Creeping shifter vagueness

Discussion in 'Front Wheel Drive Fiats' started by bark, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. bark

    bark Low Mileage

    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Hi folks, I'm noticing increasing shifter vagueness in my 128 sedan, meaning difficulty finding gears, etc. sometimes. Do you all have experience in which parts tend to wear out? I had the car up on a rack and see the rubber boot underneath the shifter has fallen apart, as has the rubber boot protecting a selector rod entering the gearbox. I reckon replacing the rubber coupling is a good idea. What else? Or should I just take everything apart and replace whatever looks bad / I can manage to find? Thank you. b-
     
  2. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    If by "rubber coupling" you mean the "shift linkage" or "lollipop", then yes. That is a wear item, especially is the rubber bits all around it are disintegrating. You could start by checking to be sure the lollipop bolts properly connected, but given the price of the part, a new one is a small investment. Maybe even get a new bolt and bushing set.
     
  3. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    The 128 shifter is mechanically just like the X shifter. The bushing on the bottom of the shift lever is not usually a worn item but worth looking at. Look for lateral play between the shift lever and the shift arm (the arm that goes from the shift lever to the gearbox). Sometimes all that's needed is tightening of the bolt at that joint. Now look at the more problematic area, the joint between the shift arm and the lever coming out of the gear box. Again, I look for lateral play between the two and tighten the bolt until there isn't any. This bolt does wear so maybe you just need a new one as Jim suggests. The lollipop should be examined while you are down there and there definitely should not be any movement from one end of that unit to the other end ( I had one fall about on my 128 about two miles from my house so now I always run a bolt through any lollipop on my X or 128).
     
  4. bark

    bark Low Mileage

    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    One thing it's started doing is popping up out of reverse. Not the gearbox itself (reverse gear is still engaged), just the lever pops up...maybe that's the bushing you mention at the bushing on the bottom of the shift lever?
    As forthe more problematic area, I presume I can access that w/o opening the gearbox?

    And now for the idiot question...is it safe to jack these cars under the transmission case or must one use the frame jack points on either side behind the front wheels? I thank you! b-
     
  5. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    I would not jack under the trans to lift the car, the motor/trans is attached to the chassis via three rubber mounts and putting that stress on the mounts would not be great. With a 128 I would put the jack on the engine support beam that goes front to rear and then put some jackstands on the outer sill pinch welds behind the front wheels. Everything I mentioned is easily accessible under the car. Never heard of your fifth gear issue, maybe the shifter assembly that your gear lever goes into is worn.
     
  6. bark

    bark Low Mileage

    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Yeah, the car is lowered so much I can’t get a jack back far enough to raise from that point. Oh, for a lift!
     
  7. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    My previous X was low enough in the rear I had to use one jack on the side sill to get the rear high enough to get a jack on the normal jack point on the engine support. Get some boards to drive up on to get the front end up.
     
  8. Triestino

    Triestino Daily Driver

    fiat rod.jpg I'm experiencing some shifter vagueness and having the car up on a hoist, I thought I'd take a look and tighten and/or replace any worn parts. My inspection revealed that the lollipop rubber was somewhat soft...all other joints/bushing appeared fine. Foolish me, I went to install a new lollipop but didn't pay attention as to how the bushing/bolt/washers/nut were oriented on the old lollipop. Now I'm not sure how to mount the bolt, bushing, large washer, small washer, and nut that connects the lollipop to the gear shift rod on the gearbox side. If someone can tell me the sequence (by number, starting from the top) that would be great. Also, does the lollipop sit on top or below the gear shift rod (I have it sitting on top as in the picture but am not 100% sure). Any help would be greatly appreciated! Attach is a photo of the referenced parts. P.S. I did the bolt/nut thru the lollipop as per Carl's suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  9. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    This is a good question. On the three Fiats (X1/9, not 128) I am currently doing transmission work on, they are all assembled differently. Prior owners put them back together wrong, so I'm not certain which way is correct (never assume it was correct to begin with). I believe #2 (wavy washer) goes under #3, not above it? And I think on the other side (where the lollipop connects to the long shifter rod from the car, not the trans side) there should be a second spacer plate in between the shifter rod and the lollipop (like the one you show under the lollipop)? I vaguely recall a old thread that described things that way...can anyone please confirm all this? I also seem to recall it has been said the illustrations in the factory workshop manual are wrong on this, further adding to the confusion.
     
