sections being the small square contact points where it was glued.
Alignment of the new boot was critical. With the obvious silver stitching, I did my best to ensure it'd line up like stock so that the stitching would be in each of the four corners of the silver trim. It would be clear if it wasn't aligned properly.
It took some delicate repositioning but I got it as close as I could. The new boot wasn't exactly the same dimensions as the stock one, but I was able to position the four coners fairly well around the plastic base.
Looking at the plastic base, you'll want the stitching to line up, centered, within the indented section at each corner.
Some binder clips were used to hold the boot as I adjusted its fitment, continually placing the silver trim back on top to double check.
When I was happy I then used a high-strength modeling adhesive and worked my way around the boot, applying it to one section at a time while leaving the rest clamped to avoid the boot becoming misaligned. When I was done I let it cure overnight.
Today I removed the clips, did some minor trimming of the boot to clear some of the tabs on the backside of the silver trim, and reassembled it (Bad picture, I apologize. It was the only one I had).
I then went into the garage and tested it. I found that the new boot was actually tall enough to sit against my shift knob while maintaining enough slack to go through all of the gears. This was not the case with the OEM leather piece.
However, I felt I wanted it tied down a bit lower as the original had been. I fastened a ziptie around the end and set it to the height I wanted. With the trim clipped back in place and the shift knob reattached, it was in and I'm happy.
As I had mentioned I had to take a bit of a gamble in specifying the stitching's colour, as I only had an online photo to work from. It worked out and I was able to get a very good match for the seats.
Quality: Very good. Beautiful material, even stitching.
Fitment: Snug but good. Almost sized exactly like the original.
Installation: Needs patience but is straight-forward. If you have that and some basic hobby supplies you're set.
Overall: Very happy. This is something I've wanted for a long time and RedlineGoods came to the rescue.