Angela III - Daily Driver Build Thread

Discussion in 'Members Mustang Journals / Projects' started by 2017GBGTPP, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. BeastAR

    BeastAR Well-Known Member

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    Good job with the car. I enjoy your write ups and reading on what you've done so far with the mustang. Not a fan of some, but its your car. Keep on mod'in.
     
  2. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'm currently putting together everything to redo my stripes over Thanksgiving. The package from Big Worm is already here!
     
  3. Joe 5.0

    Joe 5.0 Well-Known Member

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    OP, I love the approach you're taking with this build. I'm a person that has basic knowledge on cars, but I'm hesitant to turn a wrench (I don't want to break anything or botch installs, lol). I'll still do minimally invasive mods myself though.
     
  4. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    I was the same way, but I decided to try out wrenching myself. So far so good, and I'm steadily gaining confidence in my abilities. I just started small and worked my way up. Next thing you know I'll be dropping on a supercharger and rebuilding my engine (no relation, hopefully!)
     
  5. BeastAR

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    Just do what the OP did. Start off with something small and then build your confidence from there. Ask questions. cj's has lots of how to's on lots of times. (sorry for stealing the thread OP)
     
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  6. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    Thanksgiving without family = New Stripes!

    With a four day weekend and no plans I decided it was time to redo my stripes. I started preparing a couple of weeks ago by using a Motorcraft Touch-up Paint Pen to fix my numerous rock chips. Here's the biggest chip I had:

    20191012_183023.jpg

    I used the pen portion rather than the brush and it worked pretty nicely. Just depress the pen tip a bit to let the fluid out and spread it around. I then used that first blob to dip and paint other chips until the initial blob was small enough to not be a blob anymore.

    20191012_190959.jpg

    After letting them dry, I used the clear coat brush to finish it off.

    20191012_202428.jpg

    After a good polish you need to be looking directly at the spot to notice them. They no longer stick out like a sore thumb like they used to. I think I should have skipped the clear coat though, as those spots seem to reflect light differently than the ones I didn't clear coat and that makes them shine from certain angles. I'm sure some compound would even them back out, but that's a project for another day

    On Thursday I took off the old stripes with a heat gun and some help from my wife. They came off pretty easily.

    20191128_104457.jpg

    Most of the adhesive came off with the stripes, but some of it didn't. It seems like these spots had hardened over time and became solid chunks underneath the stripes. Even though there were only about 3 spots about a foot long each, it took me the rest of the day and a chunk of Friday heat gunning and goo gone-ing until it was all clean. I ended up heating it up and using a small trim tool to scrape it off, then using goo gone on the remaining residue.

    On Saturday I washed with Optimum No Rinse Wash and Wax and used a Mother's Clay 2.0 Synthetic Clay Bar. This combo works nicely because the no rinse wash can be used as a clay lubricant if you use twice as much, so I just mixed a gallon of water with 2-3 cap fulls of wash and used that to both clean and clay bar. Just dip the sponge, squeeze it out, clean an area, then use the clay until smooth. Then just wipe dry and move on, easy and efficient.

    Before I installed the stripes I wanted to polish as this would be easiest with no vinyl on the car, especially for the strip between the stripes. I used a cheap Bauer Dual Action Polisher I got off Harber Freight. It worked pretty well, much much easier than polishing by hand. If you ever consider saving the money and doing it by hand, don't. It's easily worth the $80 to get a cheap polisher, even if you only use it once. I polished using Meguiars Ultimate Polish, which smells like banana laffy-taffy. I opted just to do the surfaces where the stripes would go to save some time, I can polish the sides later. Polishing got rid of all of the old water spots and small scratches that had built up over the past 3 years. I was slightly disappointed that it didn't really seem to improve the overall luster of the car, but I think that is due to the Grabber Blue color. Unlike other colors, scratches and dirt don't seem to affect the color, it always pops and looks amazing no matter how dirty it is.

