View original topic: Whatís wrong here with my shift linkage?
rsvp Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:00 am

Hi gang,

As I go through this transformation of installing a JX turbo diesel and five speed transmission into my 82 Westy diesel, you guys have been extremely helpful with all these small glitches I am running intoÖ Thank you so very much!

The next one is this;
I installed the engine and transmission using the 1983 and up diesel carrier bars, and what I assume is the proper transmission front mount. I also am using the transmission shift linkage from the 84 German import turbo diesel five-speed van I purchased wrecked a decade ago. Iím having an issue where the transmission linkage is rubbing the frame crossbar where the front transmission mount bolts. In order to temporarily try and fix this problem, I backed off the 4 transmission mount bolts as far as I could in order to lower the transmission , which gives me about 3/8 of an inch of gap. This is still insufficient to allow the transmission linkage to function properly.

Please see pictures and see if you have any ideas if I am doing something wrong currently. Iím hoping it is very obvious.

Thanks again for everyoneís help!


MarkWard Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:16 am

Not sure about the 5 speed, but the diesel transmission mount on the 4 speed diesel shifted the trans nose up and required a different shift rod. It had a lazy bend. My bet is your parts donít match.

Your going to need to modify your rod where it passes under the frame member. Please donít cut the chassis for clearance. Your other option would be to modify the trans mount. Either cut and weld or longer bolts with a substantial plate to act as a spacer.

rsvp Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:21 am

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the your thoughts... and I agree that something needs to change. The interesting thing is that all the parts come from 2 Wheel Dr. diesel five-speed vehicles from the factory. Iím not quite understanding what happened, is there a difference in frame members between 82 and 83?

dobryan Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:31 am

I'd run a string line on the donor and compare it to the 82 to see what is different?

crazyvwvanman Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:41 am

There are 4 different versions of that rear shift rod from European T3 production.

You have a mix of parts and that isn't the correct rear rod for your tranny nose mount.

It isn't the body year that is the problem.


rsvp Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:56 am

I am using the same linkage and transmission in the turbo diesel 5 speed van.

I am wondering if it has to do with the change from the old early style linkage on the four-speed 82, that went underneath the Crossmember near the gas tank. I have another vehicle I can go look at and see if that is what will make sense out of this.

Thanks again!


T3messie Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:01 am

Strange, it looks you have the diesel linkage with more bend.

82westyrabbit Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:02 am

Hi rsvp. Here is a picture of the rear shifter rod for a 83 diesel van.

If you measure from the top of the higher tube to the bottom of the lower tube there should be a four inch difference. The question is are you using 82 or 83 carrier bars or something else. I tried to put a five speed in my van but when I looked inside the transmission it was junk and I put my four speed back in. The rear transmission mount Is different and that could be your problem as well. John

82westyrabbit Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:20 am

If I am correct you have 82 diesel carrier bars and a 82 diesel rear transmission mount. That puts the engine and transmission in the wrong place to use the five speed shifter rods. This is not a big problem compared to what you have already done. I had to rework the shifter rods on my van to deal with similar problems. Show us a picture of your carrier bar and we can know for sure. In my case I installed late model shifter rods mounted to a aircooled transmission. John

rsvp Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:25 am

Thanks for all the help everyone

To clarify no, I have an 83 set of carrier bars with the five speed transmission, and the shift linkage from that same transmission, which I believe was an 84 European stock turbo diesel model someone had imported, and was T-bones and was no longer restorable. I stripped pretty much every nut and bolt off of that thing Before it hit the scrap yard.

crazyvwvanman Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:15 am

The rear rod is the same, 4 speed or 5 speed.
The rod differences are for diesel versus gas, and 2wd versus Syncro.
That is because there are 3 different transmission nose height mounting positions. The bends in the rods are different. There are 3 differently bent versions of the rear rod, for the 3 different nose mount positions. The steel rods have the bends. The aluminum cups are another difference gas/diesel but not the main difference.

(Of course above I'm talking about the 10 years of T3 vehicles AFTER the early 091 models, which came in 2 different bends for gas versus diesel.)


hdenter Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:19 am

Unless you have a compulsion to have the exact right parts, I would just focus on making what you have available work. You used the high lift nose mount bracket, why not swap in the other one that would lower the nose? That might get you the clearance you need without too much effect on the rest of the install. If you see reasons why that can't be done, just make the necessary bends to use the linkage you have.


Zeitgeist 13 Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:09 am

Hans is exactly right. Get your drivetrain where you want it, and then make your shift rod work with that final position. On my TDI swap, I moved the drivetrain down and back similar to a Syncro 1.6TD, so I then had to make the shift rod fit that new position. Complicating things was the fact that I swapped in an 091 trans which has a completely different shift rod than an 091/1.

You can see that I offset the shift rod end to accommodate the lower trans position.

rsvp Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:58 pm

Well, after looking at another van that still has it stock diesel five-speed set up, it appears I switched the gas and diesel rear sections of the shift linkage!

Now I need to find the proper linkage in my stash. Iíve looked before and didnít see any those partsÖ So may need to buy a used piece, or adapt mine.

Thanks again everybody for all your help!



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