I'm going to tackle removing my console to add my insulation to help quiet down the Barton shift bracket. I bought a strap wrench to help get the shift ball off, but how do you get the boot off? Is there a clip underneath that holds it on?
3. Alcantara* Shift Boot
In every other sports car that has ever been equipped with an Alcantara-covered steering wheel, at a minimum, the shift boot has also been Alcantara. For the Boss, Ford has the steering wheel covered in fake suede, the shift boot made out of fake leather, and the parking brake boot made out of some other kind of fake leather. Look, the collar should match the cuffs. It’s as simple as that. It isn’t as if any of this were actual leather, it is just three different kinds of fake leather. Why couldn’t they be the same? Was there a cost savings somewhere? Are there really grades of polyvinyl chloride fake leather?
Anyway, this bugged me, so I ordered a new shift boot and parking brake boot from www.redlinegoods.com, a Polish company. That’s right, to get a proper shift boot for my American car, I had to have one shipped from Poland. Well, good on them, because I am very pleased with their service and with the quality of their work. Instructions for installation are here, but I have added larger photos and a few extra comments here.
1. Remove the shift knob by rotating it counter clockwise. That’s all that Redline tells you, but you need to know something about that shift knob, or you are likely to get a hernia. It’s held on with blue Loctite. That’s right, Ford fitted this car with a Chinese transmission made from the melted-down pots and pans of dead dissidents and it’s almost certainly destined to fall apart faster than a student protest. But by God they don’t want that shift knob falling off. No sir.
Check the forums for ideas on how to remove the shift knob. You might get a musclehead friend or somebody on PCP who doesn’t feel pain. You also might try applying heat to break the Loctite bond. A rubber-strap oil filter wrench might work, too. I’m not going to tell you what I did, but let’s just say that now I have to order a new shift knob.
2. Open the storage compartment and then pull the center console trim piece by pulling up here. It will unclip easily. Unplug the traction control/hazard/trunk release connector and remove the trim piece, sliding the boot over the gear change lever.
3. Remove the shift boot by unclipping the plastic mounting ring from the indicated clips.
4. Once the shift boot has been removed from the center console trim, use a putty knife, gasket scraper, or flathead screwdriver to remove to separate the shift boot from the plastic mounting ring.
5. I used a hot glue gun to glue the new boots to the plastic mounting rings. Because hot glue guns are dangerous, I had a safety officer present.
6. Detail. This is from the parking brake boot. In this area, the fitment can be very tight. In my case, the fabric was pulled so tightly at the bottom that it began to curl and it would not adhere. So, I made a 2-3mm cut in the fabric at the bottom, which was just enough to alleviate the tension and allow the fabric to lay flat and adhere to the plastic ring.
7. I used binder clips to clamp the boot to the plastic ring after I had applied the hot glue. They worked perfectly.
8. The finished boots!
I am very pleased with the quality of these pieces, but I have to say that the change is so subtle, that most will find this mod not worth the trouble. Also, the boots do not exactly match the color of the steering wheel. The boots are closer to black, while the steering wheel is a charcoal grey. In fact, to my eye, there is even a little bit of almost purple tint to the steering wheel cover. Anal retentive detail oriented people might try to wash or fade the material to get a closer match and folks with serious issues could just send the company a spare steering wheel and have them find the dye lot with the closest match. The original pieces didn’t match in color either, so I’m just happy that the material looks the same. The difference is subtle, but pleasing to me.
* I am using Alcantara generically, because it is easier than saying faux suede. Alcantara is a brand name and only the faux suede on the Recaro seats is actually Alcantara. Neither the steering wheel cover nor the boots provided by Redline Automotive Accessories Corp. are made from Alcantara.
908ssp said:I think A Mustang Rocks uses Alcantara. I had them do mine in soft grain leather with red stitching to match my old GT500 wheel.