    I had ordered the stripes from Big Worm Graphix the previous week. The box says to unpack immediately and lay flat until installation, presumably so the pieces don't permanently curl. They came wrapped around a tube, individually taped on very nicely and labeled.

    20191115_151905.jpg

    Sunday was finally stripe day. The stripes came with very detailed instructions on the best way to install them, so using a spray bottle of water, a heat gun, and the supplied squeegee I put them all on one after the other. My wife helped with the hood and roof, which made lining them up and peeling the paper off evenly much easier. The other pieces were easy to do alone. Laying them on was quick enough, most of my time spent on it was evening out the bubbles and wrinkles with the heat gun.

    I didn't end up having as much time over the holiday as I had hoped, so the pinstripes went on Monday after work. They were super simple, just spray water, lay the pin right up to the main stripe, and cut as needed.

    I have two inconspicuous spots on the back side with some wrinkles that gave me trouble. I'm going to try to even them out later with the heat gun and hopefully they will get better. I finished off by protecting the stripes with Mother's CMX Ceramic/Sealant Hybrid. It was easy to apply and helped shine up the stripes. I will apply this to the rest of the car after a thorough polish. Overall I am very happy with the results.

    20191203_103606.jpg

    20191203_103652.jpg
     
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  7. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    #37 2017GBGTPP, Dec 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    Another Holiday, Another Mod

    I took advantage of Black Friday to pick up some Velossa Tech Big Mouth Ram Air Intake Snorkels with LED lights and installed then over Christmas.

    20191221_144413.jpg

    The install wasn't too difficult even though the whole front end needed to come off. This requires lifting the car and removing the front tires to gain access behind the bumper where there is a screw on each side. The Velossa Tech instructions failed to mention that you will need to unplug the 3 headlight connectors on each side, but fortunately I referenced my Workshop Manual for this part and used a little common sense. Then it was just a matter of taking off the radiator cover and removing a bunch of screws on top and underneath and the whole thing just came right off.

    20191223_200141.jpg

    FYI, a yoga mat is the perfect size to lay the front bumper on.

    The grill needed to come out in order to cut it, it was held in place by a bunch of clips that came off with some effort one at a time. There is a piece between the upper and lower grill that needs to come out first, it is also just clipped into place but comes off much easier than the grill itself.

    The right snorkel slides into the intake tube very snugly. The instructions say that you can use dish soap to help it go in, but it went in for me with just a bit of force. The left snorkel kind of just floats in place for now, it will get held in place by the grill later on.

    I then ran the wires as instructed to the battery where the controller box goes. The instructions recommend double sided tape to hold it in place, but it actually just clicked into place behind the battery very nicely. It seems super snug so I don't think it's going anywhere. The ground screws a bit into the clamp screw for the negative terminal (don't mind the bit of corrosion, I had an incident with a cracked battery a few months back)

    20191221_152527.jpg

    The instructions give two options for where to plug the lights in, both in the fuse box. One is for if you want to have constant power to the lights, the other if you want them to only turn on when the car is on. I opted for the latter so that I didn't have to worry about manually turning the lights off. The problem with this location is that the plug doesn't fit. If I turn it one way the cable is being blocked by a large fuse and won't go in properly. If I turned it around then it fits, but the fuses keep the fuse cover from closing. After looking at the fuse diagram and doing some searching on this site, I found that bjstang had used one of the 20 amp PCM fuses, which seemed perfect. I plugged it in there and it worked great. The red 10 amp fuse all the way to the right is the recommended one that doesn't fit.

    20191221_152512.jpg

    The last part was cutting out the grill. There is an easy to see line on the back side of the grill that delineates the face of the hexes, so by cutting on that line it takes the whole face off.

