How to install the dieselgeek short shifter kit on a mk5 VW Jetta TDI

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difficulty: 2/5

This article reviews and shows DIY dieselgeek sigma 5 short shifter installation on a Volkswagen Jetta.

A short shifter reduces the throws of the stock shifter. Some short shifters just shorten the shift stick but a true short shifter changes the leverage of either the shifter or shifter linkage at the transmission. It does slightly increase the lever effort since you're shortening the lever. In the video review you see the shifting effort and I found that the dieselgeek sigma 5 short shift effort completely tolerable. If you didn't know it had a short shifter it would just feel like a good and tight shifter.

The advantage of the dieselgeek short shifter is that it also replaces the rubber-plastic shifter cable ends with solid bushings. This takes out a lot of the play in the shifter cable system. This install shows a 2006 but other models are similar. Models 2008 and later use a plastic side-side bracket instead of a metal bracket. For full instructions, please refer to

Sigma 5 is their shifter for 5 speed cars, sigma 6 is their 6 speed shifter.

Related link: 1000q: shifter linkage adjustment


13mm socket and torque wrench
3/8 socket to tighten the shifter end nuts
1 sigma 5 short shifter kit , here is what was in my mk5 kit
dieselgeek sigma 6 short shifter kit

Procedure for installing the short shifter kit

First remove the engine cover by pulling it straight up, all models 2004 and newer. Models 98-2003 use 3x 10mm nuts to hold the cover on. They might be under round plastic covers which you pry off.

Mk5 and newer, remove the air intake box. See 1000q: air filter box removal for details. You don't have to disconnect the vacuum line, just pivot the entire box off to the side to avoid damaging the line. You don't have to remove the battery box, I did in the video below for illustration.

Here is some more detail on the steps, for specific instructions, please refer to the manufacturer instructions. Here is dieselgeek's video:

Here is a thumbnail of what it should look like (click to enlarge)

To lock the transmission, while pushing down on the linkage, push the pin in and rotate clockwise 90 degrees. There is more detail in the article linked at top and here: 1000q: shifter linkage adjustment. Since you're changing the shifter bushing ends, it will no longer apply to your parts but it'll give you an idea of how the linkage works.
vw shifter adjustment

When I pulled out the side-side cable end, it showed about 2 threads. Click to enlarge the thumbnail.

It should look like this when done. The rest of installation is the reverse of removal. If you compare the stock pieces to the short shifter linkage, you can see the difference in the linkage lever arms. According to the instructions, 2 playing cards should fit in the replacement shifter cable end gap if all the bolts are tightened correctly.
dieselgeek sigma 6 short shifter

If you have more questions about how to remove the door panel on your 2005, 2006, 2009 2010 or 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, or sportwagen TDI, please ask in the forums  or search the site below: