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here are the steps on how to re-align your manual transmission shifter plate if you change your shifter, drop your transmission, or feel like it could use aligning because maybe it moved just enough to effect your shifting. when its misaligned it can cause you to grind your gears and eventually grind out your gears.
all you need is 10mm socket with short extension and ratchet for the lower boot bolts and shifter plate bolts. you need a screwdriver for the trim panel. and the shift linkage bolt is 10mm i believe.
1) remove shift ****
2) remove the trim panel by using a screw driver around the edges popping it up on each side.
3) once trim panel is loose in order to move it completely out of the way you must disconnect the wire clips connected to the back end of the trim panel.
4) now with the trim and **** off take off the upper boot.
5) you will now see 4 bolts connecting the lower boot. take those out and set the lower boot and bolts together aside.
6) if you are changing out the shifter or dropping the transmission then you have to go underneath the car and take out the bolt connecting the shifter to the transmission linkage. It it located inside the protective dust boot cover. (big black rubber boot)
7) now back on the inside you will see 3 bolts connecting the shifter plate to the transmission. if taking out the shifter or transmission then take the bolts completely out and make sure your holding down because it will spring out after you take out the bolts.
if you are just re-aligning the you can loosen the bolts then push down the shifter a little bit and hand tighten the bolts.
9) move the shifter into the 6th gear position and make the notch sticking out of the shifter level with the shifter plate "guide" by slightly pushing down on the shifter. move the shifter plate (the plate with the 3 bolts) accordingly to make sure the "guide" on the plate is touching the shifter. once that is accomplished, at the same time tighten the bolt at the right rear on the plate (to keep it in place)
10) now move the shifter into the 5th gear position and align the shifter notch with the plate like i explained in step #9. When it is aligned right and touching then you tighten the bolt at the front of the guide plate (closest to the engine).
**side note. the reason the shifter notch has to touch the side of the plate is so that it guides the shifter into the 6th gear from fifth; as well as when you push down to go into reverse the notch goes underneath the plate to make it go into the reverse gear. once there is the correct alignment the other gears are in syncronation as well.
11) tighten the left bolt now then torque them all down to 88 inch pounds
after you have tightened them all down try going thru all the gears and see if it feels right. make sure when your going from 5th to 6th the shifter notch is touching and going along the plate guide for the proper alignment of all the gears. This is very important because if it is slightly off and there is enough room for play of the shifter (to go farther right then its suppose to in the 5th and 6th gears) then the alignment will be off and you will grind out all of your gears one by one. once your comfortable with it then replace everything else in reverse order then screw on your shifter and your done.