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strange looseness in '88 5 spd shift lever

 
Old 06-09-2006, 12:00 PM
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jim morehouse
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Default strange looseness in '88 5 spd shift lever-FIXED!!

My problem turned out to be a loose bolt in the shift rod coupler that I'll try to show below in a pic. I tightened it back up and this seems to have solved the problem. This coupler is located near the top of the transmission and connects the trans selector rod (think that's what its called) to the shift rod coming from the base of the shift lever. The bolt being loose allowed the shift rod to rotate and "slip" inside the coupler as the shifter was moved left/right without moving the coupler and trans rod. I stumbled on this when I happened to find an old post by Dan Prantl on John Pirtle's site with a similar problem to mine (thanks guys!). Dan's problem was related to failure of the bushings in the coupler. Went downstairs and moved the lever around and found that every once in awhile the shift lever would act 'normally', with spring pressure left and right (1/R and 4/5th)...mess w it some more and then it flopped around laterally again. So this didn't seem consistent w a broken centering spring inside the trans. Got my wife to move the shift lever around while I looked at the coupler shift rod from below and it was obviously slipping. So it's a big sigh of relief since I thought the trans would have to be torn down to replace the centering spring inside and a big DOH!! for not going:" hmmmm, shifter acting strange, look inside shift lever "box"...ok. Look at shift rod action...uhoh!". .Would have saved myself a few weeks of down time but feeling very good that I'm not in for a big bill.

Btw, the boot covering the coupler moved back ok to look at it but was a beeyatch to get back over it! Is there some trick to this or just perserverance?

I think the 'ping' I heard was the reverse lockout piece breaking..could be wrong but a piece of it was on the magnetic drain plug. Don't think that's a big deal so I'm not going to worry about it. The car seems to be acting fine now so I'm back on the road...yee haa!

Thanks to all who offered advice...couldn't own this car without the help of the 928 community.

Jim



ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

Last night I thought I heard a faint metallic 'ping' and then noticed that the shift lever on my '88 S4 5 spd seemed to have a little more looseness in it...still shifted fine. Today I was taking the car out and had trouble finding reverse and there seemed to be considerably more 'slop' in the movement. I noticed that the top or forward (toward front of car) gears (2,4) allowed the shifter to move a LOT left/right/left...lower (1,3,5) had some movement but not as much as 2,4. If I put it in 3rd or 5th and push the stick to the right, then I can find reverse or 1st a bit easier....no noticable play vertically up/down as I'd expect if it was the shifter ball cup.

I have the short shifter in and seem to recall that there were springs on either side of the shift lever and I'm wondering if one or more of the springs has come off somehow or if I need to be looking at the linkage under the car. I haven't looked at it yet since I'm preparing to leave in an hour for a 2 week trip. I could have waited til I returned and taken off the shift boot but I'm hoping someone can give me some insight so I can fix this quickly when I get back. I'm making my annual pilgrammage to Wisconsin early August (Green Bay most likely then to Green Lake) and need to fix this and my cruise control before I leave.

thanks,
Jim
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Last edited by jim morehouse; 07-10-2006 at 12:25 PM. Reason: FIXED!
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:06 PM
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shaaark89
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jim,
the springs don't go back in with the short shifter so it shouldn't be that. what may have happened is one of the circlips that hold the linkage to the shifter may have popped off. that would be my guess anyway.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:33 PM
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Gretch
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You can check that pretty quickly by lifting up the shifter boot and looking at the hardware. I cannot tell from your description what has gone wrong, but the side to side tension on the shifter is induced by springs in the tranney.....the front to back stability of the shifter is "mostly" induced by the front shifter ball cup mount. When you inspect the hardware under the shifter boot, see if you can lift the front rod up and move it around freely.....it you can, then you need a new ball cup. if you cannot, then the problem is in the rear linkage coupler, or the tranny.

Get back to us, there are several write ups for each malady.....
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:34 PM
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I would quess either rear coupler has lost it's bushing(s) or sideways spring 928 303 034 09 inside gearbox is dying.

Last edited by Vilhuer; 06-09-2006 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:59 PM
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Hi you might want to check the front shifter locating pivot it is attached to the top front of the torque tube see if the pivot has popped off the ball if it has pop it back on then tiewrap it to the torque tube you will need a long tie wrap possibly 2 long ones to go around the TT and wrap around the sifter shaft after popping the pivot back on
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:03 PM
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Usually when front ball cup pops out shifter is almost totally dead and it's extremely difficult to select any gear.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:16 PM
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Not to hijack this thread, but when in neutral my '82 shifter sits between the 4th and 5th gears (far right) - not the 2nd/3rd gears (middle). It's not sloppy when I'm shifting, but it does seem odd that it sits over there at rest. Is this unusual?

I recently replaced the front ball cup and I don't remember it doing this before, but I can't remember for sure (ain't old age great?). I've looked at the parts I had to take off/put back on to replace it and they all look right. Perhaps something broke when I changed the ball cup.

Would the rear coupler do this or is it probably the springs in the tranny?
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sublimate
Not to hijack this thread, but when in neutral my '82 shifter sits between the 4th and 5th gears (far right) - not the 2nd/3rd gears (middle). It's not sloppy when I'm shifting, but it does seem odd that it sits over there at rest. Is this unusual?
I asked about this before. That's supposedly normal for trannies up through 84. Mine sits in the 2-3 position, but I have an 80-81 tranny in an 84 car so mine could've been modified before the swap. The position is set by springs in the tranny.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:43 PM
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jon928se
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Jim

As Errka says the rear bushings are a good bet but I would first check the C clips that hold the shifter onto the shift rods, and WYAIT inspect the welds between the shifter rods and pins that the shifter pushes onto.

The symptoms aren't those of a front ball cup failure, but if it's never been changed since new it's worth doing. The nylon socket in the shifter cup is the same as the one for a clutch arm ball cup bushing just dig out the old crumbly nylon cup and press the new one in - takes about 5 minutes extra and saves $50
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:40 PM
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If it's inside spring do not drive any more than you absolutely have to. You do not want to have loose pieces of it move around inside gearbox.

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Old 07-10-2006, 12:24 PM
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jim morehouse
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Just a bump. Maybe this will be useful to others at some point.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:41 PM
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jyoon
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i hate that boot. and i hate the steering tie rod boots worse.
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