We knew right from the start what the first modification to our Project Bullitt would be – the now infamous Steeda Tri-Ax shifter. Before the arrival of our Bullitt, we had not yet driven a car with the new Tremec 3650 transmission. We knew that this tranny would be a much improved version over the older T45. Tremec states that this is actually not a re-designed T45, but rather a new tranny designed from the ground up. Within the first 3 days of having our Project Bullitt, we put over 1400 miles on it. We took delivery of the car in Dearborn, MI and drove her home to Auburn, AL. The transmission feels great. Shifting is more precise and the gear ratios seem to work better with the car. The stock shifter included with the 3650 does a fine job, but, being the gearheads we are, we knew that we had to have an aftermarket one. We wanted more precise shifts and the less ‘cushiness’ factor.
New transmission meant no one had manufactured an aftermarket shifter ready for the car when we took delivery. We knew that Steeda was working on a prototype and they were only a few weeks out before they would be ready to ship. We stayed in close contact with Steeda and as soon as they were ready, we had them ship us one for Project Bullitt.
Upon receiving our shifter from Steeda, we immediately took an afternoon break to install the new piece. Installation was a snap. Removing the old shifter was a bit tricky, as there was not much room to get leverage to pry the OEM one out, but overall it was simple. Total installation took about 45 minutes. Leave out the time it took us to take some nifty pictures of the install, not to mention our meticulous manner, and you’ve got about a 30 minute job.
Once the shifter was in place, we took the Bullitt down the road to get our first impressions. The shifter works great. Once you get over the stock positions you’re used to, this new shifter finds the gears a lot easier. Shifting is solid and firm. It would be really hard for someone to miss 3rd. When the shifter is in neutral, the shifter handle is actually lined up between 3rd and 4th. To go to 1st gear from neutral you have to move the handle left and up. The only thing we didn’t count on was the amount of gear noise transmitted by the new shifter. It was little more boisterous than we expected. We do know that aftermarket shifters are not dampened and this will occur. A small price to pay for a great shifting transmission.
Steeda, once again, has offered the aftermarket a great product. They were quick in preparing for this new transmission and it has paid off. If you are driving a new Bullitt, Cobra or GT with a 3650 tranny, you cannot go wrong with this shifter.
Categories: Aftermarket, Mustang Tech