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Ford Flex shift knob install in Explorer


Well-Known Member
March 24, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
St Charles MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
'10 Sport Trac Adrenalin
I purchased Ford part number 8G1Z-7213-A Ford Flex shift knob for $9 and installed it in place of my stock Explorer shift knob.

Old knob:


To begin, remove the chrome trim around the shifter, and pop off the console section with cupholders.

Then begin to remove the OEM Phalic shifter. Slide down the chrome trim on the bottom, which reveals one 4mm set screw on the passeger side. Loosen this.

On the passenger side of the shifter mechanism you will see a white connector below the shift interlock solenoid. There is a small black connector on the front top that needs to be disconnected. I used a icepick like tool to pop it off. This wire is for the OD button, and needs to be disconnected before removing the shifter.


Once the wire is disconnected, you should be able to remove the oem shift knob. I did not have to disassemble the console any more than taking the top cup holder section off, but you may find it easier to take more of the console apart to complete this step.

Once the shifter is removed you are left with this:

You can see the hole that the oem set screw locks into here.

To attach the Flex knob you will need to drill two 29 gauge (
0.136 in/3.454 mm) holes into the shift shaft shown above. On the passenger side, drill one hole 28.5mm below the oem hole. Test install the Flex shifter and mark the hole location on the drivers side. Remove the flex shifter and drill the drivers side next. You may want to start a small pilot hole before moving up to the M29 sized drill bit. It is important to use 29 gauge bit so the screws that come with the Flex shifter will self tap into the shift rod. There is not much room for error or another size here.

Once the two new holes are drilled, you will need to modify the Flex OD button wire. The connector is different between the two, so cut off the OD wire on the OEM shifter and the connector on the flex shifter and switch them.

Now you are about done. Instead of fishing the OD wire back down thru the original routing, I routed it over to the drivers side, and looped it forward and back to the connector on the passenger side. I verified that it wouldn't bind on anything by shifting thru all the positions. This should make sense when you have things apart.

That's about all there is to it! For less than $10 and a little work, you now can reach the climate controls, etc, and in my opinion looks much better. It is almost 3 inches shorter than the old knob too!



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Nice job! Did you get that shifter from the dealer for $9??? Seems shockingly cheap.

Maybe it's just me, but I think the stocker looks better. The flex knob looks like the one in my mom's civic, the explorer looks like a truck knob

Yep only $9 from the dealer! Its a nice quality part too! Iv read of another install of a mustang gt shifter that involved cutting the metal rod, plunger,etc and this one goes on with relatively much less work. Was suprised how well it worked out actually.

Maybe it's just me, but I think the stocker looks better. The flex knob looks like the one in my mom's civic, the explorer looks like a truck knob

Phallic is what i would call the stock shifter... but anyway the main reason i did this is because of how much it blocks the climate control, seat heat buttons, etc..

Ah ok, thought this was a cosmetic mod. Well nice find :thumbsup:

Would this be revsible without seeing the holes that need to be drilled? I am thinking about giving it a shot, but I would want to be able to revert back if I did not like it.

Yes it is reversable because you dont need to shorten the metal shift tube or shift pushrod. Only thing you would need to do is reconnect the OD wires that have to be swapped. But after using the shifter for a few days i have no plans to go back to the old shifter! Great improvement I think

One thing id like to add.. be careful when drilling the new holes in the metal tube. If you go too far you can damage or cut thru the plastic shift pushrod in the middle. Make sure to stop drilling when you are close to being thru the tube !

nice!!!.... I was going to buy my wife a flex, but instead buying her an explorer... ill put a flex shifter in it for her.. lol

anyone else try this mod? if so what do you think?

i will let you know in a couple days, just ordered one today along with new plug wires from fastpartsnetwork

Just finished the Install... LOVE IT.... It puts the O/D button in a perfect location and allows you to see the A/C that much better. However, do to the shape of the chrome base... its just shy of being able to be put in to 1st gear manually.. to me not a big deal.

I put the shifter in place and marked the pass hole. Then removed and drilled it. Went nice and easy using a center drill first. Then tapped it with a M4 tap.... Reinstalled the shifter, marked the drivers side, removed shifter and then drilled and tapped.

I was able to snake the O/D wiring back down through the original location, however to make it fairly easy, remove the Park solenoid. I also needed a small piece of copper wire to snake it through the last little bit. I used the 4 piece pick set i picked up at Harbor Freight a while back and they where VERY handy.







Going to do my dads 08 when he gets back from FL

Very nice! Thanks for posting the pictures, they are much better than my cellphone pics. Good idea to tap the new holes, i didnt have the right size, thanks for posting the tap size too.


Thank you for posting this in the first place to get me going on it!

PUR PONY please the part number for the black color and is there light camel?

and thanks guys for the great thread

part number is in my first post. the shift knob only comes in black, it just doesn't look as good in my cell phone camera pictures.

Awesome, I've been wanting to change mine since day one! I even posted a question on here about it.


I just bought a lincoln mark VIII... first mod is going to be a Flex shifter, already have it figured out :)

Still loving it in my X

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Anyone who has done this want to get rid of their stock assembly? Actually I just need the little chrome cap that goes on top of the shifter. Ford will only sell the entire assembly and its effin expensive. Any takers??