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2001 suzuki xl-7 auto 4x4
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Discussion Starter #1
Yes, another crazy off the wall question from me. I want to shorten my shift lever and install an aftermarket knob for my automatic 2001 XL-7. I know there's no performance benefits, but the stock lever gets in the way of the small tray under the radio. I tend to knock it into neutral when i put something in there or take it out. I would also like to use a pistol grip style knob, where the button is on the front side. I think it would be better off ergonomically.
My questions are:
1- Will I need to cut a section from the cable and somehow reattach it? Or is that even possible? What is the possibility and who would i contact to have one custom made? How much play is in the cable? I'm assuming i should be able to push it down to compensate, since you don't have to add anything when doing a body lift.
2- what about the overdrive button? I never use overdrive (and honestly don't even know what it does/what it's for) and i don't know if any aftermarket knobs utilize an overdrive button.
3- do aftermarket automatic knobs attach to the lever the same way a manual knob does (2 to 3 allen screws tightened down around the shaft)?
4- can you guys foresee any complications that i may run into that i haven't mentioned or thought of yet?

I'm not looking for anything extravagant in a shifter, no carbon fiber/titanium bling bling rice racing look. Just a basic black/dark gray that will blend in with the interior. If it will work, i can use an original from another vehicle, and maybe be able to keep the overdrive functionality.
 

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What I'm going to suggest is you leave it alone - you're likely to create more problems for yourself than what I would consider the minor inconvenience of not being able to use the tray under the radio.

To answer your questions - at least those that I can - no, you won't need to shorten the shift selector cable, that runs from the bottom of the shift lever to the transmission. You will need to customize the lever itself to deal with the shift lock or find someone to do it for you, and finding that person is something you will have to do yourself - it's not that it can't be done, or even that it is difficult to do - but the person who is going to do it had better know what they are doing - it's not as simple as cutting an inch off of the lever shaft - for starters the shaft is hollow, and contains a pushrod, a couple of springs, a cam mechanism, and the overdrive switch & cable..

Overdrive - you either use it all the time, or if you're not, you need to - the button is overdrive off or overdrive disable, if you're driving with overdrive disabled, you're wasting fuel - the transmission is a four speed automatic, also known as a three speed with overdrive, overdrive being top or fourth gear. If you disable, the vehicle will only shift between 1, 2 & 3 gears, it'll never use 4 and you'll be using more fuel than you need to. When should you disable overdrive - when towing, or climbing hills. It's fine to never disable the overdrive, but honestly it's better to be able to do it if/when you need to.

Take it from someone who has taken those shift levers apart - if it's not broken, leave it alone, put whatever it is you want to store on the shelf in a cupholder, or in the little cubby at the back of the console.
 

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2001 suzuki xl-7 auto 4x4
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input. I was browsing around and found someone that had done it to a pontiac fiero. I know, totally different situation, but I figured same basic concept. I will take your advice. Sounds like more work than it's worth. I didn't really know the inner workings of an automatic. For some reason i had it in my head that the cable directly connected from the push button to the transmission.

Still though, i may try to find a salvage shifter assembly and tinker with it as a learning experience. If it gets botched, then so be it. It won't be installed in my ride, and they can't be too expensive can they? Too bad my local pull-a-part doesn't have any test subjects in their yard.
 
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