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For today’s project I decided to do something about the ST’s sloppy shift feel. I bought an RS shifter from my local Ford dealer for a very reasonable price. I decided to upgrade the base bushings, but couldn’t stomach paying $40-$50 on aftermarket aluminum bushings (or have to wait for shipping ;) ). A quick trip to the hardware store solved my issue. I found universal nylon bushings and washers at my local Ace that happened to fit perfectly. I should have written down the exact parts/ measurements (sorry guys), but I’ll do my best to remember them. I needed 4 nylon bushings (1” outer diameter), 4 nylon washers that fit on the “stem” of the bushing (1” OD and I think 9/16” inner diameter) and 4 fender washers (1” OD with a hole that is just big enough for the bolt to go in).
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I just sandwiched them together on the shift base and boom! Solid shift bushings for under $6! The throws are a bit shorter from the rs shifter (Ford says 10%), but the feel is so much better. Shifts are crisp and the play it had while in gear is gone. Also, I think the shorter lever looks a lot better. As a note, I was able to install the shifter by only removing the climate control bezel. I just had to reuse the stock base and swap the shifter assembly.
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For today’s project I decided to do something about the ST’s sloppy shift feel. I bought an RS shifter from my local Ford dealer for a very reasonable price. I decided to upgrade the base bushings, but couldn’t stomach paying $40-$50 on aftermarket aluminum bushings (or have to wait for shipping ;) ). A quick trip to the hardware store solved my issue. I found universal nylon bushings and washers at my local Ace that happened to fit perfectly. I should have written down the exact parts/ measurements (sorry guys), but I’ll do my best to remember them. I needed 4 nylon bushings (1” outer diameter), 4 nylon washers that fit on the “stem” of the bushing (1” OD and I think 9/16” inner diameter) and 4 fender washers (1” OD with a hole that is just big enough for the bolt to go in).
View attachment 383502
View attachment 383503
View attachment 383504
View attachment 383505
I just sandwiched them together on the shift base and boom! Solid shift bushings for under $6! The throws are a bit shorter from the rs shifter (Ford says 10%), but the feel is so much better. Shifts are crisp and the play it had while in gear is gone. Also, I think the shorter lever looks a lot better. As a note, I was able to install the shifter by only removing the climate control bezel. I just had to reuse the stock base and swap the shifter assembly.
View attachment 383512 View attachment 383510 View attachment 383511
Do you still have the receipt? That part info would be a huge help to the community. Just sayin'
 

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These shifters are all over eBay for like $100 I’ve been holding out but it sounds like if you like it it may be a worthwhile upgrade!

How does it compare to a shift arm upgrade or a shift plate?
 

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i have zero shifter upgrades other than a heavier countersunk knob, but i may have scored an RS shifter for $70 and some Boomba bushings for $16...
 

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This is awesome!!!! Great write-up, and I'm guessing that you would be able to find the bushing info if you had your receipt. If not- the next time you are in that particular store- maybe you could ask the cashier to look up your previous order using the credit card. I think there'd be some interest in replicating your homebrew solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
These shifters are all over eBay for like $100 I’ve been holding out but it sounds like if you like it it may be a worthwhile upgrade!

How does it compare to a shift arm upgrade or a shift plate?
Check your local Ford dealership. They were able to order one for me for a little over $90. Good bang for the buck upgrade imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is awesome!!!! Great write-up, and I'm guessing that you would be able to find the bushing info if you had your receipt. If not- the next time you are in that particular store- maybe you could ask the cashier to look up your previous order using the credit card. I think there'd be some interest in replicating your homebrew solution.
Unfortunately, my store had a “bag your own” system— very little info given, and none on the receipt. After looking again, the measurements on the original post are correct. Luckily, this isn’t the only way to do it. I brought the shifter to the store and just played around with different configurations. This one just happened to be the simplest one.
 

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Thats some nice alcantara boot and trim, would you mind share more information on that part?

I upgraded to Ford performance one indeed pricy but so much better than stock, and ordered some cable and cable bracket bushings on the way.

