MGW Shifter Installation By TacoBill
MGW Shifter Installation
1. Shift knob removal & leather boot.
Pull down on the leather boot where it meets the shifter knob. It’s on fairly tight, but once you get it to peel away, the rest comes off easily.
Once the knob is off, the leather boot simply unsnaps away from the center console with minimal effort.
2. Remove center console.
Open the center armrest to access the (2) Phillip screws.
Carefully lift up on the rear section of the console to release the push-in clips near the shifter opening.
Once free, angle the console around the e-brake handle (must be in the UP position). Use caution to avoid scratching any of the cosmetic plastic trim pieces near the center dash.
3. Remove dust boot.
Simply peel away at the edges of the rubber dust boot until it’s free from the shifter assembly.
4. Jack up car.
Use your preferred method to achieve this. If using a hydraulic floor jack, ALWAYS, ALWAYS use jack stands for your safety.
5. Remove 13mm (This and all subsequent mm sizes will be the socket/wrench size) lock nut from trans link arm to shifter linkage. Save nut.
6. Remove (2) 10mm nuts from rear threaded studs (use deep socket).
7. Pull down on shifter to clear threaded studs (2 metal clips may fall).
In my case, only 1 metal retaining clip was installed on the Drivers side from the factory.
Pulling the shifter down can be a little stubborn because of this clip, so be firm at freeing it away from the studs.
8. Remove 10mm bolt from forward part of trans link arm to trans. Save bolt.
One small issue I encountered with the type of ratcheting wrench I used was that the head of the wrench hit the tunnel as I was unscrewing it. Being non-reversible (unless you flip it), I had no choice but to muscle it out. It wasn’t a big deal, but just making note of it.
9. Remove shifter from inside of car.
Note: MGW’s instructions has you remove the rear bracket of the shifter to facilitate removal of the shifter from inside the car. I left it on and was still able to free it from the car using a little finesse.
Side by side comparison.
10. Remove (2) plastic bushings from stock shifter block.
No picture. Noted plastic bushings are very obvious by the light yellow/white color.
11. Transfer bushings to MGW shifter block.
If new bushings are in the kit, install these in lieu of the factory ones.
Clean off bushings with a clean rag.
Although not required per MGW’s instructions, I put a layer of Krytox grease around the bushings prior to installation into the new shifter block.
Reference pics of the shifter block.
12. Dynamat shifter opening from inside car.
Trim as required. I trimmed off 1 ½” off one end of the Dynamat sheet for better fit (between the forward section of the tunnel to the rear studs).
To make the positioning Dynamat easier, I peeled off only ½ of the backing paper and positioned it in place, then peeled off the remainder.
13. Press Dynamat around shifter hole opening and cut out hole (in Dynamat) approx 1/4” - 1/3” from edge of hole.
Cut a few slits to edge and tuck under the overlap, I cut 4 slits, 90 degrees apart.
14. Set throw setting on MGW linkage block (0-12 turns max out)
MGW’s instructions will have you adjust the throw adjustment from under the car, but I found it easier to adjust it on the table. There’s moderate resistance screwing in/out the block, so there’s little chance of movement when positioning the shifter in place.
Just incase, I temporarily taped it down to prevent movement.
When linkage block is screwed all the way in (bottomed out), throw reduction (from stock) is approximately 15%. When screwed out 12 turns (max allowable), reduction is 50%.
At 6 turns out, reduction will be 32.5% (my setting).
((35% / 12) * X) + 15% = Y
X= number of turns out
Y= % of throw reduction of X
14A. Install MGW supplied upper dust boot around shifter center shaft and square base prior to dropping it down into the tunnel.
This step is a deviation from the MGW instructions which has you install the upper dust boot after the shifter is locked down in the car.
Reason: To make installation of the boot easier from better access outside the car.
NOTE: If you're installing the shift stop kit, do not install dust boot in this step; you'll install it in step 24.
15. Insert MGW shifter down from top, triangular rear section FIRST!
16. Re-attach (2) 10mm nuts to shifter and rear studs (from step 6) – SNUG ONLY!
Do not forget to use the supplied large flat and lock washers under the nuts (like I did!).
