Many first-time Mustang owners know that something isn't "right" with their automatic floor shifter, but think it must require a major repair to get it fixed-so instead, they just live with the problem. That's how I felt back in 1985 when I bought my first Mustang, and the shifter wobbled back and forth so bad that I figured the entire assembly was trashed. Later, after spending money on parts and labor, I found out that the shifter slop was because two silly, little plastic bushings had worn away. After removing the long console in my car and the four bolts that held the shifter body to the floor, I realized that I could have fixed it myself for a few bucks' worth of bushings.
Our Project '66-having just returned from the MCA Grand National where its week-old paint job was on display-is now getting ready for the rest of our complete Deluxe interior restoration and conversion. As we gathered original parts off the shelf to return to the interior, we realized that our original shifter assembly needed some bushings and TLC. It may be 15 years later, but I'm saving myself the labor this time around.
Besides new bushings, we decided to rebuild and freshen the complete shifter assembly with new chrome, a T-handle, a shifter plate, and more from Texas Mustang Parts. Eventually, our '66 hardtop will be wearing a factory short console (the lines of a long console are timeless, but you have to have A/C in Florida!), thus we are also installing the correct console shift-selector plate at this time as well. Depending upon whether or not you have a console, this job shouldn't take more than an hour and requires only a couple of basic sockets.