Ford Performance engineers worked over nearly every aspect of the latest Mustang in creating the corner-carving Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Those changes included the move to a Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual transmission sporting road-course-friendly ratios. While the engineers built the best shifter that noise, vibration and harshness standards would allow, there is always room to improve something that you use every time you drive.
While the transmission in the Shelby utilizes a remote shifter just like the standard Mustang, the 3160 uses a pendulum-style shifting mechanism that challenged MGW to really get creative in developing a compatible mechanism, as the Shelby linkage actuates to the reverse of the Mustang GT linkage.
The 3160 was a great challenge from a design aspect because the gear pattern inside is actually reverse of the MT-82 trans. — George Ciamillo, MGW
And the MGW customer base is a discerning one. If you aren’t familiar with the company, the automotive division is an offshoot of MGW Precision Inc., which creates high-end components and upgrades for competition pistols and revolvers. The company also makes aerospace parts, so there is no question that it manufactures precision products and that definitely carries over to the company’s shifters.
It was George’s passion for automobiles that led the company to venture into automotive upgrades, particularly shifters.
“I started road course track days back in the late ’90s and was really into smaller lightweight British cars like Lotus, Caterham, etc. They handled great, but I always would get killed on the straights by V8 American muscle,” George explained. “So I decided to get a Viper. The car was great but the stock shifter was terrible, so I decided to design my own. That led to the Corvette shifter when I bought a C5 Z06. Then moved onto Mustangs and Camaros.”
MGW GT350 Shifter Features
• Fits 2015–2018 Shelby GT350
• Patent-pending design aligns shift linkage and transmission
• Retains factory body mount location
• Short, precise shifting
• Uses stock knob (with OEM adapter) or aftermarket knob
“We always purchase a test vehicle and drive it bone stock for a few months so that I can thoroughly address the OEM setup’s deficiencies. As a user of the product and living with it, I am able to make improvements where they need but leave the positive aspects alone,” George explained. “The main weakness with the stock remote shifters is the soft support setup which is mainly designed for NVH purposes. It allows too much flex and twisting of the shifter and transmission.”
Having driven plenty of 2005-and-newer Mustangs with remote shifters, we can definitely attest to that flex and twist. All that movement can certainly making shifting in a performance environment more difficult, which is just what George looked to improve.
“The main focus is on beefing up the support structure and engineering vibration dampening that uses mass and durometer instead of small O-rings or gaskets,” George explained.
After driving his Shelby for a while, VMP Performance’s Justin Starkey shared his thoughts on the MGW Shifter upgrade.
“Factory shifters these days are pretty decent, you can live with them, but the MGW takes it up several notches,” Justin said. “The throw is much shorter and more precise. I did not notice any increase in noise or vibration whatsoever with the MGW unit. It is very well made. If you are looking for a fairly easy and low-cost mod for your ’350, this is a good one to do.”
For more on these shifters, you can visit the MGW site here.