Column shifter conversion

Falcon LS

Original poster
Member
Jun 12, 2013
36
I'm looking to relocate the shifter to the steering column, as well as replace the handbrake with a foot operated parking brake (with push to release) on my '05 Envoy.

Any ideas on which steering column would require the least modification to fit? Would a '00-'06 column out of a Tahoe/Yukon/Sub/Avalanche work? I'm still looking into this before I go out and get anything. Thank you!
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
You would definitely be the pathfinder for this mod. Another one I've never heard of in my ten years on the forums. Last vehicle I owned with a column shift was a GMC Safari, so you might also look at GM small van parts.
 

Grimor

Member
Mar 28, 2013
954
I just don't see this working out well without a butt ton of custom fab work. Any reason you want to get rid of the center console? Could ditch the brake all together. I never use mine on automatics.
 

Showtyme

Member
Nov 26, 2012
150
My 2000 blazer had column shift and that was an upgraded option cuz most of them had the floor shifter. I have had several full size chevy work vans over the years and all of them are column shift. 90's and up. Come to think of it i dont think ive seen any full size pickups that didnt have column shift.
 

Falcon LS

Original poster
Member
Jun 12, 2013
36
I've been looking at quite a few steering columns, including a same generation Colorado, but haven't come up with something yet. Considering it's shift-by-wire, I don't think it will be too difficult once you get the right parts together, but this is something that will require a lot of research - including whether or not the column shift would be touching the dashboard in drive.

The column shifter is really a personal preference, considering all except one of my cars have come with it. I know many will take floor over column, but I just don't see the purpose of a floor shifter on an automatic.
 

MDBT

Member
Jan 26, 2012
223
Showtyme said:
My 2000 blazer had column shift and that was an upgraded option cuz most of them had the floor shifter. I have had several full size chevy work vans over the years and all of them are column shift. 90's and up. Come to think of it i dont think ive seen any full size pickups that didnt have column shift.

Ford, Dodge, Nissan and Toyota full size trucks all have console shifters available with their higher trim lines paired with bucket seats. Those with a 60/40 split bench still use column because there needs to be a place for the middle occupant's feet. Chevrolet/GMC is the only manufacturer I know of that does not have this option available.

The console shift was present on the upmarket GMT330 vehicles (Chevrolet Trailblazer package, GMC Jimmy SLT/Envoy/Diamond, Olds Bravada/Platinum) so I hesitate to call the column shift an "upgraded option".
 

Showtyme

Member
Nov 26, 2012
150
MDBT said:
Ford, Dodge, Nissan and Toyota full size trucks all have console shifters available with their higher trim lines paired with bucket seats. Those with a 60/40 split bench still use column because there needs to be a place for the middle occupant's feet. Chevrolet/GMC is the only manufacturer I know of that does not have this option available.

The console shift was present on the upmarket GMT330 vehicles (GMC Jimmy/Envoy/Diamond, Olds Bravada/Platinum) so I hesitate to call the column shift an "upgraded option".

I was only referring to chevy. Sorry i should have specified. I may be wrong on the upgraded option but i looked at several blazers before i bought that one and it was the only one with column shift. I didnt buy it new but it was fully loaded and i thought it had every available option.
 

Falcon LS

Original poster
Member
Jun 12, 2013
36
MDBT said:
Chevrolet/GMC is the only manufacturer I know of that does not have this option available.

TBH, I don't really see a problem with that. You still get the center console with more space, because there isn't a shifter there, isn't that an advantage? Then again I fail to understand what the obsession is with floor shifters. :redface:
 

MDBT

Member
Jan 26, 2012
223
Falcon LS said:
TBH, I don't really see a problem with that. You still get the center console with more space, because there isn't a shifter there, isn't that an advantage? Then again I fail to understand what the obsession is with floor shifters. :redface:

IMO the prevalence of the console shift layout in modern cars has much to do with the death of the bench seat (so long W-Body Chevrolet Impala). Now that cars do not have to be designed with a center passenger in mind they have little incentive to locate the shifter on the column and can instead make all models, even those with manual transmissions, with the same console and, I suspect, simpler/cheaper linkages. Ask someone why they prefer a console shift and they will give you bunch of subjective reasons that have no real world value but make them feel better. IE "it feels sportier", "column feels cheap", "more natural/ergonomic placement" ignoring the fact that they'll rarely have to touch the shifter because most consumers buy automatics. In the truck world I suspect that they are simply continuing to copy everything they are doing in their cars. I see the cockpit surrounding a Ford Taurus driver and then compare it to the console shift version of the F150 interior and I see a lot of similarities in terms of design intent and feel.

My last two vehicles have had floor console shifters, and in both I would have preferred more room for cup holders, storage, power points, or relocated window/lock/DIC/seat/etc controls rather than the big shifter in the way. At best it's a hand rest. That said, your project would be a rather sizeable undertaking and I'd be shocked to see someone go through the trouble and cost required to end up with a product that is reliable and looks factory.
 

07Denali

Member
Feb 28, 2013
71
You could even look into a push button shifter too not sure if there is one for these trucks yet but they do make them aftermarket.
 

Ryda55555

Member
Apr 11, 2013
1,111
I really like the bmw shifters where it just clicks up or down to change gears but stays in the same spot and to put it into park its a button on top that you press
 

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BO TIE SS

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
07Denali said:
You could even look into a push button shifter too not sure if there is one for these trucks yet but they do make them aftermarket.
There was just something really cool about push button. :thumbsup:

mopp_0903_05_z+1963_plymouth_fury+pushbutton_shifter.jpg
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Ryda55555 said:
I really like the bmw shifters where it just clicks up or down to change gears but stays in the same spot and to put it into park its a button on top that you press
There's something disturbing about a vehicle that needs to put a cursor-moving device on the console. Hands-free is not distraction-free. I put an ALPS trackpad on my tablet mount, but by gum I'm not managing the computer while I'm moving.
 

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