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What's New:

5/2/07 1989 300zx FSM now Available. See Reference Section

12/01/07 XenonZ31 Fiche is here!

11/06/07 The New XenonZ31 is Here

09/12/07 Added: VLSD Installation and Creating Hybrid Halfshafts

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Z31 Short Shifter

The height and feel of the stock shifter, in my opinion, are lacking. The shifter contains a rubber bushing that separates the upper shifter from the actual shifter shaft. While this may provide a more quiet interior and vibration free shifter, it also greatly "mushes" the feel of the shifter. Both the FS5R90A (T5) and the FS5R30A transmissions have excellent potential to be crisp and clean shifting transmissions. To attain this, there are two approaches: a) purchase a short throw shifter or b) remove the rubber bushings from the stock shifter. Since the former is a relatively simple process of purchasing and bolting on an aftermarket shifter, I will discuss the later, modifying the stock shifter to suit the cars spirit.

The stock shifter is actually comprised of a shifter lever, which actually engages the transmission, and a shifter shaft, which is what the shift knob screws onto. The idea is to remove the shifter housing and expose the shifter lever. To do this, remove the shifter assembly from the vehicle. If you have an FS5R30A or FS5R71C shifter, you should then be able to remove the shift lever from shifter assembly by removing the large snap ring. If you have an FS5R90A, the shifter shaft is an integral part of the assembly and cannot be removed.

Once the shifter is removed, heat the shifter shaft with a propane torch, evenly, until the rubber inside begins to crackle. Immediately, remove the shifter shaft from the lever using a pair of vice grips; twist on the lever and pull outward at the same time.

When free, the shifter shaft should be hollow and the shift lever should be free. The rubber bushing now needs to be removed. To do this, I used a cheap serrated steak knife to carve the bushings off. Finally, I burned off any remaining bushing and cleaned the shift lever with steel wool. When done, your shifter should be 3" to 5" shorter and should look like this:



Finally, finish everything with a thorough lubrication, new coat of paint and a new shift boot.

When installed, you will notice that you can shift the transmission by moving your wrist, not your entire arm. Additionally, shifts feel clean and crisp; you can actually feel the action of the synchronizers. One note: You will not be able to use your stock shift knob with the reduced height shifter. You will want to use a universal shift knob that attaches with set screws. Additionally, establish the new height of the shifter by changing the mounting height of the shift knob.

Aftermarket Short Shifters

Sources used on this page:

  • Raredare's Old Page