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Old 04-21-2014, 01:34 AM
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Default Painted "Hurst" shift handle

Some of you may remember why I have had shift "T" handles in all my cars since 1968.

It was one HOT summer day at the local drag strip and it was real hot as you must run with your windows rolled up and my race 390 Mustang fastback had NO A/C. You drive slowly in the pits getting into the line to go and you hold the drivers door partially open to get a little cooler air in the cockpit. Finally it is almost your turn in the water pit to do a burn out and you close the door.

With to engine running and helmet on you start to sweat A LOT. At that time I have a round ball 4 speed pattern shift knob similar to this one installed in my car.

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It had worked pretty good until this day and looked good.

So up to the line I go for my race the lights come down and bang off we go and I'm out on my opponent by half a car length.

Did my power shift to second and disaster struck The combination of my sweaty hand and powershifting so hard that I one time bent a Hurst shift handle my wet hand flew right off the shift ball!!

I was so flabbergasted it took me a second or two to figure out just what the heck had just happened and in that time I lost the race.

This is the type of handle that I actually BENT one time powershifing so hard. Bet I couldn't do it again now.

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Well we were done for that day and on the way home I began to try and figure out what I was going to do. I had seen the new "T" type knobs that Hurst had just developed and right there and then I decided I would give one a try.

The rest is history I had to dig deep as at that time they were like $30.00 and that was a lot of money when one is making like $1.95 an hour but I broke down and picked one up.

It worked perfectly the next weekend even with the same hot weather and sweaty hands and since I installed one I have never missed shifted again due to my hand slipping off the shift knob.

So that is why EVERY car that I have owned since 1968 has had a Hurst "T" handle installed including the Jazz.

This one has been in the Jazz since 2005 that is nine years of shifting and since it is the chrome version the chrome has worn off in a few places.

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So I decided it was time for an update and decided just to re-paint this one.

I dug out my sandpaper and noticed that I have been using NITTO sandpaper for awhile and never noticed. I wonder if it is the same company that makes NITTO tires?

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A lot of people think you can't paint over chrome and if they do they have problems with paint adhesion. The way to do it is to make sure to really make sure every part of the chrome has been sanded an"tooth" to professional painters.

I did the first sanding with 150 grit wet over Mrs. claymore's kitchen sink so I would have a source of running water that wasn't out in the 95 F degree back yard.

I had just started re-sanding the same areas with 400, a finer grit, when BUSTED Mrs. claymore came home and found me using HER sink for another project and she was not thrilled to say the least. I quickly got my sanding done and escaped to the back yard to start applying paint.

I didn't bother to let her know I also "borrowed" one long stem from one of her plants to use as a "painting aid" screwed into the shift knob so I could hold and paint it without spraying my hand.

Here is the plant type "painting aid" with the shifter handle now in it's first coat of primer.

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Had a good time applying the new "Metallic silver" spray paint and it came out AWESOME it really pops in the sun.

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Waited overnight for the silver to dry and it took my awesome powers of persuasion to get Mrs. claymore in a good mood so she would do the fine detailing of adding red paint to the Hurst logo area.

Came out real nice.

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I cleared a couple coats over this paint and will wait another day to re-instal it when it is good and dry. Stay tuned.
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Last edited by claymore; 04-21-2014 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:15 AM
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Giant disaster has struck!!!

Last night I carefully put the freshly painted handle up on a shelf to protect it.

Then a giant wind came up, before a thunderstorm, and caused a door to slam shut with a BIG BANG.

Unfortunately this caused the nearby shelf to shake and I had to sit and watch the shift handle fall 6 feet and bounce around on the ceramic tiles.

Soooo starting over once again today. Scrapped off the fresh paint with a razor blade which works so much quicker than sandpaper with fresh paint.

A quick re-sand to roughen up the surface once again and applying fresh paint between typing this.

Now just let it dry once more so the Mrs. can apply fresh red outline in the AM.
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:06 AM
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Well finally finished YAY.

After the disaster with it falling onto the floor and needing another re-paint I got to thinking about the old school style "T" handles. The originals had the valley painted black and the top of the letters silver.

I got all nostalgic for the old days and went back to my roots with a twist. I painted the body metallic silver and then painted the top of the lettering black just reverse of the original. No more red and Mrs. claymore was happy she didn't have to do all that close in work anymore.

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This type of painting is very easy to do. I took a plain old pencil and sprayed some black paint onto a spare piece of plastic fairly heavy.

Then just put the eraser end of the pencil onto the new paint and then put the eraser onto the letters one at a time and presto chango black letters.

While I was there I decided to move the top of my shift boot down further on the shift lever so more of the lever shows.

All you need to do is drill an hole in the lever but beware the lever is hardened and you need a drill bit for hardened steel. Lucky for me the hardware store at the start of my compound had one for 75 cents.

The first hole down was where I had done this already but wanted it down even further.

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Now to keep the top of the boot in the right place I just took a screw and cut the head off. Then cut a slot into the new end. After this photo, checking the fit, a shot of black paint was added as you will see later.

The screw is just pushed into a small hole in the boot and comes out the other side into the boot but not out if you cut it the right length.

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The new paint really pops and has a coat of clear to keep the paint wear down to a minimum.

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The money shot. In it you can see a part of the new section of the shifter handle showing. Please excuse the dirty interior.

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This one shows the shift handle extended. To get a chrome look I took a piece of sliver metal tape the A/C guys use on A/C ducting and in real life from sitting in the car it really looks like chrome.

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So finally done and I can relax because it shouldn't need doing for another 9 years LOL.
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Last edited by claymore; 04-24-2014 at 02:20 AM.
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