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Titanium Q-Shifter top (yes, a "short shifter" is actually longer) and stock shifter bottom
Note the modified control socket with dampening O-rings

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Push down retaining clip and remove A/C control cable
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Lift up inner boot around edges and remove
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Remove three bolts and metal guide plate

How to Install
Rallitec Q-Shifter
(short throw shifter)
on a 350Z ('03 or '04)

Introduction: The shifter comes in either titanium or stainless steel (same installation procedure). You may have to recut the threads so you can screw the shifter knob on. Recommend testing the fit of the shift knob before installing the shifter. Hopefully, this issue will be fixed in future production runs. You may also have up to a four-month wait for delivery since production is only done when there are enough orders. Be sure to order the version with the modified control socket. Note that they have made some production changes, so what you get will not look like the pictures on their web site.


Tools and Materials Needed:

  • 10 and 12 mm deep sockets or shallow sockets and short extension
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Large vise-grip pliers
  • Small flat-blade screwdriver
  • Floor jack and jackstand
  • Thick hand towel
  • Grease
  • If you need to cut new threads for the shift knob: 10mm 1.25 pitch die

Shifter Removal and Installation:

1. Fold a thick hand towel and wrap around neck of shift knob. Place vise-grips with jaws on the flat sides of the knob. It should be tight enough so it won't slip with quite a bit of force. Make sure the jaws are above the plastic piece at the bottom of the knob. Turn knob counterclockwise. It will take quite a bit of force and the shift lever actually twists before the knob starts to come loose.

2. Inside the knob there is a beveled metal bushing and a rubber bushing. Don't lose these because they will be needed when you put it all back together.

3. Put your hand inside the ring around the gear shift opening at the rear of the console and pull up. The console will snap out fairly easily.

4. Using the flat-blade screwdriver, push down on the wiring connector locking tang as you pull the connector free. Use caution not to pull on the ribbon cable because it is fairly delicate.

5. If it doesn't come off with the console and leather shift boot, remove the white fiber insulation.

6. Using the 10mm socket remove the four bolts securing the metal upper shift boot retainer. Remove the retainer and work the rubber boot up the shifter shaft and remove.

7. Remove the rubber inner boot from the retaining groove, and work it up the shifter shaft and remove.

8. Put the car in 5th gear (use the clutch, but don't start the engine), and measure the distance from the reverse lock tang to the metal guide plate (passenger's side of the shift lever). Repeat the measurement in 6th gear. The distance should be about 2mm.

9. Remove the three 10 mm bolts from the guide plate and remove the guide plate. There is a large spring pushing up on the control socket and plate, so hold the plate down as you remove the bolts.

10. Jack the car up fairly high on one side (it doesn't matter which side) so you have some room to work under it, and place the jackstand.

11. Remove the rubber sealing boot from its retaining groove on the driver's side. Use the 12 mm socket to remove the bolt. Don't try to remove the nut on the passenger side, it's welded.

12. Crawl back out and slide the old shifter out from the top side.

13. Pack grease in the new control socket (top and bottom). Put grease inside the grommet where the shifter attaches to the linkage, and slide the metal bushing into the grommet. A little grease inside the metal bushing won't hurt either.

14. Slide the new shifter in, making sure the key on the white control socket lines up with the keyway on the driver's side, and the reverse lock tang faces toward the passenger's side. Slide it in until the control socket is flush with the top of its housing.

15. Crawl back under and slide the bolt back in and tighten. You may have to move the shifter around with your finger to get the holes to line up. Do NOT overtighten the bolt! If you overtighten, you will not be able to move the shifter.

16. Test out the shifter feel by running through the shift pattern with the clutch in. Make small adjustments in the tightness of the bolt until you have the feel you want. You may want to place another nut over the end of the bolt to secure it so it won't back out (optional).

17. Reseat the rubber boot: snap it on the front part first, and then pull the two ears toward the rear of the car so it slides up into place. Check that it is seated in the retaining groove all around. You'll do most of this step by feel because the drive shaft obscures your view.

18. Place the metal guide plate on and tighten the three bolts to finger tight. Establish the same clearance between the reverse lock tang and the guide plate that you previously measured; about 2mm.

19. My optional engineering mod. Since the side-to-side throw is also reduced, you will have some extra play toward the driver's side. Cut a sturdy plastic piece to go on top of the metal guide plate to act as a stop, so the shift lever exactly hits the 1st and 2nd gear gates. The plastic piece is the exact same size as the metal guide, and same bolt pattern, it just has a smaller hole with the extra bit being on the driver's side. this may take some trial before you get it just right. Instead of the overlay, you could fabricate a new metal plate, but the plastic avoids metal to metal wear. Check all six forward gears and reverse for proper action.

20. Tighten the three bolts, and place the rubber boot back on securing it in the retaining groove.

21. Place the second rubber boot over the shifter and secure it with the metal plate and four bolts. Do not overtighten the bolts, because you can bend the metal plate.

22. Place the white fiber padding over the shifter.

23. Reattach the air conditioning control cable to the console connector.

24. Place the console back on, by inserting the front tangs first and then pushing down on the rear until it locks into place.

25. Make sure the metal bushing with the beveled side down is placed over the shifter, and followed with the rubber bushing (they may still be inside the shift knob). Screw the shift knob back on. Keep in mind how tight it was in the first place and tighten it likewise as you replace it. Double check that you can smoothly shift into all six forward gears and reverse.

NOTE 1: Test fit the knob on the shifter before you install it, and if it does not screw on correctly, you may have to recut the threads with a 10 mm 1.25 pitch die.

NOTE 2: In the past, there were issues raised with noise and vibration of the shifter. On this installation, none of these issues arose. In fact there is probably less noise and vibration than stock in this installation. Aside from the shift knob threading issue, the shifter is well made.

Questions: E-mail Tere

Original Installation Manual (as of this writing, the link on the web site to the manual was not operational). You will not need to do the control socket removal and replacement steps shown in the manual if you order the shifter with the modified control socket.

Quick shifter install v1.1 .pdf

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Remove four bolts, metal retainer, and rubber boot
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Measure distance between reverse lock tang and metal guide plate in 5th and 6th gears
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From underside, pull rubber boot to the side and remove bolt from driver's side (bolt removed in photo)
© 2003 Z Chickz
Last updated: Sunday, January 14, 2007 8:45 AM