One of the cooler features of 2006-and-up Duramax-powered GM trucks is the shifter, which allows drivers to manually shift up and down gears, making the Allison automatic feel more like a manual transmission. This is especially helpful when passing cars on two-lane roads, trying to keep exhaust gas temperatures down while climbing hills, or while dyno testing, sled pulling, or drag racing a vehicle.
Unfortunately, 2001-2005 truck owners were left out in the cold, until just recently, when a number of companies started marketing kits that could convert the early-style shifters, enabling any Duramax enthusiast to tap away up or down to their heart’s content. The shifter we chose to install was BD Diesel Performance’s offering, which we bought because of its competitive pricing, excellent instructions and simplicity of installation.
We performed the install on Brian Peterson’s 2003 Chevy, which with a hot tune, aftermarket turbo and fueling upgrades, could definitely benefit from manual controls. Brian reports that since the installation, he’s now able to keep the rpm up in spirited driving situations to make sure the aftermarket Garrett GT4094 turbo always stays up on boost, making passing and towing a breeze. Best of all, the install only took about thirty minutes and required only simple hand tools. Here’s how it went: DW