There are many companies in the automotive aftermarket that manufacture high-quality pieces for Mustangs. Over the years, the name Hurst has come to define bolt-on gear selectors for cars with manual transmissions. Yes, sticks—including shifters for operating the five- and six-speed trannys found in '83-to-present Mustangs—have been Hurst’s bread-and-butter product for what seems like forever.
We’ve certainly installed several Hurst shifters over the years, each time explaining the benefit of making such an upgrade (shorter throws, solid in-gear feeling, billet construction). This is especially true if you drive your Pony hard on the street or at the track. The all-new Mustangs definitely were designed for flogging. However, despite the introduction of six-speed manual transmissions (Getrag MT-82) in both of the '11-'12 'Stangs, the OEM shifter attached to said tranny takes a lot away from truly enjoying a gear-grabbing driving experience.
Similar to stock shifters of the past, factory units in the newest ’Stangs stand out as parts that are truly compromised. The stamped-aluminum stockers have a general tendency to feel loose (despite being securely bolted to the transmission) as you’re shifting through the gears, and do not offer the positive, solid feeling of engagement that most enthusiasts want from the manually shifted transmissions.
Hurst’s Billet/Plus series has long been the answer for late-model Mustangs' shifter issues, and the tradition continues with the recent release of Hurst’s latest offering, a Billet/Plus (PN 3910204; $357.50) for '11-'12 Ponies. Today’s shifter, officially called Billet/Plus 2, features a billet-aluminum base and spherical pivot ball for firm-but-smooth shifts, and it reduces shift throw by approximately 27 percent. Here in Tech Inspection is the perfect way to introduce it to the Mustang Nation.
Watching Ricardo Topete going through the install motions on Jeff Koenig's new 5.0 harkens back to the old days of bolting Hurst's short-throw to the T-5 gearbox of Fox Mustangs. Only basic tools are necessary; due to minor wiring, this job needs about two hours to finish.