    20191224_115952.jpg

    I used a Wen 1.4 Amp High-Powered Variable Speed Rotary Tool that I got from Home Depot for about $20. Reviews said that it was as good as a name brand dremel at a fraction of the price, and it did not disappoint. The cutting discs sliced through the plastic like butter. I broke a few of the discs just due to my inexperience with the tool, but as I continued I was breaking them less and less. I used 6 or 7 of them, but that's not a big deal because the tool came with several dozen discs.

    20191224_124258.jpg

    I then used the sanding wheel attachment to smooth down the edges.

    20191224_123833.jpg

    Then it was just a matter of putting it all back together.

    I got mine in Avery/Grabber Blue, and from the pictures you can see that it is a slightly lighter color than my car (I believe they are closer to Avery than Grabber). This doesn't clash too much once on the car though as it is mostly in the shadows when the lights are off, and when the lights are on it's going to reflect differently anyway. Looking back I maybe should have gone with white to match the stripes, but I still like how they look. Here are some pics of them on the car during the day and at night with white lights. There are also different color lights that can be controlled by the supplied remote, but anything other than white or amber on the front isn't technically street legal, so they stay white while on the road.

    20191226_122217.jpg

    20191226_175404.jpg

    Since installing these I have noticed lower IATs and acceleration seems slightly more responsive. It is cool out now, so the real test will be in the heat of summer. I expect that this will make my engine happier in the heat so hopefully I get less power loss during the summer months.
     
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  8. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    New Year, New Oil

    This one may not be as interesting as my other posts, but I figured I would log it here anyway. I have never changed my own oil. I have always owned newish cars and simply took it to the dealer for oil changes expecting that they would also check out the car for any other issues. It became apparent that they weren't doing that, which is one of the reasons I no longer use the dealer if I don't have to. I only drive about 6,000 miles a year even though I drive almost every day, so I only feel the need to change the oil once a year. I got my last change in November of 2018, so I figured I would wait until January as it will be easy to remember when it's time.

    I ended up pushing my oil change up a couple of weeks because I started to smell some burning oil after driving and also noticed some oil spots in my garage. This way I could see what the issue is and fix it while I'm at it. The dipstick showed the oil level right at the bottom of the hashmarks, so it wasn't leaking too badly or for too long.

    I started with the oil drain plug. Having heard the horror stories and people saying that an oil drain valve is worth the money, I expected this to be messy. I slowly unscrewed the plug and braced for a mess... and it all came out smoothly and directly into the oil pan. Not a drop spilled. The plug looked in good condition, so no need for a new one, and especially no need for a valve. The stock plug works just fine.

    Next came the oil filter. There was some oil on the filter so this looked like it could be the leak. The oil seemed to be above the filter too, which pointed to something more than just a loose filter. I tracked it towards the center of the car, and moving back a bit more I found this:

    20200101_115028.jpg

    There was oil seeping down the driver's side of the engine and dripping onto the headers, which would explain the burning oil smell. The source of the leak appeared to be under the valve covers. Fortunately, because of this awesome forum, I had seen that the valve covers can come loose and leak oil, and searching again for these topics I found people with just that issue and the exact same symptoms I was having. I checked the bolts and many of them were just a bit loose. The Workshop Manual says these bolts only need to be torqued to about 85 lb/in, which isn't much at all, so most of the bolts might have been only a little bit loose. The one in the back corner was more difficult to get to and required a swivel adapter and multiple extensions. I pushed the socket onto the bolt and started turning. At first I thought I maybe wasn't on the head properly because it spun so freely, but after a few turns it started to give some resistance. This one looked to be the main culprit, so hopefully this fixes it.

    Back to the oil filter, I had seen that this can also be very messy. There were two suggestions I had seen that seemed like they should work. 1. Use a large ziplock bag or 2. Punch a hole in the filter and let it drain. I opted to try the first suggestion. I loosened the filter by hand fairly easily, then placed the bag over it and started turning it. The bag started filling with oil, it was working beautifully! I kept turning and the bag kept filling. Turning and filling, turning and filling... and filling... and filling. It wasn't stopping and soon enough the bag overflowed everywhere. Eventually the filter came off, but not without getting oil all over me, the garage floor, and the undercarriage of the car. A lot more oil came out of the filter than I had anticipated, so next year I'm going to try Option 2.

