(image property of MGW- www.mgwltd.com)
This install is best done with the car on a lift. I did it with just the front wheels on ramps, but there was not a lot of room to work. Please be sure to lift the vehicle in a safe manner.
If you have any doubts about your ability to do this installation, get a performance shop to do it for you.
I do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of these instructions. Follow them at your own risk. MGW provides a complete set of instructions with the shifter.
Ratchet with long extensions
10mm deep well socket
10mm wrench (preferably a ratchet box wrench)
phillips head screw driver
First, here is the entire kit. Pictured are the written directions, the shifter, the support rod, an instruction CD, dynamat sound deadener, a sound deadening pad, shift handles for the stock handle thread pattern and a thread pattern for "universal" shift knobs, shift stop plates, rubber boot, and various small parts.
Everything is clearly labeled.
The shifter itself. The quality is pretty evident in pictures, but in person it is just excessive. MGW does quality like no one else.
Stock position for 1st gear.
Now on to the installation. (please dont rely on these instructions. MGW provides an extremely detailed printed set of instructions and a CD complete with video instructions in both .wma and quicktime formats, as well as a powerpoint presentation. They really dont do anything halfway.)
First you are going to remove the shift knob and boot. Your car will not have the shiny strips of sound deadening or the large red power wire.
Next you'll need to remove the black portion of the center console. To do this, simply remove the two screws pictured underneath the arm rest and pull the section up from the back. Be very careful when doing this. You will need to pop the front out carefully once the back is raised and then pull it over the ebrake. I found it easiest to do with the ebrake pulled up pretty high. Be VERY careful because it is very easy to scratch the black plastic if you rub it against the ebrake as you are pulling it up (I found this out the hard way doing an audio install).
With the top section removed.
At this point I brought my laptop out so that I could refer to the pictures on the CD.
Remove the 13mm nut at the bottom of the shifter. Set it aside- you will use it again.
You can now pull the arm away and let it dangle.
Next use the 10mm deep well socket and remove the two bolts at the back of the stock shifter. Again, set these aside for later.
Pull the stock shifter down.
You will need to remove this piece from the back of the shifter. Work it back and forth and it will come off.
Now you need to use the 10mm wrench (again- preferably a ratchet wrench) to remove the silver bolt that holds the support arm to the transmission. Set it aside for later.
The stock shifter is now free. You can pull it up from the top. Start with the back of the shifter and work it out.
Stock vs. MGW. Only a slight difference in quality :)
Now take one of the two sheets of dynamat and install it over the hole. Then cut the center out, leaving enough to tuck around the edges of the holes.
Set the new shifter in- starting with the back and then work the front end in.
Take the washer and locking washers MGW provided and the stock 10mm nuts and bolt the rear of the shifter back up. Just snug them up a bit, you dont want them tight yet. Once its on, take the other sheet of dynamat and cut it in half so that its about 5"x5". place it in front of the shifter, being sure to cover the two bolt holes in the tunnel of the car.
Next take the support arm and bolt it to the transmission with the 13mm bolt you removed earlier. Be sure to hand thread it as far as you can (and at least 6 full turns) as you dont want to crossthread it. This needs to be pretty tight. Push the rubber end of the arm up to the shifter and use the supplied clamp to clamp it to the shifter. Be sure to switch back and forth between the two bolts so that you get it clamped down evenly. You dont want to get one side tight and then start on the other.
Now you will need to install the linkage arm to the bottom of the MGW shifter with the 13mm bolt. Before you do this, however, you will need to turn the bracket out a few turns, depending on how short you want the throw to be. MGW claims that 6 turns out results in a 30% shorter throw and 12 turns results in a 50% shorter throw. Do NOT turn it out more than 12 turns. Please see MGW's directions for further details before proceeding.
I chose to start with 9 turns.
The shifter installed. Now you can take some of the spare dynamat and fill in any holes (be sure not to bring it right up to the shifter, as you need to be able to get the boot around the bottom.
If you want to install the optional shift stops, do it now. My understanding is that you really should not need shift stops with a shift linkage setup (however, please do not rely on my understanding). I chose not to install them as I do not shift very hard. However, if you have any doubts or shift hard, you may want to utilize them. You can contact George at MGW if you have any questions about it.
Now install the rubber dust boot.
Next the sound absorbing pad goes in with the two slits towards the rear of the car.
Now attach the handle bracket to the shifter so that the rear hole is angled to the right- somewhere around the center. This may be fine tuned later to avoid rubbing of the leather boot, or personal placement preference.
Now install the handle of your choice. Pictured is the handle with the stock threads. Be sure to line up the slit in the handle with the slit in the bracket, and do not clamp further up than the slit. You can fine tune the handle's position by moving it up and down.
Reinstall the shifter and boot and you're done! This is with the shifter in 1st. As you can see, it sits several inches further back than stock.
As you can see in the pictures- the parts are all extraordinarly high quality. I've come to expect nothing less from MGW since I ordered my first shift knob from them back in 1999 or 2000. MGW is always great to deal with- they even shipped the shifter the day I ordered it.
Right now I have it set at 9 turns out and am very happy with the throw. However, once I have some time with it, I may try a shorter throw. Fortunately it is very easy to change the throw. You just have to get the car off the ground and undo the linkage bolt and turn the bracket the desired number of turns (again- be very careful doing this and consult MGW's directions before doing so).
Finally- the norm for aftermarket shifters is increased cabin noise. Not so with this shifter. Thus far, it is actually quieter than the stock setup.
While the stock 05 Mustang GT shifter is light years ahead of the school bus shifter that the SN95 cars were cursed with, the MGW shifter is, of course, even better. It has a very firm and mechanical feel, without being high effort. It is a more than worthwhile modification.
You can order this and other parts from MGW at: www.mgwltd.com. In fact, I may be ordering a gripper shift knob shortly to complement my new shifter.
You can contact me on the Mustangworld.com messageboard here or IM me at AlBlue281