How to Make a Round Shifter Bezel
- 2 5" Plastic doorknob stopper plates (found mine at Lowes)
- Hex screws w/ nylon bolts (I used 6 3x5mm and 4 3x15mm countersunk)
- New shift boot
- Spray Paint
How To Do It
The first step in making the custom bezel is to choose the material it will be made out of. Originally I was going to use metal, but couldn't find a good starting piece that was a 5" circle. After walking the isles of Lowes for an hour, I finally settled on a plastic door knob wall shield. It is easy to cut and sand to shape.
You first need to cut a 4.5" hole in out of the center. You can download a pdf of the template I used for marking the center hole location. I used my dremel to cut out the center, but a scroll saw would probably do the job nicely as well.
My wall protector came with a textured finish on the top. I sanded off the texture and rounded over the edges. Start out a relatively course grit to remove the texture in a hurry, then work your way down to a 1000 or 1500 grit to get it nice and smooth. Spray it with a coat of primer to reveal any imperfections, then go back and sand again until it is smooth as glass.
Once you have the sanding done, it is time to drill the holes for mounting and decoration. I drilled 8 holes in mine, but only 2 are actually used for mounting. The other 6 are just shorter screws glued in. You can use the same template I provided for cutting out the center hole to mark off your 8 drill marks. Drill them out using a 1/16" bit, then use a slightly larger bit to counter sink the holes slightly.
Now it is time to remove the center section from your console. If you are not sure how to do this, you can find instructions for it in the Short Shifter how-to.
You need to enlarge the hole in the console to be a 4.5" circle. Place your bezel over the existing hole and trace around the center to mark where you need to cut. The corners of the square hole will still remain, but this does not matter. Also mark the locations of the screw holes. Cut out the circle with your dremel, and drill out 1/8" holes.
The tabs on the bottom of the console piece will need to be notched out to make room for the nylon bolts that will be epoxied in to accept the mounting screws. Use your bolts as a guide to see how much needs to be notched out. Then epoxy the bolts so that the left and right side screws will go through the shifter bezel, through the console and into these bolts.
Now we need to construct the piece that will hold the shift boot in place from below. You need another wall protector plate, cut out to the same size as the bezel. The left and right side will have to be trimmed so that it will fit in between the tabs on the console. Use trial and error to see how much needs to be trimmed off the sides. You will also need to cut some notches on the sides to allow it to fit over the top of the two bolts you just epoxied in. This piece will be bolted in using the top and bottom mounting screws.
Test fit everything together to make sure all mounting holes line up and the top and bottom pieces fit together correctly. Make adjustments as needed.
Depending on what shift boot you get (I got a universal one off of ebay), it may need to be cut to length. The length you need depends on whether or not you have shortened your shifter. Don't cut off too much, you can always trim it down further later on, but you can't make it grow back!
Install the shift boot by sliding it through the hole in the console, and placing the bottom retaining ring you made inside of it, pinching the boot between it and the console. Punch a hole to allow the top and bottom mounting screws to go through. Install the mounting screws. Not that these two screws don't go through the top bezel, the top bezel just sits on top of them. You are only bolting the bottom piece to the console, not the top bezel.
Before mounting the top bezel, you of course will want to paint it. I chose to paint mine silver, but of course the final color is up to you. After painting, you need to glue the faux screws into every hole except for the two sides. The 5mm screws I got were just the right length to not stick through the bottom. If your screws are too long, just trim them down with the dremel