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ZIP polyurethane shifter bushings (w/stock M7 shifter)

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ZIP polyurethane shifter bushings (w/stock M7 shifter)

 
Old 12-27-2015, 05:08 PM
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Kracka
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Default ZIP polyurethane shifter bushings (w/stock M7 shifter)

Long story short, I like the throw and feel of the stock shifter, but I HATE the slop associated with OEM rubber bushings. I can't even remember the last sports car I've owned that I didn't either replace the shifter or at least modify something about the stock unit.

The stock unit employs two squishy rubber bushings. After a bit of searching I found that Zip-Corvette designed and sells replacement shifter bushings made of polyurethane (I believe Energy manufactures these for them, so the quality is trustworthy) for only $15 + shipping. Holy cheap, I love domestic cars! With import cars, I was used to paying $30-50 for something similar... You can also utilize these bushings on any aftermarket shifter that does not replace the OEM lower box (i.e. anything but the MGW).

http://www.zip-corvette.com/97-16-sh...-bushings.html

I followed these instructions for the disassembly steps: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...k-shifter.html

And these for additional info on working with the stock shifter assembly: http://www.callawaycars.com/wp-conte...71.9900_MV.pdf

My first attempt took me 3 hours start to finish. This was my first time ever tearing into the C7 interior so I took my time and went slowly. The second time around (more on this in a bit), it only took me an hour to redo the complete job.

After the first try the shifter felt sloppy and not even close to precise...what the hell...stiff bushings should improve the feel, not make it worse! Wait a second, WHOOPS, I forgot to properly align the shifter during reassembly! See below for that info!

See post #1 for IMPORTANT information on the alignment procedure of the stock shifter plus post #6 for more GREAT tips on improving the stock unit: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...procedure.html

Where the instructions talk about pressing down the Neutral Lock Pin, it's a tight fit so it may take a few gentle taps with a small hammer to push it down all the way in the channel (make sure the holes are lined up before trying to force it though!). When it says to pull it up, I found a small flathead screwdriver works well to pry up on it. The top of the channel has an indent to securely hold the pin in the 'up' position.

Now, after the second go-round, the stock shifter feels more precise and crisp than it did previously! Once more, OEM rubber bushings left something to be desired and the aftermarket came to the rescue.

In addition to the required tools (the oddballs some guys may need to source before beginning are Torx #15, 25, and 40 bits), I suggest you also get a set of plastic trim panel removal tools. I got the red plastic panel tools and the Torx #40 at Autozone this morning (I was "that guy" who waits impatiently at the front for them to unlock in the morning).

On to some pictures...

Location of the OEM black rubber bushings:


ZIP vs. OEM bushings:



As you can see, the bushings appear similar besides for color, but the polyurethane is MUCH stiffer than the rubber! The polyurethane bushings come in 2 pieces vs. the 1-piece OEM, but in the pictures I have them stacked as they're assembled. The metal sleeve that goes inside the bushings is a snug fit so I actually Super Glued the bushings to the stock housing, then greased the sleeve so it slid in a little easier.

In summary, I feel this was a good mod considering the time and cost. It took me 4 total hours, but 2-3 is realistic if you follow the directions and do it right the first time around. My total expenses were ~$24 for the bushings (including shipping) and another ~$25 at Autozone for the trim tools and Torx bit. Not a bad improvement for under $50 and a morning in the garage having some one-on-one time with the 'Vette

Completely unrelated, but I also did the Carbon Flash badge set from Cultrag yesterday so I feel like I've had a pretty productive holiday weekend! Next up will be the Z06 grille I received for Christmas after I order the GS Creations clear front bumper marker lens.

Last edited by Kracka; 12-27-2015 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:41 PM
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There is a sticky in this forum for replace the shifter that would have saved you some time. I just replaced mine with the MGW on Christmas and it took maybe an hour.

I would highly recommend the MGW shifter. The performance is night and day from oem. The gears now just "click - click" each shift.
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:53 PM
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My post links to the sticky you mention.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:12 AM
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Quick follow-up feedback:
I was able to go for a nice drive yesterday afternoon since it had warmed up a bit and the roads dried out. The shifter feels much better than it did when stock! Gear changes are precise and crisp just as they should be. Considering the minimal investment with this mod, I am thrilled. I am giving partial credit to the new bushings, partial to the shifter alignment procedure, and partial to RussM05's factory shifter tune-up suggestions. I think they all played a role in making this the best possible stock shifter setup. Next up is some synthetic Redline D4 ATF fluid for the transmission; I'll report back once I get that in.
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:57 PM
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Here is a video explaining the shifter bushings.


Last edited by RussM05; 01-02-2016 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:20 PM
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I went with the MGW, but this sounds like a really easy mod to make the stock shifter better, great job!

Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
Quick follow-up feedback:
Next up is some synthetic Redline D4 ATF fluid for the transmission; I'll report back once I get that in.
I'm curious to hear your impressions about this, I put this on my list a while back but haven't gotten around to it. Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:43 PM
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If I ever decide to go to the trouble to remove the stock lower box, I will just replace it with my Z06 box that has solid metal bushings. (even stiffer than urethane )

Last edited by TEXHAWK0; 01-03-2016 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rooster OG View Post
I went with the MGW, but this sounds like a really easy mod to make the stock shifter better, great job!

