Shift linkage problems


brucecanny

New member
Thanks to all, especially Cpt Mike for all the fantastic input. Thank goodness I am not experiencing these problems. My only problem is loose shifting and difficulty in getting it into first. Don't want to do major work as all my tools are back in IA and I am in NJ. Any suggestions are most welcome.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The shift linkage plate is the most common 'out of adjustment' and can easily be done with only the wrench in the tool kit. A 2nd place to check is the collar where the 'u-joint' connects the main shaft to the shaft at the transmission's shift lever. Besides fore-and-aft adjustment, it needs to be tight as it also handles the rotational part of the shift throw.
 
Hi-
We have an 83 1/2 waterboxer westy, 1.9L, 4 speed manual. We had the engine rebuilt, new clutch, etc. about six months ago. Lately we've noticed a problem shifting. When shifting into first, we have to push the shifter down and forward, similar to going into reverse. It's hard to get into second too. Sometimes we have to pull three or four times to get ito to go into second. It doesn't slip once it's in gear. I suspect the lnkage is out of whack or something. I'm not much of a mechanic and this is our family's only car. I don't want to start messing around and screw it up any worse than it is. Any ideas?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
What have you checked (Guideline #3)? Have you tried the suggestions in the 6/14/04 post above? And have you made an inspection looking for broken out bushings, bent guides, etc., having another person operate the shifting linkage while you watch underneath? Adjustment is per Bentley 34.8-9.
 

KenS

New member
Uh, oh. I don't know if this goes in the transmission section or here, but...

I have an 84 Westfalia which got stuck in first gear yesterday. I narrowed it down to being the shift lever at the end of the shift rod. But, that is only part of the problem. The spline on the selector shaft, where the shift lever is attached is worn and so needs to be changed. In looking in Bentley, it looks like I have to take the back off of the transmission to get at it. I'm hoping that isn't the case. Any one have any tips in dealing with this.

This might be a job for the MIG welder.
icon_smile.gif


Thanks,

Ken
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
As I read the Bentley 24.7 & 25.60a, the Selector shaft can be repaired without removing the transmission. That would be a question for the "Manual Transmission Problems" topic in the TRANSMISSIONS forum. Usually when there is a splined connection, the outer is typically softer so it strips first and replacing the end piece of the shift linkage may solve your problem. (Like wipers -- when they strip out, it's almost always the wiper arm socket, not the splined shaft.)
 

KenS

New member
Ya, sorry Mike. I was looking at the whole thing completely wrong. Good thing I went out and got the other side of my face dirty looking at the other side of the transmission and got my face out of the book. The lever is stripped more that the shift shaft, but, the shift shaft isn't great. I might try some locktite and then keep a close eye on it once I put on a new shift lever. I replaced the exact same part 4 years ago, I don't want it to fail again. Thanks, again Mike. I apologize for the huge oversight.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
We never stop learning.

If your shift shaft is already damaged some, you might consider modifying your new lever end. If the diagram is correct, it slides onto the splined shaft and then is held by a washer & lock nut. That's fine for the horizontal movement, but doesn't necessarily stop rotation if stripped. However, if you drill & tap a small hole, say for a 1/8" diameter allen-head set screw in the lever end and then use the set-screw to tighten against the shaft and prevent rotation, you may have a semi-permanent solution.
 

KenS

New member
You got the learning part right, especially with these vans. You constantly run the gammit from felling like an expert to feeling like the village idiot.

I will definitely try something. A set screw would be a good idea, but on mine (091/1) it isn't a solid piece. It is a bent piece of 1/4" steel, so there's no meat. I will figure something out, or look at an auto wreckers for a new one. The dealership wants $600 cdn for one. makes you want to get out the MIG welder.

Thanks,

Ken
 

kidnerd

New member
sloppy shifter and grinding noises

Hi everyone,

my '81 manual seems like it has some linkage problems. when in frst gear, it makes a slight grinding sound when i rev, but the problem lessens when i apply a very slight leftward force to the knob.

in second, it sounds terrible, but again, it goes away when a hold off and away from the lower left resting position. there is about 4" of sideways slop when i'm engaged in 2nd gear.

it noise is similar to the noise you would get if you tried to push out of gear while cluch is engaged and engine is revved.

any ideas...? i'm on the road a no tools but can buy a kit if it's easy enough to adjust, tighten or lubricate something... anyone...? help please...? Thanks!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Insufficient information. First, get underneath the van, inspect the bushings & linkage, and find out what's broken or out of adjustment! That's well covered in the Bentley 34.2-34.3. Adjustment & repairs are covered in 34.4 & 34.5. All repairs, including adjustment, require tools so you're looking at a shop job.
 

skeye

New member
2nd gear problems

On my 91 westy, with new relatively new tranny and clutch, suddenly noticing that I cannot downshift into 2nd. But upshifting is fine. I am sure that the linkage is original.....and the first owner, up until 200,000 miles, was very hard on the vehicle.....I am paying the price for his cruelty of such a wonderful machine. Might I focus in any specific areas in the rear or front linkage?
Thanks!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Go through the "Shift Linkage Adjustment" suggestions (has it's own topic in this forum) first and the Bentley's adjustment procedure. Often it's the adjustment as the contact & pressure points differ between upshifts & downshifts. If the ajustment if off, you are entering the built-in protection from getting into the plane that has reverse (& granny gear 1st in Syncros).
 

skeye

New member
Maybe an important indication....

