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Prince of Joy
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Ok boys and girls, it's time to learn how to do one of the best driveability modifications around. Sure it's only suitable for a stickshift G20, but if you have an automatic that's your own problem. Do the 5-speed swap and then come do this one.

Im going to make a lot of assumptions here, mainly simple stuff like that you know which end of a wrench is the business end.

You will probably need the following tools:

- Jack and 4 jackstands
- Set of metric sockets and wrenches in the usual Nissan sizes (10, 12, 14 mm)
- Needle nose pliers
- Grease
- Dremel tool or air die grinder and grinding stone
- Hacksaw or dremel tool with cutting wheel

Let's get started.

1. Get your car up onto jackstands, as high as you can. Be sensible and safe. NEVER work under the car without jackstands, and use two stands in the front and two stands in the rear. Test the car for stability before going under the car (pop the hood, grab the upper radiator support and yank hard).

2. Unscrew the knob from your shifter. This may require a lot of effort as Nissan often likes to use the strongest glue known to man to attach it. Last thing you want in a 10 car pileup is for your shifter knob to come off, I guess. Anyway, you may have to wrap the knob in a towel and use a good pair of channel lock pliers to wrench it off. Once that is off, yank on the shifter surround, disconnect the cigarette lighter power cord and pull the boot and surround off the shifter. You should have something like this:



3. Now crawl under the car and survey the situation. Find the catalytic converter. The shifter is directly above it. You should see something like this:



4. Save yourself the aggravation of messing with 4 cat bolts and just mess with one end. I prefer to work on the end that attaches to the downpipe, but it's up to you. If you have heavy rust you will probably need heat and penetrating lubricant. Use a propane torch to heat the nuts (not yours, the cars) and then spray PB Blaster on them. Do this several times before you get your wrench involved. If the bolts are stock they should be 14 mm. If youve never dropped your cat, it may be best to have lots of beer because you will probably get very frustrated here, and you've only just begun. Once you have one end disconnected, disconnect the rear O2 from its harness (if applicable - P11, do NOT attempt to unbolt rear O2 from cat), lower the cat and exhaust out of the way. You may want to support it with something so that it doesnt put too much stress on the other end. You will now have enough room to access the heat shield above, and should see something like this:



5. Now remove the 10 mm bolts that attach the cat heat shield to the body of the car. These should not be rusted as they thread into plastic sleeves, but be careful not to snap anything. After you have removed the heat shield, behold, you will reveal the shifter linkage:



6. Pull the spring off the shifter arm with your needle nose pliers. You can just let it hang there or remove it entirely for later. Remove the 14 mm bolt that goes through the shifter and bolts it to the shifter arm (aka 'pivot bolt'). Remove the two 12 mm nuts on either side of the shifter that bolt it to the car. Last, remove the two 12 mm nuts towards the rear of the car that bolt the shifter plate from above.

7. Back inside the cabin of the car, remove the two 10 mm nuts that attach the front of the shifter plate to the car. Once these are free, pull the shifter plate out of the console, popping the rubber boot off the shifter. Then pull the shifter out of the car. You may have to move it around at a funky angle to get it to clear the hole below. It should now look like this inside the car:



And like this underneath the car:



8. Congratulations, you have now made your car completely undrivable. You should have the following stock shifter parts:



9. It's time to get that fancy short shifter and take a look at it. The shifter itself is basically a ball in a socket. Then there is a ring that goes overtop of this assembly to bolt it to the car. There is a large snap ring that you can use to hold the bolt ring to the shifter, but it is a useless part as the shifter will be compressed into place when you bolt down the bolt ring. Save yourself the aggravation of trying to get the snap ring onto the short shifter. So you should have the following new stuff:



10. Now comes the fun part. The shifter will probably not fit through the hole in the shifter arm below that you had to coax the stock shifter through. Grab your die grinder/dremel and widen the hole from it's stock oval shape into a circle that the new shifter will just fit through. It wont take a lot, so test as you go until you get it just right. Line the bolts on the bolt ring up with the holes and put the new short shifter in place from inside the car. The bend in the shifter should point to the rear of the car if you plan on shifting into first later. It will look like this:



11. If you thought you were done modifying this 'drop-in' part to fit, think again. You will notice that the pivot bolt is smaller than the hole through the new short shifter. The new short shifter should have come with some metal sleeves. Notice that the sleeves are a nice smooth fit for that pivot bolt. Take the sleeves and tap them into the hole in the new short shifter. Unfortunately you will probably find that the sleeves are too long:



12. So you will have to pull one out and trim it down with your hacksaw or dremel w/ cutting wheel. Then tap it back into the hole so that the sleeves fit flush with with edges of the short shifter.

13. Now grease up the inside of the hole in the shifter (now the inside of the sleeves), add some more grease to the pivot ball if you like, and set it back into place from inside the car like in Step 10 again. Bolt the shifter to the shifter arm below the car using the supplied locknuts. These may be 1/2" SAE size, but a 13 mm socket will work. Dont break the bolts, He-man.

