Q: Shifter Hole Template for 4-speed for 1968
I want to convert my column shift 4-speed to a floor shift. Does anyone have a template where I need to locate this?
A: For those of you that are interested, I’ve completed the template for 4 speed shifter mounting hole:
Actual Size Template:
1.) You will need to remove the seam sealer along the top of the tranny tunnel, (just underneath the dashboard). The sheetmetal edge is used as a reference point. All “Y” coordinates are located from that line. There is also a second line drawn on the template that aligns with the edge of a rolled crease in the tranny tunnel. Due to the soft radius of that crease, it would be a less accurate point of reference. CAUTION: I would check both reference lines to make sure that they line up within reason. GM may have not cared about the edge of the sheetmetal that I used as a reference point. I have no way of knowing. If the edge and crease look to be in alignment, then there is a higher likelihood that the reference points are good to use as standards.
2.) You will need to draw a centerline down the middle of your tunnel. All “X” coordinates are referenced from there. The centerline is not easy to determine due to the soft radius of the tunnel sides. I found it best to locate the center of the tunnel in about 10 different locations and then draw a straight line down the center of the dots. I found that all of the dots I made were within 1/16″” of the line I drew, so I felt that accuracy was pretty good.
3.) When drawing and cutting the hole, keep in mind that GM did a very very sloppy job of cutting the hole. It looked like it was cut with a torch. My template provides a nice smooth hole pattern. If you cut it and it looks sloppy, you are still probably better than GM. If you want to duplicate the GM factory look, cut the hole about 3/16″ smaller all the way around and then melt the edges slightly with a torch in a bunch of spots at random. It will look like melted candle wax on the edges.
4.) After you have cut the hole, then align the bezel for the rubber shifting boot with the shifter hole. I would use the bezel to locate the screw holes for the bezel and boot, not the template (although the template is very close to being right on).
5.) For those of you who will wonder if the template is correct, the shifter hole is not in the center of the tunnel. It is in fact offset to the left. It makes sense when you remember that the shifter is mounted on the side of the tranny.
6.) Last but not least, please keep in mind that I’ve done the best I can to produce an accurate template. Still, I’m certain that it has some error to it. Judging from the hole that GM cut in my car, I don’t think the error is worth worrying about.
Good luck and may the Sawzall gods be with you!!
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Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm