F35 5-Speed Manual Loose Shifter Fix, DIY - SaabCentral Forums
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Old 3rd September 2013
Tmarter's Avatar
Tmarter Tmarter is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011                                                
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My Saabs: 2004 9-3 2.0T JZW Stage 5 E85
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Default F35 5-Speed Manual Loose Shifter Fix, DIY

So I'm not sure how many of you guys with the 5 speed experience shifter issues, but if you're racking on the miles, shift like Ken Block, or what have you...But sometimes the shifter will seem very loose with vertical play while in gear...This can make shifts very sloppy, and once there is a gap, you'll need to speed more effort or time, which, could end up making it worse.

There is a little pin that holds the shifter arm (that holds the first cable) to the selector rod in the actual gearbox. The arm sits on top of that rod coming from the inside of the gearbox, and the arm is on the top of the bellhousing and is easily seen below in red, with the Genuine Saab shift cable reinforcement brace installed.

The OEM pin isn't even listed in the parts department at the dealers, online nor do they know the size of the pin that is used to replace it. It took some trial and error along with having some made to fit to check for a size, and we finally narrowed it down. The ones I use now are from McMaster-Carr.com, and are their 10x Heavy Duty Coiled Pins. The Lot Number is 128203D, only about 10 bucks and they were here the next day.

To install them, put the arm/shifter in 1st gear. Then I took the biggest allen that would go through that hole (matched the allen up with the new pin), lined the allen up on the hole of the selector arm, took a long thick flathead, wedged the first pin out about halfway, fed the new one in, then wedged it in until it pushed the old one out. You might need to wiggle the arm back and forth to get the shifter lined up, then the pin will slide in perfectly. Takes about 5 minutes, makes a hell of a difference.

I'm currently running the TWM short shifter with aluminum base bushings, the GS shifter cable reinforcement kit, the heavy duty pins, and fresh Redline MT-90 75w-90 Transmission fluid. Shifts are 1000x better than what they were stock, and the pin is holding strong, and the shifter is very tight... whereas I was stranded from completely shearing the stock pin in half once, not being able to select gears...Had to push my car home about a mile and a half, not fun.

Hope this helps anyone with a similar problem, if you have any questions, let me know or PM me.
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Old 8th September 2013
Robustus Robustus is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013                                                
Location: Earth
My Saabs: 2003 9-3
Posts: 11

Just installed the GS shifter reinforcement brace. Can't say I feel all that much difference. Maybe a little, but very disappointing. I honestly don't see how this brace can possibly do all that much; the cable coming from the shifter still mounts into that rubber/nylon thing, which is what mounts directly to the shifter arm in the tranny (the red thing, in pics above). So most of the force is still going through the nylon, it seems?

Anyways... I'm going to fix this shifter issue or get rid of the car. The car is great...when IN gear. But getting from one gear (or neutral) to another feels just awful and is unreliable. Sometimes it requires far too much force and several tries. Just a real pain to drive around town. It degrades the entire driving experience to the point where it's just a chore. My wife won't even drive the car at all due to lack of confidence in being able to get the thing into gear. I don't blame her. It's awful.

So, moving along:
I'm waiting on some fresh MTF0063 for GenuineSaab (who takes *for* *ever* to ship), and I'll probably order the shifter mount kit from GS too: http://www.genuinesaab.com/catalog/p...roducts_id=745.

Failing that, I'll try the pins recommended by Tmarter above.

If anyone else has further suggestions, I'm all ears!

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Old 7th May 2019
Hastings Hastings is offline
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Join Date: May 2019                                                
Posts: 1
Default Saab 9-3 f35 5 speed roll pin under shift cable

Man I really wish you would have put the diameter and length of these shift pins you found for this. I have broken 2 in a months time counting the original, it all started when I first broke a transmission bolt, 3 days later after getting the car back the pin broke, then another , so exactly 3 days after getting the car back now the transmission will shift up and down but not side to side and is is stuck in 3rd gear. When I say the shifter will move it literally can shift up and down move but is stuck in gear. The fork that is painted red in this picture from previous guys picture is the one that is free and moving shifting up and down , I think I have busted a shift cable but really do not know and would love any help or info anyone can give me on this
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Old 14th May 2019
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Nordic-Machine Nordic-Machine is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016                                                
Location: Singapore / Haifa
My Saabs: 2008 9-3 SS Linear
Posts: 463

I don't think those 2 guys uses the forum anymore. Both their posts were years ago. You might want to created a new thread on the workshop section. You'll get more replies there.
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