C5 Shifter Upgrade

The C5 Corvette six-speed is an all-out blast to drive. With a solid linkage and a rear-mounted transmission, it's one of the best-engineered gearboxes available in a street car. Problem is, it doesn't take much to push the C5 Corvette shifter to its limits under hard driving. That's when shifter response and actuation can be challenging. Missed shifts and a lazy stick feel are very common and can become an instant source of frustration.

To address this problem, C5 Corvette owners should consider the installation of a short-throw billet shifter. We sampled Kirban's Kwik Six-Speed Shifter, which features solid billet construction and a 20% overall reduction in shift throws by using a shorter handle, thus altering the pivot geometry. Additionally, this shifter is engineered with heavier detent springs, allowing for a much crisper shifter action. Missed shifts are virtually eliminated.

Installation of this shifter is surprisingly easy. Remember that before you begin, please make sure the emergency brake is set and the shifter is in fourth gear. With some basic hand tools, you can install it in about 11/2 hours. We topped it off with a Kirban billet shift knob. The results were remarkable. We bought our C5 Corvette shifter from Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, 1-800-962-9632.

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Source: Chris Byrd and Paul Zazarine, Corvette Magazine

Submitted by Phil Ellison