I'm curious to hear your impressions about this, I put this on my list a while back but haven't gotten around to it. Thanks!
Thank you! I went for a long drive today and once up to temp the shifter feels better now than it ever has. I am even more impressed with it all now. Part of me thinks that many guys who jump straight to an aftermarket shifter would be quite satisfied with the stock shifter with these mods done.

I plan to get the Redline fluid in sometime between now and March, it just depends on how my free-time and weekends shape up.
Originally Posted by TEXHAWK0 View Post
If I ever decide to go to the trouble to remove the stock lower box, I will just replace it with my Z06 box that has solid metal bushings. (even stiffer than urethane )
It really was not a bad job at all. Are you referring to the C5/6Z box/bushings? Is there a place to buy the bushings alone? I was curious about the comparison myself and looked, but was unsuccessful in the search.

I have tested metal vs. polyurethane bushings on previous cars and actually found I preferred the feel and slight vibration/shock dampening of poly. Both were a marked improvement vs. stock rubber though!
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
Thank you! I went for a long drive today and once up to temp the shifter feels better now than it ever has. I am even more impressed with it all now. Part of me thinks that many guys who jump straight to an aftermarket shifter would be quite satisfied with the stock shifter with these mods done.

I plan to get the Redline fluid in sometime between now and March, it just depends on how my free-time and weekends shape up.

It really was not a bad job at all. Are you referring to the C5/6Z box/bushings? Is there a place to buy the bushings alone? I was curious about the comparison myself and looked, but was unsuccessful in the search.

I have tested metal vs. polyurethane bushings on previous cars and actually found I preferred the feel and slight vibration/shock dampening of poly. Both were a marked improvement vs. stock rubber though!
I have never seen anyone sell just the bushings. I ended up with an extra lower box from my C5 Z06. I would have installed it when I put in my modified Hurst shifter, but I did not want to mess with the box adjustment and making sure the bolts did not back out later. Since I drove the Z06 for 10 years, I am used to a little vibration and really don't understand why people get so upset about it.

Last edited by TEXHAWK0; 01-03-2016 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TEXHAWK0 View Post
I have never seen anyone sell just the bushings. I ended up with an extra lower box from my C5 Z06. I would have installed it when I put in my modified Hurst shifter, but I did not want to mess with the box adjustment and making sure the bolts did not back out later. Since I drove the Z06 for 10 years, I am used to a little vibration and really don't understand why people get so upset about it.
If you ever decide to get around to the swap, I'd like to hear your impressions of the C5Z box in your C7. I should have added in my original post that I used blue Loctite on all bolts as they went back together the final time.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:02 AM
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Thanks for posting. This looks simple, and cheap enough. I'll probably give it a shot when the weather warms up here. (Oh, for a heated garage!)

Anyway, I have a question. I followed all your links, but it's still not clear to me what I should be looking for when aligning the shifter. The TSB says " "Inspect for proper alignment in the neutral position." What am I looking for?

Then it says "Fix if incorrectly aligned by grabbing grabbing the linkage and push pull to the proper gate." How do I tell what is the proper gate?

Thanks again.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
Anyway, I have a question. I followed all your links, but it's still not clear to me what I should be looking for when aligning the shifter. The TSB says " "Inspect for proper alignment in the neutral position." What am I looking for?

Then it says "Fix if incorrectly aligned by grabbing grabbing the linkage and push pull to the proper gate." How do I tell what is the proper gate?
Once you're down in there, it is actually quite simple, but that statement did confuse me too at first when reading it. The only alignment that needs to happen is pushing the neutral lock pin in front of the shifter all the way down into the shaft (step 6 in the PDF), and making sure the rear bolt smoothly threads down into the transmission shift rod clamp (steps 9.1 & 9.2). Use a small flashlight to make sure the neutral lock pin holes are aligned before forcing the pin down, and you'll see an indent on the rod where the clamp bolt slides through.

I hope this clears it up at least a little for you...but once you're hands-on with it I know it'll become much more clear!
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:07 PM
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That sounds simple enough. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by TEXHAWK0 View Post
If I ever decide to go to the trouble to remove the stock lower box, I will just replace it with my Z06 box that has solid metal bushings. (even stiffer than urethane )
I have a couple Z06 boxes with solid bushings if anyone is interested.

I installed the aftermarket rubber bushings and recommend those over the poly bushings

Last edited by RussM05; 01-13-2016 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RussM05 View Post
I have a couple Z06 boxes with solid bushings if anyone is interested.

I installed the aftermarket rubber bushings and recommend those over the poly bushings
Do the metal bushings separate from the box or are they permanently pressed in?

Why do you prefer the aftermarket rubber vs. poly?
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
Why do you prefer the aftermarket rubber vs. poly?
And where can you get them?
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
And where can you get them?
Quite a few vendors sell them for $25 or so. They look like generic black rubber donuts. I like the stiffness and precise fitment of the poly, but I have no experience with the black rubber ones so I digress.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:53 PM
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For the price we pay for these cars. Then the trouble of taking it a part
says no doubt the right move is just add the MGW and call it a day.


Even with the new bushings the stock piece is still not near the MGW
shifting quality.
The MGW is a whole kit. With the new box and dynamat totally insulate the tunnel from heat and sound as well.

That and the Halltech are the best mods so far on my Z06.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:01 AM
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Good write up, thanks.
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