You’ve done all the planning and you’re 100% ready, so how to install a cable-operated floor shifter? Let’s get to it!

Ready?!? Let’s get greasy!

Wait. Have you read the directions from the manufacturer? Do you have a clear overview of the steps required? If not… jump back and read the previous article, “Prepping to Install a Floor Shifter” AND also how I landed on choosing this particular Lokar Floor Mounted Camble Shifter. Trust me, it’s worth the time. You’re welcome.

1. Secure the shifter to your car’s floor


First you’ll need to cut the floor carpet to install a floor-shifter in a car not already equipped with one. In #OperationStude my interior is all still pending an upgrade, so I didn’t care about cutting up my carpet – but just something to keep in mind when planning things out on your own build. Once I was sure where I wanted it, I used a chalk pencil to mark where the four holes needed to be drilled on my floor (transmission tunnel to be exact).

Using an electric drill, with a bit matching the size of the screws provided in the Lokar kit, I made the four holes in Studie’s floor. Next, use the hardware provided to bolt it down in place… and progress is moving right along, it already looks like you’ve got a floor shifter!

2. Make an opening for the gear selector lever


Once the shifter is mounted in place, a thin slice of floor metal is going to need to be cut out. Technically, it’s easier to cut out this floor portion without the shifter mounted to the floor. However, I wanted to confirm exactly how much space the lever needed to move through all of it’s gear selections, and mounting is necessary to do that. So I marked on the  floor the length required, if that lever extended, to fully shift through all of the gears and then removed the shifter to have room necessary to make the cut.


Unfortunately here, I cut a corner where I now wish I hadn’t. Rather than waiting for the proper tool to borrow, I opted to make due with something on hand… namely a pneumatic hammer with cutting attachment on it. In the moment, I reasoned that nobody would ever see the jagged edges inherent from the very rough-cutting hammer – but now this little piece of sloppiness is always going to bother me! So learn from my mistakes (you’ll make your own!) and use the proper tool, such as a grinder with a cut-off wheel, to get a nice clean and discrete cut in your car’s floorpan.

3. Connect & Secure the Cable from Lever to Transmission


Once the floor’s opened up you can connect the lever to the floor shifter and then the cable to the lever. For me, it was easier to connect the cable to the lever first and then feed the lever up through the floor and bolt it to the mounted floor shifter.

After everything’s connected, the cable needs to be secured. There’s a bracket that will need to connected using two bolts of your transmission pan. There are directions regarding choosing the best fit. As you can see in the photo above, I couldn’t have secured it further to the left, away from the lever, becuase it wouldn’t have fit. I also couldn’t have put it on a closer bolt, because there wouldn’t have been room for the cable to shift through the gears.


As-is in the first photo, you’ll see how close this comes to my exhaust pipe. As I talked about in the previous article about “prepping your car to install a cable-operated floor shifter,” I had to have the exhaust shop cut out this section and re-route it slightly away from the transmission pan. The cable portion of your new shifter CANNOT come in contact with your exhaust… it will melt!

Don’t forget, working in tight spaces takes patience… if the bolt you’re using slips out and falls down through the floor causing you to get out of the car and climb underneath yet another time… keep your cool! I find that sometimes when I’m wedged in a tight space I start getting frustrated easily and I’ve learned that if I just get out and take a short walk it really levels my head again.

4. Secure the cable with the under-car bracket


This next bracket, which is approximately 2″ wide, connects to the underside of your car with two small bolts. You’ll need to drill out these openings from below (this is in the area underneath the driver’s seat). From there it’s a simple two bolts to the floor and one more bolt to connect the cable to the bracket.

The placement for this bracket should be wherever it creates the straightest line between it and the shifting lever.

5. Adjust the Cable


This might be the trickiest part of the installation process. As you can imagine, every different set up is going to be a different distance between the shift lever and the transmission mount point – this step is zeroing in on making the actual shifts of the transmission match the shifts that the lever above floor is making.

There are two spots (both circled above) where you can adjust the shifting of the cable by simply moving the adjustment bolts.Play around with these adjustments until the shift points are synced.

6. Ready, Test, Go!


It’s now time for a test drive, that is once you’re confident that the adjustments have synced up the connection between the shifter and the transmission, and you can shift through all of the shift points of your transmission while your car is turned off (if your new shifter won’t pop all the way to first gear, you’re in trouble!)

When you start your car up for the first time, be sure and keep your foot on pressing down on the brake – if for some reason your new shifter isn’t hooked up correctly, you  don’t want your car lurching forward! Safety first, always!

Then cautiously, remove your foot from the brake and ensure that park truly is park, then begin testing out each gear. Once reverse and neutral are confirmed, take her out for a little roll and ensure that all the driving gears work. And, Bob’s your uncle, you’ve completed the installation of your new cable-operated floor shifter!

As you can see, even Mr.GreaseGirl loves the feel of the new Lokar shifter! Like learning about cars and having garage adventures? Sign up to the GreaseGirl newsletter so you can join me in the journey!

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