Removing Shifter Rattles
Comments by Searl Tate
For anyone that is experiencing vibrating noises from the
shifter/housing area, I have a fix for you. It should be noted that the original idea for
this comes from someone here on the list (I spoke to someone about this three months ago-
just can't remember who!). My method requires access to a Dremel MotoTool with flex shaft
The sound is caused by the shifter touching the hole below the
billet housing (Stillen) and at certain RPMs will resonate (on mine it was 3-3.5k RPM). I
initially thought the sound was from the heat shield, but after removing it, I found out
From the bottom side of the shifter (car is on stands, wheels are
chocked, brake set, in gear, etc...) near the cat, loosen the heat shield and move it
half-way over. You might want to wait a while for the cat to cool off! With the shield
off, you have a clear view of the bottom side of the shifter. Removing the cat is
unnecessary (unless you don't have a flex shaft).
I used the conical stone bit @ 5k RPM to easily widen the hole. Take
your time and widen one side at a time. Move the shifter from a top gear to a bottom gear
to switch sides (I.E. from 5th to 4th). As you are working, make sure that you don't get a
really tight radius bend on the shaft (will overheat).
While you are there, you may want to add some "DynaMat" or
other similar sound deadening material to the heat shield (inner side). This also helps
reduce the road noise. Good luck!
Comments by Brian Porter
The rattle is from the boot. The OEM shifter had a notch that
sandwiched the boot with the shift knob. The Stillen doesn't have one so this thing
rattles like crazy. Hold the top portion of the boot while revving the S**T out of your
car and the sound will go away. Should be an easy fix try tape.
Comments by Gary W. Mahan
... if the noise is coming from the ball socket (as someone else
described), try putting/forcing a heavy grease into the ball socket and then working the
grease into the socket. The best results would be obtained with the shifter out of the car
so you can hove the shifter to all extremes of travel and distribute the grease better. I
did this to my shifter before installing it and it has never buzzed. BTW, my new shifter
had a small (very small) amount of play also.
Comments by Rick Zotz
- Acquire a Dremel or similar grinder and enlarge the hole in the
mounting bracket. This prevents the lower shaft from contacting the bracket when in gear.
- Wrap two or three cable ties around the shaft below the plastic ring
that secures the top of the boot, and slide the whole bunch up against the knob.
- Pack the ball with heavy, general-purpose grease.
My shifter has worked flawlessly for well over a year.
Comments by Mike Kojima
As some of us are plagued by rattling short shifters, I have found
yet another cause for shifter rattle.
Because my car has the height adjustable GC springs, I was messing
around trying to find how low I could go and still maintain a decent ride with no
excessive bottoming out.
A little lower ride height adjustment and my normally quite SMC
shifter started to rattle. Pulling my hair I spent the next hour bending the heat shield
creatively to try to stop the rattle. I was just about ready to pull the shifter apart
when I noticed that the shift linkage contacted the top of my ST front swaybar in 5th
gear! This is because of the bars bushings shifting while I was fiddling with the ride
height. I never made the mental connection to check this. Duh.
So I re-adjusted the shifter to run a slightly less aggressive
motion ratio to give the bar more clearance and no more rattle!
So if you have tried greasing, bending or removing the heat shield
and other fiddles and you shifter still rattles make sure your shift rods don't hit
anything in any gear position! Look for witness marks on the rods as deflection in the
motor mounts under load can move things in different places while you are driving.
I bet this can solve even the most stubborn cases of shifter rattle.