TCI’s Diablo Shifter Gives Many Options For Positive Shifts

Hot-rodding a car entails improvements, and improvements enhance performance. For many enthusiasts, if their hot rod utilizes a shifter that is mounted to the steering column, they feel a change is in order. The mindset is, having an aftermarket, floor-mounted shifter not only adds an element of performance to the car, some feel that it helps aesthetically as well.

TCI's Diablo shifter is available in a brushed aluminum or blacked-out finish, and can be had with or without the housing for installations inside a console.

There are two things that most enthusiasts search for when shopping for a shifter. The most obvious is the increased safety and reliability of getting sure, positive shifts. Another major selling point is having options to suit the many different configurations that you’ll find among automotive builds. TCI’s Diablo shifter gives enthusiasts both positive-stop surety and many other options to suit it for their specific build. The shifter housing is made from an aluminum extrusion, which means it’s not only light weight, but good looking and durable for street and race-duty applications. Units are also available without a cover, so you can even mount it in your console. What’s more, it’s also available in a Blackout version for those wanting the stealthy look.


TCI’s Diablo shifter’s vast flexibility includes all components needed for installation into nearly any GM, Ford, or Chrysler drivetrain, and the shifter housing is made from an aluminum extrusion and allows for either a front- or rear-cable exit. The Diablo shifter’s innovative design eliminates the use of gate plates inside the shifter, and is easily adaptable to many different transmissions by reconfiguring the mechanism inside the shifter.

That means the shifter is adaptable to work with two-, three-, four- or six-speed transmissions in both forward and reverse shift patterns. There is also a two-button upgrade that can be incorporated into the handle for controlling nitrous, trans brake, or up and down shift points for electronically-controlled transmissions. The upgraded, two-button shifter is also directly compatible with TCI’s 6X Automatic or other transmissions controlled with TCI’s EZ TCU.

Diablo shifter comes with everything to configure it for almost all GM, Ford, or Chrysler transmissions. Brackets are included for each application and feature slots to allow for adjustments. Indicators show the number of shift patterns available.

Safe And Secure

Missing shifts with any transmission is bad, and when there’s a chance of going from any forward gear to reverse, the effects could be severe. That is why racing sanctioning bodies require a lock-out feature that will prevent an automatic shifter’s travel from the “forward” area into the “transmission detonation zone” unintentionally. Besides the regulation, having protection from going into neutral, or even worse – reverse, is money well spent when you consider the cost difference between a shifter and an engine or transmission. The Diablo shifter fully meets safety requirements and allows the driver to focus on other aspects of driving the vehicle without the worry of missing a shift.

Diablo shifter's mechanism allows for changing/reversing shift patterns and also contains two micro-switches for a neutral/park starting safety and reverse lights.

The Diablo shifter is engineered to be versatile when it comes to fitment, but unwavering when it comes to gear selection. Thanks to the Diablo’s adaptable internal mechanism, there is no longer a need to buy and replace parts if you are changing shift order, configuration, or changing transmissions entirely.

Before installing the shifter, make sure that the switches operate when they should, and that the floor has sufficient material to solidly hold the shifter body. Once installed, make sure the linkage is adjusted properly. Incorrect linkage adjustment can dramatically shorten transmission life.

The Diablo shifter kit comes with the shifter, high-quality shift cable, transmission-mount cable brackets and neutral safety and reverse-light switches. All bracketry is included, and features various mounting points to allow for proper alignment.


An optional two-button upgrade allows the shifter to operate nitrous, roll-control and even up/down shifts with applicable transmissions.

Don’t Forget The Wires!

A shifter’s main goal is to ensure the transmission is set to the proper gear at all times. There are also several safety enhancements that come as part of the package, ancillary benefits for sure, but also just as important.

Steps For Proper Cable Adjustment:

Put trans and shifter in neutral

Run cable avoiding heat and kinks
No misalignment of shift lever and linkage
Double-check positions for Park through Low gear
Locate proper alignment in all gears

Diablo shifters come with two micro-switches within the housing that are designed for safety features such as back up lights and a neutral safety switch. A neutral safety switch closes the loop in the electrical system, allowing the car to start only in neutral or park. Many times, the most difficult issue with adding these two features is properly mounting the necessary switches to make them operate when, and as they should. TCI engineers have eliminated that need, and end users need only to run the necessary wires to make these two features usable. Of course, some transmissions have these switches mounted to its case, making the shifter switches redundant and unnecessary.

The Bottom Line

You could say that the lion’s share of the shifting chore is completed by the automatic transmission. But, when you consider that the trans only does what it’s told, ensuring that it gets the proper marching orders is also a consideration. TCI’s Diablo shifter allows you to dictate those shifts without worry of over-travel. Let’s face it, as you’re ratcheting through the gears, you’ve probably got enough other stuff on your mind, and having one less thing to worry about is money well spent.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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