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We have always noticed that the throws on the factory shifting linkage was a little long on the Focus ST (it’s a lot like rowing a boat ) So we decided to do something about this. We found out that COBB was designing a short shift plate a little while ago and we were anxiously awaiting its arrival to our facility so we could give it a try. Once we received one of the shift plates, we went ahead and installed it on our shop car White Sheep.
We gathered up the tools needed for the install:
1) Needle nosed pliers
2) 10mm open ended wrench
3) 3/8 ratchet
4) 3/8 Extension
5) Large flat tip screw driver (we show a smaller one here, but it isn’t what we used)
6) 10mm socket
7) 8mm socket
8) Permanent marker
9) The rest of the tools are supplied with the shift plate. Including Loctite!
A shot of everything that comes with the kit and what we gathered up
Now, let’s get to work! First thing we did was unplug the MAP harness and move it out of the way
Now undo the four 8mm screws holding the top of the air box on shown here circled in red.
Once those are loose, the top should pull right off. (keep in mind the screws are attached to the lid, don’t pull them out all the way)
Next, loosen the hose clamp that goes onto your intake piping (varies depending on what intake you have) Also, take the 10mm bolt out of the support holding the intake tubing to the head of the engine.
Now we can set the intake aside for now and move on
We need to mark the shifter weight in several places so we know exactly how it came off so we don’t install it incorrectly when we are ready to put it back on. So take your sharpie or other permanent marker and mark it properly.
Gently pry the shifter linkage off the shifter weight (it should pop off with a little bit of force)
Now there is a retainer pin that is in the side of the shifter weight that we must tap out with the supplied hex head bolt shown here
Now we can take our bolt and tap the pin out, you can use needle nose pliers here to hold the bolt, or, if you feel comfortable enough, you can hold the bolt like I did, just tap it out the back side slowly, try your best not to tap it out the back side and lose it in the engine bay, I held my hand on the back while tapping the front, it seemed to work out ok.
Here’s what the pin looks like
Slide the shifter weight off the shaft (it should be loose and easy to take off)
Here’s the marks on the shaft after pulling the weight off.
Slide the COBB Tuning short shift plate on the weight; it should only go on one way, like this
Turn the weight over, place the bottom plate on so the holes line up, they should only line up one way, shown here. Throw a dab of Loctite on the bolts before threading them in
Now we can take the supplied 3mm allen wrench and tighten down the bolts. Don’t go too crazy tightening them down, they should be tight, but not too tight. You should be able to feel when they snug down.
There’s the plate installed and ready for the next step
Put a dab of Loctite on the ball stud and thread it into the plate. Again, don’t go too tight, you will feel it bite into the nylon washer as you tighten it down. You have 2 positions you can place the ball stud, the one closest to the existing ball stud is 30% reduction while the one further away is 40%, we opted for the 30% reduction and it seems to work fine. You can try either one. (Keep in mind the more reduction you choose, the more effort it will take to shift)
Another dab of Loctite on the set screw and it is ready to thread into the side of the plate. Take the supplied allen wrench and tighten it down
It’s already ready to go back in the car! That was fast! Ok, place it back on the shaft making sure you line up the marks your marks you made prior to uninstallation. It should slip right back on.
Let’s tap the pin back in to hold it in place, we held it with the needle nosed pliers first to get it started, then we just tapped it the rest of the way in, once we couldn’t tap it in with just the hammer anymore, we grabbed the supplied hex head bolt and tapped it in about where it was when we started this uninstallation.
Pop the shift linkage on the ball stud.
Now we can start re-assembly, take the intake box and place it back in position
Tighten down the clamp on the take and replace the bolt anchoring the intake piping to the valve cover
Plug in your MAP sensor
Replace your rubber strap in front of the box that secures the fresh air inlet.
Now we just have to replace the four 8mm screws that hold the lid on the intake box and we’re all done!
So this was a very easy installation. All the people that have installed it will attest that it took a lot less time than expected. The change in shift length even at 30% is definitely noticeable. They is literally 30% less throw. Getting the transmission into the gears isn’t much different. I was expecting it to be a lot more difficult to get into gear, but that is just not the case. I ran it through all the gear quite aggressively and I can still bang every gear confidently without worrying about missing gears. This was a good upgrade; I think it’s almost a must if you like to grab gears quickly while accelerating. We are taking the sheep to the drag strip this Friday, we’ll see if we can improve some et’s and mph, We’ll report back when we have some data! Hopefully this tutorial will help you when you’re ready to install this plate on your car!