  10. The 74 - 78 manual in the Wiki shows an assembly diagram on page 104 (actual page 98 in my pdf copy).
     
  11. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    The 79-82 X1/9 Factory service manual has this illustration:

    upload_2019-9-30_10-35-59.png
    How does that compare to what you see in your manual Don? Is yours for a X1/9 or 128, or are they identical?
    Because I remember something said about this being one of the errors in one of the manuals. I also do not see any illustration showing how the lollipop connects to the trans selector rod (on the trans end). I'd have to go under the car to look again and see if there is only one way it could go though.
    Can anyone confirm the correct assembly?

    "bark", it appears at least some of your drawing might be incorrect IF this factory illustration is right, and IF the 128 is the same as the X1/9.
     
  12. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I found another illustration in the X1/9 service manual. This should give a clearer idea how the lollipop and transmission connect to one another:

    upload_2019-9-30_10-47-1.png

    The "spacer" plates (#20 in the prior illustration I posted earlier) on the left end are not real clear, but the right end shows how the lollipop and trans are oriented.

    There is also another illustration that shows the other type of "lollipop", the solid one with no rubber bush (I believe '79 X1/9 only):
    upload_2019-9-30_10-51-11.png
    Notice how this one does not have any spacer plates (#20 in my first illustration) like the other style has. However my '79 (with the solid type 'lollipop') has two spacer plates just like the rubber version shows. The car is very original, low miles, and appears to have had very little work done to it. So I believe the spacers were placed there at the factory. Perhaps this is one of the incorrect things in the factory manual?
     
  13. ng_randolph

    ng_randolph Bjorn H

    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Dan Sarandrea posted pictures in this post.
     
  14. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I've seen this with or without the wavy washer. I believe the washer is intended to allow some movement in the joint rather than act as a lock washer.
    I wonder how it might work with a actual U-joint instead of the lollipop.
     
  15. I was referring to the manual in the Wiki section of this site. I'll check my paper manuals when I get home.
     
  16. The 79 - 82 manual in the Wiki states that the diagram with the "lollipop" is for FI cars, and the one without is for carbed cars. Not sure why. The FI setup looks like the 1300/4 speed configuration.
     
  17. ng_randolph

    ng_randolph Bjorn H

    Location:
    SF Bay area
    But Triestino's is a 128, not an X1/9, so never mind.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  18. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    So I'm assuming everything we've said pertains to Triestino the same. However I know nothing about 128's so please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The following definitely does not pertain to him, and perhaps no one for that matter. But I've been thinking about this "lollipop" thing for awhile. As I mentioned previously, how about completely replacing the whole affair with a "U-joint"? The stepped bolt/wavy washer bit, as well as the rubber cushion between the halves of the 'pop' (red circle in picture below) are intended to allow for a little flex, pivot, twist movement as the shift selector goes through it motions; slide in and out, rotate back and forth.
    up_201.png

    It seems something like one of the follow type parts could replace all of it:
    ball-j8.jpg SUM-770650_xl.jpg

    Back in my off-road days we used these types of joints for shift linkages on mid and rear engined buggies. They are precise, smooth, durable, and easy to articulate in the movements needed for a trans shift selector. One of them could simply replace everything in the red circle above.
     
  19. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    The bolt up connection from the lollipop to the shift stub on the trans is something from the 1800s and is not great. I tighten the flanged bolt as tight as I can so that there is no rocking motion but the lollipop can still rotate. If you have trouble getting 5th an reverse, this is the first thing I look at. The 128 uses the identical joint.
     
  20. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Exactly. This is why I'm thinking using a u-joint instead of the lollipop/step bolt may be good. The u-joints have zero rocking or play and transmit all of the rotation and in/out sliding directly. I looked at a couple left over items I had laying around and realized things like heim joints or the ball-and-socket type (left picture in my last post) will not work because they do not control the rotational movement enough. So a actual u-joint (like the picture on the right) would be needed. I have a old lollipop that I'll cut up and use the ends to weld fittings onto; allowing it to still connect on both sides like the stock parts, but add a u-joint in the middle in place of the rubber disk and the step bolt/washer kit. But I won't be able to play with this until one of my trans is ready to go back in one of the cars (i.e. a long time).
     

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