Interior: Install Aftermarket ATX Shift Knob

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This link provides a how-to on accessing this area:


This particular writeup assumes the reader is familiar with the above steps. This writeup will require wirecutters, wire strippers, phillips screwdriver, snap-tite wire splicers, pliers/vice-grips, and zip-ties. Also helpful are scissors, grease, and electrical tape. Not all shift knobs are the same--this writeup is about one with an O/D button. If yours does not have one, you will have to relocate that switch or hard-wire it on. Some shift knobs may require a trip to the hardware store to purchase a new mount screw. The ATX shifter mount post uses a 4mm machine screw--take your old one with you if you have to. PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY AND COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU START.

  1. Start by activating the parking brake. Place key in ignition, apply brake & move shift lever to a low gear to facilitate access to trim screw. Remove shift knob trim piece and unscrew mount screw holding shift knob to post. Use wire-cutters to snip the OD wiring about an inch or two below the OD button. OEM shift knob should slide free of the mount post now.
  2. Disassemble floor console. ATX shifter plate has four mount screws to remove. There are wires attached to the underside of it which are connected to the PWR/ECON button and the shift indicator light. The indicator light disconnects by twisting the socket 1/4 turn.* I did not find it necessary to remove the wiring for the PWR/ECON switch.
  3. My shift knob had a rubber trim-cover designed to fit over the mount post and attach to the shift knob at the bottom. If yours has anything similar, you'll find that the welded, black trim-piece on the mount post interferes with this. First, pull the O/D wiring free of this piece. You can cut out the weld, but I took the easy way out & just snapped it off with a pair of vice-grips by twisting it around the mount post. Next you'll want to "size" the shift knob so it can operate properly while mounted in the desired position. The top of the mount post has a height-adjustable piece (covered in grease). Here's where it gets tricky. You'll want to line up your new shift knob so it will mount with one of the two holes on the post. You will have to adjust that piece up or down so that when your shift knob is secured at the desired height--the shift trigger will function properly. Our cars have a 2-stage shift trigger. The button will only need depressed 1/2 way to move from DRIVE to REVERSE or from DRIVE to 2ND. The button needs to be fully depressed to move from 2ND to 1ST or from REVERSE to PARK. You want to make sure that you make these adjustments while the car is in DRIVE, and it should shift easily into PARK. This is because the shift selector will be at it's highest point in DRIVE and it's lowest point in PARK. (The selector matrix template on the side of assembly is a good hint--if this is confusing for you).
  4. Since mine has a rubber trim-piece underneath the shifter, my next step was to size it appropriately so it wouldn't interfere with the shift-selector. If this trim piece is too long, It will interfere with shift-selector operation. Measure it from the bottom of your shift knob to just above the shift-selector mechanism & cut it off there. It may help to make a small slit in the back of this trim piece to allow the O/D wiring to exit just slightly higher than at the bottom--to ensure that the wires to not become tangled in the selector matrix template assembly. Now remove shift knob; assemble knob and trim-piece (wires pulled through). Be careful NOT to twist the wires--this will interfere with the shift knob fitting/working properly. (Optionally, you may re-grease the shift-selector top now). Insert this assembly through the shifter-plate and onto the mount post. Secure shift knob in location determined in step 3. Re-attach shift-plate wiring & secure with four screws. Shifter should shift appropriately/easily through all gears; shifter plate should light up & PWR/ECON button work; indicator strip on shifter-gate should roughly match the gear selected (Mine does not quite match..due to the trim-piece being larger than the old black metal trim-piece). If any of these three functions do not appear to be working properly; stop, go back, and make sure you get them working before continuing on.
  5. You should now have a working shift knob & shift-selector button. You should also have two loose wires from the shift knob and three cut wires previously attached to the old knob. These 3 lead wires are colored red, black, and yellow. The yellow lead is connected to the "O/D OFF" indicator on the dash; and unfortunately will not be connected without additional wiring (this is up to the reader). the red wire is your power; the black is your O/D wire. Strip 1/4" to 1/3" of wire off the red & black wires; tape the yellow wire over so it doesn't make random contact with anything. Repeat wire stripping for shift knob switch leads. Use crimp splicers to mate red wire to one switch lead; black wire to the other switch lead. Now zip tie the wiring so that all five of these wires stay bundled as a unit regardless of the gear selected. Zip tie them in a suitable fashion to keep them out of the way of the gear selector when it is moved between any/all gears. You will now have to test-drive the car and verify the operation of the O/D button, as the indicator light is now non-functional.
  6. Reassemble floor console.

(You have the option of removing the rubberized cover on the shift-indicator bulb if you desire. I did it because I'd already removed the orange cover on the light in the ash-tray. I like the look better without it.)