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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My shifter moved so now when I shift it’s hitting the dash. I had it at the shop getting alignment and I guess when they took it out for test drive something broke. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated
 

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I dont have a first gen escort, mine are 2nd gens, so may be different, but the bushings I put into the shifting control rods on both of my 5 speeds looked like the ones on ebay being item # 194544912763. (Fits Ford Escort 1991 - 2003 GT ZX2 Aspire 1994 - 1997 Manual Shifter Bushings). Replacing them was far from a quick or easy task. The rubber support for the shift lever socket had also come apart, which I replaced using gobs of permatex RTV sealant, and making up a bracket of a small steel 'plate' bolted up below the socket the shift lever moves in to help it stay in place. This involved not only disconnecting the shift control rod from the bottom back side of the transmission, but also dropping the exhaust and the heat shield above it, so I could unbolt the shift lever support item from inside the car, (after the console was out of the way), so I could get the shift rod and the stabilizing rod next to the side of the shift rod, out of the car to do the repair work. The prior owner had not been able to get the trans into any gear, and no mechanic she went to could give her even an estimate on doing the work. There were four bushings; two to be installed at the front of the shift control rod and two installed at the back end, below the shift lever. There were two additional bushings at the pivot right behind the transmission that didnt look like they were ever meant to be replaced; but I did anyway. I had to grind off the flattened head of a sort of bolt, and replace it with about an m10 bolt I modified to fit, having a flattened head (ground down) and a nut that was ground to be thinner, so as to not bump into the subframe and other items down there.
With one of my 5-speeds it was a little easier to do this work since I had hoisted the engine and transmission out of the car.... I needed to replace the clutch in that car anyway. On the other one I supported the front of the car using stacks of heavy lumber to have the control arms about 16" off the ground.. I did all the work outside, on gravel, under a shade tree beside my driveway.
The improvement in the movement of the shift lever was dramatic; though I still try not to force my up and down shifts. Since I had the trans out of the car, I was able to free up the Vehicle Speed Sensor and make it easier to check the fluid level in the trans - which chore I now do annually.

I think I am going to order some more bushings from that ebay seller. just to have them for the future. I will get two sets, since I want to replace all six of the bushings, not merely the four that are obviously designed to be replaceable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven’t looked underneath yet we figured it was the bushing on the stick shift cause my shifter was now hitting the dash and reverse was deep into the passenger seat. I’ve been looking for those parts but haven’t seen anything
 

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The bushings are made of yylon 6/6, and I believe the pivot ball system was a combination of acetal and nylon, with the handle portion being nylon as well. I think. Those parts get small debris in them and are eaten away. I'd started designing a new shifter/linkage setup with the idea to use a tie rod end or at least spherical bearing for both pivoting sections.

One thought would be to check out shifters from S197 (2005-2014) Mustangs. They use a remote mount shifter setup. While the linkage won't work at all (it's a solid square bar about 12" long), the shifter itself could be cannibalized and made to replace the 1st gen Escort shifter. This would allow for maybe taking the end of the Mustang linkage that bolts to the shifter, and welding it to the stock Escort rod.

The turnbuckle bushings could be done from hardware store nylon, brass, or aluminum bushings and long shank bolts replacing the rivets. It also would then allow for snugging up the turnbuckle (a major source of slop in shifting).

If I knew how to weld, the S197 Stang option would be my choice. I can see it in my head how it would work. Wish I could draw it.
 

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Replacing the shifter with a series of heim joints would be ideal

But you have to dive into your car to see what's actually wrong, could be the bushing in the first pivot joint, could be the bushing/grommet insert under the shifter, could be the "ball & socket" at the shafter base, could be the plastic box that houses the lower half of the shifter even. Once you find out what's bad it's easier to offer solutions & start fixing things
 

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There's an old post somewhere on this site about these bushings, and someone discovered they were identical (except for colour) with some readily available Kia parts.
I'll look for it when I have some time, or maybe someone else will find it first. Heck, maybe it's in the part number post....
 

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Okay, I found the old post, which gave a link to the Kia parts on a Mazda Forum(!)
It's far too confusing to see if they actually cross over, probably the easiest check would be to take out the worn Escort pieces and bring them in to your local Kia dealer and compare.

Green Paint Plastic Circle Plastic bottle


Here's the Mazda Forum post whence I stole this image:


There's pretty interesting reading and excellent pictures in that thread anyhow.

I added this part number to the appropriate listing in the Part Number Post thread, which actually took a while to find:


I guess I should change mine. Last time I was under the car I noticed they were pretty sloppy, but I've never noticed an issue with the shifter seeming excessively loose. Then again I'm not exactly racing this car, although I do like driving it in a somewhat "sporty" fashion.
 
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