    After quite a bit of cleanup I got the new filter on and filled up with 8 quarts of 5W-20 Penzoil Platinum Full Synthetic with Pureplus Technology. I got two 5-quart jugs for about $20 each after rebate at Pep Boys. The jugs had a handy window on the side with volumes that made it easy to pour only 3 quarts of the second jug. I feel bad about wasting 2 quarts of clean oil, but it feels less wasteful than buying 3 individual quarts of small plastic bottles. I then filled the jugs with the old oil for recycling.

    Overall, changing my own oil was easy. I learned a couple of lessons that should help make the next ones easier and hopefully less messy. I have noticed less and less of the burnt oil smell as it all burns off of my headers, but I'm going to check from time to time to make sure the leak has stopped.
     
  9. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    #39 2017GBGTPP, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    Ouch, I'm sore

    January has turned out to be maintenance month. A few months back I had checked my wheels and found that there was a bit of play in the rear driver's side wheel. I checked the axle nut and found it to be slightly loose, so I tightened it up. This reduced the movement, but there was still a little bit so I assumed the wheel bearing was going bad.

    I figured that now was a good time to fix it, and I had two options:
    1. Take it to the dealer and get it replaced under warranty. Cost: Free. Time: Weeks, including at least a few days without my car. Hassle: Dealing with the dealer.
    2. Do it myself. Cost: $50. Time: One weekend, with no days without my car. Hassle: Physical labor

    I went with option 2. I purchased a Timken rear wheel bearing (Item #HA590577) from Rock Auto, which arrived 5 days later. I checked through the Workshop Manual for instructions on how to replace it and also checked some videos online. CJ Pony Parts had a good video which showed them loosening a bunch of bolts, while the Manual showed a simpler method that used a Front Hub Removal Tool. I borrowed one from Pep Boys, which basically required me to buy it then return it for a full refund.

    20200125_115729.jpg

    I figured I would try the Manual's method first and fall back on CJ's if that didn't work out. After lifting the car and taking the wheel off, I removed the axle nut then used the hub remover to push the hub through the bearing. It pushed right out with ease. Two bolts on the brake calipers held it on, so after removing that and pulling the caliper to the side I was then supposed to just pull off the brake disc. The problem was that it wouldn't budge. I could see some rust around the area where the bearing and disc meet, so I figured it was just a bit stuck together from that. I didn't want to hammer on the disc, as bending or denting it couldn't possibly be good for the brake system. Checking the 4 bolts that hold the bearing onto the car, it looked like I might be able to pull the disc off with the bearing making it easier to separate the two once it's off. Those bolts are a little difficult to get to, but with some extensions and swivel adapters I could get to them and loosen them up. I had put off getting swivel adapters until recently, but I have to say that they are extremely handy and definitely worth having. They make getting into tight spots so much easier.

    It should be noted that all of these bolts are torqued on at 100+ lb/ft, so they take some effort to get off. The hub remover actually had some pieces that were perfect to use as a ratchet handle extension, which allowed me to get the necessary torque without killing myself trying to get leverage in such a tight space. I need to find something that I can use in a similar way, or maybe just buy a ratchet with a longer handle. I have a 1/2" drive ratchet with a super long handle that I used for the axle nut, but I need either a 3/8" drive with a long handle or an adapter to use the 1/2" on the smaller bolts. The problem with the 1/2" is that the head is super big, which makes it impossible to get into tight spaces.

