For those fans of the Mitsubishi Evolution X, this week’s #TechThursday piece features a short shift install. The Evo X is a beast of a machine with it’s powerful 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, however like any factory vehicle it lacks refinement for endless thrashing be it on the street or race track. A simple swap of the long-throw shifter in way of a short-throw piece from TWM Performance will turn the spirited Evolution into a menacing one cutting down the throw by as much as 30% if not more! The overall install is a one-hour job that takes patience more than skill as there are many pieces to the disassemble and re-assemble unlike the previous tech install on the 370Z. Follow these step by step guidelines and you’ll soon be banging gears quicker than your competitors!
- Flat head screw driver
- Philips head screw driver
- Rubber mallet
- Flash light
- Needle nose pliers
- Socket set with rachet (8mm, 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm)
- Bench / bench vise (suggested)
- White lithium grease
Step 1: Unscrew shift knob
- Rotate the shift knob counter-clockwise until loose, then place in a secure location.
Step 2A: Remove center console
- Remove all flaps and loose items in and around the center console area.
- Using some manual force, push in the center console so as to dislodge the overlapping clips from each other and pull up / away or use needle nose pliers.
*Note: Removal of some cables like the cigarette lighter and light will be required. Simply use manual force and release the tab-style connectors.
Step 2B: Unscrew center console
- Using socket remove the bolts securing the center console where the arm rest is.
- Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the two (2) screws directly behind the shifter.
Step 2C: Remove entire center console area
- With the bolts / screws removed from the center console, remove the entire center console from the car and put in a secure location so as not to damage any tabs.
Step 3: Remove factory shifter from shifter cage assembly
- Using a flat head screw driver, pry off any cables from the shifter assembly.
- With the same flat head screw driver, pry off the two (2) metal clips securing the horizontal pins of the shifter cage. Cutting the metal clips might be required although not mandatory.
- Using a screw driver, push the horizontal pins out freeing not only the shifter from the cage, but the triangular plastic piece on the left side whereby a spring is attached.
- With the pins removed, remove the shifter from the cage assembly.
*Note: Be careful when dis-assembly of this unit as there are a handful of small pieces which could get lost.
Step 4: Comparison and prep work of new TWM Performance EVO X short shifter
- Place the OEM Mitsubishi EVO X shifter next to the aftermarket piece from TWM Performance. It is simple to see the drastic difference from the shape and short length.
- Make sure the new TWM Performance shifter is cleaned and ready for preparation.
Step 5A: Preparation of TWM Performance short shifter
- Using the supplied “Cup Remover Tool” it is recommended to use a vice to secure the factory shifter in order to remove the plastic cup. Overall, this process is fairly simple and easy to do by hand.
Step 5B: Preparation of TWM Performance short shifter
- Apply white lithium grease to the base of the ball on the bottom of the TWM Performance short shifter and re-install the OEM shifter plastic cap.
*Note: Some manual force might be required for this, but be sure to place the unit on a bench covered by a shop towel so as not to damage any parts.
Step 6: Installation of the TWM Performance short shifter
- Apply white lithium grease to the ball of the short shifter before installation.
- Gently guide the shifter into the factory location with the plastic cup portion secured to the shifter linkage at the bottom.
- Replace the secure plastic cap above and press down until in place.
Step 7A: Re-assembly of the shifter cage assembly
- Re-install the spring for the triangular plastic piece.
- Using one hand to secure it to the cage assembly, slide the horizontal pins in by hand until snug.
Step 7B: Re-assembly of the shifter cage assembly
- Using a rubber mallet, gently tap the pin until fully secured in the factory location of the cage assembly.
- Secure the lose shifter linkage (as seen at the bottom of the triangular plastic piece) onto the pin by hand.
Step 8: Secure pins in the shifter cage assembly
- By hand, install the push-style clip on both pins (with the larger piece on the larger pin and the smaller piece on the smaller pin).
- Use a 14mm socket to install the 10mm push-style clip on the larger pin.
- Use an 8mm socket to install the 4mm push-style clip on the smaller pin.
Step 9A: Installation of shifter assembly bushings (Optional)
- Using a 12mm socket and ratchet, unbolt the four bolts securing the assembly to the vehicle’s floor.
Step 9B: Installation of shifter assembly bushings (Optional)
- Lift the shifter assembly and use a flat head screw driver to push the steel sleeves (see inset photo with OEM next to the supplied bushing).
- Replace the steel bushing with the ones supplied from TWM Performance by simply dropping them in.
- Secure the shifter assembly with a 12mm socket and ratchet.
Step 10: Re-assemble the center console
- Following Step 2 (see above) re-assemble the center console piece by piece, secure the clips together and all fasteners.
- Re-install shift knob on the TWM Performance Evolution X short shifter.
- Test the shifter by going through the entire gear set.
Note: Be sure to check that all hardware has been installed and tools are accounted for.
The TWM Performance short shift kit for the Evolution X took just over an hour to install from start to finish. For the cost of $184.95 USD (TWM Performance EVO X Short Shifter) and hour-long install, replacing one’s factory shifter setup is a must-have modification for anyone looking to get an edge in both performance and esthetics. In addition, TWM Performance offers a complete bushing replacement kit for the base, cable, and transmission arm for a small fee – something that is a must-have for any weekend track enthusiast.
Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec