We greatly improve the feel and control of our S197 Mustang’s Getrag MT82 transmission with a short shift kit from MGW.
The Getrag MT-82 is well-known for not being the best shifting transmission out there. In fact, there is a lot of negativity towards this gearbox, and our Project Budget 400whp Track Car could easily add to that. The shifter is vague and rubbery and to make matters worse, the rubber isolator in the shift lever is completely blown out, causing excessive slop.
However, the vast majority of these issues come down to the design and quality of parts used in the MT-82’s shift linkage. When new, these rubber bushings are not all that bad, but they quickly wear out and become problematic. Fortunately, instead of dropping thousands of dollars on better gearbox, we can replace the entire shift linkage and bushings with high quality, precision pieces to greatly improve the feel and control of our shifter.
There are a lot of short shift kits out there, but most fall short of MGW’s level of precision, quality, and level of engineering that goes into their products. Which is what you would expect from a company who manufacturers firearms. In fact, the brand’s acronym is actually Michigan Gun Works.
We bought MGW’s complete shift kit, including the lower shift base. This is a comprehensive kit that includes a sophisticated billet shifting mechanism, tight tolerance lower mounting base, all necessary hardware, and sound deadening material to keep NVH to a minimum.
Now I must admit that I’m generally not a fan of short shift kits and don’t like the majority of them (for any car) and usually prefer stock over an unnecessarily short, notchy shifter that requires more physical effort and is often slower to shift. I have rarely owned short shift kits on my personal cars and when I do, they are well-engineered pieces that aren’t cheap. In these rare cases, I typically get the longest shift throws possible because I’m looking for the tighter tolerance components, not the geometrically shorter shifter.
This MGW was no different. I ordered their least-aggressive shift kit with their longest shift lever. I wanted to minimize the reduction in throw and just wanted the benefits of their high-quality components. I also would recommend anyone reading this to NOT order anything other than MGW’s longest shift kits, because their medium and super short shift kit are just too short, require too much effort, and will more than likely increase synchro wear for the majority of people who buy them.
MGW’s shifter is a work or precision art. This billet shifter is of extremely high quality that far exceeds OEM standards.
The billet base of this shifter is extremely high-tolerance, which is key for reducing slop and making this shifter feel bolt-action rifle precise.
MGW’s optional lower shifter mount completely changes the mounting of the shifting mechanism. This lower mount makes the shifter base and transmission effectively one, solid piece. By comparison, the stock shifter (and the MGW shifter when not opting for this base) mounts to both the transmission and a big, soft chassis-mounted bushing on the chassis. This stock layout has more points of movement, slop, and vagueness to the shifting system.