DIY: Prelude/TL/CL Shifter Assembly Swap Hi all, I noticed from browsing this forum that many of us here have done an automatic shifter assembly swap from the stock 6GA shifter to a similar Prelude/TL/CL shifter but there aren't many DIYs on this project save for the one on V6Performance. So! I decided to do my own write up so 6GA could say it has its own DIY for this as well. My goal is to make this as detailed as possible for anybody else who happens to be interested in doing this swap in the future, so please let me know if there's anything I should change/add. I had a lot of fun working on this and really like how it turned out. Hopefully this will help you out if you're interested in doing this yourself. Overview Basically, this swap requires you to remove the armrest/center console, and to remove that you need to remove two instrument panels that are below your steering column and glove compartment. There will be some alteration to the shifter assembly, but the only alteration to your car will be removing a plastic beam on your center console that is unseen when you have your console plate put on. Mechanically, the swap will work plug-and-play. Automatic shifter assemblies simply change the car from Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive by pulling the shifter cable in/out a certain length. The listed shifters will shift the same way as the stock 6GA shifters. The gated (shifting left/right) aspect of the shifter does not affect the length needed to shift. Electrically, there will be some resoldering/reconnecting of wires, but only four at most: Two connect the shifter light bulb and two connect the car’s brakes to the shifter so it can properly release the shift locks, allowing you to freely shift from Park to Reverse, or Neutral to Reverse. Aesthetically, you’re on your own. The replacement shifters will not sit perfectly flush with the stock console without modification and I'm not sure exactly why it fits differently between different members' installations. Some report using washers in their installation to properly level out their shifters in the front, while others report using washers for the back. For the record, I have a 2002 6GA EX V6 Sedan. Because it varies, I won't be listing out point by point the work I did, but I'll give an overview at the end. Confirmed Shifters From what I know, these are shifters that will work with the 6GA. Please PM me if you know any more specifics so I can update this section: 1998-2001 Honda Prelude 5th Gen 1998-2002 Acura TL: Note: While most TL shifter assemblies will have plates that show gears D5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (rather than 6GA's D4, 3, 2, 1) I found that a 1998 Acura TL shift plate showed D4, 3, 2, 1. Just wanted to add that for anybody who liked the TL shift plate but didn't like the idea of it having it indicate "5" even when we're really on "4" Similar Generation Acura CL? You're looking for a shifter that connects to the shift cable from the front of the assembly. Just get one with a base that looks similar to this 1999 Prelude Shifter. Here are some estimated dimensions: Shift Cable Lock to Shifter's Park position: 5.75" Shift Cable Lock to 15mm bolt: 4.25" Length x Width of base: 6.25" x 4" Tools Needed For installation: Phillips Screwdriver Socket Wrench (12mm Hex, 15mm Hex) Cutting/sawing/grinding tool (For cutting some plastics off the new assembly) Small soldering tool My aesthetics work: Hot glue gun Grinding tool ======================================== Prep the shifter for installation Plastics The new shifter is relatively larger than the stock shifter, so some plastic portions of the shifter will not fit properly into your car. There are a lot of ways to work around and make sure the shifter fits, but all I did was cut the two rear plastic parts that clip the shifter bezel onto the shifter and a section extending from the rear of the shifter (Second photo courtesy of Wht00Accord). Shift Locks The new shifter has two shift locks built in (The posted photo only has the top shift lock remaining). From playing with it, it appears to me that the locks are in place so that to shift from P > R, you must hold brake, and to shift from N > R, you must hold brake. Some say you should remove the lock that prevents you from shifting from N > R, but I think that is unnecessary. it looks to me that holding brake should release both of them once installed in the 6GA. However, I went ahead and removed the N > R lock anyway. Thanks to Wht00Accord for noting that this piece actually doesn't need to be cut off at all. It can be simply pulled out of the assembly. Remove the electronics to the right side of the shifter to gain access to the N > R lock piece Unclip the grey connector attached to the black motor Remove the metal clip that holds the black motor in place and remove both from the assembly Pull out the N > R lock piece towards you through the small space it can slide out of (In this photo, it's the left-most white plastic