KJ Jones Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
May 26, 2014

One thing that seems to be pretty consistent about Mustang enthusiasts is that we all thoroughly enjoy driving our cars. Be it a stone-bone stocker or a radically modified ride, every 'Stangbanger worth his or her salt loves getting behind the wheel and putting a Pony through its paces. Many of us are in tune with the various sensations during this time at the controls. We often hone in on every sound, smell, and feeling that hits us.

Seat-of-the-pants feel probably is the most-talked-about sensation, as it is directly associated with a 'Stang's rear-wheel horsepower and torque. In most cases, a feeling of strength and power, with control, is the hard-core Mustang owner's desire, especially for the newest V-8-powered Ponies. Our tests have proven without a doubt that today's Coyote 5.0 GTs, Boss 302s, and Shelby GT500s are rough customers on the street and at the track, blending awesome power with incredible overall smoothness.

However, while the '11-'14 Ponies really are super-smooth, by no means are they totally void of vibration that can impact negatively your overall driving experience. With manually shifted six-speed 'Stangs, the stock shifter assembly has been one component that enthusiasts replace right away, mainly because of its loose or somewhat disconnected feel, especially during aggressive driving situations. The stick for the Getrag MT-82 is basically affixed to the Mustang's body, not the transmission itself. And with its two large holes at each end, the OEM rubber transmission mount is far from optimal when it comes to actually reducing the transmissions movement.

Because of this design, the shift linkage actually can become misaligned (when transmission movement is most excessive), especially during hard cornering and shifting on the road course, or upshifting on the dragstrip. Ultimately, this problem causes even the best gear jammers to miss shifts. Upgrading with an aftermarket shifter is a remedy. However, new shifters don't do anything to change the fact that the transmission is actually moving, too.

In addition to shifters, which tend to be rather pricey, there also are a few budget-minded upgrades to try. We experimented with Energy Suspension's urethane shifter bushing in a past Tech Inspection. This month, we're once again using Gabriel Frias' '13 GT, this time to test Whiteline's Positive Shift Kit (PN KDT928; $34.90), a transmission-mount insert for all '11-'14 Mustang GTs and '12-'13 Boss 302s with the Getrag manual tranny.

As you'll see in the photos of GTR High Performance lead wrench Ricardo Topete installing the insert, the process is certainly easy enough for any enthusiast to take on (provided all of the necessary basic tools, and a method of lifting and securing both car and transmission in place).

1. Ricardo Topete pops Whiteline’s new Positive Shift Kit into the OEM transmission mount in Gabriel Frias’ ’13 Mustang GT.

2. The Whiteline elastomer insert is designed to fit directly into the stock mount for Getrag MT-82 six-speed transmission, and help “soak up the slop” in shifter feel that’s created by the linkage misalignment due to the transmission’s movement.

3. Installing the bushing is easy if you have a safe method of raising and supporting the Mustang, as well as the transmission (after the crossmember is removed). Ricardo uses air tools to loosen crossmember bolts, which are the only fasteners to remove for this project.

4a-b. Here are front (top) and rear (bottom) views of the stock transmission mount. The rubber piece features three distinct voids (openings) in the lower center and at both sides, which essentially decrease the mount assembly’s integrity and allow the transmission to physically move (relative to the chassis) under dynamic loads.

5. In a past experiment with ’11-and-up six-speed-shift quality, we replaced the original shifter bushing in Gabriel’s Pony with this urethane bushing from Energy Suspension (Tech Inspection, June ’13).

6. Here is the Whiteline transmission-mount insert (PN KDT928) just prior to being fully installed. As you see, the bushing fills the three major voids that are molded in the stock rubber tranny mount.

7a-b. Here is another look at the front and rear views of the transmission mount, this time with Whiteline’s Positive Shift Kit installed. After replacing the crossmember and going for a test drive, Gabriel reports the upgrade does enhance NVH a bit, but to him, it’s in a good way. “It’s almost like you can feel the engine through your hand,” says Gabriel. “The shifting is now crisp and very confident. With the way my whole arm feels, like it’s one-to-one with the transmission, it’s almost like I’m sitting in a race car!” At thirty-five bucks and something most enthusiasts can do in the driveway, this bushing is a solid (get the pun) mod for MT82-equipped ’Stangs.