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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
MWR Short Shifter and Solid Base Bushing Install

I found it a bit difficult to find a good thread on this so I decided to make one that is hopefully searchable.

Monkey Wrench Racing short shifter and base bushing install

Tools needed:

Philips head screw driver
Thin Flat-head screw driver
Ratchet- 12 and 14mm sockets
Spanner wrench
Hammer or rubber mallet
Thin knife
Paper towels



Optional:

Set of punches
Ratchet style screw driver
Needle nose pliers
Gloves
Extra grease

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Most of this is covered in other threads so I'll just put the link I used and basically add to this.

http://www.andysautosport.com/addit...hifter-install-for-the-toyota-mr2-spyder.html

So we start by removing your shift knob. Twist is counter clockwise...

Use your Philips head screw driver to remove the 4 screws that hold the center plastic in place. There are 2 screws near the front and 2 screws near the rear.

Slide seats all the way forward to reach the rear screws.

Slide seats all the way back to reach the front screws, squish the seat bolster down.

Pull off that small plastic piece that is in front of your parking brake.

Remove there internal squeeze clips that hold the power window cables and then remove the power window plugs from the switches. The center plastic can now be removed.

In addition, removing these 2 clips from the shifter assembly will give you more room to maneuver when adding the base bushings. My fingers are pointing at the location of the clips that need to be removed. Use your flat head to squish the clip fits then pry them out with the same flat head. Second picture is of the front clip, it is actually 2 clips there just remove the one closest to the bottom.






From there we move to the shifter assembly itself. There is a pin in the front and a bolt in towards the back that need to be removed. Take your flat head or punch use your hammer or mallet to push the front pin out. (MWR kit has an extra one of these for replacement so you don't need to save the pin if you do not want to do so, I did.) Can be seen below.



The bolt towards the back is a bit tricky. Use your knife and then flat head to remove this "washer." The kit does not include one of these so take your time and be careful not to bend or damage it very much. Once this is removed, the bolt can be pulled out a bit. You do not need to and should probably not pull it out all the way.





From there look underneath the shifter assembly. You will see the stock shifter attached to the shifter cable. There is a cotter type pin that holds it together down there. Use your flat head screw driver and/or pliers to remove this.



From there you can pull off the plastic cover piece and the O-ring and gasket from the stock shifter. Save these as you will need to place them onto your short shifter. Pull the stock shifter out and ready your spanner wrench.



You will need to reuse the white plastic end caps that are still attached to your stock shifter. Take your spanner wrench and clamp it onto the end cap. Be careful not to damage these pieces. Torque these caps off. I went in a clockwise direction in relation to the picture I took.



You will now end up with a bare stock shifter (right side in picture.) In comparison to the MWR shifter it is about 1" longer and the engagement point is lower.



From that point use the rubber mallet to put the white caps onto the short shifter. It takes a well placed good wack to get them to go on there. It is an all or nothing thing. You either get it on there with a good wack or you misshit it and the cap falls to the floor/ground. Save your half way assembled shifter and put it to the side.

You need to install your shifter assembly solid base bushings.

Take your ratchet and 12mm socket and remove the 4 brass colored bolts that hold the shifter assembly to the frame. There are 2 in the front and 2 in the rear which are pictured below.



There is a silver piece of metal, a bracket that holds the carpet on place. It will need to be removed so that the new bushings will fit. Use your flat head screw driver and pry the plug off. You may want to keep it and replace it after the bracket is removed or just throw away, it's up to you. It is located just above the arrow in the picture below. Use your flat head to remove the carpet plugs also. Once this is complete you can just take the bracket off.



Remove the old rubber bushings from the shifter assembly. Push out the bottom metal piece and then squish the rubber bushings out.



Replace the old bushings with the new aluminum solid ones from the bottom. Use the supplied washers and new bolts which are 14mm in this order top to bottom, bolt, washer, shifter assembly, shifter bushing. I would suggest screwing in the bolts a few threads and leaving it loose.

Time to work backwards now.

Put your short shifter back into the assembly. Reattach the cotter pin at the bottom so your shifter is attached to the cable. Replace the O-ring and gasket over the top of the shifter, then place the hard plastic cover back onto the shifter.

Use the old or new pin in the front to secure the shifter, hammer it back into place.

Before putting the rear bolt back in make sure that spring is fitted around the black rubber bumper and the metal bracket. As seen in the picture.





