Thing shift rod bushing

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skip
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Thing shift rod bushing

Post by skip » Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:25 pm

Hello All and Happy Father's Day.
Sometimes when shifting from 1st to 2nd sound like it wants to go into reverse. The rear connection looks ok,
so I'm thinking the shift rod bushing needs to be changed, which I have. My question is do I shift into reverse before I remove the gear shift lever? When I get the shift rod out I'll sand it and lube it up with grease.
Thanks for the answer.

Skip
Complexity is the enemy of reliability.

76 Westfalia
74 Type 181

RinTinTin in Waldorf Astoria 1956

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asiab3
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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by asiab3 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:21 pm

Hi Skip,

All '70s VW cars use second gear as the shift adjustment gear. Before removing the shifter, select 2nd, loosen the bolts a few turns, push the reverse lockout plate all the way to the left with a beefy screwdriver while wiggling the shift knob gently. Tighten the bolts and try your work.

If the bushing is gone, you'll hear metallic clanging or rubbing sounds from the tunnel during shifts. Most of the time, the plate is out of adjustment and allowing reverse to grind before grabbing 2nd. If Your 2nd gear synchronizer is worn out, the problem will be less severe when cold, and get worse as the car warms up.

Good luck,
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by skip » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:41 pm

Thanks Robbie,

That is exactly the info I needed, very clear. I did not find it the in Bentley or here, The Samba might have been pages to go thru. I'll adjust the lockout plate and test for worn bushing. What a labor saver.

Best,
Skip
Complexity is the enemy of reliability.

76 Westfalia
74 Type 181

RinTinTin in Waldorf Astoria 1956

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skip
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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by skip » Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:31 am

Tried shifting the lockout plate left while wiggling the gear shift. Now it seems no matter where it is when you select reverse it pops out of gear unless you hold it, didn't do that before. I noticed there is no pin on the ball and no slot in the shift rod socket. This is such a fiddly adjustment, is this just trial and error thing?
Please advise...
Complexity is the enemy of reliability.

76 Westfalia
74 Type 181

RinTinTin in Waldorf Astoria 1956

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skip
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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by skip » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:00 pm

Okay...got it, pulled gear shift lever out, there is no pin but a small nub, I might have turned it somehow. There is no slot, maybe a little dimple where the nub goes. The car has 97Kmi maybe it was worn out. while it was out I used a mirror and flashlight, seems the plastic bushing is ok and in place. Took me about 6 attempts to get the correct adjustment, now it shifts good.
Thanks again Robbie.
Complexity is the enemy of reliability.

76 Westfalia
74 Type 181

RinTinTin in Waldorf Astoria 1956

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by asiab3 » Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:13 pm

We might need to see some pictures of the parts in question if it continues to act up. Glad it's working for now! The important part is that you can find gears easily when needed, and reverse never chirps when you go for second, even in a (seldom necessary) downshift.

I wrote this after chasing FOUR separate shifter issues on one 1979 bus.

Image


Ignore the bits about the bus-specific parts that your Type 1 doesn't have. I've left them in for the readership.


Missing or worn bushings: Each VW needs one plastic shift bushing in the front, and buses get two more in the central shift tube. (Some have three.) It might be possible to shift without the front bushings, but shifting will be loud and inconsistent. Check this first.

Aftermarket parts not compatible with originals: Some aftermarket shifters do not play nice with other stock parts due to height differences, angle issues, and lack of tape measures at the shift rod factory. Some shifters need stock reverse lockout plates, and some do not.

Clutch release issue: Always try all shifter tests with the engine running and with the engine shut off. If your clutch pedal doesn't fully release the clutch disc, the car will shift fine with the engine off but not with the engine running.

Cabin floor damaged: Over-tightening of the shifter housing bolts and front-end collisions can warp the cabin floor into shift issues. This won't cause any issue by itself, but can make existing issues worse.

Loose or missing grub screws: Unless your car is held together entirely by rust, a missing grub screw will not allow the shifter to communicate with the transaxle shift mechanism. This can show up as hard 2-3/3-2 shifting, and general inconsistency in shifter action.

No grease on bushings: This usually results in loud and firm but still predictable shifting. Metal things need grease to move, like, duh? Rear bushings can squeak and sound like Bowser.


Shift rod(s) bent: So you just removed your front beam but it's hanging up on something… Oops… Front/back action may be unusable now, and side to side shifter action may be odd too.

Anti-rotation pin missing: This causes the shifter to rotate freely in its housing, but it may theoretically possible to shift, though I doubt it.

Grub screw landing(s) dirty: The shifter grub screws have tapered heads and required a matching taper to grab when tightened. If you get dirt in the landing, or use the wrong bolt, the proper grub screw can not fully tighten. This results in clumsy shifting at best, and a general distaste for going into any gears.

Reverse lockout plate missing or installed wrong: The lockout tabs go up, and the Ramp goes on the Right. See how fun letters are? The "collar" on the shifter handle has to be at the exact height of the lockout plate when the plate is installed into the housing when held upside in your hands. Sometimes the lockout plate will be at the wrong level when aftermarket shifters or plates are mixed with originals.

