Modern musclecar owners enjoy all of the horsepower and performance they could want in a package that’s comfortable enough to take the family out to dinner, or even cruise cross-country. The interior is quiet, and filled with amenities that were only available in high-end luxury cars a few years back.
Even though there’s often well over 400 HP on tap in our modern musclecars, the factory engineers still error on the side of caution with noise vibration and harshness. Evidence of this prudence can always be found in the shifter.
Factory shifters are cushy by performance standards. They’re designed for simple leverage and minimal noise, not necessarily for high performance. While today’s shifters are better than those on factory muscles of even just a few years ago, they still leave a lot to be desired in the performance department.
A shifter upgrade is a smart choice for any musclecar owner. Missed shifts cost you time on the drag strip, around the cones at the autocross, and even mess with your day just trying to merge onto the interstate. A more accurate, better feeling shifter will not only improve your car’s performance, but it also improves the overall driving experience.
You may remember a few years ago, Hurst teamed with Mopar to offer a special edition Hurst Challenger. Their Billet/Plus 2 shifter was standard in that car, and it’s now available to manual transmission Challenger owners everywhere.
Designed with Hurst’s legendary precision in mind, it features CNC-machined parts such as the stainless steel stick assembly, the aluminum carrier arm, and the stick arm adapter. There’s also a teflon-lined spherical pivot bearing to keep shifts firm and precise.
Classic Looks for Modern Muscle
Hurst designed the shifter for use with the included classic chrome stick and white shift ball, or you can reuse the stock factory stick. You could also opt for the pistol-grip, completing the retro-feel of the shifter. This shifter promises to reduce shift throws, and gives drivers that crisp shifter feeling allowing them to quickly, and aggressively rip through every gear change with authority.
We recently installed a Billet/Plus 2 shifter in a 2010 Dodge Challenger, part number 3916020. Upon inspection of the parts, the first thing we noticed is how much beefier the Hurst piece is compared to the stock unit. The bushings in the mounts were also heavy-duty, made from polyurethane rather than the stock rubber, further isolating the shifter from movement under hard shifts; this will also outlast the factory rubber bushings.
The shifter itself takes a couple of hours to install in the Challenger. The operation can be performed with basic hand tools, and unlike similar projects on the new Camaro or Mustang, a lift is not required as all of the work is performed inside the car with the Challenger.
With Hurst’s new Billet/Plus 2 shifter installed, we took the Challenger out for a test spin. We immediately noticed improved shift feel on the first shift between first and second. We also found the new shifter offered much shorter throws, with a positive feel, giving us more confidence on the next shift, with little worry about missing a shift.
The Hurst shifter will provide the Challenger with years of reliable service, and a better driving experience. Check out the video for the complete installation, and subscribe for notification of future tech installs. For more information about the Billet/Plus shifters, or any of Hurst’s other shifters, be sure to visit the Hurst web-site.