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Post Info TOPIC: 67 and older 4 speed shifter restoration


A Poncho Legend!

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67 and older 4 speed shifter restoration


 

 

I've decided to make an attempt at "tightening up" an original shifter for my 66. This is the same shifter body that was used in Canadian Pontiacs, Beaumonts, Acadians, numerous Chevrolets and I think maybe some Buicks prior to 1967. 

I have it all disassembled and need to order some parts for it. For now I'm just going to post the pictures because I don't have time right now to do a detailed story but that will follow.

20191217_204142[1].jpg

 

So this is pretty much what you start with, one of the most basic 4 speed shifters anywhere! And it's pretty famous but with a lot of people, not famous in a good way. I personally like these shifters. With a little bit of practice they are fine for full throttle shifts!  

20191217_204157[1].jpg

 

Note in this picture I have removed the 1/4" horizontal pin at the top of the shifter. I did this previous to any of these pictures being taken. It is welded in place, so it took some grinding and a hammer/punch to remove it. This is optional, you'll see in a bit why I did this. It's the first time I've removed that pin on any of the many shifters like this I've taken apart. 

20191217_204240[1].jpg

 

Taking it apart is pretty simple. Start by removing the snap ring on the pivot shaft that runs through the arms and the body.

20191217_204345[1].jpg

 

Grab the other end of the shaft and pull/twist/wiggle the shaft out of the housing. 

20191217_204410[1].jpg

 

Once it's pulled out, again, twist/pull/wiggle  and remove the whole inner housing and arms as a unit.

20191217_204435[1].jpg

 

Then strip down the part you removed. It will all just fall out.

20191217_204541[1].jpg

 

Remove the clip and remove the 1/4" pivot pin that runs front to back, then pull up on the inner part so the convex washer can fall out. I removed that top pin (as mentioned earlier) to I could take the convex washer out and do a better job cleaning and blasting the whole unit later. The convex washer creates friction so the side to side slop isn't so bad on the shifter when it's in the car. You can see the beveled area that it sits in on the inner part of the shifter.

20191217_204836[1].jpg

 

Notice the 1/4" pivot pin and the big pivot pin both have visible wear on them. I plan to replace them both as I would imagine some of the slop in the shifter would be created by that wear. 

20191217_205052[1].jpg

20191217_205234[1].jpg

 

When I took the convex washer out, it was almost flat. I don't have a "before" picture of it. I had already reshaped it and reassembled the shifter body prior to any of these pictures but here is how I made it more convex again to create friction in the side to side movement. I simply used the shaft from one of my pullers and set the washer on a piece of pipe the right size, then some hammer persuasion.

20191217_205415[1].jpg

20191217_205434[1].jpg

 

That's it so far, more to come much much later when I get replacement parts. 





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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



A Poncho Legend!

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I realized today I never updated this after I got parts. 

I bought a kit off ebay that included a new pivot pin, snap ring and washer. (I am in no way promoting this ebay seller, it just happens he had the kit I wanted.) In the picture these would be item # B7309, B7323 and B7307.

The picture shows a Corvette shifter handle which is Corvette only, all the other models use a bolt on handle. The shifter body repair parts are virtually the same. 

temp20.jpg

 

I also bought item B7319. The term in the picture is wrong, it is NOT a locknut, it is a reverse lockout shim or spacer. It comes in 5/64" or 7/64". If your shifter is sloppy you should have no issue getting the 7/64" to fit. 5/65" is the thickness of the original factory shim and the idea here is to tighten up the shifter, not leave it the same. 

When you place the shims one on top of the other (the OEM shim and the replacement thick shim) you will see that you need to grind or saw off a very small part of the end of the shim to make it fit into the shift lever housing. This is very easy to do, just take your time to make sure you remove only the minimum amount needed to make it fit. I don't have a picture of that I'm afraid but you'll easily see what I mean. 

Re-assembly is very simple, you can't really do it wrong. 

I'm not sure what the recommended grease is. I use regular gun grease. I know that grease will be really stiff in the cold but clearly not many of us will be driving our cars in those cold temps!

When you have this done I think you will be surprised at the difference in the shifter. The side to side motion of the lever will always be a bit loose. I'm still scheming how to fit some sort of spring in there to make the 3-4 gate the default for the shifter but so far I haven't figured that out. 

These shifters get an undeserved bad rap in my mind. No, they will never be a Hurst. But, if they get tightened up they can easily be used for full throttle shifts with a little bit of practice!

In the second picture you can see the thicker shim, it's shinier than the rest of the components. 

20200321_111642[1].jpg

 

20200321_111659[1].jpg

Ready to go! 

20200321_111428[1].jpg

 



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



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nice job and thx for posting carl!

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A Poncho Legend!

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My road test of a number of things yesterday included the shifter as one of the things to be tested. I'm happy to say it was time and money well spent doing this shifter. The slop that always exists in these 55 year old shifters is 98% eliminated by changing the pivot pin and installing the thicker shim between the shift levers. Is it a Hurst? No, never and one of these primitive old pieces never will be a Hurst. Is it a totally different feel? You bet, it's a huge improvement, no more floppy shifter. I was SO tempted to do some full throttle shifts yesterday!

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



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Great info Carl. I shimmed mine, and it powershifts great on the bench!



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67' Grande Parisienne. Ex Ottawa USSR Embassy car, 67- 68.
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A Poncho Legend!

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Hahaha, I hope you have the rev limiter hooked up!

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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i was speed shifting with my auto trans yesterday i need a 4sp car on the road soon

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4SPEED427 wrote:

My road test of a number of things yesterday included the shifter as one of the things to be tested. I'm happy to say it was time and money well spent doing this shifter. The slop that always exists in these 55 year old shifters is 98% eliminated by changing the pivot pin and installing the thicker shim between the shift levers. Is it a Hurst? No, never and one of these primitive old pieces never will be a Hurst. Is it a totally different feel? You bet, it's a huge improvement, no more floppy shifter. I was SO tempted to do some full throttle shifts yesterday!


Tempted? Why not already! Giver Dad! 



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A Poncho Legend!

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This is by far the nicest Pontiac I've ever owned. I don't want to start beating on it!

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



A Poncho Legend!

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Great how to thread. I'm going to sticky it.

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