Clarkbug: I have got some information from escortracing and the guy i've been talking to says it should go in without any problems. Once I get the knob and boot and put in my car I will be able to answer any questions you will have.
Nice car. I also have a 97 LX Sport but it is in that brown color. I like it in black a whole lot better, but hey, what'm I gonna do. Anyways, sure like to see that shifty knob and boot; I've been itching to replace mine, maybe even replace it with a short throw shifter, I'm not too sure. Also, that exhaust looks familiar; mind if I ask where you bought it? I think I almost bought the same one. Nice to see someone with a 3gen modding it; you don't see that too often.