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One of things I've wanted to change out on my '10 Heat was the manual shift knob...the shape isn't particularly comfortable. Finally got off the couch and took care of that this morning, and though I'd document the process.

There have been a few other threads about doing this that have described the difficulty in removing the original shift knob. The knob was molded around the end of the shift stem, which is knurled (grooved). This requires some brute force to loosen the knob. Some people have used band clamps to break the bond, but I didn't want to risk breaking something important from all that torque, so instead I removed the chrome cap (it lifts straight off with a little prying). This exposes the white plastic "skeleton" around which the black rubber knob is molded. I drilled a series of holes around the shift stem into the plastic so it would have some give to it. With the rubber part of the knob cut off and removed, here's what the plastic looked like when I was done:


With a pair of channel locks, the plastic came loose with very little effort needed. It was then lifted off.

Here's what the shift stem looks like with the original knob removed:



The top plastic part of the shift boot is held in place on the stalk by a horizontal groove cut around the stalk. Four plastic fingers from the top part lock into this groove. You can push the top plastic part down the stalk to get it out of the way with a little bit of effort.

The knob I chose is the Pilot Automotive PM-2274, available from AutoZone for $20. It's round, made of aluminum, is a "universal-fit" replacement knob, and comes with four different colored trim rings: chrome, orange, blue, or red. The ring is held in place by double-stick tape though. It also comes with four different shift pattern emblems that attach to the top of the knob with more double-stick tape. Here's a pic of the knob with the chrome ring installed, and some of the universal-fit adapters:


This knob has three set screws at the base. The idea is to slip the correct size universal adapter over the tip of your shift stalk, lower the knob down on the stalk until it bottoms out, then snug up the set screws to secure it in place.

The knob's fit-and-finish leaves a little to be desired...the colored rings don't sit flush with the knob's surface, but sit proud of it a noticeable amount. I spent about 30 minutes removing about 1/32 an inch from the bottom of the chrome ring to reduce the height difference to an acceptable amount. I went to a different AutoZone to look at another one of these knobs, and it appears that one has the same problem, so it's not an issue specific to just the knob I bought.

In any case, the universal-adapter that best fits the Caliber is a wee bit too big. I squirted some hot melt glue into the adapter before installing it on the Caliber's shift stalk. This filled up the gap and made for a nice, tight fit:



I then lowered the knob into place, applied some thread lock to the three set screws, and snugged them up in sequence to keep the knob centered on the stalk. Once they were good and snug, the knob was on solidly. I then raised up the shift boot to cover the base of the new knob, and wound up with this:



The knob seems to be a really good match for the Caliber...it's a nice, clean looking fit that compliments the interior of the car pretty well. I debated whether or not to actually use the shift pattern emblem, but in the end decided to give it a try.
 

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Nice job with the pics and write up. Reps to you for that!
 

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The Italian Admin
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11,875 Posts
nice write up with pics :rep:
 
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