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OMG What have I done?! Shift rod help needed - pics inside
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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: OMG What have I done?! Shift rod help needed - pics inside Reply with quote

I removed the nut & bolt of the clamp connecting the rear and center shift rods (per Bentley 34.4 and Haynes p. 138). Nothing felt loose or was moving around at all. Then a few minutes later I proceeded to lose my mind momentarily: I got into the cab of the van, put the clutch in and started shifting into the various gears because I was working on a different aspect of the project. I had completely forgotten about the unclamped shift rods! Well, when I remembered that the shift rods were unclamped I looked underneath the van and indeed, the center shift rod had pulled out a lot from the rear shift rod. You can see that the part that has come out is grooved with some white in the groove (see pics below) . I now NEED to pull this back in, but try as I might, I cannot get it to go in any more. I even put on some rubber dishwashing gloves to try to help grip, but I can't get it to go further in. Can anyone tell me what I might do to get it back in? Help very much appreciated!


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pioneer1
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: oh my god Reply with quote

Hi: I don't see the white out or nail polish to line up the two pieces Laughing Laughing .
If it didn't slide all the way out you might not have an issue with finding gears after you push it back.
This may be a two person job with a little encouragement from a rubber mallet. Best to probably drop the bracket,ball and cup mechanism from where it connects to the transmission . With some lubrication on the splines it should then push back into the other rod.
While you have the ball and cup out it's a good time to clean and grease the cup.
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might try a combo of:
* Clean the splines
* something that would lube them for a short time and then dissappear
* a buddy holding on to the one end while
* your slowly shifting @ the stick at your buddies command
* make sure that collar is loose

I would clean everything up while you are down there, including the cup. Don't force it, I just mention using the stick because you get some added leverage.
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Californio
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first thing I would do is see if there is ANYTHING on that spline connection that would tell you where to put it back. Any mark, even grease, dirt, whatever.

In other words, DON'T clean it up first.

If you have already cleaned off all possible indications of where the rods should go back together, there is a basic procedure outlined in the Bentley. Something like this: put the shift lever on the transmission in neutral--it should be hanging straight down, vertical. In this position, the shifter up front should be over to the right--when it's set, neutral should be just below third gear. But read the Bentley before you do this.

Hopefully, though, there will be some marks that will get you back where you started on the spline connection.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not a true splined connection. The splined male part slides into the other part without lining up the splines first. The splines are only for friction when the clamp is tightened around the other part. The splines are not for alignment and you can adjust the position in less than 1 spline rotational movements, just by loosening the clamp and turning the 2 parts with respect to each other. It is still best to mark the positions before you start so you can put it back or know which way you adjusted it and by how much.

Mark.


Californio wrote:
The first thing I would do is see if there is ANYTHING on that spline connection that would tell you where to put it back. Any mark, even grease, dirt, whatever.
..........

Hopefully, though, there will be some marks that will get you back where you started on the spline connection.
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't the clamped side split on the top? If I recall correctly, it is, and there will probably be a line of dirt/rust on the splined section where the split was so don't clean it up too much! Smile

pd
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having had first hand experience in mangling that coupled fitting (no. don't ask Wink ) beware that the shift rod tubes are more or less mild steel (not sure of metal type) With that said, if you don't have a helper, this is what I'd do.

IF you think things are UN-aligned now, make a mark now on each piece to at least give a ball park idea of alignment. Push lever in cab into 2nd or 4th, apply vice grips on front rod so VG butt up against the sheet metal, then with a pair of VG on rear, hold front VG, tap rear rod loose.

IF things are still aligned, try the reverse. i.e. tap the rear rod back on.

I used a strip of metal as per Bentley spec (22 or 23 mm IIRC) held in place between shift lever fork and box while adjusting the clamped fitting. IIRC I held the front rod in place against the metal strip while lining up rear rod in position as determined by the spring in side the tranny.

As per Californio's comment, I noticed on mine that there was a darker patch where the rear rod didn't cover the front male portion. This should give a clear indicator, +/- 1 or two splines as to how the parts line up. I don't recall if that mark is easy to see with parts in place though.

Neil.

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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The information is in the Bentley starting at 34.4 for the early models. The spacer to adjust the shift rod is 19mm up to a chassis number and 22mm from a chassis number. Later model vans need a 23mm shim to get in the range for adjustment. I use a socket with the correct OD or cut a piece of wood as the sheetmetal wants to fall when you are playing with the adjustment in the rear(I do like the vise grip idea shown above to hold it in place though).
Good luck
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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thank you all so much for these great responses. I seriously don't know what I would do without the guidance of the members of this forum.

Just a couple things:

-Pioneer, bless your heart, I swear to you I did put the markings like you told me yesterday! Very Happy I just didn't use nail polish or white-out, I used a Sharpie marker. The thin black circle markings are there on both sides if you look at the pic. Thanks again for the great advice.

