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Hey guys,

Did the following write up and would like to add pictures w/captions - how would I do that. I can drag the pics to the post, but not w/captions.

I have now changed 2 cars from column to console shift – I have not seen a comprehensive write up so I thought I’d do one. As always, this is a guide – do this at your own risk.
So, here’s what you have to have at a minimum for it to work (and not look like **** in your car):
Center console
Trans linkage
Underhood linkage bracket
Arm from linkage to trans
To do it right, you should also get:
Blank covering the PRNDD1 on the cluster
Shifter lock Line going from column to shifter (this locks the shifter in park when the key is removed)
Column. You can use your own - it’s easier if you get the donor column but you don’t need it
Top column decorative cover – your old one now has a hole in it where the shifter was
So, assuming you have a donor car –
Under the donor car hood, remove the entire air box, that will make it easier. Now you can see the top of the trans and the shifter linkage, remove the 13 mil bolt and the linkage is free. Then remove the 13 mil bolt holding the “arm” to the trans. Keep that. Now, there’s a bracket holding the trans linkage to the trans, 3 bolts, one’s a real bitch. Remove them – you can keep the shifter linkage attached to it but I removed it to pull the linkage. Follow the linkage to the firewall, you’ll see it winds around a metal cooling hose and then into the car low and in the center. Remove the bolt holding the metal hose to the firewall, that will allow you to pull the linkage out later.
Now, in the donor car –you can take the cluster (on my 05 I took the cluster; it detected my mileage so no worries there) as you’ll need to get rid of the gear indicator on your cluster (you can also just remove the lights behind the gear indicator tab and color the PRNDD1 black -that works too). To get the cluster, remove the stereo w/the stereo removal tools. Remove the stereo surround – 7 mil screws I think. Remove one screw to the left of the column and 2 above the cluster – the cluster surround can now be pulled. You’ll see a wire going from the column to the shifer indicator blank – just cut this. Take the cluster (4 screws, 1 plug on the 05 and up), then, remove the clear plastic cover by prying up on the tabs – now you can remove the black cover tab where your gear indicator would be on a column car. I’m assuming one is there – I didn’t take this as I forgot on both occasions.
Now to get the column -try to find a car find a car with keys! Remove the key and tumbler by inserting a nail/punch/whatever in the hole at the bottom of the column, turn the key, pull the nail out and the key and tumbler come out (you don’t need this). Remove the column covers – at least keep the top one. Remove the lower dash cover under the column. You’ll see a metal brace underneath it – remove that. Now the column is ready to drop. On the bottom, remove the wires going into the column – 8 mil screw. 10 mil bolt removes the column from the steering linkage. 4 13 mil bolts drops the column – you’ll need deep sockets. To the left of the column, you’ll see three plugs – unplug them. Now, leave the column there.
Now you need the center console. Remove the plastic around the PRNDD1 plastic – it pops off. Then, pry open 2 ‘doors’, 1 on each side, around where your feet would go if you were driving or shotgunning. Unscrew the 8 mil bolts. Open up the console latch – if it has a CD player, pull off the plastic cover and remove it. If not, you’ll see 4 bolts – remove them. Console lifts out.
Now you need the console bracket and shifter. Remove the 4 10 mil bolts holding the bracket on. Keep the bracket. Now on the shifter, 1st you’ll see the line going to the column – it’s attached to a pink plastic piece. Remove the line from that, now the line is attached to a bracket w/is attached to the shifter – pry it up off the shifter. Now follow the electrical plug (in the passenger side of the shifter) under the dash and remove it. Ignore the CD changer wires if you don’t need the changer. Pry the shifter cable off – remove it from the bracket the same way you removed the other line. Unbolt the shifter – 4 bolts. Now the column can come out as well – you can leave the line on – there may be a bolt securing it to the dash underneath – if so, remove it.
Now you need to get the shifter linkage – I pulled it out though the interior after I had gone back and taken the linkage mounting bracket off from under the hood – basically yank on it. With some persuasion it should go. Now that the shifter lock line is detached, grab the column.

Bring all that crap home-
Inside your car – column removal is the same but the trans linkage goes from the shifter on the column to the trans – regardless, get rid of the linkage – it’s mounting bracket bolted to the trans is different so it has to go as well. And when you drop the column, you’ll see an electrical plug on the top right – unplug it – it will plug into the shifter lock line that goes from the column to your new shifter. Be sure to keep and use your key/tumbler on the new column.
On your car,
I had used a column from an 06 on my 05 - where the big block of wires screws into the column on the bottom – the box was different – no worries, I took the box from my column and put it on the new one. Use your key and tumbler. Make sure you plug in all electrics – don’t forget the one that is now plugged into the back of your column to shifter line. ***Be sure not to crank the steering wheel around and around before you bolt it to the steering linkage – my kid did this and screwed up the clock spring.***
Once you remove your folding center console, you can also remove the seatbelts for the center seat. The rear bracket for the new console is a bolt in but there is an existing bracket that will need to be taken off before you put the new bracket on. Now you will have to do some carpet cutting by the dash - holes for the 2 rear bolts for the shifter are there, the front 2 are not but both my cars had circles indicating where you need to drill. I drilled, ran bolts thru, went under the car with nuts and tightened. You should find a blank firewall plug under the dash to the right of the radio for the electrical plug on the shifter. Now, go under the hood and push the linkage through the hole in the firewall. Back in the car, locate it and pull it through – attach it to the shifter.
Back under the hood, attach the line to the mounting bracket and attach that to the trans. Remove the “arm coming off the trans, bolt on the one from the donor car – you’ll see the difference. It only goes on 1 way. Now screw the linkage on to that – since your car is in park and the shifter is, there should be no need to adjust. At this point the shifter should be working.
Now, back in the car, either replace your cluster or modify the tab as I said to get rid of the gear indicator letters/numbers. Reinstall all the dash pieces. Start the car and take it for a drive to ensure that everything is working. If it does, install the center console and the decorative cover over the column – you are done.
Using your own column? Then drop the column out of the donor car – you don’t need to unbolt it from the steering linkage though. Remove the shifter lock line and its plastic mounting case. They are the T bolts at the top. Take the line and the bolts.
Now drop your column. Remove the shifter – same type of T-Bolts. Unplug the shifter lock mechanism and remove it. Now, you will see a depression in the column with a small steel arm. It’s held in w/a small rod. Punch that sucker out and remove the steel arm. Now the shifter lock line can go in that space. Before you install it, lube the line – I didn’t and sometimes I couldn’t get the key out of the ignition.

You’re done, enjoy having your car not look so much like it’s from 1986.

9,614 Posts
I would be happy to go the other direction but it ain't gonna happen.

Got 2 G-4's Sables, both console shifters.

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