Edit: nvm just found your other post! Thx for sharing
 

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So here are the dimensions of a set of "professionally manufactured" shifter base bushings. I have to stop by ACE tomorrow if anyone would like me to?

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@shadow_st3.5 great find!
 

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You'll learn your fractions and you'll like it! Damn spoiled kids!!!

Don't me stop this car, because it I do so help me I'll.... 🤣
 
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Discussion Starter #15
So here are the dimensions of a set of "professionally manufactured" shifter base bushings. I have to stop by ACE tomorrow if anyone would like me to?

View attachment 383595

@shadow_st3.5 great find!
Great info! The important dimensions for potential DIY’ers are the outside diameter (.95-1”) and the center hole (.316”). I know mine didn’t fill up the whole inner area. This was fine though because the outside diameter and small hole size kept everything centered. As long as you don’t under tighten the base during installation everything will be perfectly solid. I wonder if a washer could have brought the inner diameter up from 9/16” to the proper .793” just for some extra security.
 

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Great info! The important dimensions for potential DIY’ers are the outside diameter (.95-1”) and the center hole (.316”). I know mine didn’t fill up the whole inner area. This was fine though because the outside diameter and small hole size kept everything centered. As long as you don’t under tighten the base during installation everything will be perfectly solid. I wonder if a washer could have brought the inner diameter up from 9/16” to the proper .793” just for some extra security.
I don't think that I would be too concerned about the difference. As long as the bolts were properly tightened. For applications like this I don't even use loctite as it's too strong even in it's weakest formula. I prefer clear finger nails polish. It's strong enough to hold things in there place yet release with less mechanical force. I use this trick on my rifle optics to keep screws from back out & on small sunglass screws.

Anyway enough of the boring stuff, on to the good stuff.

All part number are Hillman and even though I purchased them from Ace hardware you could easily get the online.

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Approximately $5.44 USD ($6 out the door depending on your local tax rate)

Stay Safe everyone and make sure to get the OP @shadow_st3.5 the proper credit for the find!

J
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't think that I would be too concerned about the difference. As long as the bolts were properly tightened. For applications like this I don't even use loctite as it's too strong even in it's weakest formula. I prefer clear finger nails polish. It's strong enough to hold things in there place yet release with less mechanical force. I use this trick on my rifle optics to keep screws from back out & on small sunglass screws.

Anyway enough of the boring stuff, on to the good stuff.

All part number are Hillman and even though I purchased them from Ace hardware you could easily get the online.

View attachment 383653 View attachment 383654 View attachment 383655 View attachment 383656

Approximately $5.44 USD ($6 out the door depending on your local tax rate)

Stay Safe everyone and make sure to get the OP @shadow_st3.5 the proper credit for the find!

J
Yup, those are the parts! Now this project is perfectly replicable.
 

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Just in case anyone was wondering the comparison details.

383663
 

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Discussion Starter #19
More mods! Wanted the throws to be a bit shorter, so I decided to relocate the ball stud of the shift linkage to raise the fulcrum point, and therefore shorten shifts.

I found a scrap mounting bracket from a speaker, cut it, and bolted it to the shift lever. To do this, I had to make a little groove with a hacksaw blade— just enough to get a 90 degree angle for the plate to sit right.
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Then, I put the shifter back in, popped it in neutral, and marked the highest location that would clear the console. Pictured is a tracing of my bracket with the drill bit sizes used. The ball stud was purchased from my local auto parts store. It’s a ball joint from a hood prop or something (there’s more detailed information about it in an old thread about a DIY shift plate). I also was able to leave the original ball stud on, so the mod is completely reversible if I ever want to go back to stock.
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*** I need your guy’s help though! The throws are shorter, but it is barely noticeable. I measured out the distance between neutral and 4th and it’s less than a 1/2” reduction. If anyone has an aftermarket shift lever let me know where the shift cable mounts in comparison to stock. Companies advertise between a 10 and 30% reduction in throws with just a shift arm. My concept is the same, but I’m not getting those numbers. Thanks guys!
 

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