81-95 Short Shifter Installation

Please - this is an EASY job! We do them in well under 10 minutes (yes, we have done a bunch, but they actually take us less than 5 minutes). It will take you longer than that to read this page, read the instructions, and download and view the MPEG movie!
The vast majority of the "problem" calls we receive are because ALL of the old lower bushing AND wave/spring washer(s) were not removed!! -- please be SURE and do that before you call us.

81-92 Images Steps 93-95 Images
Panel and knob removal Start by removing the shift knob.

81-88's also have a chrome nut below the knob that needs to be removed.

Panel removal The panel is removed by just pulling up on the backside, or sides, as shown. 93-95 Panel Removal
Boot removal After the panel is pulled off, pull off the two round sealing boots by pulling them up over the shift lever. 93-95 Boot Removal
Looking at lever This is about what you will be looking at. On the 93-95, it is easiest if you remove the lower boot panel (as shown unbolted on the right) at this time. 93-95 Boot and Lever
The 86-92 car we used for this shoot has had the bottom part of the middle boot cut away a lot - this is OK, but we don't cut them.  
86-92 Boot Kit This is what a new "middle" boot "kit" looks like --#64-490B-FB01 for 86-92, 64-490A-FD01 for 93-95.
If you compare the center of the rectangular bottom boot, you can see how much the one in the customers' car has been cut away (86-92). We rarely have to replace the bottom part, but you have to buy the 3-piece "kit" to get the upper two round ones. (not our fault - talk to Mazda)
93-95 Boot Kit
Boot pushed down If you are lucky enough to have an uncut boot, just push the rubber down around the tower, as shown in the picture, so you can get to the three bolts. (Does not apply to 93-95's)
Unscrewing 3 bolts Remove the 3 bolts (10mm socket) that hold the round plate to the shift tower. 93-95 Unscrewing 3 Bolts
Removing Lever Pull the shift lever out of the shift tower. 93-95 Lever Removing
Image/Link for Movie
Click on above image to view MPG
(1.2meg, 27 seconds)
This is a good time to watch the MPG movie we made of the installation. The steps are shown in the stills below, but it shows the actual time required of about 30 SECONDS.
To view, click anywhere here, or on the picture to the left.
Removing old lower bushing AND spring
81-83 Transmissions do not have this lower nylon bushing - the radius for the shifter ball is machined into the tower.
Fish out whatever is left of the shims and bushings -- we have found remnants of many bushings down there!
NOTE: Not removing the old bushing results in MOST of the problem calls we receive!!
Removing old lower bushing AND spring
This is what it should look like AFTER old bushing AND spring have been removed.
Filling with oil After cleaning the shifter hole, this is a good time to put the oil in the shift tower. We use 90W trans/diff oil. Fill to ABOVE the shift rod you can see down in the tower. 93-95 Tower filling
Lower spacer
81-83's use a thinner spacer
Drop the inner spacer into the tower aligning the groove in it with the pin in the tower. Lower spacer
Lower Bushing Put the white bushing (with spring snapped onto the lower side) into the tower on top of the spacer that was installed in the above step. Set it so the notch (which is up) aligns in the same direction as the pin in the tower. Lower bushing(yes, for 93-95 owners, this is a picture of an 81-92 tower)
Larger spacer Put the gasket on top of the tower, then set the larger spacer on top of the tower, with the pin toward the front of the car, and the holes in it lined up with the 3 bolt holes in the tower. 93-95 Larger Spacer
81-92 Lever dropping in Put some oil around the bushings and the ball socket and groove.
Put the lever back into the hole, being SURE the grooves in both bushings are lined up with the locator pin.
Then bolt the plate back down with the new 3 bolts supplied with the short shifter.
93-95 Lever dropping in
Middle Boots The middle boots slip down over the lever, and are pulled onto/around the lower boot. They are two sizes, so be sure to put the slightly smaller one on first. 93-95 Middle Boots
Put the top panel, and knob back on, and you are done. Insulation

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