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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all: hoping that someone might be able to shed some light on this problem.

To get into 5th gear I most often need to lift the reverse lockout and "fish" for 5th. When trying to get into 5th without lifting the lockout, I can feel a stop, as though the reverse lockout is stopping the lever moving sideways to get fifth. If I pull up the reverse lockout I can get the lever sideways and find 5th, but it doesn't align the way the other gears do; I have to feel for 5th. I've noticed no driving problems in any gear, and 5th is otherwise fine to get into (or out of) once the reverse lockout is lifted!

I had an engine-tranny swap (at Beacon, TO) some two years ago.

The shift linkage connector was replaced about a year ago; when it went I couldn't get 1st or 2nd, 5th or Reverse, and could only get 3rd and 4th! Not fun.

Seems to me that there's a linkage problem somewhere. However I've had the shifter checked and nothing seems to be astray, and no bushings/bearings reported iffy.

The shifter seems to have some side to side play when in 1st or 2nd, with less sideways play when in 3rd and 4th, and perhaps even less in 5th. don't know if this is normal, and can't remember what it was like before swap (hadn't driven car for 4-5 years)

Possible causes:
1. Shifter case possibly misaligned (sideways) under console?
2. A failing/failed bushing somewhere in case or linkage?
3. Detent ball in tranny?

I've searched the forum postings, but haven't found anything like this symptom - needing to lift the reverse lockout button to get 5th.

Looking forward to any advice....
 

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You likely need to adjust the shifter linkage to match the transmission linkage. There is a bushing/linkage section that connects the shifter linkage to the transmission selector shaft. This section can sometimes have a torn bushing, but with the recent work I'd not suspect that. There is a pin which locks this section to the transmission selector shaft and at the other end it's just a plain old clamp which connects to the shifter linkage shaft. This clamp can slip on the shifter linkage shaft and cause it to feel like the locations have shifted one way or the other. Loosening the clamp, realigning the linkage to the transmission selector shaft and reclamping will probably eliminate the problem.

Another possible cause is worn motor/transmission mounts, so inspect them carefully. There is also some adjustment possible at the shifter housing by loosening the triangular mounting nuts. The shifter itself can cause problems as the ball/retainer that holds it into the housing wears (not always evident by just looking at it).

A manual like Bently or even the Haynes guide should cover the procedure for these adjustments.
 

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Having replaced my shifter because the shaft broke at the ball, I can say it is unlikely the lockout is the problem. The shaft on the lockout is adjusted by screwing it in or out of the shifter shaft but it is locked in place by a 'C' clip so is probably not the source of the problem. Unless the ball is really worn or the shifter housing is really loose, both of which would be otherwise noticeable, it is probably external to the shifter as noted in the above post. IMHO of course, YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I still haven't done anything about this issue - the car is drivable with no related issues other that it ain't the way it should be!

This issue showed itself after the engine-tranny swap, with my original shifter. I modified the original shifter (metal upper ball) into a short throw shifter some while ago. After modification the problem disappeared. However subsequently (3-4 months) there was a stress fracture in the shifter shaft inside the metal upper ball but below the top weld, possibly at the location of the original weld. I replaced the shifter with a somewhat sloppier shifter (the plastic upper ball isn't tight on the shaft) which has undoubtedly worsened the noticeable symptoms.

Next time car is in for mechanical work, I'll have the alignment of the shifter & housing checked. And when I get a shaft made up for the short throw shifter, all should be well again regardless. I'll repost any new developments.
 

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Most likely cause, but not only, is the reverse lockout mechanism in the gearstick has become maladjusted, allowing the lockout pin to drop and contact the bottom of the gearshift housing preventing shift into 5th. This problem can occur when the little bend in the top of the linkage rod that locates in the reverse lift collar becomes straightened allowing the lockout pin to drop further than designed. Remedy is to remove the gearstick assembly, disassemble the lockout mechanism by unscrewing the lockout pin to gain access to the rod. Reset the 90° bend at the top of the rod and reassemble, screwing the lockout pin on to the rod the same distance as original or check the spec. distance. There is also a slim chance the the gearshift shaft is fractured preventing proper location of gears.
 
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