Category Archives: How-To/DIY

How-To/DIY: Installing a Fastline Performance shifter & Energy Suspension shift rod linkage polyurethane bushings

I picked up another Integra sedan, this time it’s a 1996 RS model! Definitely love the fact there’s no sunroof and no ABS, gotta love that weight loss. 😀

With this new build, there was already a checklist of parts I needed to pick up to make it my own and make it awesome!

  • DB8-R Window Visors
  • DB8-R Wing
  • DB8-R Interior
  • Recaro Bucket Seats
  • JDM ITR Front lip
  • CDM Airbag Delete Tray
  • Si-VTEC Turn Signal Lights
  • Si-VTEC Fog lights
  • Rear door handles
  • 4×114.3 ITR Wheel Conversion
  • ITR 23mm Rear Sway Bar
  • TEIN Suspension (Ready upgrade to something beefer lol)
  • Fastline Performance Shifter
  • ’96 Spec ITR Engine Swap
  • Spoon Collar Kit
  • Championship White Paintjob

As you can see, I’m about half way done with the list 😛

So one day, from my normal Instagram surfing, my friend, @ducknhide, posted up some parts for sale and I swiped right to see what he had. To my surprised, he was selling a Fastline Performance shifter for $150! Now the retail price for this shifter is $220 plus shipping so this was a deal! I immediately messaged him and sure enough, I was first in line for it and he got to removing it quick from his DB8 build. I drove out early morning to see him and got to check something off my parts checklist. Also, great to see another DB Squad brotha w/ a clean build and Mugen twinloop! 😀

For those who aren’t in the loop with the Fastline Performance shifter, here’s some background information from there site:


“With over 2 years in development, the Fastline Performance Shifter provides better shifting than the competition. Designed from scratch to be the best shifter possible, it has features unlike any other aftermarket shifter available. From the ergonomic design that just falls into your hands, to the very first ultra-smooth shift, it is clear that this is not just another short shifter. In fact, this shifter was designed specifically to maintain the exact same ratio as the stock shifter. The shifter certainly does not look stock, but the shift feel and throw is 100% like the stock shifter. The FLP extended shifter is compatible with Honda/Acura B & D-series engines and available for 88-00 Civic / 90-01 Integra vehicles.”

Features

  • 2-part design for easy installation
  • Fits any Acura/Honda thread pitch shift knob
  • Adjustable handle compensates for small-diameter racing steering wheels
  • Revised shift linkage bushings for even smoother shifting
  • Durable matte black finish for that ninja appearance

Before digging into the awesome resources I know and trust, an important disclosure:

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase,  I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand  that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you  achieve your goals.


Okay let’s get cranking!

Step 1:

Remove the center console and detach the rubber gasket from the chassis.

If you don’t know how to remove the center console, click here.

Step 2:

Uninstall the shift linkage.

  • Disconnect the extension rod, held by a 12mm bolt and 2 extension end washers
  • Disconnect the shift rod, held by a 8mm spring pin

Now a trick or tip I learned to remove the 8mm spring pin without a 8mm punch pin:

Hammer it out by using a header-to-catalytic converter exhaust bolt or a AC Compressor bolt. Of course, if you have a 8mm punch pin, I recommend using this tool instead. DO NOT HIT THE ALUMINUM TRANSMISSION CASING; CAN CAUSE CRACKS TO HOUSING.

Step 3:

Remove two 12mm bolts. This can be a tight spot since the exhaust B-piping is in the way so I suggest using an extension.

Now that you have the shift rod linkage off, time to replace the old and worn out stock bushings with some new Energy Suspension Transmission Shifter Stabilizer Bushing Kit for Honda.

Now you may be wondering, “Why should I replace the stock bushings if nothing’s broken?” or “What’s the point of upgrading the bushings on the shift rod linkage?”

Just like other drivers who driven manual cars for a long time, there’s been a few times where I would drive and miss-shift a gear or even grind a gear. Definitely not a fun experience and hurts my soul knowing that I did some damage to my Integra.  :'(

I knew that I sometimes would mess up from releasing the clutch to early but there were other times where the throw of my shifter wouldn’t go into the right gear or felt “stuck”. I never understood why until a good friend told me to change the transmission fluid to Royal Purple Synchromax High Performance Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid and upgrade the shift rod linkage bushings.

