M5R2 Short Throw Modification: 2021

Wile E. Coyote

3rd Gear Poster
Sep 21, 2023
Vehicle Details
1996 Tbird LX, SVO blown 4.6 // 1990 Tbird SC Drift missile, OHV 5.0
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First things first, this is not something for faint of heart. This is not something if you just want to bolt something in and go. But, its a lot cheaper than a B&M ripper which has probably been through a couple transmissions and hard shifts already.
Also, this isnt something to make your shift throw only 3 inches. It drops the throw down from a stock 6 in to 4.25in.

Onto the main reason youre reading this. You want a short throw shifter in your M5R2RKE transmission. First thing we need to know, is this transmission is made by Mazda.

Taking that information, I decided to try the a knock off of the MazdaTrix short throw shifter. I got mine off of Amazon for $40 shipped. The one I chose was for an RX7, from 86-91. It also fit Miatas from 90-97.

Out of the box, and having taken the OEM shifter out, I started noticing the differences.


The RX7s use a bushing. Now at least on my Bird, it doesnt. Take the bushing off and itll seem the same size but they are not. You will have to grind it down. I used a 32grit flap wheel on corded grinder.


(You are going to want to smooth out the finish. Doesnt need to be a mirror but dont have jagged edges. Itll eat the receiver.
Next thing youll notice is our birds shifter has two notches for the two alignment pins, while the Mazdas doesnt.


This is NOT an issue. The kit comes with a riser that will effectively work as a new pivot ball bore, and has a single adjustable alignment pin.
Also, the thread pitch is different. So you will either need a new shifter handle or will need to use an adapter like I did.


Moving on. The bore spacer only has a cut out for a single pin, since thats all the mazdas used. I pushed the front pin out just enough to drop the bushing spacer in.


Next thing I did was test fit the pivot spacer.
The bolt pattern was a little bit too small. So what I did was cut off the outside edges of the bolt holes, and from there it coulD match up.
download (1).jpeg
From there I just assembled it as it was intended. Spring spacer, bushing (use the TBird bushings as they fit the pivot ball and bore better than those provided in the kit) shifter, top bushing, and then stock shift topper.
And like that, you have a short throw for $40. download (2).jpegdownload (3).jpegdownload (4).jpegdownload (5).jpeg
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