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Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:22 pm

My '68 Handi-Van has a 230 ci that was pulled from a '64 Impala with a manual 3 speed Saginaw. I've had difficulty shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear since I've owned the van (shifting from 3rd to 2nd is fine btw). I've had the bushings rebuilt (I believe my mechanic reshaped Mustang bushings) and have had the linkage straightened twice, but after a few weeks of light driving the ability to shift from 1st to 2nd becomes increasingly more difficult until I just can't find 2nd gear at all. Is it time to replace the linkage? And if so what are my options?
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:09 pm

ok,,,,,does it shift when the engine is off,,,,,,if it does not, does it shift when the engine is off and you disconnect the linkage at the trans and move the 2nd gear lever by hand,,,,, 1st gear has to return to neutral BEFORE 2nd gear can move,,,,,,does it?,,,,,,can you take off in 2nd gear from neutral without starting off in 1st?
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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:53 pm

Haven't had a chance to try shifting with the linkage disconnected yet...

When I originally got the van I couldn't shift to neutral at all and got used to driving without it and I didn't realize that you had to shift to neutral in-between 1st and 2nd. But trying it now seems to be working. It's still a little bit tricky but I am able to find 2nd now so that is nice!

Yes, I can start in 2nd...

Another issue with neutral that I have is that when I park the van in my driveway and leave it in neutral the e-brake doesn't hold the van in place. But if I leave it in 1st the e-brake holds just fine (although still use a brick just in case). Can I adjust the e-brake cable to fix this?
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:14 pm

sounds like your linkage needs adjusting,,,,,,look at the levers through the grille,,,,,the 2 levers should be in line with each other,,,,not one more forward than the other,,,,,,see that the rods are tight in the bushings,,,,,,check the ball joint on the 2nd and 3rd rod cross shaft,,,see if its tight,,,see if the rods are tight in the bushings on the levers of the trans,,,,,make sure your brakes are adjusted,,,,,,adjust the parking brake cable near the speedometer cable on the trans,,,,it goes to a lever that connects to the cables that go to the rear wheels,,,,,,,the handle should go up 1/2 way when you pull up on it,,,,,,and go out in some dirt,,,,pull up on the handle,,,,,see how or if it stops,,,,,,,you dont have oil or rust all over your rear shoes do you,,,,,,,jack the rear wheels up,,,pull on the parking brake,,,see if you can turn the wheel by hand,,,,,that parking brake did a poor job of holding a van from rolling backwards even when it was new,,,,,,
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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:57 am

Finally able to take a look at my linkage today...

look at the levers through the grille,,,,,the 2 levers should be in line with each other, wrote:
With the van in neutral the bottom lever is about 1/4" more forward than the top lever. Is that an exceptable amount?

see that the rods are tight in the bushings,,,,,,check the ball joint on the 2nd and 3rd rod cross shaft,,,see if its tight,,,see if the rods are tight in the bushings on the levers of the trans, wrote:
There is some wiggle on all of these. How tight should they be?
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:21 am

this is what actually is happening,,,,,,that pin is coming out of the shaft that the shift lever is connected to,,,,,it sits in the upper lever which is for 2nd and 3rd gear,,,,,,,now that pin moves the lever forward and back to shift gears,,,,,,HOWEVER,,,,,the levers need to be lined up so the pin can cross the street, which happens when you lift up on the shift lever, and get to the lower lever,,,,which is 1st and reverse, so neutral is important for the pin to do its job,,,,,and neutral means make the levers line up pretty equal,,,,,and check and see if something back at the transmission is making them not line up anymore,,,,something worn, broken or loose,,,,,,,







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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:54 am

Thanks Doni. Those pictures really help show whats going on. I'm pretty sure the reason I was having difficulty shifting from 1st to 2nd wasn't due to loose bushings but because I wasn't using neutral to allow the pin to line up so that it could "cross the street". Like I said, when I got my van I couldn't find neutral at all so I got used to driving without it until my mechanic adjusted my linkage and replaced my bushings. But now it all makes sense! Thanks for helping me clear it up.

... Now onto the parking brake issues...
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:15 am

those levers get out of alignment for a reason,,,,,if you lightly tug on the levers back and forth, they should not move,,,,,,if they are sloppy, then something by the trans is loose, worn or broken,,,,,pull and push on them harder and you should hear the transmission click as it goes into each of the 4 gears,,,,,,
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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:25 am

The lower lever moves easier than the top lever, but neither of them are loose.

However, I did notice that there is a rubber gasket underneath the lower lever where it connects to the shaft that is broken. Could this be part of the problem?

