How to Install a Short Throw Shifter on an S197 Mustang

How to Install a Short Throw Shifter on an S197 Mustang

Last Updated October 10, 2023 | Kevin Brent

Installing a short throw shifter in your 2005-2014 Mustang is a cheap and easy way to make it more fun to drive. While the install of a new shifter in an S197 is a bit more involved than previous models, our step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process with ease. You'll be enjoying tighter gear shifts and faster acceleration in no time.

Tools and Supplies:

  • Aftermarket S197 Shifter
  • Jack Stand or Lift
  • 3/8 Ratchet
  • 10 mm Deep Socket
  • 13 mm Deep Socket
  • 13 mm Shallow Socket
  • Long Extensions
  • 10 mm Ratcheting Wrench
  • 1/4 Inch Allen Key
  • Safety Glasses

Short Throw Shifter Installation for 2005-2014 Mustangs

For this installation, we're using the popular Barton short throw shifter. It's built in the USA from the highest quality materials and features a 36% throw reduction so you never miss a gear again.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Step 1: Remove Shifter Knob

First, you'll need to twist off the knob on your current S197 shifter. Twist counter-clockwise by hand until the knob is removed.

Mechanic removing a shifter knob on an S197 Mustang shifter

Step 2: Release Shifter Boot Molding

Pull up around the edges of the shifter molding with two hands to remove it.

Mechanic removing a shifter boot from a S197 Mustang shifter

Step 3: Remove Lower Boot

Pull up on the lower boot with both hands. You might need to turn the boot slightly to get it around the console. You can pull out the whole boot once it has been jostled free from the console.

Mechanic removing lower shifter boot from a S197 Mustang shifter

Step 4: Lift Your Mustang

Next you'll need to lift your Mustang so you can get underneath it for the remaining installation steps. This can be done most easily with a lift, though jack stands and ramps work just fine as well.

Underside view of a raised S197 Mustang

Pro Tip: Check out our S197 Mustang jack points article to make sure you lift your Mustang safely and securely.

Step 5: Unscrew Shifter Support Arm

Remove the bolt holding the shifter support arm. This shifter part is located near the driveshaft on the underside of your S197 Mustang.

Mechanic unscrewing the shifter support arm on an S197 Mustang

Pro Tip: If you're having trouble reaching the shifter support arm, removing the drive shaft may help with the installation.

Step 6: Remove Rear Shifter Support

Remove the two nuts holding the rear shifter support in place. Once the bolts are removed, the support should be loose enough to move freely.

Mechanic unscrewing rear shifter support on an S197 Mustang

Step 7: Remove Shifter Arm Nut

Now that the shifter support system is loose, remove the remaining nut on the shifter arm to loosen the system enough to remove it.

Mechanic unscrewing the shifter arm nut on an S197 Mustang

Step 8: Remove Stock Shifter

With the bolts removed, your S197 stock shifter should be free to move. You'll need to jostle the shifter system free. Once this is complete, slide the S197 shifter up into the cabin, so it can be removed from inside the cabin.

Mechanic removing the stock shifter from a S197 Mustang

Step 9: Drop In New Shifter

From the cabin, drop the new Barton shifter through the hole created by removing the old shifter. Move the shifter around until it's nestled into place. Now move back down below your raised Mustang to secure the new shifter.

Mechanic installing a new Barton shifter on an S197 Mustang

Step 10: Install New Shifter Front and Rear Bolts

From the underside of the Mustang, you'll need to slide the front of the shifter forward to make sure it's in place to install the front bolt. Tighten the front bolt, then move to the back. If the front is lined up correctly, you should be able to begin tightening the back bolt by hand. Finish tightening the back bolt with a wrench or ratchet.

Mechanic installing rear and front shifter bolts on a S197 Mustang

Step 11: Install Rear Bracket Included with Shifter

Line up the bracket with the front of the shifter and push it into place. Line the bracket up with the factory studs. Grab your hardware and tighten down the shifter with the appropriate bolts.

Mechanic installing rear shifter bracket on a S197 Mustang

Pro Tip: You might need to use long ratchet extensions to reach some of the bolts.

Step 12: Attach Rear of Factory Shift Arm to New Shifter

Insert the appropriate bolt onto the rear of the factory shift arm. Tighten down with a ratchet.

Mechanic attaching the rear of the factory shift arm to a new Barton S197 Mustang shifter

Step 13: Reinstall Lower Factory Boot

Put the factory hardware back on by sliding it over the new shifter and pressing it into place. The boot will need to be stretched around the base of the new shifter for a tight seal.

Mechanic reinstalling the lower boot on an S197 Mustang shifter

Step 14: Install Shifter Handle

Attach the shifter handle to the new shifter. Tighten bolts once inserted using the hardware supplied with your shifter.

Mechanic installing a new Barton shifter handle on a S197 Mustang shifter

Step 15: Reinstall Upper Factory Boot

Slide plastic molding for the upper boot back into the console. Snap it into place.

Mechanic reinstalling the upper factory boot on a S197 Mustang shifter

Step 16: Reinstall Shifter Knob

Screw your shifter knob back into position and tighten by hand. Reattach the upper boot to the bottom of the shift knob.

Congratulations, you're all done!

Mechanic reinstalling the factory knob on an S197 Mustang shifter

Get Even More Out of Your S197 Mustang with Transmission Upgrades

Now that you've installed your new S197 short throw shifter, you'll have way more fun driving your Mustang with quick and responsive shifts. Short throw shifters aren't the only way to make your driving experience better though. Upgrading your Mustang's clutch can make your transmission even smoother. Shifters and a new clutch are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to upgrading your S197's transmission. Check out more possibilities here at CJ's.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.