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Gear Selection Woes

Discussion in 'Engine & Transmission' started by DrowningBitByBit, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    One of those jobs you start and then wish you hadn't...

    So, the story so far.
    Floppy gearstick, and gears sometimes hard to select - particularly 2nd moving from 3rd, and 1st really needing to push it in.
    Adjusted the gear selection plate, which improved selection of 1st and 3rd at the cost of Reverse being a bit harder, but I could live with that. But while doing that, saw that the front shift rod bush was missing. So I changed that. However, 1st and 2nd very hard to find.

    Didn't worry too much, as I still planned on changing the gear selector coupler. Changed that (which is a fun job on a sloping driveway), and now everything a bit less wobbly, but cannot engage first. 2nd gear fairly easy, depending on position of selector plate.

    A few things to note...
    Yes, the gear selector plate is the right way round.
    The gear selection pin on the bottom of the gear stick is very worn (anyone knows where I can get one of these that isn't on backorder?)
    The gear selection plate also showing signs of wear.
    I haven't done the rear shift rod bushes yet - I'll wait until things stop getting worse before changing more stuff.
    Clutch possibly got a bit more freeplay than ideal, but doesn't creep forward when fully depressed, so I assume that's okay (also, buggered if I can turn the butterfly nut).

    Now I'm not sure whether something else needs adjusting, or whether I'm just ham-fisted with the positioning of the gear selector plate (someone feel free to take me through it again in baby steps... pretend I'm an idiot... because I'm an idiot).
     
  2. ttmck

    ttmck Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,771
    Location:
    Hallett Cove STH AUS
    try loosening bottom gear lever bolts just a little and then try selecting gears poss just needs a little repositioning once you have selected lets say first gear tighten the bolts then it might just help always start with the simple things cheers tom
     
    DrowningBitByBit likes this.
  3. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Update... by a random typewriters-and-monkeys method, moving the selector plate about eventually got me into a position where I can get 1st again.
    So now it's similar to what it was like before (3, 4 and R - fine, 3 to 2 a bit hit and miss, 1 usually goes in but needs a hefty push).

    There's still a lot of movement at the gear stick (in all directions) even with new front bush and coupler. All seems more stable underneath, so I'm presuming that it's a 'front of van' issue?
    As I said - the selector plate is a bit worn, the selection pin is very worn (got a groove in it either side). I wouldn't have thought those two would have been enough to result in a lot of gearstick movement and trouble finding gears, but what does the kombi-hivemind think?
    Also, if the plate and pin are worn, I'm gonna guess that the cup on the front shift rod is also done for?
     
  4. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,518
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Check how much wear is in the bracket that holds front bush.
    It may be flogged out and still have excessive play even with new bush.
    Observe underneath while someone operates gearstick.
    Making a bush from a nylon breadboard that fits to the sides of the bracket can help.
    Lasts forever.
     
    DrowningBitByBit likes this.
  5. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Hmmm... maybe I spoke too soon. I just took the van for a test ride...

    (My test rides are a bit of a commitment due to living at the top of a very steep hill on a dead end road with a steep driveway, which makes adjusting gears kinda difficult, followed by a hair-raising drive down the hill wondering whether I'll have the gears to get back up again)

    ...and it's still hard to find 1st or 2nd. Sometimes it goes in, mostly it doesn't.
    A bit more adjustment on the selector plate, but I can't see how I can get it perfect when there's so much movement in the gear stick in neutral and in gear.
     
  6. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,518
    Location:
    sunshine coast
  7. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    I'm way ahead of you there... while also being way behind :rolleyes:
    That quick shifter was the very first thing I tried, but it made things a lot worse.
    I couldn't tell whether it was exacerbating the actual problem or whether I was just not adjusting it correctly, so I took it off for the time being until the original mechanism is as good as I can get it. I'll put it back on once I've worked out what's wrong at the moment (or when I run out of other things to try).
     
