Can't find reverse or fifth gear?

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by carl, May 16, 2019.

  1. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    A common complaint is inability to find reverse and fifth gear easily. I had that problem with the Fatrat yesterday (both gears were accessible with this gearbox in the rat). I worked the shifter all the way to the right looking for reasons I couldn't find those two gears and heard a definitely "clunk" sound and it sounded like it was coming from the tunnel. I pulled up the hand brake mechanism and saw I had installed too long of a seat belt bolt and the shift rod was hitting the nose of the bolt. Ha! A shorter bolt solved the problem.....not. Still had the sound of the shift rod hitting something. Popped off the rubber access plug behind the emergency brake handle and saw the rod was hitting the side wall of the tunnel on the driver side. Must have been doing this with the previous engine/gearbox as it was easy to see where the paint had been worn off the tunnel wall. Went under the car and adjusted the two bolt linkage between the shift rod and the lollipop to bias the shift rod more to the right so it won't hit the tunnel wall. Just backing out of the garage showed reverse was easy to get now.

    Also, make sure the lollipop to trans shifter bolt has no lateral play...I tighten down that spring washered bolt to the point it swivels with a little resistance but there is no side to side play.

    The point of all this is that, as noted in many previous threads, failure to find reverse and 5th or not easy to get them is usually a linkage adjustment but most of those threads never really got into what you are looking for in adjustment.
     
    Dr.Jeff and lookforjoe like this.
  2. Andy

    Andy True Classic

    Location:
    Medford, Oregon
    Carl, that's the second "too long" bolt on this build...
    So much for Bigger is better... :)
     
  3. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Yea, I guess you are right! Are we keeping score?
     
  4. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    No.But there is this other thread talking about: "Everyone loves to read threads about what an idiot we can be."

    Maybe you should meet with that guy :p
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 1:18 AM
  5. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    I am that guy. Nice ta meetcha!
     
    Tom Ginefra likes this.
  6. ecohen2

    ecohen2 True Classic

    Location:
    Arlington Va
    Hey @carl I have a linkage question.... What causes the shifter to vibrate in 4th gear when it's cold? Is it hitting the tunnel somewhere?
     
  7. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    I don't think the shift rod should be touching any part of the body when in any gear. Unfortunately, you guys with actual interiors have the carpet in place which makes getting to all the access openings in the tunnel pretty hard to get to. With the engine off, put the car in 4th gear and wiggle the shift lever and see if you can hear the rod hitting anything. You can also unbolt the emergency brake assembly (with the cable still attached), pull the assembly up from the tunnel and look down inside while you wiggle the shifter to see if it's hitting the tunnel. In my car it was hitting just rearward of the e-brake.
     
  8. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I haven't really looked into it at all, but it seems to me there might be a way to add some sort of support to that long shift rod. Especially where it comes out of the tunnel at the back, the rod has a lot of room to flop around. I realize there's a boot and the end is attached to the transmission selector shaft. But it pretty much just floats between the shifter at the front (driver shift lever) and the trans at the back. If you look at other vehicles with a similar system there is a guide to help support the long rod so its action is more controlled as it moves fore/aft and rotates. That might make the shifting action a little more precise feeling. And it might help with all of the adjustments and other issues being discussed here. But as I said, I have not looked at it to see if this is possible or desired on this application.
     
  9. nichol01

    nichol01 Daily Driver

    Location:
    pennsylvania
    I had the same issue with my shifting. I purchased a new lolipop and bushing. Also through bolted the lolipop rubber. Still couldn't get 5th and reverse. Looking at the lolipop as someone operated the shifter I could then see that I had more movement in the rod to the 1st and 2nd gear. So I bent the lolipop towards 5th and reverse a little bit at a time. This made the shifting very precise centering 3rd and 4th. I also bent the lolipop ever so slightly so the rod was centered in the tunnel opening.
     
  10. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    yea, centering the shift rod in that opening is important and I usually have to stack the rectangular plates at the shift rod/lollipop joint in a different orientation than stock to get it height centered in that opening.

    A centrally supported shift rid might be interesting and I gather it would look a bit like a 124 driveshaft with two long sections and a center bearing bolted to the body. However, my shifter works fine now so I'll leave mods like that to you, doc.
     
  11. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Usually they are just a simple plastic bushing that the rod slips through. The bushing rides in a simple sheet metal plate from one side. Here is one example:
    mk1_shifter_pieces_009_grande.jpg shiftkit_53.jpg s-l640.jpg
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice