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Product Review: Hurst Competition/Plus Short Throw Shifter

By - May 17, 2008 – 9:00 amNo Comment | 2,990 views

Whether driving a road course, accelerating down the quarter mile or simply taking hairpin turns on a mountain road, the shiftr in the S197 Mustang GT does a pretty good job of providing relatively accurate and smooth gear changes. However, many owners prefer an even more direct and accurate shift and replace the factory shifter with an aftermarket short throw shifter. One of the most popular for late-model S197 Mustangs is the Hurst Competition/Plus short throw shifter, part #39-0201. This shifter is popular as it has a traditional muscle car appearance, with the chromed stick and white ball shifter knob. The shifter is similar in design to the factory shifter, with the exception of a 40% shorter throw and urethane front and rear bushings to minimizes deflection under hard acceleration.

We installed the Hurst shifter on our project ’07 Mustang GT and found that it was relatively simple task. The most difficult part of the installation is removing the factory shifter from the vehicle, and inserting the Hurst in its place. The reason is that in both shifters, the lever is attached to the shifter rail and the only way the entire unit can be removed is from inside the vehicle. It takes a bit of maneuvering but eventually you’ll find the right technique to remove the old shifter and insert the Hurst.

Compared to other shifters we’ve reviewed, the urethane bushing on the front of the Hurst shifter rail reduces flex and installs easily. Other shifters use the factory bushing and sometimes have a larger bushing housing which ultimately means you may have to loosen the transmission cross member and drop the transmission a few inches to remove the bolt from the front bushing.

The shifter can be installed in about a couple of hours using good hand tools. It can also be done with a standard floor jack and jack stands, although you need to get the vehicle lifted high enough for you to crawl completely under the vehicle to reach the bolts.

Another important item to remember in this installation is that two thin studs hold the rear bushing to the body. These studs are small and if you over tighten them, they will break. The instructions provided by Hurst are very easy to understand but there is an error. If you look at the bottom of the Hurst shifter lever, the underside, it is offset where it connects to the transmission shifter arm. The offset side, long side, should be facing the driver’s side as it states in Figure 2 of the instructions. The directions say that the long side should face the passenger side, but the Figure is correct.

Once we got the Hurst shifter installed, we couldn’t help but love the appearance. Hurst also has a black shifter ball available that would also look great. The shifting is short, precise and requires a little more effort, but realize that there is less leverage. Furthermore the feeling of shifting more precisely ensures you’re in gear. Aside from the pleasure we got from shifting through the gears, the Hurst shifter also looks great.

Our Mustang produces 480 hp to the rear wheels and it was often difficult to get from fourth to fifth gear under hard acceleration with the factory shifter. Fortunately, the Hurst shifter easily goes into all the gears, even when the front end of our Mustang lifts up when the rear tires grab.

PROS: Easy to install. Does not require dropping the trans a few inches to remove and install the front shifter rail bolt to the transmission. Looks great and you can swap out the white ball for a black or T-handle. The Hurst is an inexpensive unit that retails for around $200.

CONS: Some vibration through the stick under hard acceleration. You also need to lubricate the urethane bushings with silicone grease, otherwise you will get some minor squeaking when you brake and leave from a stoplight.

Source:
B&M Performance Products
2109 Chestnut Ave.
Carlsbad, CA 91311
www.Hurst-Shifters.com




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