FC shifter boot alternative...
Like me, many of you may wish you had a shifter boot for your Forward Control Willys. Lacking any source at all, I rooted around and found a boot that was admittedly larger than stock, but it didn't take too much work to install. If you are an FC owner who has a welder—or a friend w/ one—and you don't mind slightly modifying your rig from stock for functionality, then you may be interested in the following pics and text that cover my project.
The shifter boot—at right—is made for VW's.
It’s decent quality, only costs a few bucks and
searching for p/n 00-4535-0 will produce many
The wide horizontal lip on the base of the boot
needs to be trimmed down as shown below:
Carefully cut with scissors and use a belt sander to smooth-out for a consistent edge that is as wide as the rubber is thick. This lip will help hold the hose-clamp or tie-wrap that will secure the boot to the metal strip that will be fabricated and installed in the following steps...
Next, cut a piece of 20-22 gauge sheet metal ~ ½” wide by VERY close to 6.28” long. This length is important because the strip will be bent to make a circle that is slightly larger than the inside diameter of the bottom of the boot. If you hand-form the strip around a 2 inch pipe it will be very close to the final size, then you can bend slightly by hand to make the ends meet—keeping it round as seen below:
Next, wirebrush or otherwise prep the metal around the top
of shifter where
Tac weld the ring in place along the inside of the ring ONLY—as shown below:k
Finally, touch-up paint as desired, then attach boot to ring with hose clamp or tie-wrap as shown:k
My FC friend Greg mentioned that a 2” O.D. bearing race cup would also work if someone chose not to construct their own ring out of sheet metal.
The small hole in the top of the boot fits the O.D. of the stick fairly well, but you could test fit and tac-weld a small washer onto the stick if you want the top of the boot to rest at a certain height.
For a clean look, I shrunk a piece of heat shrink tubing onto the full length of my shifter stick; which also resulted in a snug fit at the small hole in the top of boot—without a washer.