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The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

 
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Old 14 Dec 2013, 07:27 pm
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Default The "Handy" Chrome Shifter Swap

The following is a short photo essay of my installation of a chrome ball type shifter into my 2001 PT limited. It's really not a How-To since I don't cover the actual installation. But there's a few good points here and shifter installation is covered in several other threads already.

Recently I found an actual OEM chrome ball type shifter in a salvaged GT turbo. This PT had a special "chrome package" on it from the factory with several nifty chrome items. My 2001 Limited had the leather "cobra head" style shifter and I though this chrome factory shifter would be a great upgrade.




When I had time I went back to this salvage yard and snagged the chrome shifter along with some other items for a friend.




The special part of this shifter is the chrome shifter base. Unfortunately, this base is just plastic with chrome plated on it. Since it came out of a salvage PT, some scratching could be expected. So I had to look outside the auto industry to find something that would shine this up without ruining the finish. What I came up with is a Selmer musical instrument polishing cloth. These cloths are intended to gently polish silver plated flutes and trumpets. I have several of both, so I've used these quite a bit. And to my surprise, it worked very well on this chrome plated plastic shifter base. After polishing, I put on several coats of carnauba car wax to make it really shine and to protect the chrome finish.




Just changing out the shifter base and knob is not enough to swap a ball type shifter for an existing cobra head type. The shift rods are very different as seen below. Not only is the ball-type rod chrome, it's also longer and the inner rod is different. So I had to use the whole shifter mechanism.




If you look in this photo below, you will notice the original shifter has a black piece on the front while the taller ball shifter has a white piece. To attach to the shift cable in my 2001 PT, I had to use the black piece. But it just snaps on.




And here's some shots of the shifter in my car.





The silver ball on this shifter appears to be a standard item on GT cars. I plan to refinish this ball in red to match my PT. But that's for another day.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 15 Dec 2013 at 08:20 am.
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Old 14 Dec 2013, 07:36 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

Nice swap!


And i see you found your shop vacuum as well? Good show old Chap!
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Old 14 Dec 2013, 10:08 pm
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Thumbs up Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifter Swap

Everything works correctly,right?.....Shifting OK,and no adjustments needed?....Pretty much 'Plug & Play'!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Just changing out the shifter base and knob is not enough to swap a ball type shifter for an existing cobra head type. The shift rods are very different as seen below. Not only is the ball-type rod chrome, it's also longer and the inner rod is different. So I had to use the whole shifter mechanism.

Your welcome;That's what I tried to elaborate on in your previous thread about changing shifters........Good thing you paid attention to,and followed my posts.........My instructions were 100% 'dead-on';Weren't they?.
Quote:
Originally Posted by randyincctx View Post
In order to change your stock leather 'Cobra-Head' shifter,to a ball-shifter w/polished shaft....You need to remove the entire floor shift assembly(not hard);Here's how: Once the center console is out of your way,you only need to remove the 4 bolts holding the shifter assembly to the floor,disconnect the screw-pin from the shifter linkage,unhook the shifter interlock cable,and unplug gear indicator light.....You need to do all of this for 2 main reasons: 1.)The 'Cobra head' shifters have an un-polished shaft. & 2.)The 'Cobra-Head' shaft has the small hole for the set screw on the front side.
For easy/quicker removal of the 'donor' car (But,NOT your car!) shifter assembly,you can just cut the linkage cable,shift interlock cable,and even the gear indicator light.(Just like they did in this photo!)


PT_Floor_Shifter04.jpg
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 01:11 am
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

Glad it worked out for you. I remember you were eyeballin' that chrome piece for a while. The photos show the chrome package shifter trim very clearly. I suspect it may be fairly rare because I'm not sure if it was used in later years. Maybe someone with a newer year "chrome package" can clear up that detail.

And thanks for the photos of the 2 shifters side by side. I've been trying to explain the differences a few times in the past but pictures are better than just words.

And by the way, that's not a GT shifter. It's a base model, non turbo, no Autostick...... or if you are sure you saw a turbo in there, it's from the low output, "Turbo Lite" which also got the base trans, no Autostick. The knob is the same as the GT knob, usually referred to as "satin silver" because it's not exactly chrome, so that too must be part of the chrome package. At least for the early years.

Last edited by 2step; 15 Dec 2013 at 01:15 am.
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 08:24 am
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifter Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyincctx View Post
Everything works correctly,right?.....Shifting OK,and no adjustments needed?....Pretty much 'Plug & Play'!
Your welcome;That's what I tried to elaborate on in your previous thread about changing shifters........Good thing you paid attention to,and followed my posts.........My instructions were 100% 'dead-on';Weren't they?.
Yep.

I depend on my PT brothers and sisters to get this stuff done. Thanks for your help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
And by the way, that's not a GT shifter. It's a base model, non turbo, no Autostick...... or if you are sure you saw a turbo in there, it's from the low output, "Turbo Lite" which also got the base trans, no Autostick. The knob is the same as the GT knob, usually referred to as "satin silver" because it's not exactly chrome, so that too must be part of the chrome package. At least for the early years.
The car in questions definitely had a turbo under the hood and GT on the back. Of course, it could have been a turbo lite with GT badging added. Who knows? I wasn't interested in drive train components so I didn't bother to research the VIN. I just wanting the remaining chrome goodies.
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 01:25 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
Glad it worked out for you. I remember you were eyeballin' that chrome piece for a while. The photos show the chrome package shifter trim very clearly. I suspect it may be fairly rare because I'm not sure if it was used in later years. Maybe someone with a newer year "chrome package" can clear up that detail.

And thanks for the photos of the 2 shifters side by side. I've been trying to explain the differences a few times in the past but pictures are better than just words.

And by the way, that's not a GT shifter. It's a base model, non turbo, no Autostick...... or if you are sure you saw a turbo in there, it's from the low output, "Turbo Lite" which also got the base trans, no Autostick. The knob is the same as the GT knob, usually referred to as "satin silver" because it's not exactly chrome, so that too must be part of the chrome package. At least for the early years.
That isn't quite accurate. Turbo lite had a white ball.



I also have seen a silver with dimples in a chrome packaged na.
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 05:22 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

Looks good, Handy.
The red matching knob will be the "cherry on top "!
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 05:53 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

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Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
That isn't quite accurate. Turbo lite had a white ball.
So is that a fact also for a Turbo Lite with the optional Chrome Package???....... which is what I was referring to in my post.

That donor car seems to have been messed with by the owner(s) so its pedigree is in question.
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 06:16 pm
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Wink Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
That donor car seems to have been messed with by the owner(s) so its pedigree is in question.
Could be someone else did their own 'Handy Chrome Shifty Swap'.....
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 06:54 pm
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Default Re: The "Handy" Chrome Shifty Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
So is that a fact also for a Turbo Lite with the optional Chrome Package???....... which is what I was referring to in my post.

That donor car seems to have been messed with by the owner(s) so its pedigree is in question.
Never seen a lite with chrome package so Can't say on that.

Maybe handy can tell us what color the dash bezels were. Should be silver if a gt. Or what kind of pedels it had.
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Last edited by Busted_PT; 15 Dec 2013 at 06:59 pm.
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