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Hard to get Avanti out of reverse

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: Hard to get Avanti out of reverse

    I need help. I have a Borg Warner T-10, 4-speed in my Avanti. Recently I noticed that, after trying to back the car out of my garage, that the transmission will not shift out of reverse gear. After working the shifter and the clutch I was able to get it functioning correctly again. The car has done this twice so far. I am afraid to take it anywhere because of this problem. Has anyone else had this problem and/or can you recommend a fix? I am assuming that it is not in the transmission itself because when I crawled under the car I could put it back into neutral by pulling back on the reverse rod (after disconnecting the reverse rod from the shifter). The rod moved very easily so I know there is no binding there. I am assuming that the problem in the shift mechanism, perhaps with one of the (as the Studebaker parts manual calls them, “Plates” which are of different thicknesses. The plates (I think) serve to determine which shift rod is activated serving like an interlock of sorts. The service manual talks about adjusting the length of the rods but nothing (that I can see) talks about how to select the proper “plate” width.

    Any advice, suggestions? I would like to get the car back on the road again soon.

    Thank you for any help you can give.

    Tom Harrill

  • #2
    You need to adjust the neutral gate. There should be a procedure in the shop manual. You have to put an alignment pin in the shifter arms, and then disconnect the rods from the transmission levers, then adjust the length of the adjustments so the rods just slip into the lever holes when in neutral. I bet your adjustment is out enough to bind when shifted into reverse.
    Bez Auto Alchemy
    573-318-8948
    http://bezautoalchemy.com


    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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    • #3
      May be a motor mount/trans mount problem allowing the adjustment to change.
      sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
      1950 Champion Convertible
      1950 Champion 4Dr
      1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
      1957 Thunderbird

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      • #4
        No, the shifter is bolted to the transmission, and the adjustment won't change despite any poor mounts. Mounts only come into play with shifters if the shifter is not mounted to the transmission and the distances can change.
        Personally, I would throw the stock shifter in the dumpster. Time to put a Hurst in.
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
          No, the shifter is bolted to the transmission, and the adjustment won't change despite any poor mounts. Mounts only come into play with shifters if the shifter is not mounted to the transmission and the distances can change.
          Personally, I would throw the stock shifter in the dumpster. Time to put a Hurst in.
          Ditto on the Hurst.
          sals54

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          • #6
            Triple ditto on the Hurst. Best thing I ever installed on my 4 speed Hawk.

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            • #7
              Well...I have owned a couple of vehicles with T-10 Transmissions. Competing brands, same basic four speed. There are quite a variety of vehicles sporting this transmission, along with a variety of factory specified differences in the shifter mechanisms. In fact, there are several various design changes in the bolted on tail sector where shifter linkages are mounted. Included among the variations, is the aftermarket shifters (and there were many). Hurst earned a good reputation as one of, if not, the best.

              Some of these shift mechanisms have adjustable link rods that include jam nuts to lock in the adjustment. Others, are set, with flimsy bushings, and cheap stamped components. Like any mechanical device, (especially those prone to lubrication neglect) they can "wear" out of adjustment. If it was my vehicle, if for nothing more than to satisfy my own curiosity, I take the time to expose the mechanism, study it, operate it, and try to get a good understanding of how it is supposed to work, and where it is fouling up. Not being familiar with the transmission hump in an Avanti, I don't know how much work has to be done (removing console, carpet, shift boot, etc.) so that you can get a good view of the transmission from the driver's seat, but perhaps get someone to sit in the car and work the gears as you view it from underneath.

              Anyway, it apparently worked well at some time, and with adjustment, lubrication, and care, should be able to work again. Unlike our three speed manual transmissions with only two shift rods, the reverse gear has a separate rod. Before the reverse can move freely, the other two must be adjusted for true neutral positions, and no physical interference between the rods. It is possible, that in addition to loose mounting bolts, certain stamped portions of the linkage have simply worn too sloppy to be repaired. (especially on the cheap aftermarket, or items with no adjustment) On the subject car, do we even know if this is the shift mechanism original from the factory? After all, it has been over a half century since it exited the assembly line.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                Dave Thibeault claims the Hurst shifters for Avantis are NLA:-(
                Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                No, the shifter is bolted to the transmission, and the adjustment won't change despite any poor mounts. Mounts only come into play with shifters if the shifter is not mounted to the transmission and the distances can change.
                Personally, I would throw the stock shifter in the dumpster. Time to put a Hurst in.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hawklover View Post
                  Dave Thibeault claims the Hurst shifters for Avantis are NLA:-(
                  You don't need one that's Avanti specific. Just one that's T-10 specific. The rods can be modified to fit rather easily. They can be bent and/or adjusted to work just fine. Use the stock Avanti rod positions as a guide. It should be easy to find a picture of the stock linkage. I think my Coupe used the shifter and linkage from a 63 Impala. Worked just fine.
                  sals54

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sals54 View Post
                    You don't need one that's Avanti specific. Just one that's T-10 specific. The rods can be modified to fit rather easily. They can be bent and/or adjusted to work just fine. Use the stock Avanti rod positions as a guide. It should be easy to find a picture of the stock linkage. I think my Coupe used the shifter and linkage from a 63 Impala. Worked just fine.
                    I agree with Sal. The biggest problem will be the shift lever which IIRC was Studebaker specific and welded to the assembly. That shouldn't be very difficult to change by welding on a modified shifter lever.

                    This should give you some idea of what you should be looking at/for. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3516726...598&rmvSB=true

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                      I agree with Sal. The biggest problem will be the shift lever which IIRC was Studebaker specific and welded to the assembly. That shouldn't be very difficult to change by welding on a modified shifter lever.

                      This should give you some idea of what you should be looking at/for. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3516726...598&rmvSB=true

                      Bob
                      The Avanti 4 speed with Hurst shifter shown in the ebay ad shows it to be the "Chevy style" pattern. I thought the Avantis used the later "Ford style" pattern on the trans. Perhaps I am mistaken???
                      As for the shifter... that picture would be a good one to copy so you could have a welder model one for you. Either that or pony up the $1100.00 plus $hipping for the trans on eBay, to use the setup that's already done. Problem solved.
                      sals54

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