    With constant pressure and the extended handle I was able to get all of the bolts off. The bearing and disc then came off as one piece, as I had hoped. I had no concern with damaging the old bearing so I held the disc and hammered on the wheel studs to separate the two and they came apart after three hits. Comparing the Timken and OE part they look exactly the same except the Timken has black wheel studs that appear to be slightly shorter. It only appears to be about 1/8" difference so I don't think this will be an issue with my stock wheels.

    20200125_114904.jpg

    20200125_115009.jpg

    I then used my knock-off dremel tool to wire brush the rust off of everything. I didn't get a picture of it, but there's a metal ring between the bearing and hub that appears to be a spacer. It was dirty but in good condition, the only odd thing about it was that it wasn't a circle, it was kind of misshapen. It still laid flat and seemed strong so I cleaned it and replaced it, but I may want to swap it out in the future.

    I then put everything back together and torqued it all to spec, and two days later I am still sore. Being in a seated position for several hours (I take my time) and torquing all of these bolts by hand really takes a toll. I should have gotten into this hobby when I was younger, but alas, youth and wealth rarely coincide.

    It seems that traction and control have slightly improved now that the wheel doesn't have any lateral movement, as expected. I'm pretty proud to have done my first real work on the powertrain, as everything else I have taken apart was mostly cosmetic. This has stepped my confidence up another notch and now I feel comfortable doing even more. But damn, am I sore.
     
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  10. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    Ditch the Notch

    This weekend I swapped out the transmission fluid with BG Synchro Shift II. Basically the only place to buy it is Optimum Performance, so I ordered it and it shipped out immediately. Within 2 days it was in my mailbox all packed in ziplock bags.

    My issues with the shifter are fairly minimal. I know some people complain about getting locked out of gear and other problems, but I haven't experienced that. That being said, the shifter is a bit notchy and sloppy. Not terrible, but if I can improve on it then why shouldn't I?

    After a bunch of research I found that the easiest but most expensive solution was a new shifter, and MGW seemed to be the reigning favorite. But since my issues with the shifter didn't seem extreme I thought maybe I could try fixing the specific issues rather than just swapping the whole thing out. I should be able to fix the notchiness with the BG, then mount the shifter to the transmission to get rid of the slop. Then, if I want a shorter throw, I can just replace the stick. All of this I can do for $200 less than an MGW. So that's what I have decided to try.

    BG has been getting rave reviews on these boards for reducing notchiness so that was the perfect first step.

    The swap was about as easy as an oil change but with no filter to make a mess with. The old fluid only had about 18,000 miles on it so it wasn't too dirty, it only had a little bit of gunk floating around.

    20200201_160152.jpg

    The bottle comes with a pump since it has to be fed from underneath.

    20200201_155705.jpg

    The most awkward part was pumping while laying down. Once it had trouble going up the tube I dumped the rest in the supplied cup which had a piece of tape to mark about how much should be left when done, as the bottle has a little bit more than is needed. The oil level was just below the line, so I got just a little extra inside the transmission.

    20200201_161947.jpg

    There was a pretty immediate improvement to the notchiness, and over the past few days it has gotten more consistently smooth. 3 days later and there are still occasionally notchy shifts when cold, but a majority go straight into gear with barely any resistance. Each day I have seen improvement, so I'm hoping that the next few days it will continue to get better.

    The one downside to this reduction in notchiness is that the slop in the system has become much more noticable as a result. I was thinking of doing some suspension mods next, but I might need to fix that slop soon.
     
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  11. OP
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    2017GBGTPP

    2017GBGTPP Well-Known Member

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    #41 2017GBGTPP, Feb 17, 2020 at 8:03 PM
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020 at 1:54 PM
    The Budget Trans-mounted Shifter

    As time passed after the transmission fluid swap the notchiness decreased to be barely existent, but as I said in the last post the slop became much more noticeable. Fortunately, there is a cheap yet elegant solution for that - Full Tilt Boogie Racing's S550 Shifter Reinforcement Bracket Kit. For only $70 this bracket connects the shifter directly to the transmission. Blowfish Racing also makes a bracket that does the same thing and also functions as a driveshaft safety loop but at considerably more price. Since I'm not running the kind of horsepower to need a driveshaft loop quite yet I opted for the cheaper and more direct solution.

