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I would like to replace my scratched (thanks repair shop) automatic shifter plate with a nice chrome one from TVA. How hard is to remove the shift handle, which has to come off to get the new plate on? Hopefully it's not a major pain. I have a good shop manual which shows how to do it, but of course seeing it on papaer and actually doing it are two different things.
 

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I've done this once, it wasn't too hard to do. If you have a center armrest it's a little more difficult. You have to remove that whole center strip of plastic. I know one screw is hidden under the backseat cup holder...but I forget the rest. If I'm extra bored today I'll go out and have a look and let you know how I did it. :)
 
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Hey thanks for letting me know. I don't have the armrest so no biggie there. I was more worried about tweeking the actual shifter getting it off. Cool! Now I can cover up that icky scratch.
 

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I've done this once, it wasn't too hard to do. If you have a center armrest it's a little more difficult. You have to remove that whole center strip of plastic. I know one screw is hidden under the backseat cup holder...but I forget the rest. If I'm extra bored today I'll go out and have a look and let you know how I did it. :)
I beg to differ.

Removing the automatic transmission shifter is easy- i've done it myself.

First engage your parking brake... just for safety sake:)

Now put your key in the ignition switch and turn it to the start position BUT don't start it.

You will now shift your auto transmission in the "neutral" position.

Next, you will get the black collar around, underneath the shift button/handle grip, and push down on it; while doing this, push the sliver shift button in and pull up. The shifter will come off as you pull up.

Now you can remove your shift plate- it's a snap piece. I used a very thin flat-head screwdriver to get in the gap of the shift plate's perimeter, and used a cloth underneath the fulcrum point of your driver, so as not to scratch anything. The shift plate pops off.

My reference is my experience, via the Bentley manual: section 37-7, "Automatic Transmissions"
 
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