Lift the car. In my case, its a black 06 G35 coupe.
I pulled the center console (was a little scared something would break, but none did – just pull “up” and “out”) to get access to the factory shifter.
I took a water pump plier, wrapped the teeth of the wrench with an old rag (so as not to mess up the shifter) and clamped it around the shifter:
I then did the same with an adjustable crescent wrench, and clamped it around the lower part of the shift knob:
Instructions from various install kits (including Infiniti’s FSM) specify that you must hold the pliers in place while using the crescent wrench to completely twist off the shift knob – otherwise damage may occur. Clamp it the whole time – not just until you think the knob is easy enough to twist off by hand. For me, the knob twisted off easier than I had imagined.
At this point, the center console can be completely removed; the two plugs underneath are easily undone (for you Z owners, it may be 1 ribbon cable).
Then, remove the frame covering the shifter boot with a 10mm socket – an extension is useful:
Then, remove the rubber shift boot.
Remove the rubber guide plate boot.
Remove the guide plate bolts with a 10mm socket.
Keep track of your bolts (the 3 for the guide plate, and the 4 for the shift boot frame:
Clean the work area of any foreign material or animals:
Now, get under the vehicle. Sorry, no pics here – couldn’t reach – but you’ll see a rubber cover directly underneath where you were working. Pull that away. Not off, away. you’ll see a bolt (looking from the right of the drive shaft) that can be easily removed with your 12mm socket. When it’s removed, the shifter will bounce up out of place. This is normal. Here’s the factory knob:
The shifter I ordered from Rogue Engineering did not come with the washer on the lower end; the instructions say to use the washer from the factory shifter.
Now I had no idea the “washer” was actually two plastic washer, a black rubber o-ring, and a metal sleeve. Pull each out from the sides, carefully, and reassemble with grease in the new shifter.
The shifters: note the notorious factory shift cup:
Now, after what I had to go through to get a new shift cup (ordered from 350EVO.com) onto the new shifter, I would highly recommend against using the factory shift cup. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to get it off, then to put it back on the new shifter. Save the pain, and the possibility of breakage, and buy a new shift cup for the new shifter.
Grease up the cup and the shifter with any lithium based grease. Remember to clean off all old grease on all parts.
For the life of me, I could not press the shifter into the cup. (I put two bricks closely together – covered in cloth – then tried to push the shifter into the cup, which was sitting across the two bricks. Straight up impossible) Losing daylight, I desperately got the idea of taking a 30-lb dumbbell (it had a hollow bar), and placing it over the shifter (so the top of the shifter was actually up into the dumbbell bar). After doing this, a slight push downward (my strength plus 30 pounds) made the shifter pop in beautifully. Sorry, no pictures of that drama.
The two shifters; it’s clear that the portion below the pivot point is longer on the short shifter.
Put the new shifter back in place. It will “hover” on the spring, until clamped down. Just make sure you don’t put it in backwards, or something. You won’t get a Euro-style reverse that way.
Also make sure that as you’re putting it back in, it’s slipping into the linkage below (it won’t line up perfectly – just make sure it’s going in).
Reattach the guide plate; do not completely tighten the 3 bolts yet – loosely tighten.
Get back under the car. Grease up that bolt you removed earlier, and put it back in. Some adjustment/wiggling will be necessary to threat the bolt through the linkage and the shifter. Tighten to 10 ft-lbs. I didn’t use a torque wrench, but 10 ft-lbs. is not a lot. Look out for all the DIY’ers who blasted this bolt into oblivion for over-tightening.
The next part is back in the car. Move the shifter over to the right, put it in 5th and 6th gear, and move the guide plate so it’s just touching the “hook” – that little rectangle sticking out -on the shifter. Tighten the bolt closest to the front of the car, then the two side bolts (All 7 ft-lbs. Remember this is not a lot of force at all. You can kind of see that the position of the guide plate is not going to be exactly where it was before; this is due to the change in throw displacement.
Make sure that you can access all gears, and reverse, with no problem. The shifter should pop out of reverse like before, as well.
Put back on the goods – minus the center console (the 4 frame bolts are a measly 4 ft-lbs.)
And the insulator
After partially reinstalling the center console, put thread locking compound on the shifter threads:
Set up your pliers again, to put on the shift knob:
The Infiniti FSM had some bizarre way of explaining how to put the knob back on, but basically it comes down to this: Twist as far as you know you can twist, until it’s in the correct position. If you’re able to twist past the correct position, keep twisting. If its near impossible to twist past the correct position, leave it there. Don’t loosen it to get it to the correct position.
All said and done, the two most challenging sections of the install was the washer issue (having no idea how it was supposed to be removed) and pressing the shifter in the new shift cup. Having a press, or some mechanism as I put together is not a luxury, its a necessity.
The shifting feels great, more aggressive, a little tougher than before – I have yet to fully break it in; but a nice change.
Article by: Indo86