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Post Info TOPIC: 67 and older 4 speed shifter restoration

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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.



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!  



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. 



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



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



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



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



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.



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. 




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.




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


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

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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. 



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. 




Ready to go! 




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

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nice job and thx for posting carl!

__________________  vancouver island

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