do neons use the same type of shifter linkage as we do?
basically, you pull your shifter out, sand/grind the paint off above where the ball is, pound the ball a little higher up on the shaft (so you get a longer portion below, thus increasing the throw) and then set the ball back on the shaft, with a setscrew, or a rollpin or something like that. then put it back together.
here's a comparison of a real shortshifter (Kartboy) with the stock one from an escort:
anyway, I'd suggest your friend look around on some neon sites (there are more of them than there are escort sites) and see what those guys are doing.
the B&M one has a little longer handle, but I think either the same or slightly longer bottom end... it comes with its own bushing housing, and shifts much smoother than the kartboy does.
I actually like the longer handle on the B&M, because with my MX3 seats, and being harnessed in, it is sometimes hard to reach to 1st and 3rd and 5th with the kartboy. no such problems with the B&M, it's right by my knee easy to reach.
unfortunately, I never took any pictures of the B&M to compare it to the stock shifter, and I got the Kartboy much later, when i did the tranny swap in my GT.
someday, I'll get one, when I put in some new shifter bushings or something.
Neons do not have a linkage, they are all cable shifters. My friend had a 98 es with a short shifter and the shifter he put in looked nothing like our shifters. As for finding a shifter for a neon look at neons.org.