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  • Shift lever rebuild

    I've been having difficulty shifting my truck. It's a champ 6 - 3 speed overdrive column shifter in a 1949 2R. I have difficulty getting it into second gear occassionally but was instructed through this forum to shift it a certain way and that worked well for the most part.

    I had difficulty getting it into reverse occassionally and I think that problem was related to the overdrive system as I was unable to push the truck backwards when it was in neutral.

    It buggered up on me again yesterday and in an effort to unjam it, I totally messed up the gear shifter. Now I'm thinking I should rebuild the shifting mechanism and would like to know what parts should be replaced and are they available?

    I'm looking at the exploded view illustration (fig 402) on page 212 of my service manual and I see #18 gasket, #15 upper felt washer, #25 lower felt washer all of which look like something that needs to be replaced. I couldn't find them in my SI catalog and wonder if I am just going to have to get something that would work. Any suggestions?

    I also think I will just replace the OD relay and kick-down switch and hope that fixes the problem. Should I also replace the OD lockout switch while I'm at it? I converted the truck to 12 volts and I intend to buy the 12 volt versions where applicable.

    Is there anything I need to be aware of in rebuilding the shifter?
    Jon Stalnaker
    Karel Staple Chapter SDC

  • #2
    not so fast

    You may want to have a helper shift the truck (not running) while a second person watches EVERYTHING. Pay close attention to the clutch shaft. It sounds like you have a combination of 2 problems. Clutch shaft and shift linkage. You will probably see worn / elongated holes where levers connect and this is usually the main problem.

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    • #3
      To add to the above: the shop manual suggests that you get a helper to shift the trans from above while you lie on your back and watch the motion. Disconnect the linkage from the levers on the trans, and have your helper hold the shift lever in the dead center of the neutral position. Put both trans levers in neutral -- do the rods line up perfectly? If not, adjust the rods. Then have the helper put the shift lever in reverse while you shift the trans lever into reverse. Adjust and repeat for the other gears. BTW, the 12v OD transmissions didn't have a lockout swich. But if you still have the original 6v trans, you will need one to get into reverse.
      Skip Lackie

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      • #4
        The main problem was that it wouldn't shift into reverse. I even tried to do it manually but it wouldn't go in. Also, it wouldn't roll backwards even in neutral. I can't shift it at all now that I have messed up the shift mechanism. My shift lever on the column is in an awkward position and does not work at all.
        Jon Stalnaker
        Karel Staple Chapter SDC

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        • #5
          Disconnect the rods as described above and put the two trans levers in neutral. If the linkage holes and rods are worn as discussed above, the rods may be jammed, sortof hung up into two gears at once. You should be able to get everything back in position if you disconnect the rods from the trans levers. Then you can diagnose what's wrong.
          Skip Lackie

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          • #6
            If it won't roll backwards, even in neutral, (but will roll forwards?), sounds to me like the overrunning clutch in the overdrive is OK, but maybe the transmission is jammed in gear, or jammed in 2 gears at once, locking it right up.

            Block the wheels so it cannot roll, get under there, disconnect the linkage rods from shift levers, and try to get both levers into the neutral position. If one or both fail to move easily, the transmission may be locked up. Try to determine which lever is locked into which gear, and try a pipe wrench on it to force it into neutral. Neutral is normally between six and seven o'clock, IIRC. Don't apply so much force with the pipe wrench that twist the lever right off; but it will enable you to apply more force than you can by hand.

            Check the oil level while you are under there. If the transmission's locked up, and also dry of oil, figure on rebuilding it.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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