-The grooves do not need to be lined up, they are very thin grooves that are just there for traction or friction, as someone else mentioned.

-I think what I'm going to do tomorrow is to disconnect the rear shift rod where it meets the transmission, then use a mallet to gently try to "bang" it toward the center shift rod in hopes that the center shift rod will go in. If that doesn't work, I'll need to get some lubricant involved.

-Vanagon Nut, I am SO very fascinated by the picture of the shift-lever housing in your post. Could you please tell me exactly what that white lubricant is in the pic? When I took my lever housing apart, there were traces of some white chalky residue in certain places - I'm guessing remnants of the original lubricant from nearly 30 years ago. I'd like to cover mine with fresh lubricant like you've done - that might actually solve my whole problem, which is that it's very hard to shift into 1st, 2nd, and reverse.

-Syncrodoka, I did notice those chassis number specifics yesterday in both my Bentley & Haynes manuals. Unfortunately, I don't know where to find my Chassis No. Can anyone tell me where to locate it?

Thanks again, everyone. Very Happy
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Californio
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hate to say it but those thin black marks aren't where you need them. What you want is a line running lengthwise on the shaft that shows where the male end goes into the female.

The white lube is lithium grease, available in spray or tub from the flaps, cheap.
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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Californio wrote:
Hate to say it but those thin black marks aren't where you need them. What you want is a line running lengthwise on the shaft that shows where the male end goes into the female.


Thanks. But neither of the rods appears to be able to "turn" at all...so I don't see how I would need lengthwise lines to line it up if neither rod has turned/twisted at all.
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did this a bit ago when I replaced my tranny. I needed the rod out of the way (I thought) and I pulled it apart without thinking.

Here's what I did and it worked.

the basic idea is that you want the rear linkage at very, very close to a 90 degree to the trans output shaft (when the shifter is in neutral),

**FYI: I am speaking of the "cup" and Ball" being centered (laterally) the "ball" always remains centered since it is bolted to the output shaft itself**

Think of a golf ball in a shot glass, we want the shot glass centered underneath the golf ball, if it is not then you loose correct shift adjustment and the little bit of the adjustment on the bast will not allow you to get it right.


Just get underneath and grab each end pay close attention to keep the second 1/2 or rear most part of the shaft at a 90 to the output shaft (the ball and joint allows it to rotate and you can put it together and it's then way off.
Try to then get the front shaft into a "neutral"(neutral) position, this would of course be midline, just like you would have your hand when shifting into neutral. You cant see this but if you let the front shaft move side to side you can then approximate the middle.

Put the shafts together. Mark Both half's with a grease pen, don't put them all the way together though, just enough to stay put.

Now go up and eyeball your shifter, you will likely be off to one side or the other, usually it falls to the drivers side. Now get back under and move(rotate) the front half so that it will be again closer to center. ( again,think of where it is in neutral).

Go look and repeat, until you are where you think is right, now duct tape the shifter so it stays where you would approximately have it when you are holding it in neutral, double check where the rear most shaft is, again in relation to the shift shaft. You may now have to move one or both half's again to bet it closer.

Once you have everything looking and "feeling close you should be able to get into all gears(check) and adjust the rest with the shaft adjustment on the floor base, if you need much, like more than a slight bit of movement away from the adjuster holes on the floor you're off by too much.

Put it in neutral and check the rear shaft again to see that you are as close as possible to a 90 to the output shaft as possible.

That's really it, if you think about it it all makes sense, to allow for max movement in the rear, the shift shaft linkage should be "centered" to output shaft and then the front linkage "centered" to that.
Good, Luck.
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funagon
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is a cut and paste of my own reply to a posting in 2008. Maybe it will help:

"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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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funagon & TSchroeder, thanks so much for your later replies and thanks to everyone for helping. I found it all really helpful.

I took a hiatus from the project for a few days because I was feeling kind of overwhelmed. I did end up getting the rod to go back in today, thank god. I went and bought a rubber mallet, then I removed the gear lever housing which is right above the spare tire, removed the nut and bolt from the front shift rod, and gently banged on the front shift rod with the mallet while holding it steady in place. Much to my surprise and joy, when I went and checked if it had made a difference in pushing the rod further into the rear rod, it was almost completely back in. Yay! A few more gentle bangs with the mallet made it go in all the way. Problem solved. Very Happy

With the center & rear shift rods back together, I made the 19mm adjustment using a roll of electrical tape I had which happened to be exactly 19mm in width. I also lubed up the gear lever housing. Unfortunately, none of this stuff fixed my original problem, which is that it was very difficult to shift into Reverse, 1st, and 2nd (I have to press gear shift down to shift into any of those gears). I am thinking it may need a new gear lever housing, which has the rivets for shifting inside of it. Maybe my rivets are worn down possibly (?).

Anyway, I'm just so relieved to have the center & rear brake rods back together. As you can tell from the title of this thread, that sent me into a real panic. Embarassed
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