instructions for the mechanically challenged: installing the "dieselgeek.com short shift kit"
today, we are going to install the "dieselgeek.com short shift kit". it helps to reduce the front to back and side to side shifting motion. the shifter claims to be a 30% reduction, but in the beginning it will feel more like 70%. and now that the front to back motion doesnt take so long the car feels much quicker. silly, i know, but thats the way it seems. though this is by far and away the most difficult of my installs, its only difficult because it involves tight places and cutting into perfectly good metal and carpet. though the metal and carpet are out of sight and will not impact the quality or structure of your car in the least. all changes are invisible. and no doubt about it, this is the single best modification i have done to my car. better than everything else, including sway bars and shocks and springs. i would do this first. well, second, after getting rid of the daytime running lights - no car should have those. disclaimer: as with my other instructions, these instructions are applicable for MY 1996 - if your car has fifteen of everything that i tell you to look for dont blame me. this is a FYI only. though i would be more than happy to answer any questions about unclear instructions. read all the instructions before doing anything, as screwing this up will leave your car undriveable. i in no way shape or form condone or encourage IKEA. history: i have not tried any other short shifters. i decided to try the "dieselgeek.com short shift kit" because 1. the directions seemed relatively easy 2. the whole car didnt need to be pulled apart 3. several other sellers of short shift kits wouldnt answer my questions i poured over the excellent instructions supplied by the dieselgeek website more times than i can count. i even cut and copied and pasted my own instructions so i wouldnt be distracted by the universality of the directions. so if your car isnt a 1996 gti vr6, then perhaps you should go read the original page. i thought about having a motor-head friend do it for me, but decided that i would give it a go when i came home from work and found it waiting on my doorstep. i did the install in the dark, on my own, with no help from anyone, using a few tools. tools you need: 13mm wrench (or pliers if you are cheap) 10mm wrench (or pliers if you are cheap - or IKEA wrench) phillips screw driver dremel razor blade needle nosed pliers vacuum cleaner (if you want) towels to keep your hands and car clean (if you want) directions: gently pull up the plastic housing that the shift boot is connected to. then unscrew the shift knob. place somewhere clean. use the phillips to unscrew the one screw by the drivers feet on the floor, and the two screws on the passenger side by the floor (next to the little hole). place somewhere safe. grab the cup holders and gently pull upward and toward the rear of the car. they should pop out without fuss. move the seats forward. locate the round plugs on either side of the center console under the trunk release switch behind the emergency brake. pop off these covers. use the phillips to remove the screws. place somewhere safe. gently pull up on the rear of the center console behind the emergency brake. look down on the floor inbetween the rear center console piece (that you gently pulled up on in the last step) and the front center console piece. under the emergency brake handle you will notice a plastic 10mm nut. remove the nut. this is easily the second most difficult part of the install. i used the IKEA wrench. it seems to take forever. but be careful, as the nut is plastic. place somewhere safe. looking down on the exposed shifter you will see two more plastic nuts in the southern position (towards the back of the car). use the 10mm and remove these. place somewhere safe. if you lift up the front center console (it doesnt need to be removed completely, but if you can figure out how it could make things easier) you will notice another bolt that isnt really apart of the shift area/mechanism. immediately south of the bolt is a lip area that runs around the whole shift area. (more on the lip in a moment.) looking down on the exposed shifter you will see a 13mm bolt in the northeast corner. remove this bolt. place somewhere safe. to the left of that bolt you will see an arm (that moves a springy thing) when you move the shifter side to side. the bolt is 13mm and points from the front of the car to the back. remove this bolt. place somewhere safe. the arm that the bolt was screwed into (that is kinda connected to the springy thing) comes out. if you will notice, it runs long the north part of the arm and connects to a pin that runs from the front to the back of the shifter. wiggle the arm loose from the springy thing and wiggle it out of the shifter to the north. notice how it bumps into that lip. this is the hardest part of the install: wiggle the arm back into place. get the dremel. you are going to need to lift the front center console enough that you can get the dremel in and cut away enough of the lip that you can remove the arm. this took me quite awhile, only because ive never used a dremel before and i kept breaking blades. when you can get the arm past the lip i would take the time to vacuum up all the dust. when you get the arm past the lip you will notice that the carpet is in the way. you will need to cut away enough carpet and sound deadening material to remove the arm completely. remove the arm. place somewhere safe. the hard part is over. gently wiggle/lift the whole mechanism up. notice that the shifter is connected to a cable within the box. the cable is connected held to the shifter with a cotter pin. use the needle nose piers to firmly grab the cotter pin and remove. store in a safe place. the new shift kit has an extra cotter pin if you lose it. disconnect the cable from the shifter and gently remove from the shift box. place the shifter somewhere where it wont get anything messy. you are done with the old shifter. this is the home stretch. everything is easy, as everything goes back where you took it out. get the new shifter and gently put in place it into the shift box. reattach the shift cable. reattach the cotter pin with the needle nosed pliers. make sure to get a firm grip on the cotter pin. gently wiggle the new shifter into place. get the arm you removed earlier and gently wiggle it back into place, sliding it all the way through the shifter. wiggle the arm back into the springy things. grab the 13mm bolt and screw it back into the arm. grab the other 13mm bolt and screw it back into the hole in the northeast corner. take a moment and gently engage all the gears. they should go pretty easy. there are some fine tuning steps to be done under the hood if things are gears are hard to get into. if it is really difficult, try starting the engine and going through the motions. if something is really wrong, retrace the steps and make sure you didnt forget something. gently put the front center console back in place. grab the two 10mm plastic nuts and screw them into place in the south part of the shift box. replace the three phillips screws near the foot position on either side of the center console. grab the 10mm plastic nut and put it back in place in front of the emergency brake. gently put the rear center console back in place. it may take some wiggling. use the phillips to replace the screws on either side of the rear console. replace the caps. grab the shift knob and boot and screw it back onto the shifter. my threads didnt match up quite right, so the last quarter turn to get the shift knob aligned was a bit tough. i have no idea what happens if you twist too much. all done. slowly drive the car to make sure the shifter works fine. (and yes, i realize that the artwork sucks, but i think that the simple pictures are easier to understand than photos sometimes.) be well, go well..
2002.155 2002.171: simplified