Steeda has hit the market square in the headlights with its Tri-Ax shifter for the sloppy-
Project car provider Rich Robello is the second '05 GT owner to submit his new 'Stang to our camera before making his first payment. Who says
hot-rodding is dead?
Enjoyable as the new Mustang is, ask anyone who's driven one and they'll report the shifter is a rubbery disappointment. Finding gears is a reasonably accurate exercise assuming your adrenal glands aren't secreting sauce like a musk ox, but the feel is disconnected-mushy even.
Two bolts and jam nuts form the adjustable portion of the Tri-Ax's positive stop shift mec
So here is Steeda bursting through the opportunity door before you can get that new Mustang out of the dealer's driveway-Steeda engineers must hide in the bushes-with a snazzy billet shifter ready to go. The business end of the shifter, including the adjustable, positive stops and billet collar and pivot ball, are familiar stuff to late-model enthusiasts. The attachment hardware, braces, and other specifics to the '05 shifter are, of course, new to all of us.
Also new is the installation procedure. Whereas Mustang shifters have traditionally installed from inside the cockpit, the new shifter installs mainly from under the car. That's because the '05 shifter is remotely mounted from the transmission and it's necessary to access the bracketry from underneath. This entails disconnecting the driveshaft from the transmission to gain access to the shifter, but because the transmission/driveshaft interface is a flange, this is straightforward nut and bolt work. It is not necessary to remove the driveshaft from the car or disconnect the exhaust, and there is no transmission fluid mess to work around.
Here's the complete Tri-Ax kit. It's a precisely built unit with tight fits from all the b
So, unlike before, changing the '05 shifter requires a floor jack and jackstands at the least, or if you've fallen off as many dirt bikes as we have, a hoist. For the first time, though, count on several hours-shops will have the task down to a couple of hours after a few run-throughs.
Aside from saying it's a heavy-duty, well-built piece here, we'll let the photos and captions handle the details of Steeda's Tri-Ax shifter and move on to our driving impressions. Car owner Rich Robello was kind enough to let us do the snick-snick thing with his achingly new car, although we followed his cue and didn't try any hammering heroics with the five-speed's new joy lever. The action was definitely improved, with the rubbery offensiveness replaced by a manly precision. We judged the muscle required fine for enthusiasts and approaching noticeable for those weaned on four-banger lightweights. The gap between the gates is tight, so it takes a handful of shifts to get the feel down, but it is rewarding in its performance personality.
A pair of bronze bushings are used on the bottom of the shift handle to locate the shift l
Likewise, at the rear of the shifter is a large-diameter rear mounting bushing. Fitted wit
This long arm reaching forward is a principal characteristic of the '05 Mustang shifter. I
As with earlier Tri-Ax shifters, the '05 version uses a bolt-on shift handle. That allows
Swapping the shifter begins by prying up the forward edge of the trim plate surrounding th
A second rubber shift boot lives under the cosmetic boot that is attached to the shift kno
Under the car, the front of the driveshaft is exactly where you need to work. Index the dr
Two ears on the driveshaft's center bearing attach the center of the two-piece shaft to th
Now you have a good look at the stock shifter from below; forward is to the left. The larg