You can say that it's possibly one of my most-planned modification process, given the stages I planned and went through before ending so far. On the other than, it can be perceived as my typical Singapore kia-see-ism (n – state of afraiding to die) in act, wanting to make sure that everything is in order or validated before making the next move.
To be honest, I started just wanting to replace my peeling stock shift knob with a new one, and I accomplish that desire by replacing it with a Momo's automatic shift knob. Very soon, I realised it need not end there, as I can replace the entire chrome shift cover with something refreshing. But the process, through some IM (Instant messenging) correspondence with vwvortex's FEEL, seems complicated, and I want to be absolutely sure about my ability to execute it before embarking on the modification itself. Obviously, I am 'kia-see' as I don't wish my investment (of buying a replacement shift boot) to waste. But most importantly, I want to make sure I can do it myself, although I know that I can easily pay some shop and had it done professionally.
Before placing an order for the shift boot, one may be interested to know there exists a few variants of VW OEM shift boot that he can choose from. It's a matter of individual style preference, not so much of fitment choice :-
- The 20th Anniversary shift boot has a brushed aluminium shift frame (or commonly known as ring ) and red-stitched black leather boot;
- The R32 shift boot also has a brushed aluminium ring, and a white stiched black leather boot. (I believe you can opt for black-stitched one as well)
- The Original Sports edition shift boot, has a chrome ring, with black-stitched black leather boot.
I chose the chrome variant one, not exactly because I love chrome trimming, but because the brushed aluminium style will be a mis-match to my current interior trimming.
STEP by STEP
1. Remove the gasket if you have not done. Follow the link for a reference of step-by-step on gasket removal how-to
2. If you have just removed your gasket, and have not put back the shift console, take the opportunity to remove the shift guider as indicated by the red arrow. If you manage to remove the guider, then you may skip step 6.
Next, focus on the shift boot.
3. Flip the boot, so that you see the bottom of the shift knob, with the ring bracket that holds the leather to the knob. Slip out the metal ring fastener.
Removing the knob from the shift boot
4. With the help of a plier and exerting abit of force, pull out the ring bracket. The shift knob is now freed from the leather boot, and I can then proceed with putting my aftermarket knob to this leather boot.
Note Step 4 is unnecessary, if you prefer to cut off the leather boot around the edge of the shift knob. That is definitely the quickest and easiest way to remove the knob away from the boot, but I prefer to remove with minimal damage.
5. Slip the shift knob chrome ring and Momo's bottom chrome cap back into the boot, as shown. I used some adhesive tape to secure the ring to the boot, and as the chrome cap is “dropped” into the ring, I also used a strong adhesive tape to ensure it doesn't slip off from the ring easily.
Now, the next step is necessary if you choose not to remove the shift guide, just as I have not. If you have done, as per step 1, then skip step 6, and go straight to step 7.
The underside of the shift frame, the left side is one with the tabs cut-off, the right is with the tabs intact
The diagram shows the bottom of the shift boot frame. There are clips on each side of the frame, in order to clip onto the shift console firmly. Notice that at the rear side of the shift boot, there are 3 tabs, at the position indicated by the red arrows. These tabs are meant to secure the shift boot to the frame. These tabs interfere with the shift guide, and prevents the frame from inserted completely into the shift console properly.
6. Use a cutter, and cut off these tabs. The picture on the left shows the trimed shift frame without the tabs. The cutting is pretty easy since the tabs are made of plastic[/i]). Cutting of the tabs does not compromise the fitment of the shift boot to the console. Neither does it result in loose leather boot on the frame. So cut it with a piece of mind!
If you have not cut the tabs as per described in step 6, and you have not removed the shift guider, you will find that your shift boot pops out alittle at the rear.
With the shift knob removed,
Inserting the frame into the console
7. Slot the shift boot over the shift shaft, and slide in the shift frame forward, and under the shift console. Insert the frame completely by pushing it down into the console.
You may find difficulty in securing the frame properly into the console, as the frame might be still popping out alittle. Here's some tricks and tips for your reference.
- Push the two sides (left & right) of the frame inwards so that that clips go underneath the console.
- Push the rear side of the frame inwards so that the clips go underneath the console, and then pull it outwards so that the frame shifts back, allowing the bottom of the frame to have clearance off from the shift guide.
8. Put back the shift knob, tighten the allen nuts, and pull up the shift boot so that the chrome cap can be secured with the shift knob, as shown.
1. Part supplier – Hillsideimports
2. Information Source – Vwvortex