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LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: 406Vair ()
Date: May 15, 2017 12:37PM

Hey Guys,

My 68 Monza has the requisite sloppy shifter. I have an American Pi coupler coming as well as a rebuild kit from Clarks. I'm anxious to get the shifter rebuilt.

Before I tear into that project, I do have a question about the Corvair shifter.

When in neutral, my shifter has no spring action returning it to center. If I move the shifter lever in neutral to the left, it just stays left. I move to the right, it just stays to the right. In every other manual transmission car I've driven, the shifter had some spring action returning the shift lever to center in neutral.

Should my Corvair shift lever have some spring action to it in neutral? I know there is a spring in the shift lever housing, but if its not providing any spring action in the shift lever itself, what is it there for?

Is that how its supposed to be? Will the rebuild kit correct some of that? Does my actual shift lever mechanisim need to be rebuilt?

I'm just trying to figure out what's "normal" for a 68 shifter, and get parts coming if there is something else I might need beyond Clarks Ultimate Shift Rebuild Kit.

Thanks as always for you help

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: May 15, 2017 12:45PM

It should have spring action towards the 3-4 side of the shifter. Both of my cars have to be moved to the left to engage 1st or 2nd as well as a gentle "click" and up for reverse.
I would take it apart and inspect the pins and the inside of the aluminum housing for wear. The spring might also be broken or missing.

Lee J
Southern New Jersey near Philly.
1966 Corsa 180/4 speed
1969 Monza convertible 140/4 speed

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: May 15, 2017 12:53PM

And there's a good chance the Coupler will fix that also





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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: dragvairclark ()
Date: May 15, 2017 02:05PM

The spring in the floor shifter just holds it together and prevents it from flopping around. The left/right action is a detent in the transmission in the transmission!

Clark Hartzel, Fraser, MI
1965 Monza coupe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2017 02:15PM by dragvairclark.

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: dragvairclark ()
Date: May 15, 2017 02:20PM

Oops, my last post should say a spring loaded detent in the transmission. I wasn't allowed to fix the original post

Clark Hartzel, Fraser, MI
1965 Monza coupe

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: Allan Lacki ()
Date: May 15, 2017 02:23PM

This is the thing that makes the shift lever spring towards the 3-4 gate: Go to the online Clark's Corvair Parts catalog and look up the following.

Part number C3392: SEAT-SHIFT LEVER SPRING-65-69 CARS ID=.750

They're out of stock right now, but you get the idea. The seat is located in the shifter housing. Disassemble the shifter housing, clean out all the glop, flip or replace the two pins, and reassemble.

The toughest part of the job is removing the retainer ring that holds the whole thing together. I put the housing in a vice and use a piece of PVC pipe. Press down on the pipe and rotate it to release the retainer ring.

To remove the pins, keep the housing in your vice and tap them out with a punch. To install them, squeeze them in with a big C-clamp or your vice if it's big enough.

You need to install the seat in the right position, otherwise it will spring the lever toward the 1-2 gate instead! (Ask me how I know....).

By the way, the shifter housing is die-cast zinc, a.k.a. pot metal, not aluminum.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2017 02:29PM by Allan Lacki.

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: phill66 ()
Date: May 15, 2017 05:11PM

Here's a recent Forum thread concerning the shift tube stabilizer. You might check
your's to see if it is in place and functional, i.e., stabilizing the shift tube.
Mine was completely removed by the previous owner.

[corvaircenter.com]

I made some other modifications to tighten up the shifter like welding the coupling
shaft to the coupling head, but not to the shift rod itself. The coupling has a
rubber bushing inside that allows it to flex a little, especially after it wears
out. I believe the purpose was to attenuate or isolate possible vibration from the
shift shaft thru the coupling and shift rod. I haven't noticed any additional vibration,
but it did stiffen up the shifting somewhat.

I also made new shift tube bushings using CPVC. I tried the Clark's brass shift tube
bushings, but due to shift rod irregularities, I couldn't get them to work properly.
Don't ask me how the shift rod got some minor distortions that prevented
it from passing thru the rigid brass bushings, but it did.

[corvaircenter.com]

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: May 15, 2017 06:05PM

Phil:

My shift rod had the same irregularities that prevent it from sliding through the Clark's bushing. Took all day but I got the irregularities out. Pain in the b.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1966 Corsa Turbo Coupe, 180 hp 4 Spd
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2015 GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: phill66 ()
Date: May 16, 2017 06:06AM

Well Lane, you met that test of manhood and persevered. I don't understand how they
get small humps, bumps and lumps and out-of-round unless manufactured that way.
The rod is not exposed to any undercarriage road hazards or projectiles. Must be
a result of stress caused by years of twisting during shifting. My CPVC homemade
bushings have worked well for 5K + miles now. They're inexpensive too.

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: May 16, 2017 06:50AM

dragvairclark Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The spring in the floor shifter just holds it
> together and prevents it from flopping around.
> The left/right action is a detent in the
> transmission in the transmission!

This seems odd. My shifter sitting on the bench is spring loaded over towards the 3-4 gate. Caused I believe by item #33, which can be install backwards.

[www.corvair.com]


'64 Monza Coupe 140 4 speed
'61 700 Lakewood 95 4 speed
'69 Monza Convert. 140 Auto.

Been aircooled since 1973
Northwest Ohio

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: 406Vair ()
Date: May 16, 2017 11:11AM

Thanks guys for your help! I think I'll do the rebuild kit and new coupler first, and see how it feels. If it still feels sloppy or has no spring action, I'll dig into the shift lever mechanism.

I'm anxious to get this done. Shifting has been one of the few let downs of driving this car, but sounds like it can be dramatically improved.

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Re: LM Shifter Question, any return spring action in shift lever?
Posted by: phill66 ()
Date: May 16, 2017 12:12PM

Per WagonMaster:
>My shifter sitting on the bench is spring loaded over towards the 3-4 gate

My shifter installed in the vehicle and in neutral is spring loaded towards the
3-4 gate also. Although I disassembled the shift lever and fulcrum assy when
rehabbing the shift tube/rod/coupler assy, I reassembled it as I found it. Since
it functions properly, I assume it was and is correctly configured.

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