The upgrade in transmission fluid did a few things:

  • Greater wear protection
  • Smoother shifts
  • Excellent rust and corrosion protection
  • Reduces friction for more power
  • Lowers operating temperatures

But it was when I upgraded the shift rod linkage bushings to polyurethane bushings with the  Energy Suspension Transmission Shifter Stabilizer Bushing Kit for Honda.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! 

 

The shifting throw became more solid and rigid and the feel of each gear was more accurate during spirited driving.

Here’s a stock Integra shift rod linkage with it’s stock shifter:

Step 4:

Remove the old stock rubber bushings. It can be a pain in the ass to remove so some tricks to help with removal is using a flat head to pry out the bushing in the stabilizer bar and spraying WD-40 on the shift holder bushing and pulling outward.

If you love your Honda, then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND upgrading the shift rod linkage bushings with polyurethane bushings. I recommend for several reasons:

  1. Improvement in changing gears
  2. Adds rigidity in shifting
  3. Decrease in a sloppy and loose shifter
  4. It’s cheap!

Now there’s quite a few different polyurethane bushing kits out there for the Honda Integra but I’ve used the Energy Suspension brand for both my Integra builds and always been content with it’s performance and longevity. Below are some links to get your set, either in black or red. If you look closely at my pics, you can see I used the red set on my old Integra build and a black set for my current Integra build. 😉

Energy Suspension Transmission Shifter Stabilizer Bushing Kit for Honda

Energy Suspension Transmission Shifter Stabilizer Bushing Kit for Honda

Okay let’s upgrade the shifter itself now!

Step 5:

Remove two 10mm locking nuts underneath the shifter. I used a small vise grip to hold the top from spinning.

Step 6:

Swap over the mounting plate and rubber gaskets onto the Fastline Performance shifter.

Step 7:

Add the Fastline Performance additional bushings if installing this shifter on a B-Series or not if on a D-series car.

So I was lucky enough to save about $70 when I purchased this shifter from my friend (IG: @ducknhide) but unfortunately it didn’t include the bushings needed for the Integra so I improvise with a metal washer and nut to fill the gap.

Step 8:

Reinstall the shift rod linkage back on the car and the center console. Using a 5/32 Standard Hex Key Allen Wrench, screw the delrin screw that came with the Fastline Performance shifter and install the shifter in the orientation as desired.

If you don’t have a Hex Key Allen Wrench set, I provided a link below with the same set I personally have in my tool box. Remember the delrin screw is 5/32 in standard size. You can see it if zoomed in.

Craftsman Hex Key Allen Wrench

FINISHED!

Now I personally installed the shifter on two different build and always positioned the shifter closer to the steering wheel for quick shifting. The Fastline Performance shifter is definitely an awesome upgrade along with Energy Suspension bushing kit upgrade. Below you can see my old and current build that supported the shifter/bushing combo. Only difference was one was chromed out. 😉

 

How-To/DIY: Removing the center console

In this How-To/DIY tutorial, I’ll illustrate the process to remove the Integra center console. This is important to learn because this step is required to add a new radio, a new shifter, replacing the shift boot, installing a hidden kill switch or for a deep cleaning session which this current Integra build desperately needs. So please excuse and forgive for the dirtiness.

This is a new Acura Integra RS sedan build I recently picked up from my brother who daily drove this car 120 miles per day! So you can tell he spend a lot of time here where he ate snacks and drank beverages for the last few years of his ownership. So this is literally the same condition he left it for me and I wanted to remove the center console to do some cleaning. Another reason why I removed the center console is to install an aftermarket Fastline Performance shifter which will be in a later post. So stay tuned!

Okay let’s getting cranking!

Step 1:

Pry off the plastic cover in the middle of the center console to reveal the two screws holding the center console down.

Step 2:

Remove four (4) screws, two in the front and two in the rear of the center console.

Step 3:

Slightly pry apart the center console and slide the back part up and outward. Be very cautious has this can easily break. You can see in the image the “notches” that needs to be lifted up and outward.

Step 4:

Remove the shift knob by rotating it counter-clockwise.

Step 5:

Remove the ashtray by pressing the sliding lever downward and pull the tray outward.

Step 6:

Remove the two (2) screws in the back

Step 7:

Pull the ashtray/cigarette light part out and unplug the cigarette light connector out.

Step 8:

Remove the last two (2) screws.

Step 9:

Pull the front center console outward and upward around the shifter. It helps to remove the seat back.

Finished!

Yuck! The carpet needs some tough TLC…