piece) Place the motor back in and reattach the grey connector Installation Part numbers listed in these steps can be referenced here Clean up the area, belongings in the tray, cup holders, etc. Remove the stock shifter Cover (Part 5) Remove the stock shifter Knob (It will be more convenient with this out of the way) Remove Cup Holders (Part 8) Remove Console Panel (Part 14) Remove Console Remove the Driver Instrument Cover and Passenger Instrument Cover (The panels below the steering wheel and glove compartment) Open the driver's side fuse box positioned by the ashtray Use a phillips screwdriver to unscrew the Driver Instrument Cover With those two screws out, the instrument panels are held only by clips. Pull the panel towards the seat, starting from the fuse box to feel for the clips Repeat to remove the passenger's side fuse box (Mirrored in position) Use a phillips screwdriver to unscrew the Console and remove it 2 on front of the Console at the driver's side 2 on front at the Console at the passenger's side (Mirrored) 2 at the Tray (Part 12) 2 at the center beam I cut out, positioned near the cup holders 2 in the console compartment under a panel (I think the easiest way to pull off this panel is to push on it from underneath by reaching behind your emergency brake) 2 on the back of the Console on the driver's side 2 on back of the Console on the passenger's side (You may need to move your seats to get to these) Cut the center blastic beam of your Console positioned near the emergency brake Lift the Console out (Watch out for your emergency brake and plastics!) Remove stock shifter assembly Use the 12mm Hex Socket to unbolt the four golden bolts at the corners of the assembly Use the 15mm Hex Socket to unbolt the shift cable bolt from the assembly (Note: The posted image is of the new shifter) Give the shift cable lock a quarter turn counterclockwise to remove the shift cable from the assembly Remove the stock shifter assembly Install the new shifter assembly Connect the light bulb wires and the brake lock motor wires to your new shifter assembly. Thanks to Wht00Accord for contributing the following wiring details. Note that you won't be using all the wires that your new shifter has, as the Accord shifter only has the following four. Also, see below for a mapping of wiring and a wire diagram for both '99 and 00-03 Acura TL/CL shifter assemblies: Accord White/Red Stripe (Female) to TL White/Black (Male) Accord Solid Red to TL Solid Red Accord Red/Black Stripe to TL Red/Black Stripe Accord Black to TL Black Mount the new shifter using the 12mm Hex Socket and the four bolts to the corners of the assembly Replace the shift cable and turn the shift cable lock a quarter turn clockwise to lock it in place to the new shifter Use the 15mm Hex Socket to tighten the shift cable bolt to the new shifter Note: This was something that caused confusion for me before because I never heard of any other members fussing with this. The shifter cable length is actually slightly adjustable. You can push it further in or pull it further out so that you can properly position and mount your shifter Reinstall the Console Reinstall the Instrument Covers Start altering your shift plate so it sits the way you like on your Console Panel or just throw on a shift boot and call it a day Closing Overall this was a really fun project. I think a small detail modification such as this shifter swap added some subtle personality to my car (and I also love fake shifting with it). My current setup is a TL shifter plate with a Prelude shifter knob, but after polishing up a TL knob I found at a junkyard I’ll assess if it is in good enough shape to use in my car. The TL shifter plate is not designed to sit at the angle my stock 6GA wooden console panel sits at, so a good amount of time spent on this project was on modifying the shifter and plate so that it would sit just right. While some used washers to level out their shifter, the bottom side of my shifter actually sat too high so I focused on reducing height rather than adding. I live with my dad, so when he saw what I was doing he decided to lend a hand and it became something fun to do together for an hour or so. We cut off some of the plastics on the underside of the shifter plate. With the two front legs of the shifter plate clipped to the shifter assembly, we tried to guesstimate at what angle the shifter plate should rest at to sit flush with the console panel. Once we got the plate sitting at the right angle, we realized the shifter stick just barely scrapes the plate when shifting gears. As you see in the photo, this is because the shifter stick usually shifts at an angle while the plate sits relatively flush. To remedy this, we grinded the (front) side of the shifter stick to give it that extra millimeter or two of clearance that it needed and rounded it out so it looked a little cleaner. Last, using generous amounts of hot glue we attached the plate directly to the shifter assembly, securing it at just the right angle.