If you own a Ford Ranger and want to improve the feel of your manual transmission shifter, installing a short throw shifter is an easy upgrade that can make a big difference.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing and installing an aftermarket short throw shifter kit on your Ford Ranger.
What is a Short Throw Shifter?
A short throw shifter is a modification that can be made to the gear shifter in a manual transmission vehicle. It is designed to reduce the distance or “throw” that the shifter needs to travel between gears.
This modification can provide several benefits to the driver, including quicker and more precise shifting.
Reduces Shifter Throw Distance
One of the main advantages of installing a short throw shifter is that it reduces the distance that the shifter needs to travel between gears. This means that the driver can shift gears more quickly and with less effort.
The reduced throw distance allows for faster shifts, which can be especially beneficial in high-performance driving situations or when quick gear changes are necessary.
Provides Quicker, More Precise Shifting
With a shorter throw, the driver can shift gears with greater precision. The shorter distance between gears allows for more accurate shifts, minimizing the chances of missed shifts or grinding gears. This can result in a smoother and more enjoyable driving experience, as well as improved performance on the road or track.
Aftermarket Upgrade for Manual Transmissions
A short throw shifter is an aftermarket upgrade that can be installed on manual transmission vehicles. It is not a standard feature that comes with the vehicle from the manufacturer. However, many car enthusiasts choose to install a short throw shifter as a way to enhance their driving experience and improve the performance of their vehicle.
When considering a short throw shifter for your Ford Ranger or any other vehicle, it is important to choose a reputable brand and ensure that it is compatible with your specific make and model. Installation instructions and videos can be found on various automotive websites and forums, providing step-by-step guidance for a successful installation.
Benefits of a Short Throw Shifter
One of the main benefits of installing a short throw shifter on a Ford Ranger is the ability to achieve quicker shifts. A short throw shifter reduces the distance that the gear lever needs to travel when changing gears, allowing for faster and more efficient shifting.
This can be especially useful for those who enjoy spirited driving or participate in racing activities. With a shorter throw, you can effortlessly move through the gears with precision and speed, giving you a competitive edge on the road or track.
Improved Driving Experience
Installing a short throw shifter can greatly enhance your overall driving experience. By reducing the distance and effort required to shift gears, you can enjoy a smoother and more responsive transmission.
The shorter throw not only improves the speed of shifting, but it also provides a more direct and connected feel to the gearbox. This can result in a more engaging and enjoyable driving experience, as you feel more in tune with your vehicle’s performance.
More Driver Control
A short throw shifter gives you greater control over your vehicle’s transmission. With the reduced shift distance, you can more easily and accurately select the desired gear, allowing for better control of acceleration and deceleration.
This can be especially beneficial when navigating tight corners or making quick maneuvers on the road. Additionally, a short throw shifter can help prevent missed shifts, ensuring that you’re always in the correct gear for optimal performance.
Choosing a Short Throw Shifter for Your Ford Ranger
When it comes to improving the shifting performance of your Ford Ranger, installing a short throw shifter can make a noticeable difference. A short throw shifter reduces the distance and effort required to shift gears, resulting in quicker and smoother shifts.
However, with so many options available on the market, it’s important to choose the right short throw shifter for your Ford Ranger. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection:
Verify Transmission Type
The first step in choosing a short throw shifter for your Ford Ranger is to verify the type of transmission you have. Ford Rangers can come with either a manual or automatic transmission, and each type requires a different type of short throw shifter.
For manual transmissions, you’ll need a short throw shifter specifically designed for your model and year of Ford Ranger. Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, typically do not require a short throw shifter as they have a different shifting mechanism.
Choose a Reputable Brand
When it comes to aftermarket car parts, it’s always a good idea to choose a reputable brand. This is especially true when it comes to short throw shifters, as you want a product that is reliable and built to last.
Look for brands that have a proven track record of producing high-quality short throw shifters for Ford Rangers. Reading customer reviews and checking forums dedicated to Ford Ranger enthusiasts can also provide valuable insights into the performance and durability of different brands.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a short throw shifter for your Ford Ranger is adjustability. Some short throw shifters offer the ability to adjust the throw distance, allowing you to customize the shifting feel to your preference.
