Gear Linkage Revisited

Today, the conjunction of getting home from work unexpectedly early and the brief appearance of a wee patch of blue sky, allowed me to don my oily rags and get out for a quick wrestle with the front parts of Herman’s gear-linkage. The astute reader will remember that I removed the shiftrod on Monday.

Today I had to remove the horizontal bar whose name I know not, which runs transversally across in front of the radiator and links the front end of the shiftrod to the bottom of the gearstick. As I said before, this particular section of the gear-linkage disnae appear in the exploded diagram in the workshop manual, so I’m assuming it’s an addition for RHD versions only, to bridge the gear-linkage across the front of the van from the left to righthand side. Since it’s not mentioned in despatches, I s’pose it falls to me to name it. After initially toying with calling it ‘The Trouser Press’ I have finally settled on ‘The Transverse Rod’. So, until I learn otherwise, that’s how I shall refer to it from now on.

Anyway, in spite of the usual hassles of the various nuts’n’bolts being moderately hard to get at, it didnae take me too long to get the whole thing unbolted and dropped out through the bottom of the engine bay. I had to manhandle a few pipes and cables out of the way to ease its passage, but it came out fairly easily.

Here is the complete gear-linkage, removed and set up on the ground in front of Herman
Here is the complete gear-linkage, removed and set up on the ground in front of Herman
Front end of shiftrod, shiftrod lever and the passenger's side end of [the newly christened] transverse rod
Front end of shiftrod, shiftrod lever and the passenger's side end of [the newly christened] transverse rod
Rear end of shiftrod and rear bracket
Rear end of shiftrod and rear bracket
Close-up of polythene bush on rear end of shiftrod
Close-up of polythene bush on rear end of shiftrod

Polythene bush on front end of shiftrod. Again this disnae seem to be shown in the exploded diagram in the manual, but the front of the shiftrod passes through a tubular bracket on the chassis, just before it bolts into the shiftrod lever. This bush sits inside the tubular bracket.

Up to this point, all the bushes and bearings I’d inspected seemed to be OK. A few of the rubber gaiters were a bit the worse for wear, but the polythene bushes were all in one piece and all seemed well greased.

Then I looked at the shiftrod lever. This sits vertically within the bracket which bolts onto the front end of the shiftrod at the bottom. The top end of the shiftrod lever is a hollow tube and into this fits a short metal pin which emerges vertically from the bottom of the transverse rod at the passenger side end. This metal pin has a polythene bush on it. Now, although in one piece, the polythene bush was very dry, with no grease on it at all and also looked like it had been forced down further onto the pin than it was meant to go or that there was something else missing from the end of the pin, because there was about an inch of bare metal sticking out past the end of polythene bush, which it seemed to me would have wobbled moved and grated quite a lot inside the tube in the shiftrod lever which it sits inside. Maybe it’s meant to be like this but it seems a bit dubious looking to me. I’ll have to consult on the Brickyard Forum and see if anyone there knows what it’s ‘supposed’ to look like.

Shiftrod lever and the bearing on the end of the transverse rod. Is the polythene bush meant to be forced down past the end of the metal pin like this?
Shiftrod lever and the bearing on the end of the transverse rod. Is the polythene bush meant to be forced down past the end of the metal pin like this?
Plastic ball inside the bearing for the gearstick. All in one piece and nice'n'greasy. Seems OK to me
Plastic ball inside the bearing for the gearstick. All in one piece and nice'n'greasy. Seems OK to me

More polythene bushes. This time on either end of the transverse rod. Again, both could have benefitted from a blob of grease, but the polythene bushes were sound.

Passenger's side end
Passenger's side end
Driver's side end
Driver's side end

So there you have it. Apart from the fact that a few of the bushes could do with a dollop of grease, there’s nothing obviously wrong or broken. The most dubious link in the chain seems to be that connection between the shiftrod lever and the transverse rod. I think that may bear further investigation. Unfortunately tho’ as I’ve said, the transverse rod disnae feature in the workshop manual I have, so I’ve nothing to refer to, to see whether or not it’s meant to look like thon.

Meta TAGS: gear linkage
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE: 04 Mar 2009
AUTHOR: stíobhart matulevicz