Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour
March 13, 2017
Decent Quality, Acceptable Design, Way Overpriced
When I bought my 2007 Mustang, the shift knob on it was busted. I guess the person who had it before me was trying to change it out and didn't know how to do it. So I bought one of the shift knob kits from American muscle which includes the shift boot retainer, and a small black billet five speed knob. I didn't at all like that kit, because the knob was both too small for my big hands (1.75" in diameter), and made of some type of material that collected every bit of oil off my hands so that the knob always look filthy and cloudy. I couldn't keep it clean.
After a few weeks of frustration with how dirty it looked, and how small it was, I decided to buy this shifter knob. I'm satisfied, but I wouldn't say I'm really happy. The design is nice. The rally stripes look good, and everything is printed on to the knob in really clear lines. That part I'm satisfied with. The old billet knob had markings that were actually engraved into the knob, and then filled in with white ink. This one is printed on. So only time will tell whether or not the markings remain or they wear off over time. Another positive is that this knob does not retain oil or dirt from my hands nearly as bad as the first one. I don't know what is different about it. I can definitely feel a difference. But it stays a lot cleaner and shinier even when my hands get moist. My guess is that it is made out of a different composition of plastics than the first one. I don't know, but I'm thankful that it looks cleaner.
Based on those two items alone, I would give this knob 5 stars. I only give it 3 stars for two reasons. First of all, it's too big. Yes, I went from a knob that was too small, to another that is too big. It feels good in my hand, and because I have large hands I don't think that it feels too big in my hand. It's comfortable and definitely a lot easier to grab and control than the first knob. But it just looks too big. It looks just a little bit large, and with the short stick of my V6 Mustang, it just looks a little out of place. It's not bad, but it irritates me. This knob is 2.25 inches in diameter, which is a full half inch bigger than my last one. I think the perfect size would be a 2 inch knob, but I have been unable to find one here on American Muscle or anywhere else. You would think these things would be easier to find, but I guess not.
It may sound like I am being really nitpicky, which leads me into my second complaint about the knob, which is really the reason I'm being so nitpicky. This knob is outrageously priced. I think I paid $62 on the day that I bought it. Free shipping is nice, but it doesn't make up for the fact that I'm paying $62 for a freaking knob. To add insult to injury, American Muscle doesn't even include a shift boot retainer. They include a little nut that serves as a locking nut to keep the knob straight, but that doesn't hold up the shift boot. Considering the fact that this knob is marketed specifically for S197 mustangs, and all S197 mustangs have the same shift boot design, I'm really not sure what American muscle is thinking here. I guess you're expected to buy another shift boot retainer from American Muscle separately, and those jokers by themselves retail for $19.99 here on the website. At this point we're paying almost $85 for a shift knob replacement. For $85, I feel like the five speed edging should be engraved and gold lol. Obviously I did not have to buy the shift boot retainer because I already had one from the other knob kit, and I just don't understand why I would pay $25 for the other knob kit, get a decent if small knob along with the retainer, and then have to pay over $60 for this large knob. There's no way rally stripes add that much value, lol.
All in all I plan to leave the knob on the car. I didn't buy a stock factory original knob replacement at the start of this entire business because those jokers are 50 bucks. But after going through the small knob, and now the big one, I'm knocking on $100 worth of knob changing. I guess that's my problem.
To summarize, if you are made of money and you like a bigger knob, this is really a great product. I think it will hold up just fine, and to be honest, other than the slight largeness, it does look pretty great. American Muscle shipping and customer service is excellent as always.