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Mis-aligned hockey stick and shift rod - What to check?
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fluxcap
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject: Mis-aligned hockey stick and shift rod - What to check? Reply with quote

Hey everybody,
Got some funky shifting going on and I think it's due to a mis-alinged shift rod connection. My shift rod sits way to LOW where it exits the shift rod tube.

Backstory: 66 camper bus that had the original RGB transaxle set up. Shifted perfectly, but the trans popped out of 4th gear often and was leaking about a bottle of gear oil every 200 miles or so. So I did a straight axle conversion with 67 bug transaxle and 68 long/long axles. I re-used the bus nose cone and hockey stick. While everything was out, I also replaced both birdie style bushings, the bushing in the shifter end of the shiftrod, and installed all new (unknown brand) transmission mounts. Replacement trans runs great in all gears, but the shifting now completely sucks.

Symptoms:
a)1st and 2nd can be tough (very tough sometimes) to find. I have adjusted the shifter and reverse lock-out plate for hours and finally got it to a useable position, but it's still tricky. 1st and 2nd are not all the way to the left of the shift pattern. From neutral, you have to go just slightly to the left and up or back to find those gears. If you go all the way over to the left, you find a brick wall. Again, I've adjust the crap out of it, and this is the only place I can even get 1st and second.
b) It shutters like a mofo when shifting. I added a couple of washers to the bowden tube, and it made no difference at all. Also put a brand new clutch cable in and have it adjust nicely.

My observations:
a) as stated above, there appears to be an alignement issue between the shift rod and the hockey stick. The shift rod is pretty much sitting direcly on the bottom edge of the guide tube as it exits out of it. We had a hard time getting the hockey stick to go in the rear coupler, and looking back on it, this is likely why Confused
b) fiddling around one day, I put a jack under the front of the trans, loosened the front mount bolts and raised the front of the trans a few millimeters to that the shift rod was more centered in the tube. Checked up front and the shifter instantly moved a lot better. I tightened the mount bolts back up, but as soon as I let the jack down, it all sank back down to the original position, and the shifting again sucked.

I have read about bad reproduction mounts, so I just ordered a new set of rears and a front bus mount from wolfsburg west. I was going to pull everything back out and try these new mounts to see if they helped, but wanted to see if anybody else had any ideas about what could be the issue, or anything else I should look into.

Here's a couple of pics of what I'm working with.

front mount which I believe is oriented in the correct position (ridge is like a U). This is a bus front mount, which I assume you still use with a straight axle conversion since you re-use the bus nose cone (please correct me if I'm wrong here though!)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Rear mounts and cradle
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Shift rod. Funny angle, but you can see it's sitting very low.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


New mounts and boots for the shift rod
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!
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big bus mike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it shift smoothly with the engine off?
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fluxcap
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, still tricky even with the engine off. Except for when I had the front of the transaxle jacked up, then it shifted a lot better. but the engine was out, so I couldn't try it with the engine on Laughing .
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the front mount has sagged or was not made right. Had a OG mount partly fail and made a bracket to pull it back up. Reinstalled the bracket with the new OG mount to help it last longer.

You need to get an accelerator boden tube to keep that cable from cutting into your transaxle nose cone.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, thats what i was hoping, and hopefully this new WW front mount will be better than the other new one i had put on.

And yes, i started looking for an acc bowden tube as soon as i pulled the old trans out and saw multiple 1/4" deep gashes in it. I now have one and will be installing it when the engine goes back in.

I plan on getting started on this project wednesday evening, so if anybody else has input or ideas, fire away!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a few BAD or made wrong front mounts in the last year. like 4 or five. I found some good ones at weddle. They are OE vw from brazail but they are nice.

It looks to me that your mount is one of the bad ones i have run into. They work even worse on a bus because the shift tube is so long on the bus.

