How to: Replace Shifter Linkage Bushings/Fix Dropped Shifter

Discussion in 'How-To's' started by Pidge, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Pidge

    Pidge New Member

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    Alright, dunno if there is already one out there for this or not but posting one. Did it to my car about 200 miles ago which would be about 137,XXX for about $14 (excluding tools & other hardware).

    Was kind of a pain in the a$$ on a count of fact that most of everything was rusted tight so had to cut off old linkage connector bolt w/ a sawzall and a 3" cutting wheel. To get close enough to it I had to drop the shifter linkage (did try using 1/4" bolts, eventually came loose) and ended up bolting the entire linkage support bar to the floor (pictures shown)

    I think that the size bolt (that I used) that goes through the bushings and connects linkage was a 3/8"" w/ 2 nuts so that they can't come loose and then used antiseize on the bolt head.

    On the shifter linkage support bolted to the floor I think I also used a 3/8", idk maybe smaller, and as seen in the picture(s) had to grind an edge on the two washer to make them fit. I also had to grind down the bolt at the bottom/ underneath the car, as it kept rubbing up against the shifter whenever going from 1st to 2nd gear.

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    Had to order from local Ford dealership

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    Pic. taken out of Hayne's manual. #6 Is the two bushings

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    Lifted and supported by stands. Safety first lol

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    Before doing any work. Yes, like I said, very rusty.

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    Shifter dropped. As you can see one of two bolts used previously to hold up shifter.

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    With bolt finally cut out.

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    With linkage angled downward for working on. No, not broke lol, there is a bolt you can loosen up a little closer to the tranny to get the linkage to move.

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    With bolt and bushings replaced.

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    Hole redrilled a little to fit bolt.

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    Washer placement.

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    Hole drilled through floor pan and support bar.

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    Placement of hardware in order left to right = top to bottom. (Tried to use rubber hose as bushings, didn't have anything else at the time :? )

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    I also placed one at the bottom of the support bar (shown) and in between the floor pan and the support bar.

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    As you can see I had to grind off part of the bolt in order for the linkage to pass without it rubbing when shifting from 1st to 2nd.

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    So far has worked excellent! Bit of vibration between 1500 to 2000 rpms everywhere lol but have gained faster shift times, not to much more slack/play in shifter, and after replacing this it makes the whole rest of the car feel alot more sturdy/ newer! Hope this helps :D
  2. Green91Goblin

    Green91Goblin New Member

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    4 Self tapping screws in the bottom of the support bracket is acceptable too, pending on location. In an environment where rust is a major issue, you may want to use anti-seize, as you did, and stainless hardware.
  3. Egnorant

    Egnorant FEOA Member

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    Wow, rust much?

    That rust may be common where you are, but I just cringe at that.

    I noticed that you didn't do the bushings on the transmission end.

    I hit the junkyard and grab a few extra bolts from the transmission end.
    This makes replacing the welded in bushing easier.
    Grind off the end and drive out the middle bolt and replace with new bushings and the JY bolt.

    The rear bushing bolt you used compels me to warn of overtightening as this will cause premature wear and stiffness.

    Bruce
  4. 88scortgt

    88scortgt FEOA Member

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    The only thing that I would question is using that bolt on the bushings. What is going to prevent the threads on the bolt from cutting into the new bushing?
    Other than that, nice write-up.
  5. V8LTD

    V8LTD FEOA Member

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    does any one sale the shifter linkage? this is the one with the shifter housing that has the rod welded to it. Can i buy this new anywhere?
  6. yeaman5

    yeaman5 FEOA Member

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    I had the same problem but had just been looking for a new shift linkage the whole time, I'm going to try this in the morning.. good thinking dude
  7. calla1231

    calla1231 Member

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    Thank you soooo much for posting this!!! Mine just dropped yesterday. We called for and they want $300 for all new shifter, extension bar, everything. Looked online all last night and today trying to find a way to fix it and then found this thread in a google search. Will have my husband check it out, he was gonna try and jerry rig it when he got home he said but this looks like what we will need to do. Ford said not to put the $300 into the car cause it's old (1997). Whatever. Has been the best little car ever. Brought my kids home from the hospital in it, have hauled all kinds of stuff in it from bags of rocks, a door and lumber to a small stand up freezer (it's a wagon). I love my car! I know one day she will have to go and I actually tear up thinking about when that day will come. Best car ever!!
  8. S. MacLeod

    S. MacLeod FEOA Member

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    Thanks - just the details I was looking for.
  9. Bryan Carter

    Bryan Carter FEOA Member

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    Great write-up! Thanks for the info.
  10. tryke2

    tryke2 FEOA Member

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    Found this picture online, from a 2000 S/R. I guess they use that other plastic on the outside of the ball and you can actually adjust the depth of it for shorter throws. My 2 "upper and lower" bushings are shot and worn. Where can I find those? Ive looked all over, found replacement full shifters but not just these bushings 6879720024_large.jpg
  11. ZX2.0

    ZX2.0 FEOA Member

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    That shifter looks like it has to many bends for an S/R, but if it works, awsome. Looks like the pivot ball threads up and down the handle to adjust the throw with maybe a set screw to lock it in place. Neat idea.

    Those bushings you're asking about, I can make some up out of Delrin, but I would need to know what diameter the pivot ball is. If it is a stock shifter with the steel ball pressed on the handle, I have one to measure. If it's not you'll need to measure.

    1 running Ford out of 5 isn't bad, right?

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