  8. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,518
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Good move.
    Sort the basics first ;)
    People often find they need to chop the short shift a bit.
    I can't advise as haven't done one.
     
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  9. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,779
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Have carried out the shift plate adjustment along the following lines....
    • Select 2nd gear
    • Adjust gearstick orientation so that the bottom section is at 90degrees to the floor.
    • Tighten bolts
    Start, drive and see how you go.... gearstick.may require slight sideways adjustment if you’re having trouble finding 3rd.
    Good luck,
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    DrowningBitByBit likes this.
  10. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Hey Mark,
    That's exactly how I've been trying to do it (taking the advice from previous similar threads), but what actually happens is...

    • Wrangle gearbox into 2nd gear (sometimes then work out it's reverse and start again)
    • Grab the bottom of the gearstick and move it so that it's vertical.
    • Tighten bolts while still holding gearstick

    ...but then the gearstick flops downward by a couple of inches as soon as I let go - it doesn't remain remotely close to vertical.
    How much movement should there be (in neutral and/or in 2nd)?

    Similarly, when driving (both prior to mucking about with it and now), to get into 2nd, the gearstick is back pretty much to the seat. Going into first, the gearstick goes almost to the dashboard. This is what I was hoping to fix with the quickshifter, but clearly something else needs adjusting/replacing, and my feeling is that it's between the gearshift and the shift rod.

    The parts do seem quite worn, so I'm tempted to replace everything as far as the rear shift rod, although throwing random parts at the problem isn't the best way to go about things!
     
  11. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,011
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    The other little hint I haven't seen in this is the shift plate must be pushed over to the passenger side as far as possible just before you tighten the shift down. Push it hard over with a large screwdriver on the ear or the drivers side so the ear of the passenger side is hard against the step on the passenger side. (left) BTW The 90 degrees to the floor bit is also important but make sure you are measuring it at the point the shifter is which is sloped up a little from the main part of the floor.

    Hope that may help

    Adrian
     
    1500king likes this.
  12. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Oh, I've tried all combinations :p
    Hard left and reverse/2nd become interchangeable, and I still can't get 1st reliably.
    Hard right and 1/2/R disappear.
    Variations on a theme of up, down, left, right, and middle in N, 1, 2, 3, 4, and R lead to big changes, but all still struggle with selecting 1st and/or 2nd.

    Getting as close to the centre as possible seems to be the most reliable.

    Possibly there's a magical position in there somewhere in there that I'm not finding, but with the amount of movement in the gear stick, it's more trial and error than a proper plan.
     
  13. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,779
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    May be worth checking if the shift rod is still securely connected.....It’s in two pieces. If the connection is loose, that may explain excessive travel in the gearstick.....worth checking.
    Cheers, Mark
     
  14. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    A video! It's almost like I'm in the 21st century and down with the kids.

    I'm assuming at the moment that something is worn and there's too much play in the gearshift mechanism to reliably find the gears.
    Here's a video of me shuffling (or struggling) through the gearbox. The engine isn't running, but it's pretty much the same with or without the engine.
    Also, in this particular attempt, 2nd was pretty easy (sometimes it goes in and sometimes it doesn't) while 1st was quite representative of what happens while driving - I can get first, but it might take a couple of attempts and I have to really shove it in.

     
  15. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,779
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Ok, when you are in second, that’s when you need to set the angle of the gearstick base....
    That def. looks like shift plate alignment issues are contributing in my opinion.
    Stock reverse is depress and locate.....not just across and down......
    Check that the large spring that sits above the shift plate and held down by the gearstick is ok.....
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  16. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Update... standard Saturday morning under the van...

    Tick - Rock solid.

    Vertically, it's solid, but horizontally there's around 5mm left-right movement.
    Presumably, it ought to be 0mm, but what's acceptable in the real world?

    If I wedge the shift rod underneath the van so it can't move, there's 'a bit less' movement at the gear stick, but still quite a lot of movement in all directions, both in neutral and in gear.