17. Dynomat bottom of shifter opening; cut and trim to fit. Be sure to cover (2) holes in body in front of shifter cutout (prevents noise and heat from entering cabin).
18. Connect the forward part of trans link arm support to trans using the 10mm bolt (removed from step 8) – USE SUPPLIED LOCKWASHER UNDER HEAD OF BOLT.
Trans link arm support goes on PASSENGER SIDE.
As stipulated in the MGW instructions, start this bolt by hand for at least 6-8 threads to ensure no cross-threading. I used blue Loctite. Tighten all the way.
19. Using the supplied clamp, connect the link arm (rod) to shifter main body support.
Main body support has 1/2 round groove, may have to slightly rotate either assembly to align the rod into the groove (MUST ALIGN PERFECTLY).
Once aligned, use socket/wrench to evenly tighten down both 13mm bolts in clamp. Blue Loctite was used.
20. Tighten the (2) 10mm nuts on the rear studs (from step 16).
21. Remove temporary tape (on linkage block) and insert link arm stud through linkage block and reinstall the 13mm nut (from step 5).
Note: Ensure large BLACK ARROW is pointing to the DRIVERS SIDE when attaching the trans link arm to the linkage block. If throw is being adjusted from underneath the car, it can be used as a reference on how many turns the linkage block is screwed out.
I used Krytox grease on the stud as well as blue Loctite on the nut. Tighten.
IMPORTANT note from MGW: The lock
nut on the linkage SHOULD be locked down tight!!! It is designed to actually
seat against the rod just prior to locking down on the urethane bushings. You
should get on them as if you were tightening down a bolt normally. Do not
leave it loose.
The nut also is a lock nut which is why Ford did not need a lock washer. Look at the end of the nut carefully and you will see 3 little prongs sticking inward into the threads. The blue loctite is definitlty a good added safety measure
22. Use some of the extra Dynomat to fill in any gaps in the shifter to tunnel area from inside the car.
23. Install shift stops at this point if desired (not recommended by MGW). See included directions on installation.
24. If you forgot to perform step 14A, install the rubber dust boot at this point in the installation.
Must go all the around the square base. Blowdryer/heatgun may facilitate installation, but be cautious of overheating the rubber, goal is to just make it more pliable.
25. Install Dynomat sound plate barrier around shifter and boot.
Note the (2) slit cutouts for the studs in the rear, also used to correctly index the sound plate.
Work edges under the boot and square shifter base. Objective is to have the sound plate as flat as possible.
This handy Heelys tool that comes with the skate shoes worked perfectly to help tuck the sound barrier under the shifter base. Caution! Don’t use anything sharp or risk cutting into the rubber dust boot!
26. Re-install center console removed from step 2.
27. Install shift handle bracket to shifter center stud using the supplied (2) cap screws and long 3/16 Allen wrench.
Position the handle bracket so the MGW LOGO is facing the DRIVERS SIDE.
Bolt heads used on the handle bracket must be on the PASSENGER SIDE.
Rotate the handle bracket so the back handle stud hole is centered in the console shifter opening, then temporarily snug up.
IMPORTANT! Engage 1st and 2nd gear slowly and check for clearance between the handle bracket and the side of the console. If too close, loosen and rotate the handle bracket accordingly.
After final positioning, tighten the (2) cap screws down.
28. Install the shift knob shaft into the handle bracket.
Align slit in shaft to slit in handle bracket for insertion.
Height of shift knob can be adjusted at this time. Make sure it’s within the range of the slit.
29. Reinstall leather shift boot by snapping it in.
Depending on which handle configuration you opted for, if it’s like mine, you may need a small putty knife to work the leather shift boot shifter hole opening around the rubber grommet of the shift knob shaft.
Note: That lock nut you see on the threaded shaft is part of
30. Reinstall shift knob.
31. Check for gear engagement for all gears including reverse prior to first test drive.
Note: If shifter throw re-adjustment is necessary, only remove the 13mm lock nut from trans link arm to shifter linkage block. Adjust the throw as outlined in step 14, then re-install lock nut.
First test drive impressions: Fantastic shifter! Positive gear engagement in all gears. Center return springs are strong, but not overbearing. Coming from the Saleen Short Throw Adapter, it's no comparison. MGW hit the mark on this one.