The purpose of this guide is to give you the most detailed guide possible to the steps involved in removing your shift boot from your car, and adding accent stitching to the boot.
What you need:
• 1/5 size general purpose needles (I used Dritz brand)
• Button or leather thread with a high polyester or non-cotton
material level in a color of your choice (I used Gutermann brand button thread)
Step 1: Remove interior trim pieces
First, you will need to remove the interior trim pieces around the e-brake and shifter.
Start by removing the piece around the e-brake. Just pull up on the trim piece and it will pop out, it is pretty simple. Now, do the same thing for the piece around the shifter, but do not remove it all the way! Just pop it out (see pic)
. You may want to remove the cup holder to make it easier to maneuver underneath the trim piece. Disconnect the connectors for the 12 volt outlets at this time.
Step 2: Remove shift knob
You cannot remove the trim piece around the shifter as it is, because the shift boot will get caught on the shift knob. You will have to remove the shift knob in order to get the shift boot off of the shifter’s shaft. Start by grabbing the neck (top) of the shift boot. You should feel a plastic piece underneath the leather. This plastic piece “locks” in place and keeps the neck of the shift boot in place on the shaft. Twist this plastic piece 45 degrees or so counterclockwise (NOTE! Make sure you are twisting the plastic piece, and not just the leather around the plastic piece!)
, and the neck of the shift boot should slide down the shaft.
This will expose the end of the shift knob, which has 4 little tabs that fit into a groove on the shaft (see pic). Pop the tabs out of the groove on the shaft and pull up on the shift knob to remove it. You may use a flat blade screw driver to aid you in getting the tabs out of the groove, just be careful not to pry the tabs too far, or you may bend the plastic.
Step 3: Remove shift boot
Now that you have removed the shift knob, you can pull the trim piece around the shifter off, along with the shift boot. But first, disconnect the 12 volt outlet connectors if you have not already done so. Now, you will need to remove the shift boot from the trim piece itself. The leather shift boot is stapled to a plastic ring that goes underneath the trim piece and is held in place by some tabs (see pic). Apply some inward pressure from the underside of the trim piece and pop out the plastic ring and attached shift boot (NOTE! Do not apply too much pressure, or you may break the plastic ring!!! You can already see some white stress lines from when I applied too much pressure trying to figure this out!)
Step 4: Stitching the left side stitches of a corner
Now that you have removed the shift boot, you can begin adding accent stitching if you already have the necessary materials. If not, go to your local craft store and get the stuff listed at the beginning of this guide.
Start by taking a length of thread from the spool but do not cut it! Leave the thread attached to the spool!
This is important so that you can do the left and right side stitching without having to tie the thread off at the bottom! If you cut the thread before you are told, you are screwed!!! Take the thread and make a loop as shown in the pic (this makes it easier to stick the thread through the eye of the needle), and stick the loop through the eye of the needle.
Tie the length of thread to the needle in a square knot. Do not cut the thread to do any of this! Leave it attached to the spool!
You can now really begin the threading of the accent stitching. Pick a corner of the boot you want to stitch first. Start by taking the needle and thread, and threading it underneath one of the lower stitches (that would normally sit below the trim piece and out of view) on the left side of the corner you are working on, with the needle coming from the right side and pull it through (see pic).
Now, take the needle and thread it underneath the next stitch up like you did for the first one, but this time with the needle coming from the left side (see pic).
Do the same thing for the next stitch up, threading the needle underneath the stitch, coming from the left side (see pic).
Continue this pattern all the way up to the top of the shift boot, then stop. This pattern will give the thread a “twisted” or “intertwined” look, with the original black stitching and the added accent thread looking like they are twisting together (two tone thread). Remember to leave the thread attached to the spool this entire time!
Once you reach the top of the boot, stick the needle through the leather where the original stitching goes in (see pic).
The needle and thread should come out somewhere close to what is circled in the next picture. Turn the boot inside out and tie one or two knots on the inner stitching as shown to make sure the thread will not come loose and come back outside the leather.
Once those knots are tied, cut off the excess thread that is tied to the needle and remove the waste thread that is still tied to the needle.
Step 5: Stitching the right side stitches of a corner
Now at this point you will be using the thread that is still attached to the spool to thread the right side of the corner. Unravel some thread off the spool, and cut a length that you think will be enough to reach all the way up the boot, and tie off underneath, plus a little extra to tie the needle.
Cut the thread, and tie it to the needle.
Now take the thread and needle and thread it through one of the lower stitches on the right side, just like you did on the left side. You will have a little bit of thread stretching across between the left and right sides (see pic), but don't worry, it will be hidden underneath the trim piece when you re-install the boot.
Now repeat the threading steps you took on the left side, and tie it off on the inside at the top, again cutting the excess thread off.
Congratulations! You have just completed one corner of the boot! Only 3 more to go!
Step 6: The other corners
Repeat the steps you used to stitch the first corner to do the other three
Step 7: Re-installation
Re-install the shift boot and ring into the trim piece. Re-install the trim piece, and re-connect the connectors for the 12 volt outlets. Put the shift knob back on, and lock the neck of the boot over it. Put the last trim piece back in around the e-brake, and you are done!
I hope this guide makes it easier for you to do this mod. I know I would have had an easier time doing this mod, and got it done faster if I had this information.
Enjoy your new shift boot!