Drivetrain You Can Do It! DIYs

New Shifter Cable Bushings…Out With Solid Aluminum, In With Hybrid Racing!

The HT-Spec TSX has been running around with an HT-Spec Shifter package for about 4 months now, and initially, I was really happy with the shifting. The action was so solid and direct it felt as though I was reaching inside the transmission with my bare hand and moving the gears!

However more recently I have been driving around a lot more than I used to and had started noticing that I needed to force the shifter into gear quite a bit when shifting. When speed-shifting it was even worse and it started causing me to miss shifts. This shifter situation became a real problem for me. I knew it was not the knob of the short shifter causing the problem. However the solid aluminum shifter bushings we include in this HT-Spec kit seemed to be a suspect.

When you install these bushings, the tolerance between the actuating arm on the transmission, the bushing, and the collar on the end of the shifter cable all need to be quite tight. This makes installation a little tricky. Even worse is the fact that as the engine moves around between shifts the bushings bind up, causing the resistance to movement that I was feeling. It maybe doesn’t make sense reading it, but if you’ve ever installed them you’ll know what I am getting at. There just isn’t any wiggle room in the bushings and this makes the shifting pretty tough at times.

Hybrid Racing makes an excellent solution to the need for added shift feel and solidity WITHOUT increasing the effort. The following DIY Install Pictorial explains how!

Here they are. The big advantage of the Hybrid Racing bushings come in the form of a spherical bearing in the large bushing.

You can see the bearing a little better in this pic.

These bushings reside in the engine bay under the intake arm, as shown in this pic. First, remove the airbox lid and you’ll gain enough but limited access to work. Removing the lower box makes the job a lot easier.

Looking in from the side you can see the smaller bushing.

With the lower box in it is tough to see the larger bushing, but it is here in this pic. Come to think of it, removing the lower box really would have been a good idea for this DIY. Oh well, it’s a pita this way but you can do it.

Remove the cotter pin and washers off the shaft and put them aside. The cable bushing end will slide off the shifter arm.

To get the bushing out of the cable end simply stick in a screwdriver and tweak it. The rubber bushing will pop right out.

The little taper on the inside hole REALLY aids in installation. Again, the solid bushings don’t have this feature and it is a bit of a bitch to install without disconnecting the cables farther up the line.

Here I diverge from the HR install instructions a bit. They say to install the bushing flat side out. It made a bit more sense to me to put it flat side side in. It works either way, so it is up to you.

There is a special clip included with the bushings to hold them securely in the cables. These were a little tricky to install but it helps to see how they work, as in this pic. Start with one layer and work them on.

So far you’ve got this far. Lookin’ good!

I finished the install with another change to the HR instructions. I reinstalled the plastic and metal washers from the OEM assembly. This is completely not needed, but I felt the bearing in the other bushing would be more protected from debris, and there is slightly less play in the lateral direction this way. I don’t think it makes a difference on the feel at all, but I thought this method was best.

Here is the larger bushing. Installing flat-side down really did make it more sensible to re-install the washers. I never looked back!

My initial impression was, WOW AMAZING. Such a small change made such a big difference in feel. Without the bushings binding on the shift lever shaft I can flick through the gears with the twitch of a wrist. The same solid movement is there without an additional force. This bushing is now the more recommended one on our HT-Spec Shifter package. It does cost quite a bit more than the solid bushing option, but it is worth every penny!

Intake & Exhaust Universal Fit Blogging

Heeltoe Automotive Takes Over ATLP Production & Distribution: Celebrate With Us!

There are times when things come full circle and seem oddly appropriate. There are times when there is a certain satisfying irony the accompanies a change in my life or my business. There are times when I remind myself that luck is the product of opportunity and preparation.

This is one of those times.

In an effort to grow business revenues, strengthen our presence in the Acura enthusiast market, and provide a greater sharing of our abilities to a wider base of customers, ATLP is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of di Sabella Industries, Inc., the parent company of Heeltoe Automotive through a buy-out transaction.

Celebrate with us now by pre-ordering the ATLP product you’ve been waiting for using coupon code “atlppromo” when checking out online. At this moment we do not have any active group buys going on. When we do, we don’t believe the pricing will be better than this coupon is offering. Play with the coupon on now!

Mike Yu developed ATLP out of nothing. “I’d like to make exhaust systems,” I remember him telling me one day as we were tinkering on his TL. Having been in business for a number of years prior to that moment and finding the trials and tribulations to be those which, should they feel up to the task, every American should experience, I encouraged him as much as I could. Ultimately it was up to him to pull the trigger; a rare American indeed possesses such courage. Not too long after that time we got the Quad exhaust, the first effort put forth by (later to be known as ATLP Lab). Then more innovative exhaust products would come along to support sales even more.

ATLP’s business became stronger because their exhaust parts have a special set of attributes that consumers love. A high-class look, amazing sound, awesome performance, and attention to detail. Satin-finished stainless pipes, laser-etched tips, and innovative designs are even more values customers clamored to own. ATLP parts became a hot seller for Heeltoe Automotive, as we were honored to be brought into the dealer program they set up. We’ve run about 4 group buys for various products, all of which were very successful, culminating in about 5% of Heeltoe’s total sales volume for 2010. ATLP was successful enough for Heeltoe, it made me wish for an exhaust line to call my own. Having been an employee at Magnaflow for a few years I know the aftermarket exhaust industry as one second only to the aftermarket wheel industry.

I didn’t need to wait too long for my exhaust-brand wish to come true. Mike, having set his focus on a new course of business, decided it was time to move on from developing ATLP. I am thankful he decided to look no further for a successor to the ATLP helm than Heeltoe Automotive. Citing our ability to faithfully continue the ATLP brand in the same spirit as he did, expecting we could grow the brand and honor its principles, Heeltoe was clearly the fated destination for this illustrious product line to live on.

In much the same way Heeltoe procured Fastline Performance and Maven Motorsports in an effort to continue serving customers with their truly excellent products, we plan to continue to strengthen the ATLP brand into a product line that we can be even more proud of. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect over the next 12 months:

  • New production runs of 3rd Generation TL exhausts, both the Base and Quad systems
  • Special promotions
  • New products for more applications (first up is a Quad exhaust for 4th Gen TL SH-AWD models)
  • Fast customer service, and hopefully faster shipping times, the way you know Heeltoe can deliver it

Keep in mind, the business change is still in transition. While all the details of the change are done, the moving of the website, email, etc are all still being coordinated. Please be patient with us in the meantime.


Thank you so much for reading, and hold expectations of your new year as high as we all do here at Heeltoe Automotive!