Thanks to poster on rodstafford on the BuickForums.com, I was made aware of a new short shifter kit for my 2012 Buick Regal. The kit is available from a couple sources: Opel Tuning and Bad News Racing. I ordered mine from Opel Tuning, be sure you get the later version shown below.
This is on my 2012 Buick Regal, Turbo Premium III. But will work on 2010 through 2012 (and some 2013’s) Models with a 6 speed manual transmission (including GS models). Check the forum above as some newer 2013 GS models have a different kit; but, the install is similar, so be sure to read all the posts on the forum before buying and understand what you’re doing.
The install is fairly easy while the instructions note removing the battery; you really don’t need to do so if you have patience (I chose not to as I didn’t like the idea of re-programming my radio and other settings lost when pulling the battery) – YMMV.
The kit comes with the linkage arm, c-clip, and dust cover.
Installation starts with the basics. Be sure your car is parked on a flat level area. The parking brake is set and for added safety both front wheels chalked (really don’t want the car to move when the gear shift is disconnected – so heed these precautions). Also be sure the car has been off for a while. Doing this with the engine bay hot means many hot surfaces (so don’t skip this step).
With that said, the next steps are putting the car in 6th gear (positions the arm for easier work) and moving the ECM away from the battery mount, just lift it vertical (note the guide slots) and set it aside (no need to unplug anything).
Note the ECM’s alignment slots/ribs
Lay to the side & no need to disconnect.
Now you can see the stock shifter controls.
Use a pair of needle nose pliers to gently remove the upper control line.
Use a long handle flat heat screw driver to gently remove the lower control line.
Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the roller arm clip (save this this for the re-install). The C-Clip I got with my kit as inferior to this clip, so I re-used the stock clip, YMMV.
Now for the challenging part, the stock dust cover removal. Drill a small hole in the dust cover then use a screw driver and slowly work it out of the stock lever. This will take some patience; but, can be done in about 5 min or so.
Once you have the hole drilled, start working on removing the dust cover.
As noted above, the dust cover will put up a fight to be removed. Defeat is inevitable, but these battle scars show a valiant effort!
With the dust cover removed, use a deep 13 mm socket to remove the M8 Nut from the control arm.
Be careful to not lose the bushing shown below. I found that it slipped out easy and added some slack to remove the control arm.
My arm was on tight, use the setup below to tap it loose; nothing really hard, just a couple light taps is all I needed to break it loose.
Use a socket below the arm to keep it from moving down, and a long handle screw driver + hammer to tap the inner shaft down.
Here is what the shaft looks like with the arm removed.
Here is the stock arm removed.
Side by side comparison…
Before installing, add some gear lube to the inner teeth of the new arm and along the roller surfaces too (will make installation easier and the arm’s action smoother too).
The teeth have an alignment detent/alignment flat, so be sure to line that up (can do this by feel). Once lined up, work the arm down on the shaft. Then tighten the M8 bolt back (hand tighten 1st so you don’t strip it, then tighten firmly with socket wrench).
Re-insert the upper control arm and align the bearing.
Re-insert the stock retaining clip (it is a tight fit; but will fit).
Snap on the control lines. Add the dust cover. Check check the control throws.
With everything re-assembled, time to put the ECM back in place & you’re done!
Note the ECM’s alignment slots/ribs
– can be installed without removing the battery (I’m sure it is easier with it removed)
– the stock dust cap/plug is a pain to remove (but not overly hard, be patient and work at it)
– the c-clip supplied with the kit is useless, re-use the stock clip for the lever if you can
– shift throws are much shorter (I measured ~7 inch throws stock, down to ~3.5 to 4 inch with the kit installed)
– the notch like shifts become much more apparent; but, you know you’re in gear (I like the good feedback, so for some this will be a positive for others may be seen this as a negative). I really think spending 18 months with the longer shifts has made me notice this more so YMMV.
– this upgrade is well worth the $$$ to buy and trouble to install in my opinion as the long throws felt like driving a truck, the shorter throws are now much smaller and crisp (sporty).
Overall, this install is roughly a 4 out of 10 on the hardness to do and install. Took me about 45 min to complete (taking pictures along the way).
Be sure to leave questions & comments….