Use your flat head, in a chiseling fashion to replace the washer on rear bolt of the assembly.

Use your ratchet and 14mm socket to tighten up the bolts that hold the assembly to the frame.

Run your shifter through the gears to make sure they all still engage properly.

If everything is good from there. Then reattach the power window wire clips to their respective places and then reattach the power window plugs to the center plastic and then screws and your shift knob and you are home free! Congrats!
 

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You are awesome!

I put mine in today. Your thread is a life saver. Would have taken a while to figure out the mount bushings. A couple of things: 1) When putting the cups on the ends of the new shifter, I put a dab of grease in the cup, placed the cup on my work bench, positioned the new shifter in the cup and then just hit the end of the shifter with my hand. It popped right in. Did the same for the side cup also. This keeps you from having hold the cup and try to hit it with a hammer. 2) My front screws have nowhere to go now. When you pull the metal bracket out to put the rear bushings down, you remove what the screws went into. I just left mine out. The console fits pretty tightly without the screws.

I also cut the tape on the wires since I couldn't readily tell how the little brackets that the wire was taped to came out. When I reassembled the console, I pulled the brackets, put them in place on the harness and then used cable ties to put them back on. This way, if I pull it again, I can just cut the ties and put new ones on.

Please PM me if I have screwed something up with the front console screws.

Thanks again!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I emailed monkey wrench about that metal bracket they said you just have to take it out so the screws go to nothing anymore. I'm glad that the thread was helpful to someone. I got the solid transmission ends link bushings also. They were easy to install just used a screwdriver to pry out the old ones and with a little effort snapped the "E" washers inane that's it. Everything is very right now althought it is a bit hard to shift I might need more grease on the pivot point of the shifter since I didn't put any, I dont have any.
 

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Mine is hard to shift also. I am wondering if the shift difficulty is coming from the transmission. I noticed that there was a definite "clunk" feeling in the shifter when you hit the gears originally. I think with the decreased lever advantage of the short shifter, this is just magnified. I also miss the offset that the original shifter had but can get over that. Will have to learn this shifter, I like it but it is strange and finding gears now is a little uncertain. Have only put about 10 miles on it so still getting used to it.

I am going to recommend to Monkey Wrench that they machine the bushings in order to make a "front set, and a rear set". They would need to cut both the backs off the thickness of the plate and then cut the passenger side rear so that it would fit flat. Would require the machining and then placing a F stamp on the two that are uncut and an RD and RP on the rears. I am going to make them a drawing and see if they will bite. Would be nice and would make the assembly a little cleaner.
 

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I didn't remove that bracket in the picture. Did I do something wrong? I honestly didn't even see this post until after I finished installing it (about an hour ago) . It seems to be fine. Also it definitely is different shifting. A little harder to find gears but I like it alot. Wish I did see this post first. Very well written. Could helped alot to save some time
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn't remove that bracket in the picture. Did I do something wrong? I honestly didn't even see this post until after I finished installing it (about an hour ago) . It seems to be fine. Also it definitely is different shifting. A little harder to find gears but I like it alot. Wish I did see this post first. Very well written. Could helped alot to save some time
Yeah I looked on here and other sites to find an install guide but they seemed a bit lacking I should have taken more pictures I think I can take some after pictures.

Supposedly some spiders don't have the metal bracket. Probably a revision in later years they have a different way to attach the center console and carpet. Could probably do a velcro piece to strap your carpet down. If you didn't install the base bushings then you don't need to remove the silver metal bracket.
 

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I did install the metal bushings. Ill prolly take the center console out again this week and see of there is some bracket I missed. It also seems like when its in neutral the shifter is offset to the left a decent amount. This is the first short shifter I ever had so I'm not sure if that's normal. Ill try to post a pic of it later tonight. But I would think neutral would still be centered on it
 

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My shifter is in the same place as the pic. The original shifter has an offset built into it of about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch plus it is taller making it move even further away from the driver. I wish MWR had retained this feature (bend not the height). I initially found the gears more difficult to "find" but after driving it a little more, I find that they are just "more solid" feeling. I keep thinking that I am not hitting 5th when I am and not hitting reverse when I am. I am sure I will miss a gear sooner or later but haven't yet. I have a sneaky feeling there is probably something that can be done to the tranny to make the shifting not so clunky/solid feeling. My opine is that there is nothing wrong with the shifter, it is just that we have a shorter lever arm on the shifter than we used to.

