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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I have recently been thinking of possibly retaining the auto tranny for my car rather than 6 speed swap. I am just on the fence at the moment. I love the idea of the manual conversion and have already gathered a lot of parts for it. However, I am wondering what kind of shifters work with the 94+ auto trans.?

If I were to purchase a new shifter for the auto does the od still need to stay electronic or do you purchase a 4 position shifter and shift into od? How would that set up work? Is there even an option for a competition shifter or are we stuck with the factory stick? Any info on the auto tranny would be helpful as I have only educated myself on the manuals til now.

Please extend a little slack on the comments of factory shifter preference. I know a lot of guys prefer the factory shifter, but I am looking to modify a very specific and currently discontinued shifter for the application. If anyone is aware of the old "lightning rod" shifters I am thinking of using one with the 4 levers and converting the shafts and the ball handles with plate shafts and very small stainless "T" handles. Each shaft would be slightly bend away from center. These are old mechanical shifters and I know our trannys are more modern electronic units so I am unsure if a mechanical shifter like this would work. i'd hate to modify the shifter to find out it can't be adapted to properly operate the tranny or the od.

Thanks

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Seriously?... Noone has installed a race shifter in their t-bird? The biggest thing I need to know is if a mechanical linkage can be used to shift into overdrive or will it forever be an electrical switch with these trannies? :zdunno:
 

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i have a hurst v-matic 2 in my car with a t-handle knob (electric switch in the t-handle). works fairly well considering it is a shifter for a c4/c6. the geometry on the arm coming out of the tranny is a little differant so you will have to really fine tune the cable adjustment to get it to work. if i were to do it again i would get the b&m hammer console shifter designed for late model mustangs (aode). works with the factory shifter cable, then just add the hurst t-handle with electric switch and you are good to go. the hurst is dual action (both gate and ratchet) while the b*m is just ratchet.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #5
lightning rods probably wouldn't work, i'm sure they would be a bear to adjust
I agree that it would be a pain in the arse to get working correctly. I'm not nearly as concerned about that. Actually the cost of the lightning rod is more the issue. The 3 shaft models can sell between 500 to 1000 depending on condition. The 4 shaft model, which I didn't even know had ever been made until recently is expected to be even more money and much much much harder to find.
I want to remove the chrome shifter shafts and add different shafts and handles, but would prefer the 4 handle lightning rod. I just wasn't sure if there was any way to mechanically shift into o/d or if it had to remain an electric switch function. Sounds like it needs to stay an electronic switch.
I'm really stuck between building the auto in the car or going into the T-56 conversion. I have everything for the manual swap (pedals, steering column, console, ebrake cables, etc) and I have the T-56 which still needs to be rebuilt and the bell housing, clutch, and master and slave components all still need to be purchased yet.

I had hopes I could do a really unique shifter modification using the old lightning rods, but from the looks of it it either isn't very possible, or the cost of the shifter alone would prevent me from saving any money from the manual conversion compared to keeping the car an automatic.

I am really going to need to weigh out my options here.
Thanks
 

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how long are the rods by the way? they could potentially sitting pretty high due to the higher trans tunnel then the older cars
 

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you could probably wire the aode so that overdrive is normally not engaged then have a momentary contact the 4th rod would hit and engage overdrive
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The rods would be remade anyhow. I don't especially like the retro look of the lightning rod shifter. I would make them shorter so they are the right height for the trans tunnel with small "T" handles on each one rather than the large ball.
It would be a huge undertaking to make this shifter do what I need it to and look the way I'd want it o.

I was thinking the same thing, that the 4th lever could activate a sw for o/d.

 
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