How To: Shift Knob Conversion - Dodge Caliber Forums
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
SilveRbackT4
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How To: Shift Knob Conversion

I've attempted to reinact my conversion of the stock shift knob to an aftermarket shift knob. There are many pictures and specific steps in this process.
The stock shift knob is a press fit onto a knurled portion of the shift lever which appears to be made from mild steel which is about 1/2" in diameter. The stock knurling is about an inch long. As some of you may know, in order to remove the factory shifter, the reverse lockout cable must be removed from the lower end, which is the most time consuming step. With the modification I'm showing, the step of disconnecting the reverse lockout cable in order to remove the factory shifter will no longer be necessary. I chose to do this while the shifter was installed in the car, if you take the time to remove it, the steps are pretty much identical. I must note that I previously modified the shifter below the pivot by lengthening the shaft which resulted in a 50% reduction in throw. Now that I have shortened the portion above the pivot, my throw is reduced even more, depending on the type of shift knob I use.

Step 1: Removal of factory shift knob
...remove the chrome cover by using a small prying tool;


...using a cutting tool of your choice, cut from the top down off center;


...using a channel lock type tool, peel the shift knob off;

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Last edited by SilveRbackT4; 01-01-2010 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Pix and data
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Step 2: remove factory shift boot

Once the knob is off. Using a pinch grip, pull up on the bezel at all four corners and remove it. Then pull the shift boot up and inside out to expose the factory zip tie which holds the shift boot to the reverse lockout assembly. Using a cutter, remove the zip tie;


now simply remove the boot by pulling it up and off.

Last edited by SilveRbackT4; 01-01-2010 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Sp
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Step 3: Modification to the upper portion of the shift lever

You will notice that the top inch or so of the shaft is knurled, no worries mate. Put the lever in 2nd, 4th or 6th gear as this will allow enough clearance to rotate the threading tool. Using a 1/2-20 threading die, turn some threads as far down as you can go. The tool will bottom out on the reverse lockout assembly;


Using a hack saw cut about 1 inch of the shift lever off;


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post #4 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Step 4: Removal of the reverse lockout assembly

Un-seat the reverse lockout cable at both ends;



Now that the cable is un-seated, there should be enough slop in order to remove the outer portion of the reverse lockout assembly;


Now just remove the reverse pull from the cable end;

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post #5 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Step 5: Modification of reverse lockout assembly

Now remove the inner portion of the reverse lockout by simply pulling it off the top of the shaft.
You must now use the threading dye again and put on about 1-3/8" of threads on;


Using a cutting tool of your choice, cut the reverse pull off at the smallest diameter where you would grip the stock unit;


you may set the upper portion of the reverse pull to the side. The lower portion must be sanded down to a final dimension of 1-1/4". Removing material from where you cut;


The inner portion of the reverse lockout must be shortened also, remove material from the top only! I found that a finished length of 2.1" worked well;


I also cut a spacer from the top portion of the pull previously set aside. Sand the spacer to .285" thick;


Last edited by SilveRbackT4; 01-01-2010 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Info
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Step 6: Assembly

Put the inner portion of the reverse mechanism back on the shift lever. Install the reverse lockout cable into the outer portion of the reverse lockout mechanism. Put the outer portion onto the shift lever also. Place the spacer you made onto the shift lever. Re-seat both ends of the reverse lockout cable. Place the jamb nut from your new shift knob and tighten it down against the spacer;

Notice that the reverse lockout mechanism now has 1/4" of travel. It will stop against the spacer. The spacer is keeping the inner portion seated against the bend in the shift lever. This is critical because the seat for the reverse lockout cable is attached to this and it must remain stationary.

Reinstall the shift boot using a zip tie. Take note and align the locking portion of the zip tie to the rear. This location will look better once the boot and bezel are put back on;


Now reinstall the bezel;


Put on your new knob (1/2-20 threads) and tighten it down until it contacts the jamb nut (which is seating the inner portion of the reverse lockout mechanism). Position your knob and now turn the jamb nut and lock your knob in place;

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post #7 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Step 7: Engaging reverse

Remember the shift boot attaches to the sliding portion of the reverse lockout mechanism. With the T Handle, I simply use my middle finger to pull up on the reverse lockout;
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 01:41 PM
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Nice write up! This will definitely help

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post #9 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 03:01 PM
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Very nice work!

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post #10 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 03:39 PM
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