Shift linkage adjustments


zach b

New member
I have a 91 vanagon, and I recently replaced the rear bushing of the shift linkage. It is the bushing next to the transmision. In accordance to my manuals I removed the rear shaft from the vehicle. This involves loosening and separating the splined shaft that joins the rear shaft to the front/middle shaft.
After putting everything back together and following the adjustment procedure everything seemed fine. But when I am driving I can hear a high pitched hum coming from the shifter. It sounds louder in 1st and 2nd. Almost non-existant in 4th. My guess is that the rear shaft may need to be twisted slightly. If anyone has any experience with this please let me know.
Thanks
Zach
ps I called a local mechanic who works on vw's. After describing what I did he informed me that he never separates the splined shaft and that he always leaves the rear shaft attached when replacing that bushing. He said that he didn't want to try to adjust it and to let him know if I got it to work...
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
i believe your diagnosis is right. The whine is caused by a misadjusted shift linkage putting pressure on the shift fork. This is similar to keeping a constant hand pressure on the shift lever.

Usually, repairs of this nature change all of the inter-related adjusments from shift rod clamp to and through the bearing plate. Because other parts have also worn or been adjusted to the worn bushing, you have to start over with all phases of the adjustment.

Personally, after the adjustment procedure in the Bentley page 34.5, I get my best final check by running the transmission in first, slacking and then retightening the rod clamp to let them adjust. For some reason, first seems to be the problem gear to adjust to.

In all honesty, it still takes a couple of trial & errors. That may not work with everyone -- it's probably a matter of feel.
 

nickdz

New member
I have a 1978 Westy, and the shifter is very loose. I've ordered a new rear shifter coupling in attempt to fix the side-to-side play, but what can I do about the front to back play? I've already adjusted the stop plate, but when I shift into 1st or 3rd, the shifter knob still hits the dash. Any ideas?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
In the Bentley, Section 6-3.4, you'll note there are two points where the shift rods connect and are held in by set screws. One is at the rear coupling -- the u-joint looking thing. The other is where the front rod joins the rear.

If you are hitting the dash, something is way out of whack. Perhaps your gearshift lever is bent.

What are the condition of your nuylon bushings? If they are worn, it gives the effect of changing the angle of the rod. Ditto the rear flexible coupling. Fix your known defects and replace wear items; that often cures "adjustment" problems.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
i believe your diagnosis is right. The whine is caused by a misadjusted shift linkage putting pressure on the shift fork. This is similar to keeping a constant hand pressure on the shift lever.

Usually, repairs of this nature change all of the inter-related adjusments from shift rod clamp to and through the bearing plate. Because other parts have also worn or been adjusted to the worn bushing, you have to start over with all phases of the adjustment.

Personally, after the adjustment procedure in the Bentley page 34.5, I get my best final check by running the transmission in first, slacking and then retightening the rod clamp to let them adjust. For some reason, first seems to be the problem gear to adjust to.

In all honesty, it still takes a couple of trial & errors. That may not work with everyone -- it's probably a matter of feel.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
[Transferred to consolidate two similar topics.]

Shift level plate.

Doug Member posted July 19, 2000 11:37 AM

I have a 77 bus. When I got it it only had 1st and 2nd gear & reverse. It appeared to me that the shift plate was in upside down. The raised lugs were pointing down. By turning it over I regained 3& 4th but could not get reverse. My question - is that the stamped out hole on the shift plate - loosely resembles the letter "D" Which way is the plare supposed to go in. I get the same results either way. Is there a picture in any manual showing the correct way, I have only been able to find the cross section view.

Thanks for you help

Doug

Capt. Mike Tech Writer Super Member posted July 19, 2000 04:13 PM

Yes, Bentley Factory Shop Manual section 6-3.4; figure 3-14. Considering cost, it's probably best to replace if you continue to have adjustment problems.

Also, inspect your guide sleeves, alignment and security of couplings. Slack in the linkage may be adjusted out in one direction, while leaving too much for engagement the other way.

A good way to test if it's linkage and not transmission (bent shift fork, or worse) is to put on jack stands, disconnect rear coupling (figure 3-15) and shift by hand through the gears. If it beds all gears firmly, it's probably in the shift linkage.

Doug Member posted August 14, 2000 02:39 AM

Is it possible to remove - replace the rear coupling without removing the transmission.

I have the new shift plate and front coupling replaced and still cannot get it into reverse . The Haynes Manual is not clear about this.

Capt. Mike Tech Writer Super Member posted August 14, 2000 11:21 PM

The removal of the gearshift lever & shift rods is described in the BENTLEY offical shop manual, Section 6-3.4.

Please get the Bentley; see the Message Board Guidelines, #2, linked at the bottom of this page.

Doug Member posted September 12, 2000 01:52 AM

This is a follow up to my first problem. Once the shift plate was corrected - and a new front shift bushing installed - I still could not get reverse...I ended up replacing the rear shift coupling - even though it looked okay it was not. I now have all the gears. Thanks for the help
 

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