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Thread: Shifter positioning - rubbing seat in 1st gear

  1. #1

    Shifter positioning - rubbing seat in 1st gear

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post here after I had the chance to acquire a 1971 2.2T with a 5 gear 901 transmission. The car will undergo a partial restoration next winter and meanwhile I am maintaining it and most importantly, enjoying every drive !

    However last weekend, sudendly I could not engage 1st gear anymore (all other gears fine). I took the shifter out and saw that the shift rod that connects the shifter to the coupler was damaged, the tube had cracked badly around the weld spot and the part into which the shifter ball bushing engages was barely held in place.

    Meanwhile I have changed all the wearable parts of the shifter with new items, changed the shift coupler whose bushing were ovalised.

    I have used JBweld to repair the end of the shift rod and added a Norma clamp just as an added security as a temporary fix. I did not want to take the engine out now and then again in November when I'll take the car apart for the restoration.

    I adjusted the coupler as per Worshop instructions, in neutral, rotate completely the coupler to the left and position the shifter vertically in neutral and push to the right (4+5).

    Already before the damaged shift rod, when shifting into 1st gear, the shifter knob rubbed the pleat of the driver seat (actually the pleat is ripped open from the many years of shifting like this by the previous owner). After I fixed and replaced parts, the problem is still there and to the point that I have to press the seat cushion down with one and and shift into 1st with the other, which is really a pain.

    I am sure that this is not normal and curious to see how you guys adjust your shifter/coupler linkage to avoid this.

    At the shifter level there is nothing you can really do, so it must be at the coupler level. Is your coupler completely pushed into the the shift rod ? or how many mm. stick out ? The set-up is all original, no fancy shifter, just the curbed original one.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    Last edited by 1974phil; 08-24-2023 at 12:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Sounds like the shift lever had rotated in the socket and may have been welded back in the wrong position. When in neutral lever should point straight back, not at angle toward the seat.
    Early S Registry member #90
    R Gruppe member #138
    Fort Worth Tx.

  3. #3
    Here are some pics of the lever in first gear, neutral and of the coupler in adjustment position as per workshop manual.

    I have a close-up picture of the shifter were it could be potentially welded. As it looks really clean I don’t think it has been welded.

    I can’t understand what is wrong and how to solve this.

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  4. #4
    Here is my shift lever in first gear. Plenty of room to the seat. I'm sure yours is twisted.
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    Early S Registry member #90
    R Gruppe member #138
    Fort Worth Tx.

  5. #5
    Thanks, that looks a lot better than mine.

    If possible could you take a picture of your coupler when shifter is on neutral and pushed towards 4th and 5th gear?

  6. #6
    The coupler is not your problem. You did'nt say whether you replaced the ring bushing that supports the shift rod. You're not going to get it all correct until you replace the shift rod. Until then you'll just have to live with it.
    Early S Registry member #90
    R Gruppe member #138
    Fort Worth Tx.

  7. #7
    So you no more think that a twisted shifter is the issue but the shift rod in the tunnel.

    If my fix is still holding the shift rod and the end part (in which the shifter ball inserts) together, as I have been really careful to jb weld the end part of the shift rod at the exact same angle as original I don’t see how the shift rod is the culprit.

  8. #8
    You may have both, but start with what you know, that is the shift rod. Did you replace, or verify the shift rod support bushing is good? If that bushing is gone the shift rod will move too far side to side. If your fix is as good as you say then the shift lever shouldn't be hitting the seat unless it is twisted. They were only glued together to begin with and it is not uncommon for the glue to break loose after 50 years. Sometimes they weren't oriented correctly when the repair was done, whether glue or weld.
    Early S Registry member #90
    R Gruppe member #138
    Fort Worth Tx.

  9. #9
    Ok, so jb weld did not held the test. I am now in for a new shift rod.

    I checked again the lever and you are right. Looking at it from top in neutral and with the bottom part straight up, the lever points to the driver seat! So if the parts are glued together can I heat it up and glue it back in position or is the best to simply replace the whole lever?

    Many thanks for your help

  10. #10
    Senior Member ejboyd5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southold, NY
    This is only one of the many checks you will write. Spend the money, buy a new part and enjoy driving the car.

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