Following the removal of my auto shift knob and replacing the stock shift knob with MOMO auto knob, I have been exploring options to “perfect” the look, hiding away the bare metal shaft like the picture on the left. One of the option is to remove the shift gate (from the layman point of view, the chrome cover seen in the photo on the left) and replace it with a manual shift boot. To do that, the first thing to do obviously is to figure out how the shift gate is secured on the console, and hence how to be removed without damaging the parts.
1. First of all, remove the shift knob, regardless of whether it is a stock knob or aftermarket one. This will facilitate the removal of the shift gate, as you will see later on.
2. Next, push the shift gate (the chrome cover) to the right with alittle force, you will be able to see some gap, like that on the right. The shift gate should be firmly secured at this point of time, so alittle force is required to open up the gap.
3. With the interior pryer tool, I try to fiddle with the shift gate edge and pry out. Becareful of prying to hard, otherwise, you may unknowingly broken the notch at the edge of the shift gate. With abit of trying and patience, I manage to have the notch out of internal slot, and when you do that, you will notice that the shift gate is starting to loosen on the left side as shown in the diagram below.
When the left side of the shift gate's notch is out of the securing slot
4. With the left side of the shift gate loosened, pull up the gate slightly and wiggle the shift gate to the left, so that the right side of the gate can be loosened as well. Becareful again not to wiggle or pull out the gate too hard, otherwise, the notch at the right edge of the gate may well give way and break.
5. With sufficient patience and wiggling, I manage to loose the right side of the shift gate as well, and just carefully feel the touchpoints between the shift gate and the shift console so that you can free the shift gate completely from the console.
6. Once the shift gate is loosened completely, just lift up the gate and away from the shift shaft. What remains is the whole shift guide in bare, with the optics that indicates the gear position.
Done: when the shift gate is removed completely, this is what you will see
The underside of the shift gate, to show you the structure of the gate that allows the latter to be mounted to the shift console.
A closeup look of the 2 notches at one side of the shift gate. This is the part where the shift gate is most fragile at
what's next … ? A search for a nice OEM looking shift boot to replace the shift gate! and the search continues