Review & Install Video
Hey guys, Stephanie with americanmuscle.com, here with an overview of the Barton Hybrid 3 Flat Stick Shifter for 2015 and up GT Mustangs. In this video we're gonna talk about the design of the shifter, how it can benefit you, and we're going to talk about the install. I'll get into more detail later, but the difficulty of the install depends on your car and your current mods. If you don't really have much done, you're looking at a one outta three wrenches on the difficulty meter.The Barton Hybrid 3 Flat Stick Shifter is first off gonna be for someone looking for a flat stick style shifter. A flat stick is different than your normal, standard shifter. Secondly, this shifter is gonna be for someone that doesn't wanna be tied into one single design. Barton made this shifter to be for everyone, so they came up with a design that has mounting options. How you mount the shifter goes back to what you like. Lastly, this short throw shifter is gonna be for the S550 owners that want a serious shifter upgrade and are willing to pay for quality.I wanna start with the core of the shifter before we get into any of the mounting features of it. The heart of the shifter is very much like the original Barton Short Throw Shifter. It's a lotta the same upgraded components and it's gonna firm up your shifts. Barton's literally upgraded every single component of the shifter for you so it gives a very solid performance. One of the biggest features of the shifter, besides the mounting location options and all of the upgraded components, which I'll go over in a second, is it has a 25% reduction in throw. Now I wouldn't really consider the throw of the stock shifter long to begin with, so if you think about it, a 25% reduction is pretty big. Barton chose to use a 25% reduction so the shifter wouldn't feel too notchy, but feel smooth and accurate instead. When you start reducing throw too much, the shifts can get notchy, and not everyone likes that.There's a lotta things that make this shifter so great, but one of the most basic is that it is an entire replacement that is self-contained shifter components. We're not just looking at an arm with a linkage to shorten the throw. This is a completely revamped unit, so no taking apart the stock shifter, and no bringing components over. Some of the components that you end up bringing over with other short throw shifter options are actually the parts that cause some of the issues that the stock shifter has. Another thing to consider is that this entire shifter is made from C&C billet aluminum and stainless steel. The housing is also weather-tight and pre-sealed for you, so no RTV is needed. This is a rock solid shifter, and if we compare it to the factory shifter, you're going to see differences right away. One of the other reasons why this shifter has such nice, solid shifts is because of the bushings that Barton uses. You have a solid stainless steel front bushing here. The bushing and rear bracket help to control the normal vibrations that go through the shifter, and they stop nearly all of the deflection, while some is absorbed through the bushing in the rear bracket.Really breaking this down some. This shifter eliminates what I consider two major weak points in the factory shifter components, their traditional pivot cup and the ball socket design. The factory pivot cup is plastic. It allows for a ton of the flexion on the center shaft, and that means play and wiggle. The center shaft now has a pivot block with meaty pivot cups that's aluminum, not plastic, that are held in place by a pin and O-ring. So no more pivot cups and ball sockets, but a much more solid pivot block instead that even has O-rings. This is a tight fit to pick up slack, but it's not so tight to cause any binding. The block then goes into the cartridge and then into the main housing. But this shifter has a different cartridge design that's unique. You can take this cartridge apart and almost customize the shifter if you want. The cartridge does have two sets of very stiff springs in it, and you can easily access the springs that are in the cartridge and remove those if you don't like them since they are very stiff springs. But it's really gonna be up to you as a driver to determine what you want. I just recommend that you at least break in the springs before deciding that you don't like them and you wanna remove them.Of course, this shifter is made for the MT-82 6-speed trans, so it is gonna be reverse lockout compatible. It'll retain both the reverse lockout and the backup camera, so you won't be losing any of those nice stock features if you wanna upgrade to the shifter. The reverse lockout is identical to the factory reverse lockout, has a factory look and feel. Another nice thing is that the shifter doesn't require any permanent modifications to be installed, and it comes with a new shift knob for you. Other than the general overall construction and upgraded components, what really makes this shifter different than the others, even the original Barton Short Throw Shifter, is the mounting options and the three bushing system. So it's called a Hybrid 3 Shifter for three reasons, one, because of the mounting options, two, because of the linkage design, and three, because of the three bushing system.If we look at the mounting options, you can mount this shifter directly to the trans or directly to the body of the car. You have an option here depending on what you like better. If you mount to the trans directly, that means you can run the solid linkage. You have these two arms that run up to the shifter area, and that's where you're applying all the force as you're shifting. Then there's the mounting block that bolts directly to the trans which eliminates the tie to the body of the car. This means that the shifter will move with the trans under load, and everything will be directly in line. The only thing I will say here, is that your shifter will be moving, which is good, but you will feel some vibrations from the trans in your shift knob. If you really don't want that feeling in your shift knob, you can always mount to the body of the car instead. If you mount to the body, you'll use a different bracket. In this case, if the body of the car moves separate from the trans, the shifter will stay with the body while the trans moves. The linkage, which is the second part of the Hybrid 3 name, allows the shifter to do this and still maintain accurate shifts. The linkage allows for both vertical and twisting movement. And the last components is the three bushing design. There are three bushings in the linkage rod, and this is to get rid of the flexion in the linkage rod during shifting. Now throughout this entire shifter, there is no metal to metal contact, which is gonna keep things very smooth. So overall, you're looking at a smooth, precise shift no matter how you have this mounted.As far as price, you're looking at spending between $400 and $500 for this shifter. Like I mentioned earlier, this is gonna be for someone that's willing to pay for an excellent, beefed up, accurate shifter, and for someone that knows the value of something like this. You're paying for quality here, in my opinion. Besides all the different component upgrades, you're getting an entirely new unit that's very easy to install, and you're actually able to customize it and set it up how you'd like it. This is the only shifter that's available right now that does this and gives you different mounting options. If you still have stock components on your car, like stock exhaust and drive shaft, you'll most likely be able to get away with an easy install. It'll take about an hour and be a one outta three wrenches in the scale.I'm gonna glaze over the details here since this install is so involved, but to get the factory shifter out, you're looking at doing the obvious things, removing the factory shift knob and getting your boots out from inside the car. Then after that, you've gotta get the car in the air, drop the exhaust from the mid pipe back, mark and remove the drive shaft, drop the cross member, drop the shifter housing, and pull the shifter assembly from the car. The new shifter is very easy to install since it is all one unit and you don't have to transfer over any parts or disassemble the factory shifter. It literally installs like the factory shifter uninstalled, and this is so well-made that it went together very nicely. Everything fit well. We didn't need to hammer anything into place, but it was snug enough to eliminate the play, and we did decide to mount to the trans here, but how you install yours will be up to you.Wrapping things up here with the Barton Hybrid 3 Shifter. This shifter is a serious, complete shifter upgrade. The entire shifter is made from C&C billet aluminum and stainless steel. It's gonna come with a cartridge that reduces throw 25%. This shifter gives you a new shift knob and it also retains the reverse lockout and backup camera. You have two different mounting options, to the body or to the trans, and the shifter has a new innovated linkage and a three bushing design in the linkage. As always, you can check this shifter out more online. And for all things Mustang, keep it right here at americanmuscle.com.