    FTBR has its own website where it sells its parts as well as an ebay store. Oddly enough, both the site and ebay store have the bracket at the same price but ebay has free shipping, which was like $17 on the site! So obviously I ordered from ebay. It arrived within days. It's actually quite a bit lighter than I expected but is definitely strong steel construction. I really do like simple but effective design, efficiency is a beautiful thing.

    20200215_173729.jpg

    Two pieces need to come off the car, the transmission cross brace and the shifter bracket. The brace will go back on but the shifter bracket is scrapped.

    20200215_161629.jpg

    By the way, since replacing my wheel bearing I have figured out the perfect solution for making a ratchet handle extension. I have a 21mm deep impact socket I use for the lug nuts and a 1/2" drive extension that together makes removing bolts a cinch. All of the transmission brace bolts came off with barely any effort because of the increased torque. And people told me that I would never use what I learned in Physics class.

    20200215_185048.jpg

    Four small bolts come off the shifter above the driveshaft. This is made easier if you have somebody hold the shift knob in place from above as taking the shifter bracket off means the shifter can now freely move up and down. Unfortunately, my wife was taking a nap at the time and I couldn't bring myself to wake her up. So I struggled a bit trying to unscrew the bolts while putting upward pressure on the ratchet to keep the shifter up and also trying not to let the swivel adapter turn sideways off the bolt. Two of the screws can be reached without the swivel so weren't so bad to get to, but the other two definitely need the swivel and that thing likes to swivel when you apply pressure to it (go figure). This only added another 10 minutes to the job so it wasn't too bad.

    The bracket then wraps around the driveshaft and bolts to those 4 spots with new bolts supplied by FTBR. Again, pressure, swivel, swearing, and eventually get it on. Damn wife looking cute and peaceful while she naps. Here you can see one side where it bolts to the shifter.

    20200215_183749.jpg

    Then the transmission brace goes back on and the other side of the bracket gets bolted in with the bolts into the transmission itself.

    20200215_183711.jpg

    With everything wrapped up under the car some rubber o-rings need to be added under the shifter knob to reduce rattling. This just requires twisting off the knob and removing the shifter boot, which is held on by clips. The white ring shown is stock, the two black ones are new.

    20200215_195734.jpg

    And that's it! This bracket has absolutely locked down the shifter. Shifts are shorter and smoother now that there is no give in the mounting hardware, the stick pushes right into gear with just enough notch to let me know it's past the synchros. The knob definitely vibrates more, but that just brings a smile to my face. It's like I can feel the engine coming to life in my palm when it hits the high RPMs. Some people might not like the increased NVH, so I wouldn't recommend this if you don't want to feel the power of the V8 in your hand. But then why do you have a V8? I only hear a bit of rattling at WOT when I take my hand off the shifter, nothing that bothers me at all.

    One odd thing that isn't a big deal is that the shifter now seems to sit slightly to the right of center when in neutral. It's not far enough off to affect my shifting but it is visibly noticable. The bracket connection to the transmission brace does have some room to adjust up and down, so next time I'm under the car I might see if I can rotate it a bit. If not, no biggie.

    20200217_124945.jpg

    Updated impressions: The clunk is gone. There used to be a very heavy clunk/thud when shifting, this bracket has made it completely disappear. I just get a very subtle click as it goes through the synchros, I can even occasionally hear the click-clack of the linkage deep underneath now that the shifter is so quiet. I imagine an MGW shifter may be a bit smoother, but I can't imagine it being so much better to be worth the extra price. I am very happy with this piece and recommend it to anybody with a stock shifter, and combined with the BG the shifter feel is just how I wanted it. I may put in a short throw stick at some point and then it should be damn near perfect.
     
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