The other day I wanted to change the shift lever to one which matched the old 4 speed lever (from the common T-5 short 2 piece lever commonly used in vans, pickups, etc). First (using a hack saw) I cut the short shift lever off 2.5 inches from the top of the mount area. Next, I sawed straight down the middle 1.5 inches. Then I cut half way through leaving a half-moon like section removed...the flat part gave me plenty of room to mount the new lever. Once that was done, I mounted the shifter back on the transmission, set it in neutral and held the new shift lever up where I thought it should be and marked for the first bolt hole. Once that bolt was put in place, I tightened it, replaced the shifter and shifted from first to second, noting the placement of the lever. With only one bolt/nut in place, you have plenty of ability to adjust. When I had it right, I used a pair of vise grip pliers to hold it, removed the shifter and drilled the second bolt hole. It now sits right where I wanted it with room for a center passenger. Important note: please be mindful of how you install the shifter. In the T-5 it is easy to install it backwards (top where the bottom should be) and if you do this you won't be able to shift into 1,3 or 5 gears. Couple of images of the cut I made to the 2 piece lever are attached.
I made a taller version for my other truck which also has a T5. I bent an old steering shaft to a shape I liked. I found a very expensive Hurst T5 shifter base in the salvage yard and custom fit them together. I prefer the taller shifter. Very smooth.
Mine seems pretty solid with just the bolts/nuts. The lever is about 1/2 inch in diameter and had been flattened on the end and drilled when I got it. Did you raise the pivot point by an inch or so to get the short throw? How much did it shorten it? Mine doesn't seem that bad but you need to understand I drive exactly like an old grandmother.
I have never driven one with the short throw. Mine is stock with a long rock crusher 4 speed arm welded on. I have plenty of room for all of the shifts so I didn't see the need to change to short throw. I can't help but wonder if there is inherently a better "feel" of the shift with the longer throw setup, compared with the short throw. I can tell you this, I can feel everything going on with the transmission during shifts. Carl
Carl, you need to get out more. It’s a great big world out there.
Originally Posted by 52Carl
Mine is stock with a long rock crusher 4 speed arm welded on. I have plenty of room for all of the shifts so I didn't see the need to change to short throw. I can't help but wonder if there is inherently a better "feel" of the shift with the longer throw setup, compared with the short throw.
Carl, I’ll let you drive my 63 with the short throw base and see how you like it. The young whipper snappers out there seem to think a really long shift handle that sticks up over the dash is . . . Groovy Man! Can you dig it? I only used a short throw to allow for a longer handle.