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How to adjust Manual Shift Linkage? linkage too short?
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Malleabis
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: How to adjust Manual Shift Linkage? linkage too short? Reply with quote

I found this post by rsxsr in an old thread:

rsxsr wrote:
Simple explanation. A properly adjusted shift lever should be centered between 3rd and 4th gear. No side to side input required to select the gear. What you are adjusting is the side to side movement for 1st and 2nd gear. Too much movement to the left and you can be up against reverse, not enough side to side and you will be jamming between 3rd and 1st gear. There is a slip collar halfway under the van for adjusting this side to side movement. Any play in the plastic bushing aggravates this.


Ah ha! it's funny you mention that... i just finished my auto to manual in a 91 carat. Trying to drive it out of the barn, she felt like she was gonna take off as i feathered out the clutch for the first time... but i was met with disappointment when she quickly stalled out at the moment of friction. I tried again, she would only move with lots of gas and light feathering, but i decided it felt like i was in 3rd gear. I put it in 3rd gear and got the exact same result. Reverse works fine! I'm pretty sure at this point my shift linkage is just adjusted so bad i'm not getting into 1st and 2nd. I have no experience driving a 4 sp vanagon, so i tried to align it in between 1st and 2nd with the gear selector on the transmission pointing straight down. So how should I adjust it to be inbetween 3rd and 4th? with the transmission shift selector pointing straight down the lever should be all the way to the passenger side? I haven't tried playing with the fine adjustment screws in the van, but i'm thinking i'm way off. Should these adjustment screws be set to a middle position or something before I alight the slip joint under teh van? for maximum tune ability and such? Thanks to anyone who cares to chime in!
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Malleabis
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

help! I've been wrestling with the shift linkage all morning. I've come to the point where i think my linkage is too short. With the pinch joint separated under the van... i put the gear lever in 4th, i put the rear linkage (that attaches to tranny) in what i think should be 4th (pulled straight forward till it clicks in place.) Even after doing this, the linkage pieces just barely touch eachother. once i've shoved the splines into eachother the gear lever is between 3rd and 4th, but transmission is actually in 4th. I've tried playing with the fine tune bolts, but they just don't compensate for a missing inch in the linkage.

This is a 91, the linkage came from an 87. could the linkages possibly change? it wouldn't be hard for me to weld an extra inch into the linkage, but from everything i read, all the linkages should be generally the same from 83.5-91? gahh?!
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levi
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At rest the gear shift handle should be as you say, over to the passenger side, so that pushing straight forward it goes into third, and to get first you have to pull to the left about 4 inches, then into either 1st or 2nd.
Are you using the bentley book's procedure for alignment?
Also, a critical part of adjustment is the diamond plate's placement, at the base of the shifter. Just a little bit of movement of that plate makes a huge difference for access to 1st, from correct access to needing downward pressure for access.
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funagon
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edit: I checked the Bentley. my memory said 22mm but Bentley says 23mm. Text that follows is correct:

I haven't answered this post because I'm not near my bentley, but I have to jump in and say I think you guys got it all wrong. The shift lever should not be in any gear. It should be "loose" in the neutral position. Base plate of shifter--on the floor inside van-- rotated all the way in one direction or other then tightened down. Shift lever on the transmission (which some refer to as a "linkage") in the vertical position, clamp on shift rods just loose enough to rotate them, spare tire out then close the clamshell.

When you climb under the van you can look from behind the clamshell up into the shift box. There are metal tabs welded inside the box to limit the movement of the shifter. You need to put a 23 mm spacer of some kind between the shifter "finger" and the tab on the passenger side. Then move back and tighten the clamp with that 23 mm gap held in place. I have a socket in my tool kit that's exactly 23mm diameter.

On early vanagons the gap is 19mm, on late models 23mm. Bentley gives a specific chassis # BH 25 137 156 when the change happened.

If the plastic fingers on your shift rod--the thing that moves inside the box--are worn down or missing, then the measurement is off a little. If your van has high mileage then a worn out shifter base, or a worn shift lever on the transmission, might make shifting sloppy. But this will give you a good starting point.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back at the transmission, the shift linkage can be attached either forward or aft of the mounting point. It's really easy to put this on the wrong side. Unbolt the linkage from the transmission and put it on the other side of where it bolts up and see what happens.

Mike
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've got access to reasonably accurate woodworking stuff, you can do what I did and make a spacer for the front adjustment as per Funagon's post from wood. I tossed mine when I was done because I figured I could make another one when I need it; if I were doing it regularly I would make one from aluminum or brass.

Definitely make sure all the bushings, the "fingers", and the rear ball & socket are all in good condition. It doesn't take much play anywhere in the system to throw the relationship between the shift lever and shifter rod on the trans.
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Malleabis
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks everyone for chiming in... however, i've checked everything you guys have mentioned and i've tried aligning the linkage per bentley's instructions. checked the rear shift bushing plate, and it's mounted correctly, on the forward side of the trans flange. and checked to make sure nothing was hitting the linkage back there while a friend tried to shift through the gears. The diamond plate at the base of the shifter has the alignment holes lined up, per bentley. Used a piece of wood that is 23mm wide and aligned the center splines with it in place. Still no place to get into 2nd or 4th, and i messed with the base plate alignment for a long time trying to get it to move better before giving it up and re-aligning the holes. So after doing all this.. i'm thinking... the only thing i'm actually aligning is the side to side position of the shift lever. I have tried making the linkage assembly longer by only sticking the splines in about 1/2 way, but even this didn't allow me to get fully into 2nd or 4th. It still feels like i need to make the linkage longer by about 1 & 1/2 inches. i made a video and took some pictures to show you how close the shift knob gets to the dash when i'm in the 1st and 3rd positions. In the movie and the picture the lever has already been adjusted with the correct 23mm spacer, the diamond plate is aligned w/ the holes.

