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A 355nation How To presented by
rshadd

Project Name
How To: H3 Floor Shifter Conversion with the Colorado Automatic Console

Project Description
Converting your Column Shift to a Floor Shift using Factory Parts

Skill Level
Moderate

Project Vehicle
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Colorado
Year: 2009
Engine: 5.3L
Power windows: Yes
Sun Roof: Yes

Tools Needed
Ratchet and Sockets
Phillips #2 Screwdriver
Blade #2 Screwdriver
Wire Cutter and Crimper
Trim Removal Tool
Allen wrench or bits
Torx driver or bits
Scissors, Utility Knife
Thread Setting Tool
Drill and Index

Hardware Needed
(4) 1/4"-20 1-1/2" Allen head bolts

A few small Zip ties

Project Time
All Day

Project Cost
$300-400

Parts List



GM Part Number: 15823064
Description: CONTROL. Transmission Shift. Transmission Shift Control Lever.
Cost: $84.60

Item Number: 003
GM Part Number: 25800703 (ACDelco #25800703)
Description: CABLE. Transmission Shift Control Cable*
Cost: $50.40
*Not used. I re-used the stock 5.3L cable. (#25899714)

GM Part Number: 10376748
Description: SHROUD. Steering (EBONY)
Cost: $12.92

GM Part Number: 19149642
Description: LINER. Steering (EBONY)
Cost: $17.13

GM Part Number: 15112814
Description: LEVER. Transmission Gear Shift Control
Cost: $169.80

GM Part Number: 13583923, (AC Delco #PT3923)
Description: CONNECTOR ASM,WRG HARN W/LEADS *GRAY (BTSI Connector)
Cost: 23.97

GM Part Number: 19180941
Description: 1998-2002 Cadillac Eldorado Center Console Shift Black Leather (Cobra Head)
Cost: $107 (new GM) or $28 (used-ebay)



Installation Procedures:

  1. Start by removing the front seats

    Important: When removing both front power seats, remove the passenger seat first. Power to the passenger seat is terminated once the driver's seat is disconnected.

    Ensure that the seat is all the way rearward and remove the two 18mm front bolts. Move the seat all the way forward and remove the two 18mm rear bolts.

    Disconnect the seat electrical connectors from the body harness and remove the seat from the vehicle.

  2. Remove the Center Console
    The console is bolted to the floor with the two 18mm bolts that you already removed when you took out the front seats. Remove the package tray from the console carefully with a trim tool being careful not to break any clips.

    Lift upward on the front and middle section of the console to release the plastic retainers.

    Remove the console from the vehicle a place in a safe location.

  3. Remove the Front Side Door Sill Trim Plates

    The door sills are just held in place with some plastic clips. Grasp the front door sill plate and pull the panel away from the body to release the fasteners.

    Remove any fasteners that may have pulled away from the panel and reinstall them to the back of the panel. Remove the front door sill plates from the vehicle.

  4. Remove the Driver Knee Bolster Panel
    Begin by removing the hood release lever screws.

    Remove the hood release lever from the trim panel.

    Next, remove the phillips head screw retaining the trim panel.

    Pull rearward on the trim panel to release the retaining clips. The trim panel will be tethered to the vehicle by the park brake release cable.

    Use a small flat-blade screwdriver to remove the park brake release handle from the park brake release cable. Release the retaining tabs located behind the handle.

    In order to remove the cable from the trim panel, reach behind the panel and rotate the cable clockwise past the molded bumps (1). Finally remove the trim panel from the vehicle.

  5. Remove the Knee Bolster
    Now that the knee bolster panel is out of the way, we can continue by removing the knee bolster. Release the tab (1) retaining the data link communication (DLC) connector to the knee bolster.

    Remove the DLC connector from the knee bolster. Next remove the fasteners retaining the knee bolster to the instrument panel (I/P) structure.

    Release the integral knee bolster hangars (1) from the instrument panel structure.

    Finally, remove the knee bolster from the vehicle.

  6. Remove the Shift Lever from the Steering Column
    Disengage the rubber shift lever seal (2) from the steering column trim covers (1) and slide it up the shift lever (4) to get it out of the way.

