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1998 escort zx2 5 speed.
Bought this car recently for my daughter. She came in last night and said she is having a hard time shifting into 3rd. went out and tried it and it seems that the linkage might be the culprit. 3/4 shifts seem to move a little further than the 1/2 or 5/R 3rd being the worst. Almost like the shifter is bottoming out before the trans is totally engaged. Slow steady pressure will get it in but it aint right. is there a bushing kit needed for these? Any suggestions?
 

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There are six small bushings in the shift linkage. 4 of them are easily replaced, and the other 2 require some grinding of a pin and then reinstalling a bolt in its place.

Four of them are at the front of the linkage where it attaches to the transmission, and the other two are in the bottom of the shifter lever itself.

There is also a shift stabiliser bushing, which is located where the stationary rod attaches to the transmission.

You can also check to make sure the shifter hasn't "dropped" through the floor (although you'd probably already know if it did) or if the retaining spring fell out of the shifter. Just remove the front section of the centre console to look.
 
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