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07/06/2006 06:20:31   Drew B   Folks, a bit of an odd one!

Just bought myself a '77 96 Souvenir edition that's been in storage for a while.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to get 3rd or 4th drive - engaging 3rd gear gets first again, and 4th engages second gear again. 1st and 2nd gears select fine, as does reverse. The column linkage appears to be free and working OK, and I can see the selector rod moving in and out of the box, as it should. I'm beginning to think the problem is in the gearbox itself. Any ideas or suggestions?

07/06/2006 07:57:55   Richard   You need to loosen the two screws that hold the column under the dash. Move the bit that the key goes into towards the gears you require (forward in your case). You only need to move it a liitle and this should get 3rd and 4th back. Tighten the screws back up after!  
08/06/2006 21:37:34   chrisP   Hi Drew
You may fined you will get your gears back if you adjust the gearbox and engine steady stays over to the near side a little.  
13/07/2006 12:32:59   Drew B   OK, first attempt at adjustment was unsuccessful.

I slackened off the column linkage cover bolts under the dash and moved it forward to maximum adjustment. Still doesn't select.

I can, however, select the gears by moving the gearchange linkage directly under the bonnet, but it seems that I can't get any further adjustment anywhere on the linkage. It's not off by much, but just enough not to select 3rd or 4th.

Any further suggestions?

14/07/2006 10:58:40   Al   It's definitely a linkage or adjustment problem then. Could be excessive wear in the linkage is preventing you from getting all the movement you expect - is there a lot of "slop" in the linkage universal joints ?  
16/07/2006 10:54:03   Drew B   Al,

There doesn't seem to be any excessive wear, and everything seems pretty tight, the problem being that there doesn't seem to be enough travel on the shaft to pull far enough on the selector shaft.

When selecting gears using the shifter, it feels like it's selecting thrid and fourth but isn't actually doing so, just re-selecting first and second. When I get out and manually select third and top, the shifter locks in nicely, but de-selecting the gear using the shifter makes it pop out and it won't re-engage. The boss on the steering/g-chage colum is adjusted as far forward (down) as it will go, but there's still not enough travel....... it's got me stuffed!!!

I think I'll more closely inspact the universal joints tomorrow night, and perhaps look at adjusting the engine stays if everything else seems OK.

Any other suggestions, anyone?

16/07/2006 16:15:55   John Wood ( "Woody")   Hi Drew,
It might seem a bit extreme, but could you remove your front carpets, and remove the large rubber bung which will give access to the rear transmission retaining bolt. This is to confirm that the transmission is correctly in place and the bolt secure. That will rule out that some one has put the engine/transmission in incorrectly.

Check that the engine side stay is correctly adjusted- end of threaded rod about level with the folded edge of side of rocker cover. Check that the transmission side stay is in place and if necessary adjust it towards the left side of car (ie tightening it).
I think it might be adjusted too much over towards the driverís side thus restricting the movement of the universal joint.

Normally if you have moved the steering column fully forward and are able to select gears it is more likely that you are getting 3rd and 4th. In this position you should not be able to engage reverse.
As a process of elimination. Operate the selector at the gearbox manually. I am assuming the vehicle is RHD. Have a suitable fine pointed marker handy.
Pull the shaft down into the transmission cover and rotate it upwards thus engaging reverse. Disengage and carefully move the rod out of the cover away from you with force exerted downward until the rod engages a gear. This should be 3rd. Make a mark on the shaft next to the rubber seal on the transmission cover.
Carefully disengage that gear and again move the rod away from you with pressure downwards until the gear engages again. This will be first gear. Mark the shaft again next to the rubber seal.
Have an assistant sit in the car and operate the gear lever. Try to engage reverse and see what is happening with the rod in the engine bay. Likewise engage third and see if the rod is being moved to near the first mark you made on the shaft.
Ultimately I believe you will have to slowly and methodically move the steering column back to wards the steering wheel in stages until you have all the gears again.

Many years ago I came down heavily after a high yump on a rally and the impact with my weight on the steering wheel forced the column forwards. I lost reverse. As the day progressed I was having difficulty with 1st and 2nd as well so had to re-adjust the column at a service point.

Hope above helps to resolve the problem
17/07/2006 00:18:17   John Wood ( "Woody")   Errata : 3rd = 1st and 1st = 3rd  
17/07/2006 12:29:29   chrisP   Hi
If it's any help I just put a tape on my 96 engine stay it's 8 3/8" from the inner wing to the outside of the bracket on the engine.  
25/07/2006 08:50:34   Drew B   Finally, limited success!!!!

many thanks to all those who replied. I printed out Woody's instructions last weekend, and finally got around to taking a look at the problem today.

First up, I adjusted the column/lock assembly as far down the steering column as it would go, and tightened it. It's in pretty much the same position it was originally. Check linkage, still no 3rd or 4th gears.

Next up, made sure adjustment of engine stay was ok, which it was. End of bolt is roughly level with folded edge of rocker cover.

Then adjusted the gearbox stay to the nearside, which made things worse.....before adjusting, it felt like it wasn't far off the mark. Upon adjustment, all I got was 1st and 2nd again. Adjusted stay towards right side (loosened it) and gained third gear but no 4th. There's still adjustment left, but gave up for the day when darkness set in..... hopefully I can get it working tomorrow. Whilst fiddling with the stay, I noticed that the rubber seems to be shot, so wondered if this may have something to do with the problem. Anyone?

Woody, did you mean adjust the transmission stay towards the RHS or the LHS? Adjusting towards the RHS seems to drop the gearbox and selector shaft back away from the linkage, giving the universal joints and linkage more movement.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.......


25/07/2006 12:39:50   Richard   Pull the wheel back (well probably hit it) with the gear change bolts undone, the column will have been push forward on its colapsable slidie thingy (see Johns comment)  
27/07/2006 01:08:27   John Wood ("Woody")   With the column in the forward position, can you still get reverse? Yes I did mean to adjust towards the left side. This was working on the idea that you were being restricted from selecting 3rd & 4th because 1)the column assy was too far forward and 2)the gear shaft movement was being restricted because the transmission was canted over too far to the right. I might add that too far might only be a millimetre or so. I had similar trouble about 30 years ago and It did take a while to sort. Though in my case the universal joints were worn, with broken tension springs. It is annoying that the problem has not been resolved.
I believe that when you got third gear, I think 4th selection is not far away. Try taking the column back a shade.  
27/07/2006 01:10:25   John Wood ("Woody")   Too far to the right means to the drivers side of car (RHD)  
27/07/2006 12:36:44   Drew B   Problem sorted!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

Took some time out this arvo to get things fixed, so adjusted both the engine and transmission stays over towards the RHS and got fourth gear back! When tightening the transmission stay, I noticed that the insulating rubbers where the rod fits through the bracket were pretty much non-existent, causing the gearbox to lay over to one side a few mm more than it normally would. I reckon this has happened while it's been in storage, as the stay is pretty much straight under the battery carrier in which a badly sulphated battery had sat, leaking acidic residue onto everything below. It's amazing how things can deteriorate even in one year!

Anyway, tightened everything up, including the column bracket bolts under the dash, and headed off down the street - much to the amazement of various onlookers...... and she drove perfectly! It selects all gears as it should, even reverse locks in nicely.

So all I have to do is replace the rubbers sometime, if they're still available. Any ideas, folks?

Many thanks to all those who posted replies, and especially to Woody for his invaluable advice - much appreciated!


27/07/2006 12:44:05   Woody   Hi Drew, I have some spares  

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