    Remove the shift lever bolt (3) from the shift lever (4) with a T-30 Torx bit.

    Remove the shift lever with the shift lever seal from the steering column.

  7. Remove the Steering Column Trim Covers
    Remove the lower steering column trim cover bolts (phillips).

    Gently unsnap the upper and lower steering column trim covers and remove them.



  8. Remove the Shifter Cable from the Shift Control Linkage
    Remove the left hinge pillar trim panel and pull the drivers side carpet up enough to access the range selector cable. Disconnect the range selector cable retainer (1) from the lower dash panel.

    Complete the following in order to disconnect the range selector cable (4) from the transmission range selector lever ball stud (1):
    Insert a flat bladed tool between the range selector cable end (2) and the range selector lever. Next, pry the range selector cable end (2) away from the range selector lever.

    Remove the retainer (3) from the range selector cable (4). Push the range selector cable locking tabs inward toward each other to release from the steering column bracket (5).
    Re-route the shifter cable under the carpet to the H3 floor shifter location. Be careful not to bind the cable.

  9. Remove Linear Shift Assembly
    Insert a small screwdriver into the slot on the ignition lock cylinder case and push against the locking tab to remove the automatic transmission park lock cable (1).

    The ignition lock cylinder MUST be in the OFF-LOCK position. Use a small screwdriver to gently disconnect the automatic transmission shift lock actuator (BTSI).


    Remove the three linear shift assembly bolts (T-30 torx).

    Remove the linear shift assembly.


  10. Extend the wires from the BTSI on the steering column under the carpet to the floor shifter.
    I use 14g zip cord for this and crimped the connections under the dash. Run the wiring under the carpet to the floor shifter.

  11. Remove the existing Shift Cable from the Transmission
    This step isn't necessary with the V8, since the v8 cable needs to be re-used. It's possible that the I5 transmission shift cable could be retained as well, I don't know for sure. The floor shift cable for the H3 is referenced in the parts list.

  12. Test fit the H3 Shifter with the Center Console
    It's a tight fit, but it'll work. It's best to leave the boot off during mock up. Leave the trim ring off for now also so you don't bust off any of the plastic clips.


  13. Trim the front of the Shifter assembly for clearance
    The front of the H3 shifter sits too high in the front and the shifter and the cable won't be able to clear the front of the console without some modification. I used a Dremel tool to trim down the front of the shifter as necessary for clearance. This was a trim, test fit, trim some more process. Go slowly and take a little off at a time.


  14. Trim the Console as necessary
    Again is a trim and fit, trim and fit operation. One of the right side feet needs to be trimmed for clearance to center the shifter left to right.

    The front of the console was trimmed for clearance.

    You're trying to center the shifter in the opening. It will let you know where it needs to be. Make sure that the shifter can operate through it's entire range. There's a shift interlock solenoid that will prevent the shifter from operating, just push in the round silver part of the solenoid to free up the shifter.


  15. Re-Connect Transmission Shift Cable to Transmission
    We ran into an issue here when attempting to use the H3 floor shift cable list in the parts list. Seems that the cable is routed differently on the V8 trucks due to the dual exhaust. The cable on the V8 is also insulated for heat protection. Using the H3 shift cable resulted in the shifter cable laying right on top to the driver's side catalytic convertor. Obviously, this is no good. We were able to re-use the existing shift cable that came with my truck and re-routed it to the floor shifter. It was plenty long enough and it worked out great. We only needed to be slightly modified the end were is mounted to the H3 shifter. You see, the retaining slot on the shifter is squared and the end on the V8 cable is round. A little work with the dremel tool to the shifter cable end and it fit securely in place, without much fuss.

  16. Re-Route Shift Cable Through Existing Hole in the Floor
    Again, this step wasn't necessary in my case, since I reused my existing cable. I only list is here for you guys without a V8. The cable already has a big rubber grommet attached.


