Stock shift knob removal. - Mustang Evolution

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Old 05-17-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
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Stock shift knob removal.

I'm not a stupid man (don't ask my wife to confirm, please). I'm no mechanic, but I've installed a few mods, inside and out, some even under the hood.

Anyhow, the shift knob removal for this (picked it up yesterday, factory order):


…is just insurmountable. I've read all the how-tos, found threads on this site (google brought me here, actually), but I cannot get the thing off, and here's a key piece of info, potentially. Haven't seen it addressed in any searching:

Going lefty-loosy, the knob backs out (or up), gets to a where the silver ring on the knob itself is sitting maybe a quarter inch above the boot's 'o' ring, and the same distance above the base of the plastic thing inserted into the shift knob itself.

So the problem is, once it gets to a certain point, it just doesn't "unscrew" anymore. It still takes some elbow to spin it, but it's not going away from the bottom of the car any longer, and the plastic thing inserted into the knob itself is turning right along with the knob. Illustrations I've seen seem to indicate these two things need to separate, but I'll be damned if I can figure out how. No pliers small enough to get in there, even the little needle nose jobs.

I've pulled up while turning, pulled while not turning, and I can't get it. I'm hoping the threads are not crossed, though I should mention that I can--with some downward pressure--get the knob to start screwing back in, and get it flush with the boot material again. I've pulled the center console up hoping I could get to the bottom of the black plastic bit, but no dice there either.

Anyhow, if I know car forums, this is probably the 90,000th time someone has asked, and I've missed the sticky on knob removal at the top of the forum, but plllleeeeease… help a guy out.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like your having a lot of trouble with it. I simply twisted it off and put the new one on took all of 2 minutes. Maybe they changed something with the new model. I don't know what to tell ya...
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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I know mine just unscrewed I didn't have any problems. I don't if the 13's are any different than the 11's. I think it is fine thread though so it did take a lot of turning to get off. Sry I wasn't much help.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:49 AM   #4
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I had some trouble with my '12 too. It turned out I didn't realize that there was a piece of rubber up in the ball to keep the pressure on the screw threads. I finally manned up and put quite a bit of hand applied turning force to the ball only. Eventually the thing unscrewed. It was a little un-nerving to apply that much torque the first time. They must have a real brute at the factory installing the shift knobs . Hope this helps.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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Re: Stock shift knob removal.

Thanks all. I appreciate you even looking at it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dellito View Post
I had some trouble with my '12 too. It turned out I didn't realize that there was a piece of rubber up in the ball to keep the pressure on the screw threads. I finally manned up and put quite a bit of hand applied turning force to the ball only. Eventually the thing unscrewed. It was a little un-nerving to apply that much torque the first time. They must have a real brute at the factory installing the shift knobs . Hope this helps.
Thanks man. I've got a blister on my left hand behind this. I used to rig parachutes and various survival equipment, and my grip/strength is not lacking, but I'm not sure that's the problem.

Maybe it's easier with a pic (see below, lifted from AM's install guide, sorry guys). The piece the red arrow is pointing to rotates with the knob itself, and I can't get enough of it grasped with any tool to turn the knob independently. In any case, I take it the knob needs to separate from this piece. Perhaps I need a pair of really narrow vise-grips? I've got about a quarter-inch of gap to work with.

Also, is the end (yellow arrow) threaded? Doesn't appear to be.

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Old 05-18-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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I've seen one of these before... its just compressed and the threads bit into the little black thing a bit. Only thing you can do is man up more and twist or take it to ford and have them take it off. The only thing holding the knob on are the threads. I I've made dozens of shift knobs for mustangs and they're all the same getting the stockers off - a total *****.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Stock shift knob removal.

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Originally Posted by DaBluedude View Post
I've seen one of these before... its just compressed and the threads bit into the little black thing a bit. Only thing you can do is man up more and twist or take it to ford and have them take it off. The only thing holding the knob on are the threads. I I've made dozens of shift knobs for mustangs and they're all the same getting the stockers off - a total *****.
Thanks. Manned up about as much as I'm going to... I worked on this thing for over an hour last night, and I am not a small guy or lacking for strength. Unfortunately, like I said, I can't 'twist' it independently of the black plastic piece, which is what needs to happen as far as I can tell; again, both the knob and the black plastic piece in the pic above (red arrow) are just spinning around and around together, so there's no way to work the knob off out of it. Think I'm going to get some needle nose vise-grips, a thick rubber band to put between the plier teeth and the plastic thing and go at it that way. Film at 11.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenfifteen

Thanks. Manned up about as much as I'm going to... I worked on this thing for over an hour last night, and I am not a small guy or lacking for strength. Unfortunately, like I said, I can't 'twist' it independently of the black plastic piece, which is what needs to happen as far as I can tell; again, both the knob and the black plastic piece in the pic above (red arrow) are just spinning around and around together, so there's no way to work the knob off out of it. Think I'm going to get some needle nose vise-grips, a thick rubber band to put between the plier teeth and the plastic thing and go at it that way. Film at 11.
I think uve got a warranty issue actually. If it really wont screw off then I would wager its cross threaded and the boot gaurd is stuck in it. Either way, I would ask ford.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:12 AM   #9
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Re: Stock shift knob removal.

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Originally Posted by DaBluedude View Post
I think uve got a warranty issue actually. If it really wont screw off then I would wager its cross threaded and the boot gaurd is stuck in it. Either way, I would ask ford.
That's probably the sane way to do it, but I think they'd have probably told me to get bent. I mean who's to say I didn't damage it trying to unscrew it? I know I didn't, but whatever. Their stock part worked fine, I don't think they're under any obligation to help me mod it.

Anyhow. I figure there's no special tool for unf**king this, so I did what any red-blooded American man would do: I took a Dremel with a carbide wheel to it, being careful to avoid the lever itself, though I ordered an SSK just in case I borked something. It's amazing to me that the stock knob's threads are plastic. Annnnnyway. Took a couple of hours, but I got it done, new retainer and shifter screwed right on, no damage whatsoever to lever's threads, though I am still installing the SSK (and a Barton bracket).

Thanks all for your help.



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Old 05-23-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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Haha... that is one solution. New knob looks good!
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:08 AM   #11
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Re: Stock shift knob removal.

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Haha... that is one solution. New knob looks good!
Thanks man, feels really great too. I think the stock shift action in this car rivals anything I've driven, but this knob just makes it a ton better given the way I shift (fingers and heel of palm). Can't wait to add the SSK and bracket (and exhaust, and Konis, and springs, and Watt's Link, etc., etc.).
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