it's threaded with a lock nut under the cap with the shift pattern on it. you "should" be able to just twist it off with some effort. if not you can lightly heat the shift knob and pry that cap out to loosen up the lock nut.
if you plan on saving that rare piece of history that is. if not just pry out the cap and take the nut off the fastest way you can think of.
oh yeah, the shift boot locks into a groove on the bottom of the knob, so you'll probably have the boot flopping around after you swap the shifters.
'97 zj 5.2, some stuff, some other suff, and some things that even work sometimes.
Should be the same as a 5-spd XJ. Locking ring that you turn to the right as you're looking at it from above, then the body of the shift knob unscrews lefty-loosey. On my XJ, I seem to remember there being a plaster-like substance inside the rubber "boot" of the knob that effectively disintegrated when I was in Phoenix, AZ many moons ago
"How the heck do you get there?"
"Duh! Big RED Jeep!!!"
ok ill have to take a look at it as soon as i get it back cant wait to get it back and inspected and get it ready for some trail rides idk i just have a thing for zj's everyone tells me to get a wrangler or cherokee kinda been there done that had a 96 cherokee country and i submerged it lol and i have a 09 jk now and the 6 speed trans is a piece of **** lol