Shifter Boot Replacement

This job should take about 30 minutes.

  • #10 socket wrench
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer & punch and/or large pliers
  • Multipurpose grease
  • (5-speeds only) 3 oz. of 75w90 gear oil

  • Upper boot
  • Lower boot
  • Upper bushing/wave washer
  • Lower bushing/wave washer
  • Shifter bushing

5-speeds have a separate shifter turret which does not share the oil reservoir with the transmission and needs to be changed separately. 6-speeds do not need the gear oil.

For detailed videos on this subject, see:
Part 1 Miata MX5 Transmission Shift Turret Insulator Service
Part 2 Miata MX5 Transmission Shift Turret Insulator Service

Remove the shifter
  1. Put the car in neutral
  2. Unscrew the shifter knob. If this is the first time it's been taken off, it will be tight.
  3. Remove the center console. There are 5 screws: one on each side in the front, two in the back under the trunk and gas tank levers, and one that's either under the cup holder, the ash tray, or the power window switch. To get at the screw under the power window switch, it's easiest to remove it with a putty knife.
  4. Disconnect the switch, and gently pull the console over the gas tank and trunk levers.
  5. Remove the insulation around the shifter boot
  6. Remove the upper boot via the four 10mm bolts. A socket extension is handy to get to the back two.
  7. Remove the upper boot from the shifter. This can be cut out if needed.
  8. Remove the three 10mm bolts from the lower boot.
  9. Remove the shifter from the transmission.
  10. Cut out the lower boot from the shifter. Do this as close to the metal parts of the boot as possible. Pull of the metal boot ring, then remove any remaining rubber left from the old boot.
  11. Remove the old upper bushing and wave washer (the washer can be cut out if necessary).
  12. Remove the shifter bushing on the end. It can be popped off on a vice or table like a bottle opener. The shifter should be bare at this point.

5-speed manuals
  1. Use a turkey baster or oil pump and pump out the transmission fluid in the shifter turret (you might have some rags handy as you don't want to decorate your interior with it)
  2. Poor about 3 oz. of new transmission fluid back in the shifter turret.

Replace the lower bushing
  1. Using a hammer and punch or some big pliers, push out one of the pins holding the lower bushing inside the top of the transmission.
  2. Pull out the lower bushing and the wave washer that's under it.
  3. Clean and grease the transmission where the lower bushing resides.
  4. Put in the new wave washer followed by the bushing.
  5. Grease the bushing.

Replace the shifter bushings
  1. Grease the ball of the shifter around the areas where it meets both the upper and lower bushings
  2. Put on the new upper bushing
  3. Slide on the wave washer (make sure the teeth are in the right direction to attach onto the bushing). This may be a very tight fit. If you're having trouble, get one of the bendy sides of the washer plus two of the teeth over the lip first. You should be able to wiggle the rest of it over.
  4. Clip the washer onto the bushing
  5. Grease the end of the shifter and replace the shifter bushing. You should be able to put the bushing on a table than press the shifter into it. Grease the outside of the bushing once it's in place.
  6. Grease the upper part of the shifter to make it easier to slide the lower boot on. Be sure the rubber is up (away from the bushing).
  7. Replace the shifter back into the transmission.
  8. Bolt in the lower boot with the three bolts
  9. Slide the upper boot over the top of the shifter. Make sure the ring is tight around the shifter.
  10. Bolt in the upper boot with the four bolts.
  11. Replace the center console.
  12. Replace the shifter knob.
  13. Make sure the shifter is operating properly and go for a drive.