The next step on my ‘to-do’ list is the reconnection of the shifter mechanism. Two weeks ago, we analyzed that the gearbox rod joint caused some play in the movement of the shifter-rod in the longitude direction (yellow arrow). The play in vertical direction (purple arrow) is negligible.
Despite that the cost of this part is far from excessive, it also is not negligible so after some deliberation, I bought a new one. A comparison between both old-and new parts revealed that the hole is eccentric, i.e. the longitude play is normal. A visual comparison did not result in any differences, but for 22 Euro, I could not bother. Note the two O-rings that cannot be seen, but are not supplied with the rod-joint.
The other (lower) purple arrow shows a completely deteriorated plastic washer that fills the gap between the gearbox-rod joint and the gearbox shifting-shaft. Even though the connecting rod itself fixes the gearbox rod joint to some extent, the eccentric hole allows the rod itself some movement and without a functional washer also a slight additional movement around the vertical axis. This plastic washer prevents additional transversal load to the shift-rod seal in the gearbox. These are known to leak, even after replacement, but I sincerely doubt many workshops are aware of the plastic washer in the gearbox-rod joint. Always replace this part whilst you’re at it.
The gearbox rod-joint and the plastic washer are not the only parts in the system that need to be checked. This also applies for the bushings in the shifter arm on the gearbox. Especially on cars that have seen ‘appropriate use’ these rubber bushes can cause sloppy and inaccurate shifting-feel. The bush itself doesn’t cost much, but is very difficult to reach with the gearbox in place.
Measurements learned that the play in #231’s old bushes is about ±2mm. Since I have the entire shifting linkage out of the car, replacing the bush was easy. I cleaned the arm, added a tiny amount of lubricant and pushed the new bush in place.
The fixing clip is the reason why it is close to impossible to replace this bushing with the gearbox in place. It is located at the top of the gearbox, i.e. no working space to apply enough force to lift the clip from the alloy housing.
The following picture shows the shifter arm with the new shifter (shorter model) before these are installed.
As the bushes are the parts that wear out, the shifter-arm and the shifter-rod can be reused. Last but not least, I finished the shift-linkage with a new boot (the old one was cracked).
Even though I cannot give driving impressions, the first tests (dry shifting) revealed a much tighter and more precise gear-change.