In the sixties and seventies a Hurst shifter in your Mustang was a sure sign of someone who was serious about performance. Forty years later, a Hurst shifter is still sends the same message. Installing a Hurst or other aftermarket short throw shifter is one of the first things you should do to a manual transmission Mustang.
The shifter is a key piece of equipment—something that you use repeatedly every time the car is driven. A high quality, smooth, quick shifter is an easy way to increase performance and driving satisfaction.
Shifters come with directions, but they’re usually short on photos or illustrations. To get a better idea of what it takes to install an aftermarket shifter we took our camera to Tulsa Car FX and watched as Russell Williams installed a Hurst Competition/Plus Short Throw Shifter (PN 391 0203) in a 2007 Mustang with a V-6 and a 5-speed Tremec transmission.
The procedure is similar whether the Mustang is a V-6 or a V-8. Probably the biggest hurdle is gaining access to the underside of the shifter. If you don’t have a hoist, be sure that the car is properly supported with heavy-duty jack stands before crawling underneath. Test that the car is rock solid before starting any work. The wheels should be chocked as an added safety precaution because the transmission will be in neutral.
Tulsa Car FX
A high performance aftermarket shifter can make a big difference in any Mustang, new or old. The two units shown here are the new Hurst Competition/Plus Short Throw Shifter (top) and the original Ford 5-speed shifter. The Hurst shifter has red urethane bushings.
The first step is to remove the factory shifter and boot.
There’s an outer boot and an inner rubber boot that seals the interior from road noise and fumes.
A hoist is a real plus when doing this job. It makes access to the mounting bolts much easier. The job can be done without a hoist, too.
Some people drop the driveshaft to gain better access to the three nuts and one bolt the secure the factory shifter, but with a little patience you can leave the driveshaft in place.
A ratcheting 10 mm wrench is used to remove the forward bolt that connects the shifter base to the transmission. Clearances are tight so allow enough room to get the wrench off the bolt.
A very long extension was used to remove the nut on the driver’s side of the transmission. A U-bracket connects the shifter to the chassis.
Once the old shifter is loose, a little pushing and turning will get it to where is can be pulled up and out from inside the car.
The factory bushings need to be removed and reused in the new shifter.
Lithium grease should be used on the bushings and sleeves when installing them in the new shifter.
The metal-flanged sleeves are greased and inserted into the red urethane bushings supplied with the shifter. Urethane bushings are red and rubber ones are black.
The two white plastic bushings that were removed from the stick bottom of the old shifter are greased and installed in the Hurst shifter.
The Hurst shifter is inserted into the shifter opening from inside the car. The long front rod goes in first. Some medium strength blue thread sealant is used on the long shifter mounting bolt. Assembly is the reverse of disassembly. Do not over tighten the fasteners.
The Hurst upper stick attaches to the stick bottom with two button head socket bolts with star tooth lock washers. The bolt heads should be on the smooth side of the stick.
After the button head socket bolts are placed in the shifter handle put some blue thread sealant on the exposed threads.
This close-up shot shows how the shifter handle mates to the lower section, grooved section to grooved section.
Test the shifter for smoothness and complete engagement throughout the entire shift pattern before installing the boots. Check that the stick moves freely from side to side when in neutral. Reinstall the factory rubber boot. It’s marked as to which side goes down. Get the boots on firmly to keep the interior quiet.
The final step is to spin the Hurst shifter knob on to the threads at the top of the shifter and use a 9/16-inch open-end wrench to tighten the jam nut.