It's unseasonably cold here so no work on the car outside yet . Figured maybe I'll work inside on the shifter this weekend. I didn't see a thread on restoring the shifter. Is this something that just requires a good cleaning, or should it be disassembled, cleaned, painted, and new grease added? Pics of mine below.
In for a penny, in for a pound. I would take it all apart, clean it, check for excessive wear, paint or powder coat, reassemble, and grease.
The spring is under a lot of tension so wear leather gloves and eye protection for removal and install. When installing the spring, use Phillips head screwdriver in place of the pin. Work the spring in place using vise grips to hold it and then push the screwdriver out by placing the pin back in place. The spring is too hard to muscle in with out vise grips and the screwdriver makes it easier to hold until replaced with the pin.
Order new bushings as well that go under the spring plate.
Thanks, guys. Is anyone aware of a good thread on restoring this part? Eric’s thread was really helpful for the pedal cluster. Something like that out there somewhere?
Put a vicegrip on a spring, remove the 4 circlips, push the 2 pins out and remove the springs. This method prevents the springs from flying across the garage. this is what the detention plate should look like. straight across the re-inforcing plate on the underside. as they wear, the center of the plate gets wallowed out and there usually is a gouge on the shift lever. adding the loss of material on the lever and a spent plate it is certainly is of no help setting the linkage.
The backing plate has slight bevel.
Thanks again guys for your encouragement and assistance. I'm surprised at how easy it actually was to get it apart. Knowing what I know now, it's definitely 'an in for a pound' item. The detention plate looks good as does everything else to my eyes. But I do have some questions:
The shifter bracket has a small kink (pictured below). It didn't impede anything. Is it supposed to be like that?
As this is a 73 there is not a ball cup. But there is a shifter spacer sleeve. It's metal. Mine looks good with some, what appears to me to be, very minor wear. I don't have a replacement. Is it fine to reuse this one or should it be replaced as a matter of course? Here are some pics:
After looking more closely at Rhodyguy's post, I could see where I should be looking so I re-inspected mine and there is wear on the plate and corresponding marks on the shifter. So, I guess another question is how bad is this?
You can certainly reuse the shifter sleeve. Be sure to lube it before reinstalling. I used white lithium grease.
So I see that the 'Reverse Lockout Plate' is still available new. How do we assess the wear above to determine whether it needs replacing?
I'll use White Lithium for the sleeve (thanks Rick), but what is the correct grease for the shifter? There was grease everywhere but I assume I just put some on the 'ball' area of the shifter where it sits in the shifter plate, correct?
What kind of condition were the 2 plastic bushings (Haynes. P 89. #s 15&17) in?. Your springs were pretty gunked up too. I've seen the wear point on the lever much worse. Replacing the plate is your call. While you're in there....
I’ll take some pics of the others and post in a bit.
The small springs cleaned up nicely (didn't get a pic). Here are the bushings. I didn't separate the big spring from the bushing because it looks to be very well seated within it.
Hummm.......... I made the springs for the late, maybe I should look at making a kit??? Both early and late.
So what kind of grease is recommended and should it just be placed on the shifter ball area where it rides in the shifter plate?
The round pin looks perfect, so good news for a change that I don't have to buy any parts .
the reinforcing piece sits just shy of the leading edge of the plate on the one I posted. yours has worn beyond the leading edge and into the reinforcing piece.
Reuse the springs unless they are broken.
Not that long ago the plates were $40ish iirc.
What's the technique for compressing the spring? I put the screwdriver in a bit, put the spring on the screwdriver, press it with my fingers to get some compression, then put vise grips to hold the spring against the plate, then I've tried all the techniques I can think of to compress the spring but no joy... I've tried channel locks, caliper spreaders, and even a pipe wrench... It's difficult to control the spring.
You start with the screwdriver about 1/4” in where the pin goes, put the spring on the screwdriver. Put the pin in the other end about 1/4”. Bend the end of the spring down so it’s held in on each side, screwdriver and pin. Grab the spring in the middle with the vise grips, lock them and push it down. Shove the pin through so it pushes the screwdriver out. It’s good to have the vise grips clamped down as you tension the spring so you have good control if the spring.
Leather gloves and eye protection.
Okay, got it. That makes total sense. Will give that a go tomorrow and report back. Thanks so much, don't think I'd have figured that technique out without you!
That was the ticket! 'mepstein', thanks again so much and thanks also to everyone for their helpful comments. I installed a new shifter plate and I'm glad I did if for no other reason than it reduces my chances of having to deal with those springs again in the future. But mepstein's technique works really well.
Nice work. Now you can forget the shifter assem for 40 years.
Back in the early 1990's I installed an Automotion Weltmeister 1st/reverse lockout spring kit, which basically added an additional pair of springs inside the existing pair, for a total of four springs, to increase the spring force pushing the shifter away from 1st/reverse. This was in the pre-internet days, so no online help resources. Getting those springs mounted was a nightmare. My fingers and hands were killing me. I wish I had had Mepstein's procedure then. I can see how helpful it would have been. Thanks for posting Mepstein!
Your welcome guys. I just sort of made it up one night after a frustrating attempt to put the springs back in. I would suggest to clamp the vise grips to the springs as you remove them. I spent an hour looking for one when it snapped out of the housing. They are under a lot of tension.
In case anyone needs a visual reference in the future (I had to repaint after reassembly due to my failed attempts without mepstein's technique).
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