So last night I got the hurst short throw shifter installed on my 02 FX4 (which I believe is the same as the 03 and newer FX4 Level 2s) and Im hoping this will be a good thread for 1. Me to boast about it and 2. For anyone with an FX4 to know what to expect from it as there isnt much info online about doing this mod to FX4s. Hopefully Ill remember to update it as I go to give everyone a heads up on what to expect in the long run.
Ok so first off its fantastic I love the solid feel and feedback I get whenever I shift. It makes a pleasant click whenever I shift into and out of any gear. The throw is vastly shortens but it is significantly harder to shift but its not too hard, which is to be expected because to get the shorter throw you loose the mechanical advantage of having a longer lever. As of today I am not having any leaking problems but Ive only had it in for 1 day Ill keep you posted for the long run. Right now I have the T handle shift knob on it because it matches the pistol grip I put on the tcase lever, but I kept the black ball in the glove box so I can switch whenever the mood strikes me. There is lots more noise coming from the transmission but I dont mind it and usually dont even hear it cause Im a loud exhaust and loud radio with the windows down kinda guy, so I only hear it at startup and if Im at a stoplight with the windows up and the radio off (which for me is a rare occurance). But for those who rock the quite ride you will have to decide if you would like that tranny noise or not. Even when I hear it I enjoy it because it makes you feel more a part of the car. I like to hear the engine (hence the exhaust) and so hearing the transmission doesnt bug me at all in fact I really enjoy it.
This is also a pretty simple mod so anyone with a wrench and some time can do it. For experts it should only take around an hour or two but Im no expert so it took me about 6 hours of trial and error to get it done. With some of this info it probably would have cut the time to like 3 hours or so for me.
If you have an 02 FX4 or 03+ FX4 Level 2 and are looking to install a hurst shifter there are some things that you should know for the install, as the instructions where written for non FX4 models and really only help when you are dealing with the actual hurst shifter and removing your stock shifter from the transmission as this is the only part that is the same as other models. But keep the instructions around it does help with the order of how to do it but not necessarilly with all with the details.
1. You can use the stock shift boots and bezel on the hurst shifter and I doubt you could use the hurst boot because I doubt it would fit with the tcase selector and you would need a new boot for the tcase lever anyway. But I guess with a little moding anything is possible but I personally preffer the leather boots over the accordian style rubber boot anyway.
2. Prepair to either pull your seats and center console and pull the carpet all the way back or have a friend hold up the carpent and kinda awkwardly get a wrench back under it to get at the bolts to remove the second rubber shift boot. I did the second method and wish I did the first as I had to cut one piece of carpet(hidden under a plastic cover in front of the shifters so it wasnt a big deal) and stretched out the carpet so it is very slightly loose around the center hump. I doubt anyone would notice but me but I definately notice it. If you are more careful about how hard you pull on the carpet you could probably pull this off without a hitch but getting the second rubber shift boot off is kinda awkward.
3. Be EXTREMELY careful with the second rubber shift boot otherwise you will tear it like I did. Be sure to use some kind of evaporative lubricant when putting that back on too. And be even more careful with the gasket under the shift boot. I didnt tear that but I did stretch it out quite a bit. If you do tear the boot i would recommend patching it somehow otherwise if you are driving in the rain or mud you may get some water in your carpet/leather shift boots.
4. When you re-install the bezel dont tighten it very hard cause its just some weak and fragile plastic. The previous owner of my ranger broke the bottom part so the screw wasnt doing anything so I duct taped it back together so the screw would hold the bezel down and the boot hides the duct tape so its not visible at all
5. To get the leather boots off just pull firmly on the front of them. there are some kind of pressure clips on the front that just pull out and push in. The allen screws in the bezel are decoration and do nothing so dont waste your time removing them.
6. The shift stop screws on the hurst shifter are kinda finiky so dont worry if it rattles a little in 3rd and 4th gear when you first install it. Drive around with a friend and have them adjust the screws until it doesnt rattle or just trial and error it by driving around the block and stopping to adjust the screws.
The ONLY complaint that I currently have and really its not even that big of a deal is that the arm that came one it out of the box is a little short. Im a 6'2" guy and I like to be as close to the pedals as my 5'8" dad and even with my longer arms I still have to reach to get it into 3rd and 5th gear. Im going to leave on the arm until I either get used to it or get pissed at it and ill order the longer arm, but for those who like to be further back from the wheel/peddals just save the hastle and get the longer arm and swap it durring the install.
Rant complete. Mods if this is in the wrong section let me know and Ill repost elsewhere but this is some of the info I definately would have liked to know when I was researching putting a hurst in my FX4.
Sorry the pics from my phone are kinda crapy are not very instructional. I wasnt thinking about doing a "how to" kinda deal when I did the instal.
Let me know what you guys think!