Thanks for your suggestion, I will go to that section. But I just noticed this morning something that just might pinpoint the problem.....as normal, shifting up was smooth, and backing shifting into 3rd was smooth, but when I tried again to shift into 2nd, I stopped, and only so slightly made a movement toward 1st, stopping, then backing into 2nd.....smoothly.

Unfortunately, my mechanic in this small central Oregon town is not a regular Volkswagen, let alone, Vanagon mechanic. The first time I talked to him about my shifting problem, he quickly said "syncro has gone out in 2nd. But it became clear very quickly to me that it was in the linkage somewhere. I am simply investigating as much as possible to get his mind in sinc with how the linkage works.....or doesn't work. I take it in this coming Monday, 10/20/08.

Anyway, I will take your advise and look into the other forum on linkage adjustments.

Thanks much for you help.

Gary
 

anovelli

New member
Westy linkage problem

Hi Mike and All... what a resource!

I think I've read all the posts here and haven't seen this problem yet. I have an 85 Westy with manual 4sp that the linkage has gone south on. I was driving and trying to shift (it had been sticky I'm told, though I hadn't noticed) when it felt like something broke. I immediately lost the "H" pattern, and any protection from shifting into reverse. I'm able to drive it - though am careful to shift into first at lights and test it before I have to advance. A couple times I was in reverse which begs for a rear-ender.

My local shop said the linkage repair was about $200. Looking at the Bentley (34.2-3) it seems if it is a problem in the shift mechanism housing, it might be fairly simple to repair myself. I've not gotten under there to inspect everything yet, just hoping for some direction if this is an obvious thing. Many thanks.
Tony
 

debbiej

New member
adjustment or parts

Let me preface this post by saying we do not have a mechanic we trust with our 84 westy, so we really do need help. even if we find one we need to know enough to make sure our van doesn't get messed up. last week we begin to have problems shifting out of reverse. all the rest of the gears were fine though. then yesterday it would not shift out of reverse at all. the shift lever in the cab would move some but never got it out of gear.

so this morning, we both got under and did some trouble shooting.

the shift selector coming from the transmission moves easily by hand. the problem is the fit of the ball at the bottom of the lever that attaches to the shift rod. It does not go down enough into the shift lever "socket" below it. when you shift with the gear shifter in the van, the forward or backward motion of the shift causes the ball to get kind of jammed up on the edge of the socket it is supposed to fit into, and that is what is making it stick.

you can slide your finger up and move the ball back into place in the socket, it is tight enough that you can pinch your finger doing this, but sloppy enough that when you shift, it just jumps up on the edge and gets stuck.

we did try to shorten the shift rod at the clamp but it didn't change anything at the ball and socket action.

since it was shifting nicely before this happened, I doubt the length of the shaft is the problem. I wonder if something broke or wore out past working, or if we are not finding a possible adjustment.

any advice or hints would be most welcome, thanks.
 
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debbiej

New member
fixed, for now

Bentley, internet articles, posts and archives. all helped. but nothing helped like getting under the van and watching what happened and didn't happen to give understanding about what should happen and how. phrases like "turn splined end of rod one or two splines clockwise means nothing if you haven't see the rod, where it goes and understand what it does.

so the socket in the shift lever was the immediate problem. no adjustment to the shift rod helped because the lever with the ball at the end wasn't in the socket deep enough. looking for ways to raise it, noticed that the holes of the support plate allowed an adjustment upward. maybe just worn, but nonetheless, it allowed the lever with the socket to be raised up enough to solve the problem. We know the whole assembly needs new parts, and will order and replace them. Is the ball end of that lever always plastic?

I love it that now I know how the linkage works, connects to the transmission, which direction to turn for which adjustment. that I know just a little more about my van. I love it that now I can take a trip and know a little more of what to do with the tools we always bring along. getting really greasy is a cool thing for a woman of mid-middle age to do.

we have an 04 passat wagon. the deeper mystery of it's mechanics probably will always be beyond me and probably my husband. not so of my wonderful westy.
 

ozyrobot

New member
Loose shift pattern -- bent channel?

Hi,
I have an 80' Vanagon 2.0l, the engine and tranny were swapped from another bus I once had.
The shift pattern is correct, and I can get it into gear, but only by psychic karma, and not by tactile feedback. i.e. I can't feel the shift pattern while shifting.
I looked under back by the transmission, and there is ball that rides back and forth in a metal channel attached to the end of the linkage.
The odd part is that the sides of the channel are not parallel. Should they be? I would say that it is probably 1/8" wider at one end than the other.

Bonus question #1: If it should be parallel, then how wide should this channel be? ( so that I can put a c-clamp on it and bend it back in place)

Bonus question #2: How much play should there be where the shift shaft rests on the guide pin? I would guess the guide ring there allows for close to 1/8" of movement side to side.

Also, are there other things I should check for play?

Any insight would be great.
Thanks,
Andrew
 
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Mark Drexler

New member
91 westy - Problems getting into 1st gear

Have just purchased a 91 westy. 4 speed. Trouble getting into 1st gear. The others are OK. Checked forums, but no similar symtoms reported.
Wants to go into 3rd, when shifting into either 3rd or 1st. To get into first requires 'partially' going to reverse, ie pushing down and to the left about 1/2 of whats required to enter reverse.
So all gears are operational, but entering first is awkward.
Is this linkage or internal to gearbox, what is likely root cause? Thanks for your help.
Mark
 

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