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Replacing the OEM Shifter for Short Throw

The installation of a "short throw shifter" (usually abbreviated to "short shifter") has the benefit of reducing the distance travelled by the gear stick to engage gears, making gear shifts potentially faster. It also has the benefit of shifts feeling more positive and direct.
To achieve this, the distance between the pivot point of the gear lever is extended on the underside, therefore requiring less movement at the gear knob to achieve a larger movement on the underside and to the gearbox.
There are generally two ways to achieve a shorter shift: adapt the OEM stick or install an aftermarket shifter such as B&M or Pacesetter.
The method of how you wish to achieve a shorter throw is personal and dependent on the amount of movement you want to restrict between gears. Personal decisions can be based on such variables as cost and future adjustability.
This howto demonstrates replacing the OEM shifter for a shifter already modified for a shorter throw.

** By lengthening the distance between the pivot point and linkage by 25mm, the shift is reduced "significantly". I wouldn't recommend lengthening the shifter by more than this amount at least until this reduction is experienced.

 
 

Tools Required:
Philips head screwdriver
Flat head screwdriver
2 x 12mm spanners
Grease

Also recommended is 2 x shifter bushes - available from Mazda for about $6 each.

 

 

   
 

Step 1
Remove the console section by removing the 4 screws (2 on drivers side, 2 on passengers side) located as shown. For easy access to the screws, slide both the drivers seat and passenger seats fully forward to access the rear screws, and fully backward to access the front screws.
Once all four screws are removed, remove the console assembly by lifting over the handbrake lever and remove from vehicle.

 

   
 

Step 2
Remove the 2 screws and 2 “push plugs” (one of each on drivers side, one of each on passengers side) from the front of the gear stick plastic surround as shown. Remove the gear knob by unscrewing anti-clockwise. Detach the leather gear stick shroud from the groove in the gear stick knob. Gently remove the surround piece by lifting over the gear stick and maneuver the surround so as to see the rear of the cigarette lighter socket. Unplug the cigarette lighter wiring and unplug / unscrew the illuminator light wiring (for the cigarette lighter socket surround). You can now remove this piece of trim from the vehicle.

 

   
 

Step 3
The recess where the shifter goes through the floor may be full of lubricant. Wipe away excess grease with a rag and identify the retaining spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a flat blade screwdriver, gently prise the spring from the retaining collar.

Leave as is and go to step 4.

 

   
 

Step 4
Jack up car and place on stands.

Locate the underside of the shifter and using the 2 x 12mm spanners, remove the bolt holding the shifter to the linkage arm.

Note: Photo shows shifter after bolt removal.

 

   
 

Step 5
From inside the car, gently pull the shifter arm out of the housing and remove from vehicle. Identify the order of the pivot point bushings.

Remove the linkage bushings and rubber dust boot from the OEM shifter and install onto replacement shifter.

Clean the (white) pivot bushings and liberally apply new grease.

Reinstall shifter in reverse order of removal.

Note: Do not overtighten the linkage bolt as the linkage arm bracket will compress against the shifter bushing and prevent the linkage moving freely!