The instructions say that you should bolt the shifter up, and then run everything through the gears. They say it’s possible you might need to jiggle the shifter adapter one way or another to get everything to happily line up and get everything to go through all the gears. Since my transmission has less than 100 miles on it, it was pretty tight, so everything went smoothly.
Then you’re supposed to drill holes through the block all the way down into the bottom plate to install roll pins. That seems like a gigantic pain in the ass with much room for error. So we got the shifter working well, tightened it down, and then removed the block to drill the holes using the Bridgeport.
The new holes allow roll pins to be driven down into the adapter plate. The old holes will enable the block to bolt to the shifter adapter. They cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
This was a million times easier than trying to drill the holes with the block in the car. It also helps to ensure that the roll pin holes are perfectly straight.
With the roll pin holes drilled, we checked the shifter one last time. To check it, I simply started the engine and tried to go through all of the gears with the car on jack stands at low speed. It went from neutral all the way up to 6th, and then back down. Then we stopped, engaged reverse, and that worked, too.
Confident that everything was working, we took it all apart again.
S1’s adapter plate mostly covers this middle bolt hole on the vehicle’s left side. But it doesn’t completely cover it. We took a stud and some liquid gasket and inserted it flush with the transmission surface to “fill” the hole. This would ensure nothing could splash up onto the area and then leak out of the trans. We also noticed the reverse lockout solenoid block-off plate wasn’t installed well, so that was removed and replaced to ensure a leak-free fit.