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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Custom Shifter

So I've done these before but it fell off the priority list for a while. At the meet I saw a couple of the shifter I've made for others and got talking with a few people about it. That, combined with the fact I'm sort of fed up with electronics at the moment while my DSP is dead led me to finally make myself another shifter for myself.

The only step that's left is to glue the stainless steel overlay into place. Right now it's all wrapped up so the leather around the edges will shape itself around the overlay, kind of like breaking in a new baseball glove. Tomorrow I'll glue it and it'll be done.



This one was a step forward from what I'd done before. I used three threads through the whole thing, which pretty much triples the work. The fact that I'm only fishing through the same number of holes is offset by keeping the threads from getting twisted or tangled.

It looks great though, and when I hit the leather with a last round of conditioner and polish up the overlay to a perfect shine it'll be fantastic.



My car won't ever be done because I'm insane. That is all.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 08:08 AM
Bitches be like...


 
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Garage
awesome.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 09:16 AM
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Looks Good!
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 09:32 AM
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That looks awesome Dan. I might just have to hit you up for one one of these days.


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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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I can always do the stitching on a stock shifter but I have in my stash 5 overlays remaining to create stainless steel versions. I think its time for those to find a home.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:42 AM
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I love mine...it is in great shape, and still gets comments.
Now to get the steering wheel, and shift boot to go with it...and the set will be complete!!



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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:43 AM
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What about the seats Tom?


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 11:13 AM
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Looks nice, Dan.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 11:28 AM
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Looks awesome!! I am thinking this may be something I will need to look into getting done
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 12:01 PM
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That's Awesome I am looking to do the same thing .where did you get your thread and did you remove the old thread or just overlap it.
Also Does anyone have any suggestions to what glue is best for attaching ne leather to steering wheels, shifters etc I am going to be doing 3 of each and at the truck plant I noticed the leather is really tightly glued to these items

Last edited by CPU Xtreme; 04-28-2013 at 12:12 PM.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 12:48 PM
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Great work, Dan ...I'd love a splash of color in my interior
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 01:40 PM
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Wow! That really is a super looking project!
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowvox6 View Post
I love mine...it is in great shape, and still gets comments.
Now to get the steering wheel, and shift boot to go with it...and the set will be complete!!
After I get warmed up on the shifter next comes the steering wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paintballdude05 View Post
What about the seats Tom?

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Seats could be done, but it's an incredible amount of work. If I ever find a set of seats in great shape I'd do it for myself, but I don't like any of you guys that much .

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Originally Posted by CPU Xtreme View Post
That's Awesome I am looking to do the same thing .where did you get your thread and did you remove the old thread or just overlap it.
Also Does anyone have any suggestions to what glue is best for attaching ne leather to steering wheels, shifters etc I am going to be doing 3 of each and at the truck plant I noticed the leather is really tightly glued to these items
On our cars they don't glue it very tight. The leather is just wrapped tighly with a light adhesive to keep it from shifting.

Thanks for the kind words guys, I'm going to give a brief "how to" here in the next post to share what I'm doing.



My car won't ever be done because I'm insane. That is all.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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So first off I use a knit picker to pull all the old threads out. I also use that opportunity to clean all the junk out of that part of the shifter that builds up over the years. I just throw away the old thread, I have no use for it.

I use upholstery repair needles to do the threading. They're curved almost 180 and have large eyes to be able to handle lots of/large thread.

The thread I use is 100% bonded nylon. I've tried several others and looked at what other people have used and nothing else is as good. The bonded nylon doesn't have frayed fibers sticking out, it has a good shine to it, and it resists stains really well. The one down side is that because the factory stitching machines actually are using three strands of thread woven together as it sews no single thread is going to be as large. Most people are just fine with a single strand doing the job, but on this one that I did I went for 3 as well. I didn't twist them because it would be impossible to get the needed consistency by hand, so instead they all run parallel across the stitches for a nice wide look that is very neat.

I copy the exact thread pattern of the stock shifter. There are two pairs of thread that start in the middle and one goes down each side from there. Pay close attention to which way to cross the threads each time to make sure it pulls together and looks right. I do it so that the thread is never pulling up on the other one. They both should pull tight on their own without relying on tension against each other IMO.

At the end you just tie it off and shove it up under the leather.

Now all of that is just to do the stitching, to set in the SS overlays requires a whole separate set of work to do right. I've experimented and trained my methods on that one over quite a few shifters to get to how I do it now. Basically I pull the leather all the way off and carve out the rubber underneath down to the hard plastic core for where the overlay sits to give it a lower area to sit into. I then cut the leather about a 1/8-1/4" inside that area before restitching. After it's all stitched I wrap up the overlay on the leather to bend it into shape a bit first. I glue down the edges of the leather and then the edges of the overlay to the top of the leather. Make sure no glue shows and wrap it up tight for 24 hours.

When it's all done it should look damn near identicle to the stock chrome shifters, except better. You can't get flaking chrome because it's solid metal, and any scratches can be polished right out.

I freely share all my methods with you for a couple of reasons. The first is that I always like to help out the community, but the second is that I know the amount of work I put in is worth far more than what I would charge to sell these. When I do sell them off finally I'll be basically breaking even on supplies plus a few bucks, so feel free to try yourself if you want. I'm not in it for money.



My car won't ever be done because I'm insane. That is all.
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 04:39 PM
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Time to get AutoStick -- JUST FOR A SHIFTER LIKE THAT!!!!
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