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C6 Chevrolet Corvette Shifter - Shift D6C
The C6's new shifter has left me Breathless
Jun 27, 2007
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C6 Chevrolet Corvette Shifter - Shift D6C
Breathless Performance's billet shifter may not appear significantly different than the myriad of others on the market, but it has some unique features that set it apart.
The shifter base is the same for both C5 and C6 applications. Where the shifters differ is in the stick configuration. The C5 stick is straight and has an array of mounting holes, allowing custom angling. The C6 stick shown here is offset with two pairs of mounting holes, giving you a variety of fore/aft positioning options.
Breathless also includes this plastic wedge, which gives you the option of angling the shifter towards the driver. The rubber isolator in the foreground reduces the transmission of driveline vibration into the cabin.
Another nice customizable feature is the ability to adjust the shifter's self-centering force by substituting these included springs.
Swapping shifters means partial disassembly of the center console. Start by popping the "passenger airbag off" light bezel loose.
Flip it over and remove the harness, as shown here.
Remove the four Torx-head screws that retain the storage-compartment door.
With the screws removed, the door can be put aside to make further disassembly a little easier.
With the door out of the way, remove these two bolts.
Pull the emergency-brake-handle boot up to expose two more bolts that need to be removed (only one is visible in this shot).
The screw that retains the shift knob can be revealed by pulling the shift boot down. Remove the screw.
The knob can simply be pulled straight up and off.
The console plate can now be taken off, though it may require a bit of effort. It works best to start at the back and work your way forward towards the radio. The piece is stronger than it looks, so you're unlikely to break it.
Once you have the plate free, you will need to remove several wiring harnesses. Starting again in the rear, remove the traction-control and accessory-power harnesses. Both have interlocking keys that must be removed before the connector can be snapped loose. Try not to break the keys, but don't sweat it if you do. The connectors are pretty solid even without them.
The lighter and...
...hazard-light harnesses will also need to be unplugged.
This buys you enough room to place the console plate off to the side. There's really no reason to remove it completely.
This rubber insulation sheet is held in tension between two tabs on the piece below. I guarantee you'll split it longitudinally the second you start to remove it. Don't worry: You can't use it with the new shifter anyway.
Next, you'll need to remove the four nuts retaining the shifter block-off plate.
Remove the block-off plate to reveal the shifter base.
Four bolts hold the shifter base in place.
The shifter mechanism should now simply lift out of its home. If not, a sharp rap with the palm of your hand is usually all that is required to break it loose.
Since the transmission is located at the aft of all C5s and C6s, the shifter actually operates the shift-actuation shaft, the front of which is shown here.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the Breathless shifter and the stocker. Where the GM piece uses a flexible stamped steel base, the BPP unit uses a CNC'd billet aluminum base and tower for solid, consistent shifts, no matter how violent. Be sure you transfer the plastic cup to the new shifter before installing it.
The Breathless shifter simply installs as the stocker came out. Notice the four countersunk Allen-head screws retaining the cover. This provides access to the two centering springs. I decided to try the default springs, as BPP told me they provided the best balance between shift effort and stick-vibration resistance.
Secure the shifter base using the supplied bolts and washers, and reinstall the block-off plate by pushing it down around the shifter base. It will flex upward sufficiently to allow the plate to mount flat on the trans tunnel.
You can now install the stick. Because I have long arms, I chose to mount it in its forward-most position. I also included the rubber isolator while opting not to use the angle wedge. Take time to experiment with your setup. How comfortable the shifter is will directly impact its effectiveness. Once you've settled on a configuration, use the included lock nuts and a dab of Loctite to ensure that the shifter doesn't come loose at an inopportune moment.
Reassemble the console in the opposite order of disassembly. Remember to plug in all the harnesses and insert the (unbroken) interlock keys where applicable. Bolt the plate back in place and snap the brake boot back in place.
You may have noticed that the BPP stick is threaded and has no provision for the stock shift knob's retaining screw. This was no problem for me, as I was happy to be rid of the cheesy factory knob. If you really want to retain it, you can drill and tap a small hole in the stick before assembly. The stock knob will then slide in place on the billet stick perfectly. Otherwise, you'll need a knob with 9/16-18 threads. Any knob intended for a C5 will work perfectly.
Nothing's worse than stop-and-go traffic, particularly when your shifter rebuffs your request for Second gear and gives you Fourth instead. SLP Performance Parts' CAGS (computer-aided gear selection) Eliminator makes driving your 6-speed Corvette a little less frustrating in traffic.
In order to install the CAGS Eliminator, you must locate and unplug the skip-shift pigtail on the driver's side of the transmission. Note the convenient "SKIP SHIFT" label.
The SLP CAGS Eliminator simply plugs in line between the harness and the skip-shift solenoid on the transmission. While it does not eliminate the annoying yellow "SKIP SHIFT" light on the dash, it allows you to select Second gear anytime you wish.
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