How To Replace Mustang Automatic Shifter Bushings

ShiftBushings 006Are you tired of your Mustang automatic shifter flopping around like its about to fall out of the assembly? A loose shifter is not only annoying but it also poses a safety issue because your loose shifter can actually disengage without notice. To address the problem and get it fixed is a pretty easy repair job and only requires a handful of tools and about 30 minutes of your time.

You will need to get to the underside of the car twice; once to remove a retaining clip and once to reinstall the retaining clip, all other activities are performed in the car and at a workbench.

Watch the video and/or read the article


ShiftBushings 002Tools and supplies list
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Allen Wrench
  • Philips Screw Driver
  • Standard Screw Driver
  • 3/8 socket and driver
  • 9/16 socket and driver
  • Two new shifter bushings and some grease

I would also recommend purchasing an Exploded View Illustration Manual. The illustration manual gives you an in-depth view of all of the components of the mustang from screws to weather striping and serves as a great roadmap for disassembly, re-assembly and parts identification.

ShiftBushings 001Removing the shift assembly

Get underneath your Mustang with the needle nose pliers and remove the retaining clip that connects the shifter to the shifter rod; you need to do this so you can remove the shifter assembly from the vehicle.


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From the interior of the mustang, remove the shifter handle from the shift selector lever. Do not remove the set screw completely, you may loose it.




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The next step is to remove the shifter cover using a Philips screw driver and lifting it up and off of the shifter assembly, follow the same procedure for the shift cover plate.



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Finally you will unbolt the shift housing assembly from the vehicle with the 3/8 socket and driver then remove it from the vehicle and take it to a workbench to replace the worn bushings.


Replacing the shifter bushings

ShiftBushings 012Now that you have the shifter housing assembly out of the car and on the workbench replacing the bushings is really easy and will only take a few minutes.

With the standard screw driver remove the shift housing plug, this will give you access to the nut that holds the shift lever and shaft together on the assembly.


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Using the 9/16 socket and driver, remove the nut from the shifter shaft. You may need to give the shaft a slight tap to loosen it from the shift lever. when the lever and shaft are un-coupled you will be able to remove the shaft from the shift housing. Clean off any remains of the old shift bushings from the shaft and the housing.


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Prior to installing the new shift bushings you should apply a bit of grease to the inside if the housing where the shaft goes through and also apply some grease to the inside diameter of the shift bushings.



ShiftBushings 016Install the new shift bushings into the housing, reassemble the shaft and shift lever and reinstall the assembly into the Mustang.



Scott Drake Classic Mustang Parts

You can purchase all of these related parts for rebuilding you automatic shifter from

1 thought on “How To Replace Mustang Automatic Shifter Bushings

  1. you forgot to mention to remove indicator bulb and grounding wire.
    Michael — July 4, 2009 8:19 PM

    I did forget about that one, my unit was missing it so I overlooked it when I wrote up the how to.. thanks for letting us know about that one.
    JoeResto — July 8, 2009 8:59 AM

    How do you get the shifter handle on the shift selector lever? It appears the pieces at the top of the shift selector lever are too big to fit in the handle. I know I must be doing something wrong. Please Help.
    Al Rollingson — July 19, 2010 5:31 PM

    The shift handle will actually fit over the shift lever, you just need to work the mechanism at the top and push it up so it is more uniform with the diameter of the shift slector rod, then place you handle over the top and set the screw.
    JoeResto — July 22, 2010 8:39 AM

    An excellent article. Easy to follow instructions and pictures. The overhaul of my unit went very well. One additional thing I learned is that the push button shaft in the handle has an up side and a down side. The down side has a slightly larger recess to accommodate the lever mechanism.
    Lon Pettitt — May 13, 2011 9:02 AM

    Thanks for a helpful article. If I’d taken a better look at the shift lever picture, I’d have done it months earlier. All went well. The bolts that hold the unit down were not 3/8 on my car, we had to use the impact wrench to loosen the shift lever from the shaft, and had “tap” the shifter enthusiastically to get it loose from the shaft. I just cut the light wires and replaced them. Very pleased with the result.
    Warren Krekelberg — March 31, 2012 7:35 AM

    What kind of grease?
    Gary Norris — March 9, 2013 7:20 AM

    How do I find an illustration that shows the shift lever trunnions and lever grommets on a 3 speed manual transmission?
    Randall Bivens — December 5, 2013 12:58 PM

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