This can be particularly beneficial if you have a specific driving style or if you plan on making modifications to your Ford Ranger that may affect the shifting dynamics. Look for short throw shifters that offer adjustability options, such as multiple shift knob positions or adjustable linkage.
By taking the time to choose the right short throw shifter for your Ford Ranger, you can enhance the overall driving experience and enjoy smoother, more precise shifts. Remember to verify your transmission type, choose a reputable brand, and consider adjustability options.
With the right short throw shifter, you’ll be able to maximize the performance of your Ford Ranger’s transmission.
How to Install a Short Throw Shifter on a Ford Ranger
Gather Tools and Supplies
Before you begin installing a short throw shifter on your Ford Ranger, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and supplies. You will need a socket set, wrenches, pliers, a screwdriver, and a pry tool.
It’s also a good idea to have some cleaning supplies on hand to ensure a clean installation.
Remove Interior Trim Pieces
Start by removing the interior trim pieces around the shifter. This may include the center console, shift boot, and any other trim pieces that are covering the shifter assembly. Use a pry tool or screwdriver to carefully remove these pieces without causing any damage.
Disconnect Shift Linkages
Next, you will need to disconnect the shift linkages from the stock shifter. This can usually be done by removing a couple of bolts or clips. Refer to your vehicle’s manual or online resources for specific instructions on how to do this for your Ford Ranger model.
Remove Stock Shifter
Once the shift linkages are disconnected, you can remove the stock shifter from the vehicle. This may require removing a few more bolts or screws. Be sure to keep track of all the hardware you remove, as you will need it when installing the new shifter.
Install New Shifter
Now it’s time to install the new short throw shifter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific shifter model. Typically, this involves aligning the new shifter with the shift linkages and securing it in place with the provided hardware.
Adjust and Reconnect Linkages
Once the new shifter is installed, you may need to adjust the shift linkages to ensure smooth shifting. This can usually be done by adjusting the length of the shift rods or using adjustable linkage components.
Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how to properly adjust the linkages.
Replace Trim and Test Shifter
After the linkages are adjusted, replace the interior trim pieces you removed earlier. Make sure everything is securely in place before testing the shifter. Take your Ford Ranger for a test drive and see how the new short throw shifter enhances your shifting experience.
Enjoy the improved precision and shorter throws!
Tuning and Adjusting Your New Short Throw Shifter
Installing a short throw shifter on your Ford Ranger can greatly improve your driving experience by reducing shift throw and providing quicker, more precise gear changes. However, to fully optimize the performance of your new shifter, it’s important to tune and adjust it properly.
Here are some key steps to follow:
Set Proper Shifter Height
One of the first things you’ll want to do after installing your short throw shifter is to adjust the shifter height to your preference. This can greatly impact the comfort and ease of shifting. Most short throw shifters come with adjustable height options, allowing you to find the perfect position for your driving style.
Experiment with different heights until you find the one that feels most natural and comfortable to you.
Adjust Shifter Tension
Another important aspect of tuning your short throw shifter is adjusting the shifter tension. This refers to the amount of force required to shift gears. Too loose, and you may find it difficult to engage gears properly. Too tight, and shifting can become stiff and notchy.
It’s important to strike the right balance. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific shifter model on how to adjust the tension. Typically, this can be done by tightening or loosening the bolts that secure the shifter assembly.
Fine Tune Throttle Response
While not directly related to the shifter itself, fine-tuning your throttle response can complement the improved shifting experience provided by a short throw shifter. By adjusting the throttle response, you can achieve quicker acceleration and smoother gear changes.
This can be done through various methods, such as installing a performance throttle body or using a tuning device to adjust the engine’s parameters. Consult with a professional tuner or refer to reputable automotive websites such as Car and Driver or Motor1 for more information on how to fine-tune your throttle response.
By following these steps and properly tuning and adjusting your new short throw shifter, you can optimize its performance and enhance your overall driving experience in your Ford Ranger. So go ahead, get behind the wheel, and enjoy the improved shifting precision and responsiveness!
Installing an aftermarket short throw shifter kit is one of the easiest ways to make your manual transmission Ford Ranger much more fun to drive. With quicker, more precise shifts, you’ll enjoy improved drivability and control.
Just be sure to get a quality short throw shifter designed specifically for your Ranger, and take time to properly adjust and tune it for optimal performance.