I may remove the bolts from the shifter assembly and then the rear bushings and have some work done on them so that they will fit over the bracket. My wife has an uncle with a machine shop in his basement and I will provide details on my mod when I do it. It is basically going to consist of shortening the drivers side rear bushing by the thickness of the bracket and then doing the same for the passenger side rear. The second step on that bushing is to take an endmill with a slightly larger diameter than the "hump" you can see in the picture (it is the pic above the one where ju5tchi11in has his finger on the rubber bushing) and basically cutting an arc out of the bushing until it lines up with the bolt hole. There will still be plenty of "washer face" on the bottom of the bushing. MWR could have done this and then supplied a set of washers for use in those vehicles that don't have the bracket. I would like to not have to remove stock parts that have a function and then have nothing to go in their place to fulfill that function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The base bushings probably fit on the celica that's why the kit is like that.

Did you guys also install the solid brass bushings on the transmission linkage side? I did those the other day and it increases the firmness.

It is a different feel with all these parts installed although not what I would like it to be, it is much better than before. I would assume it is a much smoother feel on the stock tranny since that thing is buttery smooth stock. If you increase the weight of your shift knob it should also feel better, I'm lookin for the right one for me at the moment.

Also, my shifter now does hang to the left. It is as said above here is no bend in the shifter like the stock one (see photo in original post with the side by side comparison.) I do not think I have very much spring left in my spring since the shifter does not "move itself" back to centered neutral very well.



Mr2cowboy- I have the same shift knob as you the TRD leather ball. Any plans to change and if so what are you going to go with?
 

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Didn't notice mine being buttery smooth stock. That may be why I have the "clunkiness" now. What kit are the bushings you talk about. Will look them up on MWR.
 

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The base bushings probably fit on the celica that's why the kit is like that.

Did you guys also install the solid brass bushings on the transmission linkage side? I did those the other day and it increases the firmness.

It is a different feel with all these parts installed although not what I would like it to be, it is much better than before. I would assume it is a much smoother feel on the stock tranny since that thing is buttery smooth stock. If you increase the weight of your shift knob it should also feel better, I'm lookin for the right one for me at the moment.

Also, my shifter now does hang to the left. It is as said above here is no bend in the shifter like the stock one (see photo in original post with the side by side comparison.) I do not think I have very much spring left in my spring since the shifter does not "move itself" back to centered neutral very well.

Mr2cowboy- I have the same shift knob as you the TRD leather ball. Any plans to change and if so what are you going to go with?
Actually I bought a ralco performance weighted shift know off another member and it just got delivered today. He didn't know the weight of it so i took it to a ups store and had them weigh it. About 470 grams. I love this knob. It actually makes finding and getting into gears easier. I don't know if its a mental thing but I feel it helps.
Also I wanna install the cable bushings. How were they to put in? And does the difference in feel seem worth it to do?
 

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I used the MWR shifter for my SMT to MT swap, so I don’t have a frame of reference to the stock feel. The MWR shifter did feel a little clunky to me, the pivot ball seems to move around some in the socket. I measured the stock shifter pivot ball compared to the MWR shifter. The MWR shifter pivot ball is a little smaller in diameter.
The chunkiness got on my nerves after a while so I forked over the cash and went with the TRD shifter. TRD shifter is much smoother, more natural feel.
 

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Well, decided to go back to stock on the shifter. I was fine with it but the rest of the family pissed and moaned too much. If anyone is interested in purchasing mine, PM me with an offer. I will probably take it to Fed Ex today and see what shipping charges are. I am anticipating ground to be less than $15. I can ship any method you like but if you choose one with no tracking number, that is up to you. The only piece I don't have is the small compression washer that goes on the spring shaft. I don't remember if it came with one, but I think that I just reused mine (i.e. it didn't come with a new one).
 

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sorry to drag up an old post, I just wanted to say thanks so much for such a detailed how-to. Other 'guides' online are a bit lacking. I was reluctant to start pulling the shifter apart without seeing if there were any guidelines out there.

On a side note, I too was concerned how far to the left the shifter sits in neutral. Being a RHD car, its going to feel different to your LHD guys but still. Whilst the MWR shifter is out, I thought about heating it red hot and adding a similar 'kink' to the factory shifter. Has anybody done this? I would be concerned about weakening the shifter steel however.
 
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