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Product Review: B&M Racing Short Throw Shifter for the S197 Ford Mustang

By - June 18, 2008 – 7:59 pmNo Comment | 2,318 views

Smooth shifting is something that is a privilege not a right. So it often depends on us to find a way to get smooth shifting from our five-speed equipped S197 Mustangs. With many shifters on the market, but the quality and precision vary in the form of the components used.

In the instance of the B&M shifter, the difference in quality compared to many of the more popular models, including the Hurst, is noticeable. Needless to say, the Hurst shifter is very popular, mostly because of its nostalgic appearance. Although we’re not saying it is not a quality shifter, the B&M stands out from its use of precision ball joint and machined design.

The shifter “stick” on the B&M unit swivels on a spherical bearing that is smooth and precise. It mounts to a solid shifter arm that prevents flexing and is beefier than the factory arm. In addition, the B&M offers a 40% shorter throw and even comes with red Loctite to ensure that nothing comes loose when it is installed.

We installed the B&M shifter on our project ’07 Mustang GT and found that it bolts on fairly easily with the exception of the front mount that attaches to the transmission housing. Because the shifter arm of the B&M is thicker, it requires additional space to replace the front factory bolt through the front bushing. In order to do this, you have to support the transmission and loosen the cross member to gain enough clearance to put the bolt back through the front mount and secure it in place.

The rear of the B&M shifter arm uses two small isolator bushings that attach to the two thin studs hold the rear bushing to the body. Keep in mind that these studs are small and if you over tighten the nuts, the studs will break. The shifter arm is installed first and once this is done, we proceeded the rest of the installation from inside the vehicle. After we simply bolted the B&M shifter lever to the base of the shifter arm with the provided hex head bolts, we used the Loctite to ensure that these bolts do not come loose.

Once the linkage was attached to the shifter lever from underneath the vehicle, we reinstalled the factory boot and the factory shifter knob. The B&M shifter is very smooth and the difference between it and other aftermarket shifters is noticeable. The B&M does not have any play or “notchy” feel to it. It also has a piece of sound deadening added to the underside of the shifter arm to prevent any noise or vibration from being detected in the vehicle.

It took us about an hour to install the B&M shifter, around the same amount of time as the other shifters we’ve installed. We were pleased with the shifting from the B&M and only wished that it would come with a different style of shifter ball, rather than reusing the factory unit.

PROS: Easy to install. May require dropping the trans a few inches to remove and install the front shifter rail bolt to the transmission. Very high quality with precise shifting and no excessive slack.

CONS: Reuses the factory front rubber bushings. Urethane would be better. Would like a cool shifter knob rather than the factory one.

coded by nessus

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