View Full Version : Column shift semi conversion

05-17-2012, 06:38 AM
So, my column shift linkage really sucks after my h-pipe install. I can't get manual first anymore because I had to re-position the joint. I wan't to know if anybody else has dealt with the same, and what the fix might be. Otherwise, has anybody heard of staying with column shift, but converting to a cable linkage?

05-17-2012, 07:00 AM
Install a floor shifter and console. You'll be glad you did, and the swap is pretty easy. Just gotta find that shifter and shifter related hardware. The rest is cake.

05-17-2012, 07:03 AM
Thanks, vinnie, but I would only make that conversion if I had no other choice. Right now, that's money I'd rather spend in my exhaust or suspension, and I'm probably nuts, but I like my column shift.

05-17-2012, 08:00 AM
you'll need to do a little reforming on the pipe...if you need a lot of clearance, then you will have to cut a notch in the header pipe, and weld in a piece.

what headers did you install?

05-17-2012, 08:16 AM
The problem is the H-pipe. it required me to place the linkage joint further rearward a little, and that is causing me problems. What I need is an alternative to the mechanical linkage that DOESN'T require me to track down a console, a shifter, a driver's seat, a column, a shitload of trim that matches my color, and to cut a hole in my floor. Even if I wanted to go that way, I live in Michigan where 80 percent of the potential donor cars have long degraded to dust. Soon, I'll be installing an even bigger H-pipe that's likely to make the problem worse.
On top of that, my speed density system is pissed off, and I'll be having to get rid of it also, after maf conversion, I'll need a plan for my shift linkage, hopefully soon. I need ideas, because I'm fresh out.

05-17-2012, 08:29 AM
why would you need a drivers seat?

can't you rework the H-pipe to fit your needs? would be the cheapest way around your problem.

05-17-2012, 09:07 AM
I'm not beating the h-pipe in because I already don't have enough exhaust flow. After looking at my seat, I guess I wouldn't need one, but that doesn't really change the fact that those parts are exceedingly rare here.

05-17-2012, 02:05 PM
What headers are you running? I have FRPP stainless shorties and a Summit 2.5" H-pipe. I found that the lower stud on the header hit the shift linkage on my column shifter. I just removed the lower stud and replaced it with a bolt, nut, and washer. It clears the shift linkage and I can shift through all of the gears without a problem.

05-17-2012, 08:25 PM
well, I wasn't suggesting that you beat the pipe in...mine adjusts on the cross pipe to squeeze it together a bit. that would be the place to get more room for your linkage

05-18-2012, 02:27 PM
Sounds like you need to PM hcor for the floor shift conversion as he is the resident parts acquirer. He probably has all the parts you need and his prices are very reasonable.


Kitz Kat
05-18-2012, 04:55 PM
Did you make the holes bigger on the bracket, where it connects to the frame? usually you can make it work. What header do you have?

05-28-2012, 10:54 PM
You can use a shifter cable out of a stick shift fwd and make your own setup. It really depends on how creative you are. I bent my shifter rod and it worked but I pulled the trans really quickly after doing it so I don't know how long it lasts.

my setup 351w, bbk shorties, summit 2.5 h pipe.
should be the same for 302 with factory headers

I said screw it and converted to a stick. I also have a 84 with factory console so it was relitavely easy for me.

05-29-2012, 01:19 PM
As for another option, I got a used floor shifter out of a Lincoln on ebay 2 yrs ago for $60. The only hole I had to make was on the driver's side of the tunnel for the cable. There even are mounting holes for the front of the shifter on the inside of the tunnel. As for the console even if you have to make one, it's fairly easy. No tricky curves,