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04.04.2005: Tabs
Locate two tabs on the top where the ACC panel was, and remove them (push the knob in the middle further in to release the lock). Remove the rear half of the centre console (disconnect the tabs from the front part and pull it up). Pop the shifter boot from the console, pull it up onto the shifter knob and remove the front half of the console.

Adjustable short shifter rod installation on the 1996 Saab 900. Part from MP Performance.

To remove the shifter housing, first lock the transmission in fourth gear and undo the clamp that connects the linkage to the gearshift rod as described in the shifter alignment procedure.

Update: the shifter has been removed a couple of months later due to inadequate performance: the shortening was barely noticeable, and the ball kept getting loose despite the locking screw, which introduced unwanted slop into the shifting feel. If you plan to install this shifter, I'd recommend removing the reverse lockup and putting the ball on Loctite or another adhesive for proper effect.

Update 2: the adjustable shifter rod used in this guide is no longer produced, an alternative (and improved) do-it-yourself modification is available here.

Tools:

  • 13 mm socket: linkage clamp;
  • 13 mm wrench: gearshift rod;
  • 10 mm socket: centre console and shifter housing;
  • long socket extension;
  • ratchet handle;
  • torque wrench;
  • flat screwdriver;
  • Torx T25 screwdriver;
  • two L-shaped 3 mm Allen keys: linkage lock;
  • 2 mm hex key: shifter adjustment;
  • strap wrench and C-clamp: knob removal;
  • needle-nose pliers.

 

 
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