broken shifter lever bushing workaround

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Jack Wiedrick, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. i own a 1995 SL2 and recently the little bushing for the shifter lever
    broke (at 75K miles). i went to the dealership to buy a new one, only
    to be told that not only did they NOT sell the bushing separately, but
    i would also be forced to buy the ENTIRE shifter cable assembly for
    about $200, just to get the bushing! (i noticed that a few other
    people on this group have run into the same problem.) whats worse,
    even if you try and find a used part, the bushing will break if you
    try and pop it out of the cable eyelet, meaning you would still have
    to buy the whole cable assembly used, probably for much more than a
    single bushing would cost (one place i asked charged $60 for the
    part). and besides, why should i have to replace the cables when
    theyre doing just fine? talk about your poor designs...

    anyway, i found a very low-cost workaround that i thought id share
    with everyone, in case there are other people like me who refuse to
    pay out that kind of money for what should be a simple part
    replacement. heres what i did:

    i went to home depot and bought a polypropene fluid connector (Watts
    PL-3025 PB1068 PolyPro NPTF Male Connector 3/8" x 1/4"). as im
    currently in the process of moving, the only tools i had at my
    disposal were screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, and a razor knife, but
    they were adequate for the task (meaning this is a very low-tech fix).
    i whacked off the threaded end of the connector with a flathead
    screwdriver and the hammer and used the razor knife to trim it flush.
    then i pulled out and discarded the little insert (youll see what i
    mean if you look at the part) and whittled away at the outer ring with
    the razor knife until it fit in the shifter cable eyelet. after that i
    stuck one of the plier heads into the hole and twirled it around in a
    circle, using the rough edges of the plier head to carve out the
    insides until i could get it to pop onto the shifter levers ball
    joint. finally, i cut a 1" square chunk from the polyvinyl baggie the
    part came packaged in and used that as a shim. polyvinyl grips almost
    as well as rubber, so it fits very snugly (in fact, i couldn't get it
    on alone; my wife and i had to push together on opposite sides using
    our combined force to get it to pop on), but still moves freely within
    the socket (because of the hollowing out id done earlier). it seems to
    hold really well and shifts good, and the total cost to me was $2.36
    (before tax) and about 4 hours spent whittling and screwing around
    with the part.

    hope this helps another person in need!
    Jack Wiedrick, Feb 19, 2004
  2. Jack Wiedrick

    Oppie Guest

    Typical response from the dealer. To be fair though, it is nearly impossible
    to stock repair parts for every assembly. Especially true when the assembly
    design/manufacture is contracted out to another company.
    Glad you found a good fix. I like to tinker too and often find the journey
    more interesting than the destination.
    Oppie, Feb 20, 2004
  3. Jack Wiedrick

    ezflow Guest

    You definitely did help another person in need this weekend. My 95 Saturn
    SL1 had the identical problem. I printed out your solution and marched on
    down to Home Depot and bought that fluid connector. Thank you very much
    for taking the time to type out such precise instructons. It worked great
    and you saved me a good chunk of time and money!
    ezflow, Apr 19, 2004
  4. glad to be of help! but there is one last thing i didnt know at the
    time. apparently polyvinyl wears out pretty fast when its being
    constantly rubbed, so in retrospect it wasnt a very ideal choice of
    shim material. i have since replaced the polyvinyl shim with a foam
    one (i used a couple of chunks of double-sided 1/2" foam tape), which
    seems to resist wear much better. the polyvinyl shim started to really
    wear down after a few weeks, but the foam one has been in for more
    than four weeks now and shows no signs of wear whatsoever, and it
    holds a little tighter to boot.
    Jack Wiedrick, Apr 19, 2004
  5. Jack Wiedrick

    mstngmch1 Guest

    How long did it take you to find that part? It worked perfectly. You
    saved me an alot of time and money. Thank You.
    To save time on widdling I used a vise grip and a pair of pliers to smooth
    down the outer ring. I simply turned it back and forth until it was the
    proper size to fit in the linkage ring. On the inner ring I used a Dremel
    to bore it out so the ball would fit. Since I had no one around to help
    me press it on I cut to small blocks and place them on both sides and
    pressed. It went on and now shifts perfectly. Thank You for taking the
    time to share your success with us.
    mstngmch1, Jun 10, 2004
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