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Cutting the Stock shifter

Cutting the Stock Shifter

I done this mod a while ago and just wanted to pass it on for those on a budget.
About $20-30 and some labor.
Makes your stock shifter shorter and makes the throw somewhat shorter but not much.

WARNING
**You will loose your Reverse lockout mechanism if you do this mod.**

Time to complete task:
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1 hour

Required tools:
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12mm X 1.25 Cutting die - you can get this at Sears for $5. This will re-thread your shifter.
1-inch die Tool - the Cutting die fits inside and is used to get even leveage on the cutting die. So when you start threading the shifter, you can easily thread it. $5-10 at HW store.
Hacksaw - $5-10 at any HW store. Or try Walmart, Target, etc.
Ruler - $1
Phillips head Screwdriver
Black marker pen(sharpie)
8 inch zip tie
3 - Plastic bags
Wire cutter/dykes
10mm socket and rachet-(My 2003 ZX3 had a 10mm bolt for the rear mount of the console)


1.
Twist off stock shifter knob.

2.
Remove the console. There should be two screws under the cup holders and one under the rear cup holder. The one in the rear was a bolt on my 2003 ZX3.
There might be a zip tie holding the top of the shift boot to the shifter.
If you can, cut it with the dykes/wire cutters to remove the shift boot from the shifter.
Remove or cut the Reverse lock-out mechanism as needed to remove it.
I have a 2003 ZX3 and had to cut it off.

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*At this point, the console should be removed with the shifter assembly exposed.*
************************************


3.
Measure the total thread length. Meaning. Measure from the top of the shifter to where the threads ends on the shifter. This is your reference to how much you will need to re-thread.
Make a note of this measurement.

4.
Poke a small hole in the middle of one of the plastic bags and place it over the shifter, all the way down to the base.
This will be used to catch the metal that will be flaking off when you start threading the shifter. Use another bag if you want for extra protection.

5.
Measure from the top of the shifter down about 2 inches. Or less. Or more. It's up to you.
Use the pen to mark where you want to cut it.

6.
Screw the Cutting Die on the shifter until you can't go any further.
Put the Die Tool on the Cutting die and start threading down past about an inch below the pen marking. Make sure the cutting die is below the pen mark. Repeat Step 5 if need.

7.
Remove the Die tool but leave the cutting die in place.

8.
Take the hacksaw and cut away. Just go slow and be patient. Don't rush it.

9.
After you've cut the shifter off with the hacksaw, put the Die Tool back on the Cutting die.

10.
Now thread the die until you have the same length as measured and noted in step 3.

11.
Once you've got it threaded to the proper length, twist the die off so you can remove it.
Use the Die tool if need. It should come off pretty easy. The top will be the hardest point since that's where you cut the shifter.

12.
Remove the plastic bag carefully, not to spill any metal flakes.

13.
Put the console back on. Use the zip tie to put the shifter boot on snug but not too tight.
The zip tie should lace inside the top of the shift boot.

14.
Screw the shift knob on.

---------------
You're done.





Cutting die and tool
.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reverse still works fine.
You just don't have the lock out feature that's an extra safety precaution.
Reverse is below 5th and it's pretty hard to get it in to Reverse while your moving forward unless you REALLY tried.
 

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why would you sticky this???there is already too much stickyness for me. kinda like a highskewl playboy mag. lol. anyways a short throw is like what 100-200 bux i dunno but thats way to ghetto. serously if you are on tight of a budget MAYBE just MAYBE you shouldnt be modding your car. ; )
 

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focus mike said:
anyways a short throw is like what 100-200 bux i dunno but thats way to ghetto.
Aftermarket manufactureres love folks like you. Just because you can do it yourself at little to no cost does not always make it ghetto.

From your profile..." ford racing shoulder pads and steering wheel cover WoOT!"

Now that's something many might consider just a little bit ghetto. Right up there with yellow stickers.

If you've got 100 to 200 bux to throw wildly around you are probably still living with Mom & Dad. Once you get real bills you find the best way to get things done without needless expense.
 

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d00d that was a joke... with the shoulder pads and steering wheel cover im not bragin look i have shoulder pads im just saying it as a joke. mmmkay.....oh and they where outta my old ass pickup truck before i had my focus. and my steering wheel cover was givin to me by my sister as a gift now flame me see whats up! ; )
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Come on you guys, cut it out...LOL

I'm the one who's ghetto that did the mod.
The main reason I did it was because the stock shifter kind of sits too high for me and I really liked my old 1979 Rabbit 4-speed that came with a short shifter. So, I cut it. It was easy for me to do and after you re-thread the shifter with the cutting die, it looks professionally done.
 

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i like the focus central shifter my factory one the gray paint is coming off...i bang on my shifter way to much. the focus central one just looks nice i guess ill pay for something that looks pretty : ) lol
like those girls on north ave. LMFAO j/k i get the honey for free its called :drumroll: my girlfriend hehehehehee and the honey is sweet.
 

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All right, I give if you guys are OK with this. I just think it's not instantly ghetto do do something that's essentially good at no virtual cost.

Carry on[:D]
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Exactly. When I was done, I basically ended up with some new tools for future mods. So, I really only paid for the tools to do the mod. Some people may already have all the tools so this mod would be free to them.
 

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microtonal, have you tried moving the ball pivot up or are you now too short after the cut of the mainshaft? If you have room you should try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I could move it up but haven't tried it yet. The throw distance doesn't really bother me but I might try moving the cable up in the future for an experiment.
 

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micro man, wouldnt it have been easier or made more sence to just snap the boot out, pull up on the reverse lock out, and remove the shifter, then put the shifter in a vice to cut it........
 

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One other note about using a die to cut threads (Step 6). To do it well you need to lube the die and shaft with oil. Also it's a good thing to cut some treads going clockwise but not too many (maybe 1 full revolution) before you back it off a bit going counterclockwise (again 1 revolution). This will clean out metal shards in the die which can cause it to go squirrely and give inconsistant threads. BTW some bigger dies like the one needed for this may have a hex shaped outer surface, so you can use them with a box-end wrench instead of having to buy a special die holding tool.[thumb]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
mofocus said:
micro man, wouldnt it have been easier or made more sence to just snap the boot out, pull up on the reverse lock out, and remove the shifter, then put the shifter in a vice to cut it........
I know you can pull the boot out on 2002 and eariler but it was difficult getting my 2003 boot off. So, I took off the center console.

I cut the reverse lock-out because it's between the top and bottom pivoy links.
so, I could try to remove the top pivot link and slide the reverse lock-out out
or just cut it out.
Since I have no future use for the reverse lock-ouy mechinism, I just cut it out.


And yes, you can use a cresent wrench instead of the die tool but it's difficult to get an even thread. I tried and ended up getting th die tool to do the job right.
 

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is there any difference between cutting it and buying a short shifter (besides keeping the child-like reverse lock-out) cuz if it is more beneficial to get a short shifter, i'll get one.. but if i can just cut the stock one and get the same results.. might as well be cheap..
also, if i cut it i could use any shift knob i wanted, instead of just the reverse lock-out ones..

reverse lock-out reminds me of the child safety protection on lighters..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
People say the steeda and FC shorty's are good and shorten the throw.

So, if you have $100+ to spend, you can get one of those.
 
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