How to Make a Homemade Shift Kit for a C6 Ford

Written by william machin
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How to Make a Homemade Shift Kit for a C6 Ford
Install a three-speed shifter for your C6 transmission. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Ford's C6 automatic transmission is designed to handle large amounts of torque through the shifting range. Racers and trailer haulers install aftermarket shift kits that provide control of the shift points. The kits include engineered metallic plates and springs that require dismantling the transmission in order to accomplish the upgrade. You can make a homemade shift kit for your C6 transmission by adapting a Mustang or Bronco floor shifter to the factory transmission linkage. This allows you to select shift points manually without dismantling the transmission.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Three-speed floor shifter
  • Utility knife
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • Miscellaneous hand tools
  • Electric drill and drill bits

Show MoreHide


    Setting Up

  1. 1

    Visit auto salvage or wrecking yards and find a three-speed floor shifter from a Ford, model years 1966 through 1990. Select one in the best condition possible, and with a working reverse lock button.

  2. 2

    Park your Ford in the working area. Put the transmission in neutral and set the parking brake.

  3. 3

    Pull back the carpet or floor mat in the cab to expose the top of the transmission hump. Tap out the oblong metal plug on the top of the hump using a chisel and hammer. Put the carpet or floor mat back in place and cut the opening for the three-speed shifter using a utility knife.

  4. 4

    Roll a floor jack under the driver's side of your Ford, near the front wheel well. Jack the vehicle up and set a short jack stand under the outer frame member. Roll the floor jack out of the way. Skip this step if you have a 4-by-4 with ample clearance to work under the vehicle.

  5. 5

    While working under the vehicle, remove the column-shift shifting rod from the lower end of the shifting arm on the side of the transmission. Typically, the rod connects with a metal stud and is held in place with a cottar pin. Tap the pin out with a hammer or pull it out with pliers. Save the stud, the small washers and cottar pin.

  6. 6

    Disconnect the opposite end of the shifting rod, where the column linkage transitions through the lower part of the engine compartment, near the firewall. Remove the cottar pin, washers and stud at this connection. Discard the shifting rod.

    Shift Kit

  1. 1

    Remove the machine bolts that hold the oblong metal ring at the base of the three-speed floor shift console. Depending on the shifter, you remove the bolts with a wrench or screwdriver. Set the bolts aside.

  2. 2

    Center the oblong ring atop the transmission hump and mark the hump at the bolt holes in the ring. Chuck the appropriate size drill bit in your electric drill or cordless drill and drill the holes through the transmission hump.

  3. 3

    Insert the shift rod on the three-speed shifter through the opening in the hump and set the shifter in place. Collect the machine bolts, the saved stud, washers and cottar pin and move to the underside of the vehicle.

  4. 4

    Position the oblong ring at the underside of the transmission hump. Align the holes and thread the saved bolts through the ring and into the base of the console. Tighten the bolts just enough to hold the three-speed shifter in place, allowing some movement to align the linkages.

  5. 5

    Align the hole at the end of the three-speed shift rod with the hole at the lower end of the shifting arm on the transmission. Connect the rod to the arm using the saved stud, washers and cottar pin. Tighten the bolts at the underside of the oblong metal ring.

Tips and warnings

  • Start the engine, put your foot on the brake pedal and test the floor shifter before lowering the vehicle. Lubricate the linkages, if necessary.
  • Drill out the keeper pin on the column shift lever and remove the lever.
  • Remove the column shift linkage from the engine compartment, if desired.

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