Elana Scherr Installs a Shift Boot
We’ve talked before about how long it can take to fix simple things on a project car, especially when that car is in service as a regular driver. One gets used to the broken switch or the wobbly armrest, and you stop thinking about it. This is true—sometimes even more true—when the replacement part is easy to get and inexpensive.
The tear started in the shifter boot of the Opel GT as a crack in the accordion fold at the base. I noticed a slight rise in engine heat and noise, but the Opel is already a hot, loud, little machine. Over the next few months, it continued to dissolve, and the temperatures and noise levels increased in the cabin until it got to a point where my smartphone on the console would go into heat-limp mode and bits of road grime would get kicked up onto the radio. Then it ripped completely, and I had to be careful that items didn’t fall straight through and out to the highway. Glass-bottom boats are great. Being able to see the tarmac through your daily driver, not so much.
There was no reason for not replacing the boot. Reproductions cost $32 from OpelGTSource.com, but I didn’t even have to buy one because on Drag Week™, the Schroeder-Ens Corvette team gave me one. It’s good to have friends with Opel parts. It still took from September to December for me to grease the thing up and replace it. What a difference! It’s quiet. There are no tornados of road dust in the cabin when I change lanes, and if you want to drop something out of the car now, you have to open a window. Maybe this will be a lesson to not let things go so long before repair, but probably not.
[ New shift boot. It only took 8 minutes (and 3 months) to install.