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Changing shift lever on T-5
#1352233 Sun Mar 29 2020 02:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,656
J
Jon G Offline OP
Shop Shark
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.

Attached Files
shifter 1.JPG (13.15 KB, 164 downloads)
shifter 2.JPG (16.7 KB, 161 downloads)

Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1352329 Mon Mar 30 2020 01:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,032
L
Shop Shark
Excellent. I made my own shifter too. Here’s what I did, and it’s very similar to yours.
Link to my custom shifter. [lugnutz65chevystepside.weebly.com]

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.

Attached Files
Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1352333 Mon Mar 30 2020 02:08 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,443
5
Master Gabster
I made those cuts on mine, but chose to weld it on. My vintage 4 speed shifter was on the skinny side so I was not confident with bolting it on.

Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1352385 Mon Mar 30 2020 12:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 292
J
Shop Shark
I did the exact same thing, except welded it in place. Lugnutz showed me a short throw conversion that also worked out great.

Attached Files
51221x.jpg (86.52 KB, 125 downloads)
45351x.jpg (54.99 KB, 126 downloads)
73713x.jpg (101.51 KB, 127 downloads)
Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1353784 Mon Apr 06 2020 10:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,656
J
Jon G Offline OP
Shop Shark
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.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1353817 Tue Apr 07 2020 01:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,443
5
Master Gabster
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

Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
52Carl #1353848 Tue Apr 07 2020 10:48 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,032
L
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by 52Carl
I have never driven one with the short throw.
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.

Attached Files
Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1353977 Wed Apr 08 2020 12:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,443
5
Master Gabster
What are you, 6 months younger than me? smile
I would love to drive one of your jalopies. My tetanus shots are current.

Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1353984 Wed Apr 08 2020 12:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,656
J
Jon G Offline OP
Shop Shark
The one I just did doesn't stick up over the dash but is fairly tall.

Attached Files
IMG_9247.JPG (215.25 KB, 46 downloads)

Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Changing shift lever on T-5
Jon G #1354057 Wed Apr 08 2020 06:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,443
5
Master Gabster
What are you guys using for a boot on the floor?

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