shift linkage

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shift linkage

Postby dblancha » Wed May 16, 2018 9:56 am

I have a Saganaw 4 speed transmission from a 78 sunbird in my 1980 olds starfire Frienza with a factory 4 speed shifter. The transmission was re-built but the car is shifting very hard especially first and second. The trans place said it could be the shifter linkage as the bends don't look right to them and looseness in pivot holes. Does anyone have a picture of the proper linkage or source on where to buy new grommets and linkage?
Thanks
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Re: shift linkage

Postby cjbiagi » Thu May 17, 2018 8:47 am

Not sure what your linkage issue may be, but I had issues with 1st and 2nd gear and finally tore my trans apart a couple years ago and found a cracked slider assembly. I documented the rebuild here and you can check it out. Exactly what is the issue with your trans? My issue was difficulty shifting into 1st or 2nd especially when the car was at a standstill. When it was rolling it was easier, but stopped it was sometimes impossible to get it into 1st. I do not have the stock shifter though, I upgraded mine right after I bought the car brand new to a Hurst Competition Plus. However, the adjustment process is really the same. Trans must be in neutral all gears, then there is a pin that is inserted into the shifter to lock it in neutral and then you install and adjust the linkage to slip into the shifter holes. I located some rubber bushings for another member but they were a light weight, thin rubber. Not sure if that is how the stock ones were or not. Seemed to be more of a noise insulator than a actual bushing. Take a look at your and see or post a pic of what they look like. There is also a issue with the way the stock shifter mounts on these cars. Rather than bolting it to the trans they bolt to the floor. As a result of this mounting system there has to be a way to allow for some movement between the engine/trans and the shifter mounted to the floor to prevent binding. The way this is accomplished is by mounting the shifter to a mounting plate with rubber grommets. Over years of living in the hot trans tunnel these grommets become hard, brittle and just deteriorated. It's something nobody ever looks at, but I can assure you after 40+ years they are due for replacement. Here's a couple links for you to check out....let me know if I can help with anything else.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40581
https://www.ebay.com/itm/132625483038?s ... 1555.l2649
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: shift linkage

Postby dblancha » Thu May 17, 2018 8:56 am

Thanks for tips. Will check these out. There doesn't seem to be any room to mount the shifter on the back of the transmission. There is a long stabilizing plate bolted to the back of the trans running to the back axle. How did you get around this?
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Re: shift linkage

Postby cjbiagi » Thu May 17, 2018 9:06 am

The Hurst kit at the time (this was around 1977 or so) came with a mounting plate that bolted to the tailshaft of the trans. Then the Competition Plus shifter bolted to the plate. So in my case the trans is now bolted to the transmission. Stock shifters do not work like that, so you need to work with what you have. The stock shifter will work fine if in good condition and set up correctly. Hurst discontinued H body shifter years ago, no idea why.
I may have a source for better shift arm bushings, still researching it a bit.
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: shift linkage

Postby cjbiagi » Thu May 17, 2018 9:19 am

If I remember correctly, there are only bushings on the shifter, not at the trans end?
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: shift linkage

Postby Bullet » Tue May 22, 2018 5:28 pm

It's been a while but I used a Sag in a Pontiac Ventura I had and if memory serves, the three protrusions/pads a shifter would normally bolt to for a trans mounted shifter are present on the H-body Saginaws but the holes are not drilled or tapped. I used a shifter mount plate to go by and drilled and tapped them and the Hurst Comp+ bolted right on. Pretty sure it would clear the torque arm but some tunnel modification is sure to be needed. If you are having shifting issues under power you may have a bad left side motor mount. The lower gears is where the engine strains against the mount the most and if it is lifting, the trans can twist the shifter linkage and bind it up.

ed: I just checked Clyde's post and in his first pic, I see the three places I am talking about are drilled and tapped on his. The trans I used had come from a Vega. I've still got that big toe crushing weight laying around somewhere that was bolted to the tailshaft on it so maybe some were tapped and others were not.
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