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Old 06-20-2011, 11:12 PM   #1
Whitey 22lr
 
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Cutting Threads on Stock Shifter Shaft

I've seen a few threads, pun intended, about the stock shifter shaft and thought
I'd try threading the shaft for a shifter ball.

I measured the diameter with a micrometer and had about .555+/-". I had seen an old thread where someone used a 1/2- 20 die. I'm certainly NOT a machinist, but thought that a 9/16" die would be a better alternative. I liked the Hurst Shifter knob part# 163 0056 which has 9/16" -18
threads and fits a C5 Corvette. So I went with that thread pattern.

Here's what I did:
1. Applied the parking brake and put the transmission in neutral.
2. Removed the top of the console and boot. Then pulled off the original .
shifter knob.
3. Covered EVERYTHING I could within the area with old towels,rags, or
whatever. I also took an old towel and cut a small hole in the center and pushed
over the shaft.
4. I wrapped a small rag around the bottom of the shaft and clamped some
vise grips on it. I figured I should try to keep as much presssure off the shaft
as possible while cutting the treads.
5. The hardest part is getting the die started straight and perpendicular to the shaft.
I took my time and used plenty of thread cutting oil. I reversed the die
after I turned the die about 180°. After about every 1/4" of threads I cut,
I removed the die and flushed it with new cutting oil. The die holder I used had
rather long handles, which I removed in the photos. As I progressed, the radio
knobs were in the way from turning the handle completely around, so I had to
alternately unscrew the handles and put them back in after the handle position
cleared the knobs.
6. I was able to run the thread down the shaft about 1 1/4". This turned out to be
plenty of room for the jam nut and the shifter ball. After cutting the threads, I
cleaned all the shavings and used some light (3 in 1) type oil to do a final cleanup
on the threads.
7. I found a small piece of chrome tubing that fit over the shaft and cut a piece
about 3/4" long that went on before the jam nut. This covered the exposed part
of the shaft that wasn't threaded.
8. I cleaned up everything and put the boot over the shaft. I used a plastic wire tie
to attach the stitched boot to the shaft. Put the boot and console back together.
Put the jam nut on the shaft and then the shifter ball. Positioned the ball
straight and turned the jam nut up to tighten. The knob is rock solid tight.

The entire project took about 2 hours. I couldn't find the 9/16" die or holder in
local home stores, so just bought online. I will say again, the hardest part is
getting the die started straight.

I could always put the the OEM shifter knob back on , if I wanted, since I didn't
destroy the slots in the shaft or cut it down in any way.

I think that the knob sits a little bit lower than the OEM, but not much.
I also think the final result looksalmost factory like.
BTW- It just feels great to shift!!

Hope this helps someone.

Whitey
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:35 PM   #2
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Looks good.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2SSRS View Post
Looks good.
X2!
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:27 AM   #4
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awesome
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:31 AM   #5
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Looks good. I cut my shifter also but i put on the short version of the MGW retro shaft. Much better than stock.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
SUX2BU
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Very nice!
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:34 AM   #7
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Looks nice. Good job on the install and great write up.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
f5journal
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From a MGW "whiteballer".....looks great. That's all I was after too. That is a tad cleaner looking than their retro adapter
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Nice work !!
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
h2oplay
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Looks great, is the hollow chrome part from a golf club shaft?
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:06 AM   #11
Whitey 22lr
 
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chrome tube

Nope, Just a small piece of tubing had laying around in my
"odds and ends" box. Very thin walled. May have come from
some plumbing part during my home renovations.

Thanks all for the positive comments!
Whitey
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:56 AM   #12
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Very nice job!!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:31 AM   #13
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Looks great. Would the GM factory hearst shifter shaft be the same size. Ive been wanting to put a shifter knob like that on.This looks like a pretty simple job.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:46 AM   #14
Whitey 22lr
 
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It looks like the standard shifter knob is the same as the factory Hurst except the Hurst knob has the tiny Hurst emblem.

But, I cannot say if the factory Hurst shifter shaft is the same diameter as the stock one. It looks to be from pictures I saw somewhere here on the forums.

Perhaps someone here with the factory Hurst can measure.

Whitey
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