Elana Scherr In­stalls a Shift Boot

Hot Rod - - Contents - hHOTROD. COM/ Elana-Scherr

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.

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