  17. Connect Shift Cable to H3 Shifter
    It just pops on.


  18. Connect BTSI connector to H3 Shifter
    Plug in the electrical connector for the shift interlock and make your electrical connections to the BTSI cable that you previously ran.

    Use the center pins (#2 and #5). With the key on and the brake depressed you should be able to move the shifter out of the Park position. Polarity is important. If you connect it backwards the solenoid will just buzz and not release.


  19. Remove the 5 speed Shift Knob from the Manual Transmission Lever
    This is pressed on and pretty difficult to remove. Since it's a throw away part I just used a hack saw to cut the shift lever.


  20. Remove the Leather Shifter Boot from the Manual Shift Lever
    Peel back the leather tabs. They're just held in place with some weak glue.

    Use a hook or suitable tool to grab the rubber o-ring and pull it off the boot. Now you can remove the leather boot.
    The white retainer can be discarded. The purpose the the white retainer ring is to prevent the boot from sliding down on the lever shaft. The shift lever is smaller on the H3 shifter so we'll come up with something else in a bit.

  21. Modify the Shifter Knob to fit the H3 Shifter
    The stock H3 shift knob is attached to the H3 shift lever with a set screw. The knob that I choose to use used a c-clip, so some modifying is necessary.
    The black leather 2002 Cadillac Eldorado Shifter knob that I used needed to be drilled out to allow the red button on the shift lever to clear into the head of the shifter. A 1/4" drill bit is used to enlarge the hole on the inside of the shift knob.

    The shift knob also need to be enlarged to allow the knob to fit onto the H3 shift lever. A 1/2" drill bit is used to enlarge the hole.


  22. Install a Retaining Ring on the Shift Lever
    Some sort of retaining ring is necessary in order to prevent the shifter boot from sliding down on the shifter lever. I used a suitable nut and drilled it out to 1/2" then use a little electrical tape to keep it tight.


  23. Attach the Leather Shift Boot to the H3 Shifter
    Slide the leather boot over the shift lever and secure it in place with a zip tie.


  24. Fasten the Shift Knob
    Cut a slot on either side of the H3 shifter lever to accept the c-clip retainer from the shift knob. I inserted the knob on the shift lever and then scribe a mark.

    Insert the c-clips and ensure the it's secure. The clip keep the knob in place and prevents knob from lifting when the shifter button is pressed.


  25. Reinstall the Center Console
    Position the console back in the truck.


  26. Mount and Fasten the H3 Shifter to the Floor
    With the H3 shifter in place and centered in position, mark the position for four fasteners. I cut away the carpet some to reveal the metal floor. Then I marked the holes with a sharpie. A automatic center punch was used to mark the holes and to prevent the drill bit for walking. I used stainless steel 1/4"-20 allen head bolts that were 1-1/2" long. To give the bolts something to screw into I used my thread setting tool to insert four 1/4-20 poly-nuts. I didn't take any pics of the rivet nuts being pressed in, but here a picture of what it looks like on o scrap piece of angle iron.


    This is what the poly-nuts look like.


    And this is the tool that is used to insert the poly nuts into the sheet metal. Marson Rivet Nut Setter.


    Finally I bolted the shifter to the floor and reinstalled the center console ensuring that the plastic retainers were indexed to the corresponding holes in the floor panel.

    Pushing downward on the console sets the retainers.

    Don't install the console bolts just yet. They'll get re-installed later when the seats go back in. Ensure the console bracket is positioned under the seat frame

  27. Attach the Leather Boot to the Trim Ring
    The leather boot attaches to the plastic trim ring with a wire retainer and some clips. It's pretty straight forward.


  28. Snap the Trim Ring into the Console
    Press the retaining ring into the console.


  29. Reinstall the Knee Bolster
    Position the knee bolster to the vehicle and hang the knee bolster (1) on the I/P structure.


    Install the fasteners retaining the knee bolster to the I/P structure and tighten the fasteners to 9 N·m (80 lb in).


    Install the DLC connector to the knee bolster, ensuring the tab (1) is properly seated.


  30. Reinstall the Knee Bolster Panel
    Position the trim panel to the instrument panel (I/P). In order to install the cable to the trim panel, insert the cable into the trim panel and rotate the cable counterclockwise past the molded bumps (1), until seated.

