How-To: Install Roush Shifter Handle for 1994-2004 Mustangs

This shifter handle from Roush is a unique throw-back to the muscle car era. The shifter brings the shift pattern closer to the driver. The shifter knob reminds me of the knob on my ’65 Mustang.

The shifter handle is a very simple installation. The procedure requires the owner to send their trim piece with boot to Roush so that they can replace the boot with the new, shorter leather boot. Once the boot is returned, the install is a very quick swap. This handle can be used on the stock shifter base, as well as most aftermarket shifter bases. This install shows the install being performed on the Roush shifter base, which is the same as the Steeda Tri-Ax. The handle will fit any shifter base that will accept the stock hardware for attaching the handle. Obviously the knob that comes with the shifter can be used, but many types of aftermarket knobs can not be used. Many aftermarket knobs have a collar without threads, and this handle does not allow the use of a knob with collar.

The initial impression during driving is very good. The handle gives a very different feel during shifting. When the shifter is in first gear, it feels like second gear position with the old handle. When shifting, the handle has more of a feeling of pulling down into second and forth, as opposed to pulling towards you. The throw feels longer than the other aftermarket handle, but does not feel as sloppy as the stock handle, even though it uses some of the same hardware.

A note on the boot: The new setup comes with a new boot that is shorter than the stock one. It is possible to purchase the new handle without sending your boot to Roush for replacement, and you can install the boot. This is much more difficult, and my suggestion is to send yours in to Roush. I did the boot install, and have included the instructions here. It was kind of a pain, so I would recommend sending yours in. The option is yours.

The Hardware:

The kit comes with the new Roush shifter handle, knob, locking nut, and boot. You must use the hardware from the stock shifter handle.


Workspace: A well lit area that allows you to open the driver’s side door.
Tools: Socket and ratchet to remove current handle, socket for stock bolts, small allen for holding locking nut.
Parts: Hardware from stock shifter handle – two rubber bushings, one metal C-shaped cover, two metal sleeves, two bolts.
Left-over Parts: Stock/aftermarket shifter handle, bolts from aftermarket shifter, stock shifter boot.

Quick Instructions:

  1. Getting started
  2. Remove console/boot
  3. Install boot on console (optional step)
  4. Remove existing handle
  5. Remove stock bushings, install on new handle
  6. Install new handle
  7. Replace console/boot
  8. Finish up

Some full-sized images have additional information, arrows, etc.

(Click thumbnail for full-sized image)
Getting Started
Set the parking brake on the car. Remove current knob from shifter handle. Some knobs have a small set screw that must be loosened first. The stock leather knob does not use a set screw – simply unscrew from handle.

This picture shows the current setup as Roush shifter base and handle, stock shifter boot, and Roush shifter knob.

Remove the Console/Boot
To remove the console with boot, pull evenly on both sides of the console with your fingers. Pinch the console with with your thumbs on the inside (towards the boot) and fingers on the outside. Pull to pop four clips – the two left ones can be seen in the picture. There is a plastic clip in the front of the console (towards the E-brake) – push the front of the console towards the shifter and lift up.
Remove the lighter connector and any others that are on your console.

Install Boot Onto Console
This step will be optional. If you have received your modified console and boot back from Roush, you may skip to the next step. If you received the new boot along with the shifter handle and need to install the new boot, click here for instructions.

Remove Existing Handle
Remove the two bolts that secure the current handle to the shifter base.

Remove Stock Bushings, Install on New Handle
Remove the old bushings from the stock handle by first removing the metal sleeves, then pulling out the rubber. If it is stuck, you can use a small screwdriver to slip inside and motivate the removal.

To install on the new handle, first insert the flat rubber piece with the two nubs into the right side of the handle. Next, insert the metal sleeves. If they do not go in easily, lube up with a small amount of silicone spray.

Finish teh assembly by sliding the “C” shaped piece over the handle, as shown in the third picture. The metal part should end up on the left side of the shifter to assure proper fit on the base.

Install the New Handle
Insert the two bolts into the handle and through the shifter base. Tighten down.

Replace Console/Boot
Reconnect the lighter connection. Slip the opening of the boot over the new shifter handle and slip down. Snap the console into place.

Finishing Up
To install the knob, thread locking nut onto handle with holes pointing down. Back the nut all the way down the shaft.

Thread the knob onto the handle and tighten down. Experiment with positioning of the knob and lock nut. Use a small allen wrench to hold the nut in position and tighten knob so that shift pattern is in correct position.

Its Done!

Yet another quick and simple modification for your Mustang. The replacement is very simple, the quality of the materials is very high, and the feel of the mod is very unique. This may not be the best mod for a quarter-miler, but is perfect for the cruiser and road car. The position of the handle allows you to comfortably shift while resting your arm on the center console.

To order this piece, contact Roush Performance. It retails for about $189 for the new boot, handle, knob, and nut.

No go drive!

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