How to Install a Short Throw Shifter on an S197 MustangLast 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.
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.
Step 2: Release Shifter Boot Molding
Pull up around the edges of the shifter molding with two hands to remove it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 14: Install Shifter Handle
Attach the shifter handle to the new shifter. Tighten bolts once inserted using the hardware supplied with your shifter.
Step 15: Reinstall Upper Factory Boot
Slide plastic molding for the upper boot back into the console. Snap it into place.
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!
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.