Ask our Experts, we're here to help!
Despite riding on a platform that had been around for nine years at introduction, the new-for-1987 Ford Mustang proved to be two things: the swift kick in the backside that the Mustang nameplate desperately needed, and the beginning of the Fox-chassis Mustang's acceptance into gearhead graces. It was where modern technology met old-school throwdown. On one hand, you had a light two-door that brought forward computer-controlled electronic fuel injection, overdrive transmissions, and a focus on handling. On the other hand, buyers were reminded just how much fun anything with that running horse slapped on it could be when a sprightly small-block Ford and a manual transmission were ordered. Thirty-odd years later, the 1987-1993 Ford Mustang is often considered to be "the modern-day 1955 Chevrolet"...meaning that it is the affordable, be-all, do-all platform for anyone who has a serious interest in driving.
Recently, this 1990 GT droptop was acquired and amazingly, just about everything is still with the car all of these years later. Other than a nice bath, there wasn't much this Mustang absolutely required to get going. But there are a few nice upgrades that could be done with little money that will give the GT a more musclecar-like image and feel, and the first item that was on the list was something new for the shifter. Nothing against Ford's designers, but the shifter for the T5 five-speed manual transmission did not reflect anything of the glory of Mustangs past. instead, it's the same rounded-off square bent-stick shift handle that Ford seemed to use just about everywhere in the model lineup at the time. You could look in a Ford EXP, a Merkur XR4Ti, or a Mercury Cougar XR7 and you'd be greeted with the same basic shape. That needed to change, so the stock shifter equipment will be boxed up for safekeeping and a Hurst Comp Stick Plate Kit (p/n 5380036) is going to be installed in the old shifter's place. With a replacement shifter plate that fits the stock console, a new shifter boot, a rubber shifter isolator, the iconic Hurst chromed shifter stick and an cue-ball shifter with the five-speed shift pattern engraved into it, the Comp Stick Plate Kit will give this Mustang's driver the feeling that what he's cruising down the road is special and they will be reminded of that every time they go to grab another gear. Installation is straightforward, so follow along as we show you how to install everything.
First thing's first: you need to unscrew the stock Ford shift knob from the shifter.
Next, you need to start loosening the stock console plate. We recommend a plastic interior tool to keep from damaging any of the console and take it easy...remember, 35-year-old plastics are easy to break!
With the plate separated from the console, remove the plate and boot from the shifter.
Remove the two 13mm bolts that hold the shifter stick in place, then separate the stick from the isolator. Keep the isolator, you will be using it for the new shifter.
The new Hurst stick will be mated to the isolator. Between the shifter stick and the shifter bar (the part coming up from the transmission), you will install neoprene isolators that come in the kit. If you want to feel more of the engine's vibration come through the shifter, you can use just one of the neoprene isolators. If you don't want to, use both. Tighten the bolts securely.
So far, so good, right? If everything has gone correct, you should be here. Let's continue...
To put together the new plate, we first need to go get the old plate we had removed. There are four factory mounting clips that need to be removed and re-used for the new Hurst plate.
It's time to install the boot into the Hurst plate. The shifter hole in the boot needs to be oriented rearward (away from the Hurst logo). Insert the boot through the plate and affix it with the four supplied retainer clips.
From this point, things get very simple: slide the boot over the shifter stick, clip the Hurst plate into place, and install the Hurst cue-ball shifter handle. All that's left is to drop the top and to put that shifter to work!