short movie clip: http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h284/acrosstheha...I_0361.flv
picture, like i said before, i've never driven a manual vanagon, so i can't be sure, but i'm pretty sure the shift knob is moving wayy too far forward. i'd be afriad to bust my knuckle or to break the heater controls off if this were normal.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

is everyone sure the 91's didn't get an extra 1" of wheelbase? or that the engine/tranny aren't mounted an 1" further back.
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funagon
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two ideas:

First, I'm embarrassed to say that I just noticed, in your first post, you say you converted an automatic to a manual. One possibility is that you didn't get everything aligned or placed quite right, and now it won't shift nicely. And if that's the case, then none of us could possibly diagnose the problem.

Second, make sure that the shift lever in the cockpit, and the shift lever on the transmission, are both in the neutral position. The lever on the trans should be vertical, pointing straight down at the ground. You can shift it with your hand, at the transmission, while lying on your back under the van. Neutral on both levers is your starting point before you use the 23mm shim and tighten the clamp.

And another thing: back at the trans, the ball on the shift lever goes into a socket attached to the shift rod. That socket can be moved on the shift rod fore and aft. it shouldn't need to be, but we don't know where you got your parts or how you assembled them. Could it be out of place?

And ANOTHER idea: I know from experience that 2WD and Syncro manual shift rods are different. I tried to use 2WD shift rods from the junkyard in a syncro. Didn't work, had to get syncro specific shift rod to fit. So, did all your parts come from the same manual transmission van, so that they should work together?

I'm just throwing out ideas here. If it's driving you crazy then walk away from it for a day. When you go back to it start over with a fresh outlook. Try to think it through and logically test your ideas.
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Malleabis
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks funagon. It's possible i didn't get everything aligned quite right but: the transmission is mounted to the chasis, the shifter "box" thing is mounted to the chassis, and inbetween are just slide bushings. The shift rod does stick out about 3/4" at the back past the cast socket piece. I'll try to make it flush tomorrow. All the parts came out of an 87 donor van from a junkyard. before i removed everything i sat in the van and it shifted through all gears smoothly. it wasn't wrecked... hmm ok i'm going to lengthen the rod tomorrow (either by adjusting rear socket, or by welding an extention if i damn well have to!) and i'll let you all know what happens. thanks again!
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're getting much closer to the dash than mine does. At rest (without me pushing on it) in 1st, it's exactly 4" from the knob to the dash.

It seems to me this would mean your pivot point is too far forward. If it was farther back wouldn't that also increase the throw into 2nd and 4th? Then again, I really *don't* know....
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Malleabis
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

levi wrote:
You're getting much closer to the dash than mine does. At rest (without me pushing on it) in 1st, it's exactly 4" from the knob to the dash.

It seems to me this would mean your pivot point is too far forward. If it was farther back wouldn't that also increase the throw into 2nd and 4th? Then again, I really *don't* know....


in that picture the diamond plate has the alignment holes lined up. this seems to be one of the furthest back/aff positions. I think it's too close b/c the linkage is too short, though I can not explain how this came to be, hahaha. driving me a bit mad.
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like the bend in the shift lever points to the left. Isn't it supposed to point rearward? I'm not near my van so I can be 100% certain. Can you somehow rotate the assembly 90 degrees counterclockwise?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yellow Rabbit wrote:
It looks like the bend in the shift lever points to the left. Isn't it supposed to point rearward? I'm not near my van so I can be 100% certain. Can you somehow rotate the assembly 90 degrees counterclockwise?


They do point to the left...at least mine does, as well.

Over the last couple months, my 'in gear' position has been drifting forward, to the point that when I shift to third gear, I smack my stereo. I'm going to start digging in to it tonight.

Any advice/suggestions on what to look for?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malleabis wrote:
The shift rod does stick out about 3/4" at the back past the cast socket piece. I'll try to make it flush tomorrow.


If memory serves (and i think it does in this case), the shift rod should be about flush with the cast cup piece back by the transaxle. Also, there is a pin that needs to be driven in to lock the cast cup to the linkage (it has a slight taper to it and must go in from the cup side, iirc). If you don't have that pin, i can imagine you having a lot of problems keeping the shifting correct. My experience is with an '84...

This sounds like the crux of your problem.

-Damon
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Positon of gear shift Reply with quote

mr. c wrote:
Yellow Rabbit wrote:
It looks like the bend in the shift lever points to the left. Isn't it supposed to point rearward? I'm not near my van so I can be 100% certain. Can you somehow rotate the assembly 90 degrees counterclockwise?


They do point to the left...at least mine does, as well.

Over the last couple months, my 'in gear' position has been drifting forward, to the point that when I shift to third gear, I smack my stereo. I'm going to start digging in to it tonight.

Any advice/suggestions on what to look for?


I agree that the shift lever bend is not pointing in the correct direction (should be front to back).

My '84 is "mis-aligned" similar to the one picture here. Also, the shifting is terrible. However, since I am the only one that drives it, adjusting the shift lever, is low priority item at the moment.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my way to work today the shifter lever came off in my hand. It broke right where the setscrew for the spring collar indented the lever. The set screw was driven about 90% of the way into the shifter wall. Thankfully I was able to move the shifter stub into 2nd gear and made it to work. The drive home in 2nd is going to be fun, too.

At least I no longer have to ponder my next project!
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