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Replacement of the Inner and outer Shift boot

When I bought the bucket it did not have an inner or an outer shift boot.  Replacing the inner shift boot is fairly obvious.  There is a rectangular ring that surrounds the boot and holds it in place.  The outer boot is soft vinyl, or leather and it slips over the gear stick.

Mistake 1: I installed the center console after completing work on the center console area and everything that is involved with that like the vinyl over the trans. tunnel, choke control, fuse box lid, indicators, radio etc.

It turns out to install the outer shift boot you must remove the center console so that you can press the spring clips onto the underside of the center console, seems obvious now, and it would be exceptionally obvious if I had removed the previous outer shift boot.

I did not think this was going to be a particularly difficult task.  I recall seeing someone hammer the clips into place to hold the boot to the backside lip of the boot hole in the center console.  This proved to be way too scary for me.  My center console is in pretty good shape but I suspect it is 40+ year old plastic. The new leather boot is thick and the new clips are very tight.  One blow with the mallet and I put the bludgeon down and started typing.  There must be a secret that I was unaware of and if I find the decoder ring or learn the secret hand shake the leather boot will be installed on the clips, it will be tight, the center console WILL NOT crack and this minor nightmare will be over.  Unfortunately, a search of the forum and the internet did not provide much in the way of guidance or tips. 

So this post is NOT for those of you that have been successful in the past and did not think it would be valuable to document the process because it was such an easy project. 

I was not having much luck draping the material over the console and hammering or squeezing  the clip over the boot onto the console.  It seems insignificant and it may be so, but putting the leather inside the clip and then putting the clip on top of the edge of the console made a big difference, for me.  It took me a while but it finally came to me.  Hammering was too scary, pushing the clip into place seemed impossible.  So I went to my second most popular GOTO tool.  The first being the mallet and the second being a pair of vise grips.  I slowly and carefully squeezed the clip over the console lip.  It was easy.  I cant explain why it took me so long to figure it out.  Now that it is completed my memory of the task was that it was easy.  I feel a bit silly posting this, but hopefully the next person to replace their outer shift boot will not have to think twice about how to go about it.  One more thing.  I read that you only need 6 clips.  In my opinion you would be better off with eight.  There is no way to get a clip over the seam and if you did the clip would be expanded to the point that I doubt it would hold very well.

Below are some photos that may be useful

.material in clip.jpg


vise grip over clip.jpg


outer shift boot underside.jpg

By the way the console did not crack -----yet!

Edited by qz16
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