Installation Time: Afternoon
August 11, 2014
Good compromise in a shifter upgrade
I had been putting off installing a short shifter because I generally don't like short shifters. Improving the shift mechanism is good, but they almost always lower the knob height, which is wrong, and the throws are often too short, simply for the sake of being shorter than stock, not because it is actually an improvement. Often different is only different and not better.
Ideally, I'd like the knob height retention and the smooth mechanicals of the Barton (and some others), the throw reduction of the Steeda, and the spring-loaded reverse modification of the Hurst. Those don't exist in one shifter of course. I have the Barton shift extender which puts the job height, which is low and awkward from the factory, at a much better height. I installed the Barton shifter and kept the extender. The Barton shifter is a great design and has firm but smooth operation. Being a short shifter, it does take more effort to shift, but the improvement in overall feel over the stock shifter is worth it. The combo of the extender and the shifter is a good one. Not great, but good, and worth the money. I'm quite sensitive to NVH increases, and I was pleasantly surprised that the Barton shifter had zero increase in NVH.
As the instructions say, measure your reverse lockout bar height. I have a 2014 GT and had to perform the handle realignment to make the reverse lockout work correctly. If you don't do that, reverse lockout will not work because you could theoretically shift into reverse unintentionally.
It took me a little over an hour to do the install, mostly due to struggling with getting the rubber boot reinstalled correctly around the shifter base and tucked into the hole. It's tedious, but you have to do it right, and it can be accomplished eventually with some patience. Without a good seal, you'll get noise and water coming up through the body under the shifter. Any shifter will have this problem and is no fault whatsoever of the Barton product.
I have an upgraded shifter bracket as well, but it's never made any difference. I never had problems with the OE bracket and didn't see any improvement with the upgrade. This shifter, however, is a real measurable improvement.