Nosecone bracket
broken/studs stripped: All shifter movement is braced by a thin metal bracket in the transaxle nosecone. Gentle shifting prevents this, but sometimes the bracket or studs can't handle any more force and break. Repair requires removing the engine and transaxle. Remove the 091 springs and circlips while you're in there.

Coupler cage loose: The metal rear shift coupler cage should be a tight fit around the rubber bushings. Slop here results in sloppy shifter feel.

Free space: we've all used this one.

Broken/worn early guide pin or late bushing housing: The front shift bushings on early bays need a straight pin in the front bushing. Bent pins can allow the shifter to pop out of the pipe bowl, and missing pins result in no shifting at all. Late bays have a round hold in a thin sheet of metal that holds the bushing. If the hole is wallowed out enough from neglect, a new bushing will not stay installed. Late model bug bushings seem to work really well in late bays where the quality of available bushings is suspect.

Motor mounts loose/worn/missing: The transaxle has to remain stationary while shifting, like duh?

Bad pilot bearing: The pilot bearing allows the clutch to spin independently from the engine. A bad bearing usually acts fine when the engine is cold and mimics a sticking clutch disc once the engine warms up. Sometimes they make noise. Always they require engine removal to repair.

Reverse lockout plate broken: Reverse lockout plates crack and result in a wandering shifter feel. Originals can be welded, since the cost will out-perform an aftermarket plate. Make sure it matches the shifter housing. ("Wings and cutouts" or "No wings or cutouts.")

Reverse lockout plate misadjusted: Often resulting in a "chirp" of gear grinding when downshifting to second gear, the plate is designed to guide you into second and prevent reverse engagement without a full "push down" of the shifter. The "chirp" is your reverse gear grinding into silver slurry.

EMPI shifter: This was almost a free space, but if you're going to spring-load a shifter, make it the 1-2 gate instead of the 3-4 gate. Those who drive on any public roads need the 3-2 downshift guided if anything at all. Remove the coil spring in the base of your EMPI shifter to retain its excellent Nylon pivot bushings while making it easier to select gears. Adjust by selecting second gear and shoving the whole shifter and housing to the left before finally tightening the shifter bolts.

Coupler collar spinning: Some aftermarket shift couplers aren't fully coupled internally. (Interestingly, NOS VW couplers are crimped 360°, where even the good aftermarket couplers are only crimped once for a few degrees somewhere along the edge.)

Bent shift coupler: Someone removed your engine/transaxle without proper supports and coupler disconnects, so you get to buy a new coupler. And instal it. And adjust the reverse lockout plate. And enjoy paying attention.

Nose cone ball worn/missing: There is a metal ball in the nosecone that is responsible for taking your PERFECT H-pattern (right??) shifting and translate those motions into gear engagements. VW went plastic (cheap!) in 1976 and the metal balls will wear out too if you neglect oil changes and/or shift like a gorilla. Repair requires removal of engine and transmission. Please ensure your old ball is fully removed first, RIGHT KENTps? Razz

Coupler cage bolts missing: The seemingly-cheap-but-actually-brilliant method of using a lag bolt and sleeve to clamp the rubber bushings into the rear shift coupler can work loose. I make sure to check the tightness on these after the first few hundred miles of shifting. Some use blue thread locker.

Shifter housing bolts loose: This one should be self-explanatory, but those buses are still out there! Mine was one.

Slot/pin interface in pipe bowl worn: The fit of the shift ball pin into the shift rod pipe bowl determines lateral slop in the shifter. New parts are not available, but rotating the pin often results in the "fresh" metal taking up some slack until you find someone to weld the bowl and grind a fresh slot into it.
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by skip » Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:25 am

That's a lot of helpful info. Examined a CD with the Thing microfiche and it shows the shift lever with a pin on the front and a nub on the rear. I recall the bus has a pin and slot. The pin is missing on mine and doesn't appear broken off, it's not in the socket and I didn't notice a slot. Well it does seem to work now so I'll wait before I remove to a take a picture.

Selector lever 113798121...come to find out there are pin & slot and no pin & no slot.

Product Description
(from JBUGS)
https://www.jbugs.com/product/113798121 ... 3cQAvD_BwE

This stock style shifter kit includes a straight shift rod, boot, shift knob, base, spring and plate. Do not assume the fitment of this product based on vehicle year alone. It is very important that you double check if your shift rod receiver is slotted or un-slotted.

If your shift rod has a slot you can use either a slotted or un-slotted shifter as long as the ball fits in the receiver. If your shift rod is un-slotted, you can ONLY use a shifter with an un-slotted ball at the end.

PLEASE SEE PHOTOS OF SHIFT RODS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE JBUGS LINK FOR SLOT & NO SLOT.
Complexity is the enemy of reliability.

