The Interchangeability of Ford 4-Speed Shifters From 1962 to 1973
There is no such thing as a Ford Mustang, Fairlane, Galaxie 4-speed shifter. although, the shift handles will interchange for the most part, they will only be correct for their designated application. There are over 30 individual handles used during the period. All Handles with a reverse lock out up to January 2, 1968 had a 1′ 7/8 bolt spacing after that their was a 2 “bolt…Saddles can be changed to accommodate switching handles around from one model or year to another.
Exceptions to the interchangeability rule include the Galaxie Top Loader linkage from 1964-65 it will also fit the Fairlane and Tiger top loader for the same year, also the T10 Galaxie linkage will also fit a T10 Fairlane transmissions. This is the case even though the Fairlane transmission is 2″ shorter.
In 1969 Ford changed the 4-speed shifters to eliminate the cable lock out. The lock out feature was built into the shifter control mechanism itself. This feature was a brittle stamped steel piece, It usually broke at about 65, 000 miles depending on usage also the main spring had the same breakage problem. Although the control mechanisms were basically the same between Mustang, Torino and Galaxie the linkages were different and the shift handles were different. Only the Mustang Big Block use an adapter plate and this unit was use only for one year.
Ford went to the Hurst shifter in 1970 and was use by Mustang/Cougar and Torino/Cyclone only, even though the 1970 adapter plate. had a Big Ford part number they never put a 4 speed in a Galaxie. that plate was used for Torino/Cyclone only and for the Mustang three different adapter plates were used they were the Big Block, Small Block and Boss 429. The Hurst Handles in 1970-71 were flat and 1972-73 were round both had Hurst emboss on them and in each case the Torino/Cyclone handles were longer than the Mustang, but the round handles in1972-1973 were only slightly longer.
The housing in 1970 Hurst shifter control mechanism were cad plated and in 1971-1973 were black oxide. 1972-73 Torino/Cyclone control mechanisms were different then the 1970-71 and used a stamped steel adapter plate and their were no part numbers on the plate.
In conclusion when it comes to Ford 4-speed shifters you can never say never and you can never say always, their is on such thing as a combination shifter during that era. If you are restoring one of these models and need shifters parts be aware of these differences it can save you time and money. Know your source and where you get your Ford 4-speed shifter parts so your project goes smoothly.