    Install the park brake release handle to the cable ensuring the retaining tabs are fully seated.

    Align the trim panel retaining clips to the I/P and then push the trim panel forward into the I/P, seating the retaining clips.

    Install the screw retaining the trim panel. Tighten the screw to 2.5 N·m (22 lb in).

    Install the hood release lever to the trim panel.

    Install the two hood release lever screws. Tighten the screws to 2.5 N·m (22 lb in).


  31. Reinstall the Front Bucket Seats
    Position the seats back in the vehicle and re-connect the seat electrical connectors to the body harness. Install the rear seat bolts and then move the seat all the way rearward. Install the front bolts and tighten to 52.5 N.m (39 lb ft).


    Important: After installation of a manual seat, move your body around in the seat to insure the the manual seat adjuster positively locks into position.

  32. Reinstall the Front Side Door Sill Trim Plates
    Position the front door sill plate over the pillar and door sill. Ensure that the sill plate fasteners are aligned with the holes in the body and then push firmly against the body to seat the fasteners.


  33. Test the Operation of the Shifter and Adjust if Necessary
    Verify that you are able to move the shift though the entire range of gears. If you find that it won't engage 1st gear, the cable can be adjusted easily.

There you have it, your H3 floor shifter conversion is complete. Here a few pics of the finished installation.


 

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So what trucks came with the center console and 5 speeds? I've looked at a ton of 5 speed trucks on AutoTrader and cant find any pictures of them. I really don't feel like paying $100+ for a trim piece and a boot, but I cant find any out in the wild.
 

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Hey Rich, is this what the end of your cable looked like? Mine doesn't clip into place, so when I move it into park, it pops out of the slot.


@rshadd
 

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I mean the part further down that clips into the base itself. See how they aren't the same?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Yeah I see what you're referring to now.



I'm trying to remember if the H3 shifter had that or if I used part of the H3 shift cable. I do remember that the H3 cable that I bought wouldn't work due to the extra heat shield on the transmission with the V8. It's possible that we took the two shift cables that we had apart and made one that fit.. but I really don't remember.

Dave @comdrop9073 helped run the shift cables so perhaps he has a better recollection than me.
 

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Yeah I see what you're referring to now.



I'm trying to remember if the H3 shifter had that or if I used part of the H3 shift cable. I do remember that the H3 cable that I bought wouldn't work due to the extra heat shield on the transmission with the V8. It's possible that we took the two shift cables that we had apart and made one that fit.. but I really don't remember.

Dave @comdrop9073 helped run the shift cables so perhaps he has a better recollection than me.
We did. I can't remember where, but it does separate and you connect the h3 shifter to the v8 trans cable.
 

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Yup. Smack in the middle of it. Looks like I need to snag an H3 shift cable. Thanks for the info Dave!
 

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Very nice write up. Lots of good information. I've been considering doing something similar to my split bench seat truck using a B&M shifter. I didn't realize it was such and involved project
 

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What are you going to do for a handle ?
I was going to see if the one off my wife's Equinox will work. I don't think she will appreciate that though. Need to find another source.
 

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I was going to see if the one off my wife's Equinox will work. I don't think she will appreciate that though. Need to find another source.
do you have the h3 shifter? i have one ill let go of the whole shifter and handle :D
 

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I have the shifter. Not a huge fan of the H3 handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I have the shifter. Not a huge fan of the H3 handle.
Yeah I agree you. The H3 shift handle does not look right in our trucks. The grey color is a bad match and the perferated leather match anything either.

I think I still have a leather shift knob from a Pontiac Bonneville that would work for you. It's yours for the asking if you want it. I'm pretty sure I didn't toss it. Hit me up and I'll take a look for it. @ahelm3







I decide to use a Cadillac "Cobra Head" knob because I liked the look and feel of it. The leather was a better match too. Maybe you can tell by the pics but the Pontiac knob was more of a really dark gray, whereas the Caddy knob matched my ebony leather perfectly.

 
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