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If there’s anything true of off-roading culture, participants love to modify their rigs. A lift kit here, a locking differential there, and an average truck can turn into a trail monster. But a much simpler modification is available for the new Ford Bronco that can add some satisfaction to its driving experience. B&M now offers a long shifter mod for manual Broncos that conjures an older era of off-road trucks. 

A longer shifter adds old-school appeal to 7-speed Broncos

The base Bronco’s manual transmission is Ford’s gift to enthusiasts. However, it comes standard with a shorter, modern-style shifter. Not that Bronco drivers are complaining — but the stock shifter has more in common with today’s mustang than the stick-shift off-roaders and pickups of old. 

Fortunately, The Drive reports that aftermarket part manufacturer B&M now produces a replacement shifter nearly three inches taller than the stock item. In appearance, at least, it’s much closer to the long shifters often seen in vintage Ford Broncos. But there’s a significant difference. 

B&M’s product is actually a short-throw sport shifter. Despite its length, the aftermarket item delivers quicker shifts than the Bronco’s stock shifter. B&M claims the short shifter kit can reduce shift interval times by up to 40 percent. It’s the best of both worlds, combining sportier performance with a nostalgic aesthetic. 

The aftermarket short shifter is a simple bolt-on part, according to B&M. It installs directly to the Bronco’s stock shifter cable and even fits with the factory leather shift boot. 

Bronco modifications like this are ideal for drivers who want to enhance their driving experience without fussing with more complex performance systems. Rather than risk voiding a warranty with aftermarket engine components, drivers can bolt on a new shifter and enjoy.

What stock transmission does the Ford Bronco have?

A red Ford Bronco on the production floor of a factory.
2023 Ford Bronco | Bill Pugliano, Getty Images

The stock manual transmission for new Bronco models is a seven-speed unit. It’s essentially a six-speed with a low-range crawler gear for off-road trail use. Most models come with the available ten-speed automatic transmission, however. 

Is the automatic or manual Ford Bronco Better?

A blue two-door Bronco sits on the floor of an auto show.
Ford Bronco | Bloomberg, Getty Images

Each transmission available with the new Bronco has its use case. 

Drivers who want a sportier, more engaging experience may prefer the seven-speed manual Bronco. A clutch pedal and seven-speed transmission offer more than just point-and-accelerate driving. But there’s a catch – the manual transmission is only available with the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s no slouch with more than 300 horsepower. But it’s still short of the available EcoBoost V6. That engine is only available to drivers who choose the ten-speed automatic Bronco. 

The ten-speed auto may be a more practical choice for some drivers – especially those who deal with heavy traffic or city driving. Three additional gears also have advantages for highway comfort and efficiency. Plus, there’s the added available power of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. It’s a well-rounded option for drivers who want a transmission that can handle everything from commuting to off-road outings. 

Ultimately, whether you choose a manual Bronco or an automatic all depends on your individual needs.


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