I have also had a lot of trouble with the front rod and rear rod not being aligned at the front. so check that out.
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fluxcap
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Billy! I did put a new coupler on the connection of the front and rear rods, so I'll pull that apart as well while I have everything out and make double sure they are lined up correctly.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall having this same issue in my 61. Turned out that the mount that sits between the nosecone and the torsion housing was asymetrical top to bottom.
IIRC, I just had to slide the trans back without unbolting the axles and that created enough room to pull the mount out and spin it around
180 degrees.
I don't know if they are all like that, but it's worth checking.
Maybe that is what vwbilly was referring to as well.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, from a few other posts I've found, I think you are correct that they are asymetrical by a few mm. The posts I found that talked about it had the opposite problem though, they mounted it upside down and the shift rod hit the top of the tube Laughing . But I believe the correct orientation is to have that outer ridge like a U and not like an upside down U. I think you could mount it the other way, but if you do, that ridge hits the upper face of the nosecone and doesn't fit flush (I never tried it, just read that somewhere). If this new mount doesn't work, I'll definitely try giving it a flip to see if it works anybetter.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pulled the transmission. Got the old front mount off and compared it to the new WW one. Haven't re-installed it yet (may have to wait til the weekend), but I'm hopeful this will help somewhat. Here's a comparison pic.

Old mount on top. It was new when I installed it, but I bought it at a show, so I have no idea where it actually came from.

New WW mount on bottom. Follow the red line and you can see the studs are higher on the WW mount. I put the stud in a caliper and it was about 9.5mm, so I'm guessing the WW stud is around 3-4 mm higher. Hopefully this will keep the nose of the transmission higher and help keep the shift rod a bit more centered in the tube.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comparison.
I noticed in CIP catalogue that they list 3 different part numbers for what, to the untrained eye, look like identical mounts.
I wonder if the Beetle mounts are actually slightly different than the bus mounts?

http://www.cip1.ca/SearchResults.asp?searching=Y&a...amp;page=1
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rear mounts are the same, but the front mounts are slightly different (well, for a 66 bus atleast). CIP1 does have some heavy duty mount that it says will fit bug and bus, so I'm not sure about that one Confused . I also have a 62 beetle, so I have a spare bug front mount in my parts stash, may not look too different in the CIP pics, but they are pretty easy to tell apart up close.

I may or may not have this back in today. I'll post the results when I get it all squared away.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am putting a trans in a 64 this week I will look close at the mounts I have.

I don't think there is a big difference in the mount as far as where the studs and holes are. the difference is on the front. early ones are flat and the later they go the more stuff VW put on them to help guide or make them stronger.

There is a 211 part number mount but it looks just like an early 111 61 and later. I do know that you can use the 211 mount on a type 1.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the good news is, my problems didn't get any worse. Unfortunately, they didn't get any better though Mad. Spent way too much time messing around with this thing this week to be right back where I started. Arghhh!!!

The replacement front mount did raise the shift rod to just about center, but that must not have been what is causing my issues. Back to the drawing board I suppose.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick question: Did this trans shift before you installed it in your bus? I'm wondering if the shift selectors are messed up.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really not sure, it's not a rebuilt trans. It actually shifts pretty good if you know exactly where to hold the shifter. We had the nosecone off when doing the swap and the forks all moved in and out as they should and lined up very well.

I actually ordered a new front shift rod this morning. When we first did the swap, I wanted to install new bushings, so I separated the front and rear shift rods. There is no telling how long they had been together, and they were stuck together solid. I put gorilla force on them with tools that probably shouldn't have been used, and it's very well likely I tweaked the front rod. I've done some more reading last night and this morning, and found a few posts where people had similar issues and it ended up being the shift rod. Again, I'll post back next week once it's here and installed and give an update.

If that doesn't do it, I think I'll just bite the bullet and try to schedule some shop time at Billys shop. Drop it off and tell Billy to do what he's got to do and give me a call when it's ready to drive home! Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it have the original shifter?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's a stock shifter, but I think the shifter is all good. It was working perfectly before with the old transaxle.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so the new front mount lined you back up and that did not help...
You say that you put a lot of force on the rod getting it off the bus. that could have put a twist in it. I did a 61 bus that I had to cut it out and when i welded it back together it was a tiny bit off. It would not shift worth a damn.
Had to cut it back apart and do it again. I mean it was just a little bit off.

It sounds like you lock out plate is not making contact with the shifter. I have fixed this in the past by putting the shifter in reverse and then bolting it down.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Billy. According to fedex, the new shift rod should be here Friday. I've read mixed reviews on the WW shift rod, but hopefully I'll get a good one. I'll be sure and try the the reverse trick when I get everything installed. The original lockout plate was pretty much disintegrated, so I got a nice used one on there now.
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