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01A Short Shifter Installation

In this box you will find: one set of instructions (you're reading them now), one German OEM shift pivot assembly, one white plastic stepped washer/bushing, two 8mm flat washers, two 8mm lock washers, and a spring, approximately 2" long. Also included is a 12mm snap ring.

These instructions are newly revised and much easier than before. They were written based on the install in a 1990 Coupe Quattro. Installation in 80/90/S2/RS2/Cabriolet models will be basically identical. Installation in a 100, A6, or A8 will require a different procedure for removing the center console but will be identical once you get under the shift knob.

Tools Required:

  • Small phillips screwdriver
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Metric sockets 8, 10, 13mm
  • Snap ring pliers
  • Dremel tool/small saw (optional)
Begin by unscrewing the shift knob in the counterclockwise direction. By the way, there's no better time than now to replace your aging shift knob!
Using your small flathead screwdriver, pry open the trim plate in the hand-brake recess. Take care not to scratch it!
Use your small phillips screwdriver to remove the retaining screw for the shift boot. It's hiding under that ledge...just follow the bright orange screwdriver and you'll find it. Also, remove the 8mm screw here to gain a little extra clearance in the center console.
Pull and wiggle the boot up. You will wind up looking at the stock shift pivot, seen below.
Pull the rubber cover up to expose the snap ring. Remove the snap ring and use the 13mm to remove the 2 nuts on the base of the housing.
Snap ring and nuts removed. The bushing under the snap ring is under pressure from the spring below. Don't let it fly up and hit you in the eye!
Pull the shift pivot straight up off of the shift lever.
Place the new shift pivot onto the original studs. Lift up on the back of the center console to get a little more clearance so it fits without trimming. It's a tight fit, but 100% possible. Or, spend 2 minutes with a dremel, file, or saw and cut a little clearance into the console. It's beneath the boot, so no one will ever know!Install the green spring and bushing on the shift lever.
Compress the spring and bushing, then slip the new snap ring on. Place an 8mm flat washer and an 8mm lock washer on each stud. Re-use your original nuts. I recommend loosely tightening the nuts, temporarily installing your knob, and setting the side-to-side adjust properly so the knob sits at your preferred center position for neutral. Once it is comfortable, tighten the nuts to 18 ft-lbs. Or.. "medium-tight"
Re-install boot and trim piece in reverse order of reversal. Put on that shiny new shift knob! Or use the stock one. Either way you'll enjoy the way your shifter feels: brand new!

6 Speed Reverse Lockout Procedure

Modifying the short shifter for the 6 speed S2 gearbox to retain the reverse gear lockout

The original S2 6 speed shifter base has a 'guide' that stops the stick from going too far to the left when engaging 1st and 2nd gears and also preventing engaging of reverse gear by mistake. How to transfer this over: This mod must be done for the 6 speed gearbox

Drill two holes in the plate
Like this
You're drilling out the 'punch marks'
Like this
Four to drill out
Place in a vice and 'persuade' the two plates to separate with large doses of hammer
This is what you're after
To transfer to the short shifter
However, it doesn't fit and line up
Take an angle grinder to one side. You're trying to grind away an arch
So that it aligns better
for both 1st + 2nd gear and reverse
Cable tied in place, stick in reverse gear position
in neutral
Selecting 1st or 2nd, the tab hits the inside of the black plate
Drill a hole in line with the first on the new short shift base and
bolt the whole thing together for good using lock nuts (not supplied)
And you're done!
Fit the shifter back in the car
Tighten it down and refit the consoles
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