Many of us own and drive C5 Corvettes. The C5 Corvette is probably one of the most modified sport cars out on the road today. In fact, most C5 owners confess it is downright difficult once you buy one to leave the car in stock condition. With the LS1 engine, it is quite easy to begin to extract more power by adding simple power adders. In addition to headers, exhaust and other go-fast stuff, one of the most popular additions to the C5 Corvette is a better shifter. While the stock OE shifter in a C5 is not like the original equipment Inland shifters of old (that were notorious for missed shifts), the original shifter can be improved upon by simply replacing it with a new shifter. This job is really quite easy, and can be installed in a couple of hours by the most inexperienced owner.
We decided to try out the new MTI Six Shooter shifter for our install. About a year ago, Reese Cox of MTI sent me one of their 1st design shifters. Due to various production delays, we were never able to get the first install into the magazine. Since we decided we wanted to try their brand-new, 2nd design shifter in Project C5X, we decided to install them both and let the cards fall where they may.
While many new C5/C6 shifters are manufactured by what seems like a plethora of various aftermarket manufacturers, many of the shifter mechanisms are very stiff. While some owners may appreciate the stiffness, many owners do not. The original MTI Six Shooter combined the same basic design from the OE shifter but adds a billet aluminum base instead of the OE stamped steel base. One of the disadvantages the 1st design had was the necessary usage of the original OE shift mechanism. But instead of attaching to the base with rivets, the MTI shifter mechanism was attached to the billet base with stainless Torx screws. When this shifter was still in production, the purchaser had to provide their original shifter core so new assemblies could be manufactured, which eventually led to parts availability problems. Also, the shifter arm had been shortened compared to the OE shifter, thus shortening up the throw. We are using Next Level Performance to help us document both installs, and we plan on doing some on-road testing with this 1st design shifter and compare it side-by-side to the new 2nd design Six Shooter shifter in a future issue of CF. We will also do the 2nd design install at that time. Let's get to the first install.