Scott Drake couldn't wait to show us the new Shelby Performance Parts' Precision Short-Throw Shifter for the '05 and later Mustang 5-speed and Shelby GT500 6-speed. Part of his pride comes from the fact that Engineering Manager Shane Wagner designed the shifter from scratch in the Shelby Performance Parts' R&D garage at the Drake Enterprises facility in Henderson, Nevada. The engineering department there designs cool, trick parts using modern Rapid Prototyping technology.
Basically, Shelby doesn't have to wait on Detroit to develop a part. Whatever parts are needed, Shelby Performance Parts has both the expertise and the technology to design and produce prototypes on site and in a very short time frame. As a consequence, Mustang enthusiasts can buy performance parts through the Shelby Performance Parts program. The new 5-speed and 6-speed shifters are great examples.
With the new Shelby shifters, the driver gets the benefit of shorter throws for faster shifts. Shelby Performance Parts also weighs in on this shifter as being a precision shifter as well. Using high-quality urethane bushings, billet 6061 T6 aluminum, and Delrin ball-housing, the degree of accuracy in movement is immediately apparent. The shifters also feature built-in adjustable shift stops. All of this is key in inspiring driver confidence when slamming through the gears. It's mandatory for competition driving.
The shifters actually feel more comfortable and smoother than stock, so drivers don't sacrifice ease of use for hard-slamming functionality that often requires brute force muscle.
When I grabbed the handle, I couldn't believe how smooth the lever shifted the gears. The spring-back feature and Delrin pivot ball-housing load the shifter so movement is tight but smooth, almost like metal moving through a magnetic field. This shifter really feels good. Scott showed us how the springs actually help guide the shifter. For example, the springs guide the shifter from second to third gear, helping to avoid accidental shifting from second and back into first.
Shelby Performance Parts offers the shifter kit for 5.4L Shelby GT500s with the 6-speed transmission and for 4.6L Mustang GTs with 5-speeds.