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Hello all,
I am new to your site and appreciate the opportunity to learn from others with experience. I am turning 65 next month and the time has come to get myself that GTO I have wanted since high school! During my search of 68, 69, 70 of model years I have naturally found a number of possible candidates with the automatic floor shift. I would prefer the Dual Gate "His and Hers" shifter and wonder if a conversion is a common thing done to these classic cars, I assume the console shift plate requires alteration to accommodate the additional "track" for the "his" shifting. Do those of you who have the dual gate find you use it routinely or does it become more of a "gimmick" that really doesnt get used all that much? Hey, thanks in advance for your input for this new member trying to find his way!!
 

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Hello all,
I am new to your site and appreciate the opportunity to learn from others with experience. I am turning 65 next month and the time has come to get myself that GTO I have wanted since high school! During my search of 68, 69, 70 of model years I have naturally found a number of possible candidates with the automatic floor shift. I would prefer the Dual Gate "His and Hers" shifter and wonder if a conversion is a common thing done to these classic cars, I assume the console shift plate requires alteration to accommodate the additional "track" for the "his" shifting. Do those of you who have the dual gate find you use it routinely or does it become more of a "gimmick" that really doesnt get used all that much? Hey, thanks in advance for your input for this new member trying to find his way!!
Most GTO's with automatics had the Dual Gate unless you had a column shift car. To save you a bunch of aggravation and extra costs, I would purchase a car having the Dual gate.

The Dual Gate allows you to shift manually and you don't have to worry about accidentally pushing through to Reverse. Had one in a '68 I once owned and as tired as it was, the trans shifted instantly from 1st to 2nd and could chirp tires on the shift.

Here is an article that may help: phscollectorcarworld: Hot Options: Hurst Dual Gate "His n Her" Shifter

Now if someone has swapped out the transmission at any point with another TH400, it may not have the increased line pressures used by the GTO's TH400 and you will not get that nice snappy up/down shift. That's when we used to add a B&M Shift Kit to get the firm/hard shifts out of them. :thumbsup:
 

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Just to add it was used in only two years. 1967 and 1968 I believe . It was a nice looking shifter ( it was more look at my shifter it's a hurst) but much better option on floor shifter on market . With that being said I had one in my 68 in 1974 and also have one in my 68 that I own today. I'm am in the process of replacing mine now with a B&M Magashifter. Not cheap and not original but if you want to bang though gears in a automatic you can't beat it . If not and you want original then in those two years it's ok. I would never upgrade any other year to it . Just not worth it . Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #4
From the article Jim sent:

"Starting in 1969, Pontiac devised their own ratchet shifter mechanism and employed to avoid paying Hurst a fee for using his shifter. For 1969, the GTO automatic console cars had a lever you moved to the right for positive, one stop only shifting, Like the Dual Gate, it employed a higher line pressure circuit and full throttle blasts were needed to get the maximum benefit out of the unit."

So.....if I understand, a 69 with automatic floor shift is likely (or absolutely is going to) to have this Pontiac "ratchet" shifter which pretty much performs the same as the Hurst Dual Gate?? This is way different than the 442's which apparently only had the dual gate as an option. If I am correct in my understanding, this opens up the possibility of a lot more cars becoming candidates for me!
 

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From the article Jim sent:

"Starting in 1969, Pontiac devised their own ratchet shifter mechanism and employed to avoid paying Hurst a fee for using his shifter. For 1969, the GTO automatic console cars had a lever you moved to the right for positive, one stop only shifting, Like the Dual Gate, it employed a higher line pressure circuit and full throttle blasts were needed to get the maximum benefit out of the unit."

So.....if I understand, a 69 with automatic floor shift is likely (or absolutely is going to) to have this Pontiac "ratchet" shifter which pretty much performs the same as the Hurst Dual Gate?? This is way different than the 442's which apparently only had the dual gate as an option. If I am correct in my understanding, this opens up the possibility of a lot more cars becoming candidates for me![/QUOTE

Not sure now what you question is? As I stated hurst shifter was only used for two years and yes you can convert to other years but why would you? It was.more a look what I have shifter .isnt that what you asked? The ones used in 69 up were no.better and did not have the hurst name if you want a good ratchet shifter then get the B&M magashifter. As far as shift points and firmness of shift it comes down to your transmission very little to do with shifter. All of us have tried many ways to accomplish this but it tough.,you really need to know what your doing to get these turbo 400 to do what you want. Doug
 

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My 69 has the Pontiac ratchet shifter - as all did. It works great. All you have to do when upshifting is push it simultaneously forward and away from you towards the passenger seat - on an angle, then relax your pressure on the handle a little to allow the ratchet to reset. Most of them are well worn by now but if you look closely at the wood grain insert on the console, you'll find a clue: There's a 1 - 2 - 3 embossed into the wood grain on the passenger side of the shifter. It's not as "cool looking" as the Hurst dual gate but in terms of operation, it's just fine.

Bear
 

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I also modified the mounts to raise the B&M to fit in the factory console slot and position from the 66' two speed. Shiftworks makes the best cables for stock and custom applications. i can remember changing the kinked cables in my 69' bird a few times from banging it through the gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My 69 has the Pontiac ratchet shifter - as all did. It works great. All you have to do when upshifting is push it simultaneously forward and away from you towards the passenger seat - on an angle, then relax your pressure on the handle a little to allow the ratchet to reset. Most of them are well worn by now but if you look closely at the wood grain insert on the console, you'll find a clue: There's a 1 - 2 - 3 embossed into the wood grain on the passenger side of the shifter. It's not as "cool looking" as the Hurst dual gate but in terms of operation, it's just fine.

Bear
Thanks Bear! I talked to a guy yesterday who is selling a 69 GTO with the automatic floor/console mounted shifter and told him about these discussions and what I had learned from the article sent by PontiacJim and he said his shifter did not operate that way. At the time I talked to him I hadn't read your post at the time in which you say all of the 69's had the ratchet shifter ( which is what I understood from the article and you are confirming it). You think he just doesn't realize what he has? I am going to ask him to send pictures of the shifter and see if there is that 1-2-3 embossed into the wood grain on the passenger side of the shifter that you described.
 

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I'd bet money he just doesn't know what it can do. If you can touch it in person, try it yourself. Pull it down into low, then push it diagonally out/away from you and forward at the same time. If it's a ratchet you'll know it really quickly.
 

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Does anyone know where you can get parts for the 69 Shifter?
Mine, the button pops out, and the knob comes completely off the shifter.
It tries to ratchet but needs help.
 
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