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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:13 am

the levers at the bottom of the steering column really cant give you much problems,,,,,,,its the rods connected to them that mess up,,,,,,,,those levers do what the rods tell them,,,,,,,,,those rods make sure the levers and transmission work together,,,,,,and you adjust them at the transmission until the levers are lined up one right over the other,,,,,,,,
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:27 am

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morbank

Number of posts : 161
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:31 am

the levers at the bottom of the steering column really cant give you much problems, wrote:
Right.

you adjust them at the transmission until the levers are lined up one right over the other, wrote:
Ok.

Should the bushings be lubricated? And if so what should I use?
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:05 pm

I doubt that there are too many lubricated van bushings in the World,,,,,,but white grease or any type wouldnt hurt,,,,,,,,the front of the rods and the rear of the rods use different types of bushings,,,,and finding those rubber bushings can be a problem,,,,,,sometimes the bolts that hold the levers onto the transmission come loose and cause problems,,,,,,
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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:43 pm

Ha! Ok.


My mechanic recently replaced the bushings and they all look like they are in good shape. There is a little bit of play, but not too bad.

However, looking through the top of the dog house I can see a bracket on the drivers that looks like it is supposed cradle the trans rods. But one of the rods is resting on top of the bracket (which explains a high pitch squeak I have when driving!!). I am guessing that rod is supposed to rest inside that bracket, yes?

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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:05 pm

There is supposed to be plastic grommets in that bracket for the rods to rest on,,,,,those rods are up too high,,,,somethings not right,,,,I will find a picture of my grommet fix later,,,,,
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:28 pm

I doubt you will find another picture of that rod cradle anywhere else,,,,,,,I got tired of mine squeeking also,,,,,,,so I put some of that wire wrap in it,,,,,,


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vanny
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by vanny on Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:39 pm

Don, I love your McGiver stuff! cheers Great Idea!!!


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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:11 pm

Nice!

Here's my fix:


We'll see if it works out...

Btw, I've run out of tightening thread on the parking brake adjustment bolt. Is there any other way to tighten the parking brake? Or will I need to shorten the cable itself?
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donivan65
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:42 pm

The lever can only go so far in its slot,,,,,,,,,,if the cable aint pulling it to its forward end, you can tie a knot in it to shorten it,,,,,if it hits the front end of the slot,,,,,maybe the shoes aint adjusted enough,,,,,,,,there are some extra holes in those levers to get things working right,,,,


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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:25 pm

UPDATE to parking brake problems:

there are some extra holes in those levers to get things working right, wrote:
The 2nd gen doesn't have the extra holes. You just get one adjustable bolt for the parking brake cable and another adjustable bolt for the spring that tensions the brake shoe cables. I adjusted all the levers, spring and tension bolts as far as they will go but it wasn't enough. So until I can get the shoes looked at my solution is to just pull harder on the parking brake!

UPDATE to shifting problems:

The green plastic bracket I made (see pic below) to cradle the linkage rods has made shifting from 1st to 2nd much easier and much more consistent. However, when I start the van (in neutral) there is a soft vibration that disappears when I shift out of neutral.

I originally made the plastic bracket to try and keep the linkage rods, which were sitting up too high above the metal cradling bracket, to force the linkage rods to sit inside the cradling bracket. My guess is that by pressing down on the linkage rod the plastic bracket has pushed the linkage rod and is making it rub somewhere. Is my plastic bracket going to cause more harm than good? Should I take it out?






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donivan65
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Number of posts : 11431
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:50 pm

I would think the rods should be resting on that bracket,,,,,,,,maybe someone bent those rods up to stop the squeaking,,,,,How far does that lever go forward in the slot when you pull the handle up,,,,,,,,,,if it is like 1 inch from the end,,,,,thats as good as the handle can do,,,,,,if you still have a problem, it is from the cables or rear shoes or drums,,,,,
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morbank

Number of posts : 161
Location : Thousand Oaks, CA
Age : 43
Registration date : 2014-07-30

Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by morbank on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:17 pm

Mine were resting well above it, remember? (see pic below):



The squeezing actually stopped after I added my plastic bracket.

I'm just worried about the sound the van makes now when in neutral with the clutch out.



I've got about 1 1/2" left.
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donivan65
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Number of posts : 11431
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Re: Difficulty Shifting from 1st to 2nd?

Post by donivan65 on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:13 pm

I am just saying,,,,,what is making them rods be up so high,,,,,,,,they dont belong there,,,,,,,is neutral in the place it belongs?,,,,,,,,the front cable rides on 2 plastic wheels,,,,,,,does yours?

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