KJ Jones
June 1, 2013
Contributers: KJ Jones

This month's project is of the quick-and-easy variety. If you're an '11-'13 Mustang owner who's not happy with the stock shifter in your manual-transmission 'Stang, we're looking out for you. From Foxes to Coyotes, shift quality for the manual gearboxes has been a major bone of contention among the Mustang Nation's rank-and-file over the years.

In many cases, the stock shifter assembly is blamed for the displeasure, and rightly so. It seems the shifter is the component in a 'Stang with the cheapest construction. The shifters' flimsiness makes them function poorly or even break clean off in a driver's hand when the gear bangin' gets aggressive.

We've presented several aftermarket shifter assemblies that do wonders fixing this problem. However, for the '11-'13 Mustangs, Energy Suspension has created a new polyurethane shifter stabilizer bushing (PN 4.1134; $13) for OEM shifters that promotes smooth operation of a new 'Stang's Getrag MT-82 transmission and its factory shifter.

Ricardo Topete of GTR High Performance in Rancho Cucamonga, California, was kind enough to share photos of Energy's new bushing being installed in Gabrial Frias's '13 GT. Per Ricardo, the operation only requires raising a 'Stang for sufficient access to the back of the transmission. You'll also need a quarter-inch-drive ratchet, an extension, a 10mm deep socket, and approximately 15 to 30 minutes of your time to remove the stocker and install its replacement.

Performing this upgrade will bring precision to your Pony's manual shifting with a minimal investment of your time, and, more importantly, your money.

The shifters' flimsiness makes them function poorly or even break clean off in a driver's hand when the gear bangin' gets aggressive

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With the OEM bushing removed, we’re able to see the huge difference between it (left) and Energy Suspension’s all-new Hyper-Flex polyurethane shifter stabilizer bushing (PN 4.1134; $13). Key to the new bushing’s performance is its hardness. Using a durometer, tests show the factory bushing actually is about as soft as a sponge (a 25 reading on the durometer). Conversely, the new bushing is much stiffer (70 on the durometer).Thus the new bushing will not crush under the load and force that act against it during hard gear shifts. The Energy bushing’s stiffness is the quality that eliminates the stock shifter’s sloppy feel, without promoting any additional noise or vibration. Notice the zip-ties that are used to keep the stock shifter bushing secured in its bracket? Energy Suspension’s part doesn’t need those.

The Energy Suspension shifter bushing is installed directly in reverse-order of the stock piece’s removal. Once the bracket’s fasteners are secured, the car can be lowered and taken for a test drive.

Installing Energy Suspension’s performance shifter bushing definitely removed the soft, sloppy shift action and feel from the stock six-speed shifter in Gabrial’s Pony. For a low-buck upgrade that won’t take all day to accomplish, we think the bushing is a great option for ’11-’13 owners who prefer to retain their factory shifter.