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2005 OBW 2.5i, 2010 MB R350 Diesel, 1991 Toyota MR2 | suspension & braking enthusiast
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660 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Intro:
I was looking for a way to extend the gear lever/shifter on my 2005 Outback Wagon 2.5i with automatic transmission. The factory gear lever shaft is M10x1.25mm thread. Aluminum and steel extensions are available on ebay for $10-$15. But none of the ebay models fit the OEM shift knob. The OEM shift knob needs about 65mm of threads or shaft portion that is no wider than 10mm. The aftermarket extensions only have about 40mm of threads and then the shaft diameter goes to 13mm so only aftermarket shift knobs will fit. So here is my $5 mod to extend the gear lever by ~70mm and re-use the OEM shift knob.

Parts: (from Ace Hardware racing)
  • 1 M10x1.25mm 70mm length fully-threaded stainless flange bolt ($2.89)
  • 1 M10x1.25mm stainless nyloc nut ($0.49)
  • 2 M10x1.25mm stainless regular nuts ($0.49 each)
  • 2 M10 split washers ($0.19 each)
Total $4.74 + tax

Tools/materials:
  • Safety glasses
  • Dremel or similar rotary tool with cut-off wheel
  • Wrenches

Steps:
  • Twist off OEM shift knob. If it has never been removed the first turn will be difficult but it will spin off.
  • Put on safety glasses and cut off 70mm bolt head with Dremel tool.
  • Thread the nyloc nut all the way through the entire cutoff bolt. The result will be that the nylon portion is threaded on the bolt and the metal part is free hanging in the air. This step is quite tedious and requires locking the bolt in place by jamming the two regular nuts together then turning the nyloc nut. But it is worth it since it will result in a better fitting extension that is less likely to rattle loose.
  • Thread regular nut onto the OEM shifter shaft and add a split washer on top.
  • Place cutoff bolt with nyloc nut attached on top of the OEM shift lever shaft and carefully thread it on until the two shafts meet up.
  • Use two wrenches to compress the split washer all the way between the two nuts.
  • Add a washer on top.
  • Thread the OEM shift knob on top until the washer compresses. If there is a gap, add the remaining nut.

Future:
I don't particularly like the approach of nuts and washers. A better approach would be to use a M10x1.25mm coupling nut so I may swap to one of those. Or perhaps weld a few regular nuts together. Is 70mm enough? Maybe. I supposed I could go extreme by stacking two bolts end to end. It would probably be better to just get a longer bolt or threaded rod. Unfortunately hardware stores don't carry long fully threaded bolts or threaded rod in M10x1.25mm - these seem to be super expensive specialty items. If you can find a reasonably priced source, post up!

Why?
I like the idea of having the shift knob close to the steering wheel so I can shift my automatic transmission like a Rally car driver while driving the kids to school!
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,151 Posts
Why?
I like the idea of having the shift knob close to the steering wheel so I can shift my automatic transmission like a Rally car driver while driving the kids to school!
I get it ...

 
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