14. The shifter should have also come with some gold washers. These are supposed to sandwich between the shifter arm and the end of the shortshifter, so the shifter can pivot on the pivot bolt. This is kind of a problem, because if you tighten that bolt down too much the shifter will be too hard to move, and if you leave it too lose the nut on the pivot bolt may fall off and/or you will have rattles between those washers. I came up with something a little more creative by reusing the o-rings in the stock nylon sleeves:



These sleeves are in the end of the stock shifter and can be pushed out with a thin screwdriver. The o-rings can be removed with a small pick. Grease up the o-rings really well and then create the following shifter sandwich below the car:



15. Put the shifter plate back into place from inside the car, securing the two 10 mm nuts towards the front. From underneath the car, secure the two 12 mm nuts towards the back. I pushed the bushing assembly towards the rear of the car while tightening these nuts, to take out as much slack in the shifter bushings as possible. Tighten the pivot bolt snugly but not so tight that the orings are too compressed. You want the shifter to pivot smoothly but without rattles. Stretch the spring back into place with your needle-nose pliers.

16. Now hop in the car and test shifting into all 5 gears and reverse. If it is too stiff you have probably overtightened the pivot bolt. Wobble the shifter and listen for rattles. Retighten as necessary.

17. Reinstall the cat heat shield from below, taking care not to overtighten the 10 mm bolts. Then climb back into the car and test the shift points again. Test for any rattles on the cat heat shield. You may need to reshape the heat shield or pry on the sides against the body of the car to lower it enough to clear the lower shifter end.

18. By now I should hope you have a pretty good understanding of how all parts of the shifter linkage are interconnected. Reassemble everything in reverse order and give yourself a pat on the back.

19. Take the car for a spin and test all the gears. You should notice a big improvement in both throw length and notchiness.


- Greg -
 

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hey which short shifter did you end up going with, that one looks a lot like the ebay one that i bought, (it could however also be the B&M)

REgards

joe a.k.a wigGy

nice write up, the pics are definitely a plus, to show everyone that although its very easy to install you have to remove so much stuff just to gain access to it.
 

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Awesome write up!! Perfect timing too cuz mine is on its way!=)
 

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Prince of Joy
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Discussion Starter #7
I just have one question....will this ss fit the same way? It looks different, I just want be sure. Thanks!
That one will mount a little differently. You will have to disassemble the stock pivot ball and wrap the rubber casing around the new shifter with a lot of grease. You will also have to reuse the nylon sleeves from the stock shifter, as well as all brackets and hardware from the stock setup. Since the end of the shifter is also shaped like the stock one, you probably won't have to do any grinding. Other than that the install is more or less the same.


- Greg -
 

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Great thanks Greg!

BTW- although it is physically longer than the one you put in, it will still be a shorter throw than stock right?

Thanks again!
 

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Prince of Joy
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Discussion Starter #9
Yes... a common misconception is that shortening the length of the shifter above the pivot point will significantly shorten throws. Though you will get slightly shorter throws, the effect is minimal compared to the increase in shifting effort. The real way to shorten throws is to lengthen the shifter below the pivot point, as with both the shifter in this How-to and the one you purchased. The only tradeoff there is that you can only go so low before you start hitting the heat shield below.


- Greg -
 

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i know this is old. but thats what searching is for. i tried to do this with out taking out the cat. key word "tried" but i couldnt get the bolt out of the shifter. the one that goes straight thru it. nissan wouldnt making me life horrible and make it diffrent for 02 g20's right? i hope not. but it look like it did in the pick. but i swore it wouldnt come out. ill try again tomorrow.
 

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d bomb said:
i know this is old. but thats what searching is for. i tried to do this with out taking out the cat. key word "tried" but i couldnt get the bolt out of the shifter. the one that goes straight thru it. nissan wouldnt making me life horrible and make it diffrent for 02 g20's right? i hope not. but it look like it did in the pick. but i swore it wouldnt come out. ill try again tomorrow.
PB Blaster is your friend =)

The shifter should be the same as the 99, Trag did it to his 2000 a while back, same thing.
 

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Domiken said:


PB Blaster is your friend =)

The shifter should be the same as the 99, Trag did it to his 2000 a while back, same thing.

i ran out when i did my rear rotors. i need to get some more. i tried wd40 but its just not the same.
 

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I've never seen that shifter before. Anybody have the vendor's name marked down somewhere?
 

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I like the pricing, but I'm suprised that the vendor doesn't list it as fitting every '91-01 Sentra SE and SE-R, too. ;) Is it a knockoff of the B&M design?

I've also never seen a shifter installed from the top-down before. Is there a reason that the P11 is so much harder than a Classic or a B14?
 

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I'm doing this install right now, although I'm using the TWM shifter. I hav been at it for a couple of hours now, and haven't even got to the fun parts. Damn catbolts are stuck like stone. Have drenched them in WD40 now. I dont know if we get PB Blaster up here. I also do not own a torch. It they are not easier to work with tomorrow, what should I do?

Other than that, this is a great writeup, and I'm looking forward to doing something a bit mor rewarding than coughing and getting stuff in my eyes :p
 

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Dulle said:
I'm doing this install right now, although I'm using the TWM shifter. I hav been at it for a couple of hours now, and haven't even got to the fun parts. Damn catbolts are stuck like stone. Have drenched them in WD40 now. I dont know if we get PB Blaster up here. I also do not own a torch. It they are not easier to work with tomorrow, what should I do?

Other than that, this is a great writeup, and I'm looking forward to doing something a bit more rewarding than coughing and getting stuff in my eyes :p
After initially installing my first STS (Short Throw Shifter) with the cat still in place, I bit the bullet and took my car to a mechanic to remove the cat and replace the four studs & nuts. It's SO much easier to do this with the cat removed completely! BTW, you'll be very happy with the TWM! I had that eBay B&M knock-off shifter originally. Glad I went TWM!
 
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