C5 Corvette Shifter Install - Shifting Into A Higher Gear

If You Like To Bang 'Em Out, Think Hurst First

John Carollo Jun 17, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Here's the business end of the shifters. The Hurst model on the right shows a slightly bigger ball-and-shaft diameter than the OEM. This is the part of the shifter that goes into the tranny and actually does the shifting.

Now put it in neutral and grasping the sides of the leather shift boot at the base, gently press inward toward the shifter to release the boot retaining tabs from the trim plate. Be careful not to break the plastic tabs. Lift the boot up out of the trim plate and over the shifter stick. Open the cigarette-lighter door and remove the ashtray. Use a T15 Torx-head driver to remove the screws adjacent to the cigarette lighter and behind the ashtray. Carefully pry out the vented insert in the dash next to the ignition switch and remove the remaining Torx head screw.

Now shift to second gear. With the parking brake applied, grasp the instrument-panel trim plate near the curve at the base and pull rearward to release the locking tabs. Lift the rear of the trim plate to clear the floor tunnel studs. Disconnect the electrical plug from the cigarette lighter and lift the trim plate up over the shifter to remove.

To remove the factory shifter, remove the four 10mm hex nuts that retain the factory rubber closeout boot. Carefully pry the boot up and off over the shifter. Remove and discard the rubber band if present. Put the shifter into neutral and remove the four 3/8-inch hex-head bolts that retain the factory shifter base to the housing and remove the shifter assembly by lifting up and out. Grasp the alignment pin located on the front of the shifter base and remove while lifting the shifter out. Carefully pry off the plastic cup bushing from the end of the factory shifter and set aside for re-installation.

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Start the install by removing the covers to the hold-down fasteners in the console glovebox. You'll need to free the box to get to the forward console cover.

To install your new Hurst shifter, remove the factory rubber gasket from the shifter housing (no need to keep it). Clean the mounting surface and place the new mounting gasket (supplied) onto the shifter housing. Place the plastic cup bushing that was removed from the factory shifter open end up on a workbench. Ali recommends using good synthetic grease on it, inside the cup and out. Put a small amount of grease on the ball end of the Hurst Billet/Plus stick bottom, and place the ball in the open end of the cup bushing. Gently push down on the stick bottom until the ball snaps into the bushing.

Install the Hurst Billet/Plus shifter onto the shifter housing, making sure the cup bushing on the stick bottom fits properly into the shift-selector socket inside the housing.

It's important the shifter be installed with the notch in the shifter stick threads facing the rear. Use the supplied Loctite on the four supplied socket-head screws to secure the mounting base to the shifter housing using a 3/16-inch hex key wrench. Tighten evenly to 8-10 lb-ft of torque. Make sure the shifter base is sitting flush on the housing before fully tightening the screws. Test the shifter's operation by moving the stick through the entire gear shift pattern, making sure it engages each gear fully and the stick moves freely from side to side in the neutral position.

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Take care to gently pry out the plastic tabs on the OEM boot, especially if you want to use it with your new Hurst shifter.

The T-56 transmission contains built-in gear stops. The adjustable stop screws on the shifter are optional and should be removed if not used. These stops are advantageous during gear changes where significant force is used, such as racing. If the shifter stops are retained, it is very important to adjust the stops exactly as instructed. Consult the instructions for this procedure. If you'd like to adjust the shifter stick side-to-side tension, it can be tailored to your preference and comfort by adjusting or changing the bias springs that come with the shifter. Follow the instructions for this procedure.

The Hurst shifter stick is threaded to accept any knob having 9/16-inch-18 threads. Steve went for the traditional, white Hurst ball. If you really like the stealth look, you can put the original shifter knob and boot back on. Just insert the metal "T" retainer back into the slot and tap down on the key until the shift knob is tight. If the shift knob does not tighten completely, remove the key and flatten its front face slightly using a hammer on a flat surface. Push the shift pattern indicator back into the knob.

Another reason we like Hurst is they have a highly trained technical service department to answer technical questions, provide additional product information, and offer various recommendations.

So how does Ali like the new shifter? He says there is no comparison. And there is even more good news with this shifter-Not only will your new Hurst shifter reduce the throw 40-percent for shorter shifts, but will also precisely balance the distance, effort, comfort, and control of the shift to make you one happy shifter.


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