76 Westfalia
74 Type 181

RinTinTin in Waldorf Astoria 1956

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by cjacaruso » Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:32 pm

A lot of info here! I'm also having trouble getting shifting to work on a 1978 bus manual tranny. Just had tranny rebuilt with no serious issues before rebuild. Vehicle wasn't shifting correctly due to cracked flywheel and oily clutch disc stuck to flywheel. Replaced flywheel and clutch and main seal so tranny and engine should be good. Regarding the shift plate. I have a lot of trouble getting vehicle into 2nd gear. When I think its in second it is in reverse when I let out the clutch even without pushing down on the shift lever like you would to engage reverse. Shift plate is new. Old one had quite a bit of wear (305,000miles). I notice the shift lever has a flat spot on it where it rubs against the worn spot on the old shift plate. I wonder if I should weld a bit of metal on it and grind it to form an circle again or if that lever was meant to have a flat spot. I still have the pin and spring on the end of the shift lever. Shift lever seems very loose when installed in floor. You mentioned above about welding the "slot" to close up the slope in the end of the shift linkage. Is that a common issue?

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jul 11, 2021 6:13 pm

cjacaruso wrote:
Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:32 pm
A lot of info here! I'm also having trouble getting shifting to work on a 1978 bus manual tranny. Just had tranny rebuilt with no serious issues before rebuild. Vehicle wasn't shifting correctly due to cracked flywheel and oily clutch disc stuck to flywheel. Replaced flywheel and clutch and main seal so tranny and engine should be good. Regarding the shift plate. I have a lot of trouble getting vehicle into 2nd gear. When I think its in second it is in reverse when I let out the clutch even without pushing down on the shift lever like you would to engage reverse. Shift plate is new. Old one had quite a bit of wear (305,000miles). I notice the shift lever has a flat spot on it where it rubs against the worn spot on the old shift plate. I wonder if I should weld a bit of metal on it and grind it to form an circle again or if that lever was meant to have a flat spot. I still have the pin and spring on the end of the shift lever. Shift lever seems very loose when installed in floor. You mentioned above about welding the "slot" to close up the slope in the end of the shift linkage. Is that a common issue?
Spring-loaded shifters like yours need a nice easy adjustment, that spring has the effect of loading up every bit of slop in the system in its preferred direction.
You find second gear! Experiment with engine running. If you get reverse, it will go backward. If you get second, it will go forward. You might even need to sort of shift in 4th-like to find second.

Once you know you are in second, then do the reverse cut-out adjustment, but add a little more shifter wiggle, these spring-loaded shifters do not like too tight of an adjustment. Screwdriver pushes cheap new stop plate left, yes, then wiggle shifter to make it come back right about a millimeter. Test.

The worn flat part of the shifter will manifest in a shifter that pops up out from under the stop plate when you load up reverse. As long as it stays in gear, you are OK.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by cjacaruso » Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:41 pm

Thank you! I am able to get the tranny in 2nd gear. When you say spring loaded are you referring to the big conical spring or the tiny spring which surround the pin inside the ball and socket? Right now I have to be very careful shifting into 2nd as if I push too far left I get grinding as the shifter is trying to go into reverse. I'm wondering if I should run a little weld on the original stop plate to replace the worn spot. I'm very skillful with welding and grinding. I will do a bit more fiddling tomorrow to see if I can get it. Again, thank you so much!!

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 12, 2021 1:27 pm

cjacaruso wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:41 pm
Thank you! I am able to get the tranny in 2nd gear. When you say spring loaded are you referring to the big conical spring or the tiny spring which surround the pin inside the ball and socket? Right now I have to be very careful shifting into 2nd as if I push too far left I get grinding as the shifter is trying to go into reverse. I'm wondering if I should run a little weld on the original stop plate to replace the worn spot. I'm very skillful with welding and grinding. I will do a bit more fiddling tomorrow to see if I can get it. Again, thank you so much!!
The spring I am talking about is inside the transaxle. It resists your sideways to 3/4 and reverse gates. It steals all the slop and makes the stop plate adjustment sometimes lock you out of all of your gears, thus keep it relaxed. You are not allowed to hit reverse while trying to get 2nd, that is damaging to the transaxle.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by cjacaruso » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:37 pm

Oh, that is scary. Just had the tranny rebuilt so I will check with them to see if they have any suggestions. German Transaxle in Bend Oregon did the rebuild and they seem to be very thorough and competent. How easy is it to access this spring? Sounds like I need to check and see if it is there.

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Re: Thing shift rod bushing

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:02 pm

cjacaruso wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:37 pm
Oh, that is scary. Just had the tranny rebuilt so I will check with them to see if they have any suggestions. German Transaxle in Bend Oregon did the rebuild and they seem to be very thorough and competent. How easy is it to access this spring? Sounds like I need to check and see if it is there.
Leave it alone. It is buried. Just do a relaxed adjustment at the stop plate. Push stop plate against shifter, then wiggle shifter sideways so you can see the stop plate kick back towrds the right side of the car by about 1mm.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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