    That's how I've been doing it (amongst a dozen other positions), but it makes little difference to 1st gear selection, and even 2nd gear selection is still hit and miss when the plate has been positioned on 2nd.

    Spring is all good, or at least in the right place - I got it wrong once and it was immediately obvious.


    From that, I conclude...
    Part of the problem is the front bush and bracket,
    Something else has also got too much play (gear selector pin very worn, plate a bit worn. Shift rod bucket worn? Thingy at bottom of gear stick worn?)
    and - finally - the positioning of the shift plate still isn't quite right.

    Does that sound about right?
    Any other ideas or things to test?

    Not much I can do for now other than the positioning of the selector plate, so back to that for now.
     
  17. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,779
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    shift rod bracket worn?
    If it was run without a shift bush, then the excessive wear in the bracket would not help.......with a bush in place, the shift rod should be a snug fit.
    Couldn't determine if you have replaced the selector coupling itself?
    It is attached to the end of the selector rod, and in front of the gearbox.
    If it is an original/original pattern coupling, there will be two coarse threaded bolts that screw in towards each other.
    Quite common for one bolt to fall out after time......making selection of gears as you describe.
    It's an easy fix but you'll be on your back under the bus.
    When you replace the coupling, there is a mod. you can do to prevent the bolts falling out again.
    Basically, replace the two coarse threaded bolts with one, high tensile steel bolt straight through and secure it with a nyloc nut.

    It sounds like you have a whole lot of little things stacking up against you.
    I'd sort the major connections first, then front selector bush, adjust the plate and go from there.
    It worked once........it'll work again...it's just a process of elimination.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  18. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,779
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    5mm left to right is waaaaay too much play....definately part of your issue.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  19. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,518
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Yeah.
    Has been without a bush at front for a while or difficult so worn out n sides.
    Usualy less wear than that.
    A homemade nylon breadboard bush would help a bit.

    I would suggest getting underneath at rear and observe from gearbox forward as someone selects gears.
    There is a joint inside nosecone that can wear and might be giving issue.
    You can't get to it without dropping box so ignore at Mo
    Where the rod goes into gearbox cone has a brass bush.
    Look for lateral play there.
    I think? It can be replaced in situ
    EDIT. Na ,can't.
    Clamp the input shaft with some needle nose vice grips or whatever avail.
    Protect the shaft from teeth with a bit of leather or similar.
    While it's clamped , have gearstick operated and check play in joiner and where it clamps to shaft.
    The joiner can be improved with a machine bolt to replace the screw arrangement.

    There may be play in internal bushes along the selector shaft.
    They are a drop box job so ignore at Mo.

    Check joiner at front.

    Play in front bush.

    Possible wear in ball joint.
    Not sure of check for that.

    Wear in adjusting plate. Possible. But new ones may not be good ??
    Need to compare a couple.

    It does appear that you have excess play.
    I would agree that it is a likely input to the gear selection issue.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  20. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Update on the update...

    And thanks for your replies and getting involved on a Saturday morning!

    Selection pin... clearly needs replacing...
    [​IMG]

    Selector plate... worn, and a groove in the ski jump
    [​IMG]

    Ball joint... not sure what I'm looking for here, but doesn't seem entirely symmetrical
    [​IMG]

    Housing... worn, and perhaps not uniformly, but seems to fit the ball joint snugly?
    [​IMG]

    Other things...
    Gearbox coupling has been changed (didn't seem to make any difference either way).
    With a good wiggle at the back, everything seems rock solid.
    Shift rod coupling rock solid.
    I've got the rear shift rod bushes but that came under the 'too hard' option for now.
     
  21. DrowningBitByBit

    DrowningBitByBit Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Tugun, Gold Coast
    Okay, I see the theory, but at a bit of a loss as to how that would be done accurately enough (or at least how I would do it accurately enough)
     

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