TAC Tech => Interior => Topic started by: Aus78Formula on May 15, 2019, 07:41:48 AM

Title: Ratchet shifters
Post by: Aus78Formula on May 15, 2019, 07:41:48 AM
Was there a specific option or package that would get it over a regular shifter? It at least appears that the plastic slider strip #500838 gained the oblong shifter handle hole for the Rallye shifter back in '69, instead of regular round, which then appears to have seen it through the entire Firebird range regardless of shifter used. I'm not sure if the standard Camaro round hole strip was used on early models, or similar, but I've never seen it. Seems they were around at either end of the 70's, and rare in the middle. I guess the question I was asking, was there ever a second slider strip used with round hole?
Title: Re: Ratchet shifters
Post by: firebirdparts on May 15, 2019, 11:50:25 AM
It's complicated enough that I don't really ever try to have it straight.  The slap shifter was developed in 1969 and it may have gone completely out of production before coming back as a W72 item in 1977.  I have the same idea as you.  More common the farther away you get from 1975.

I can answer the question about the plastic thing.  Absolutely yes, they made one with a round hole.
Title: Re: Ratchet shifters
Post by: another10th on May 15, 2019, 07:51:32 PM
I had the same ratchet shifter in a 69 Grand Prix. Every T/A I owned (with an automatic) had it. But, of course, I haven't had one of every year. It was also available in other GM models, not dependent on performance models. For example, my mother had a 74 Chevrolet Malibu Classic. It had a 350-2 bbl. The only thing sporty about it was two doors and bucket seats with console. But it had the same ratchet shifter. Go figure.
Title: Re: Ratchet shifters
Post by: Aus78Formula on May 15, 2019, 08:09:59 PM
Thanks Guys, I've owned 3 over the years, bought as spares and never in a car. But at least 2 of the shifters when I had been chatting to the previous owners, neither had been aware that it wasn't a regular shifter and seemed confused by what I was talking about. The date codes on mine were 12/78 and 2 from 1980.

There isn't much in the way of official literature that refers to it. The shifter assembly is already shown as a complete unit and not individual components. The 1976 Assembly manual doesn't refer to a second shifter type. The 1980 Assembly manual has two different shifter assembly numbers for complete units, the second is only for WS4 and WS6 option. It does not specify separate options or when it had both.

When I rebuilt an Overdrive shifter for my own car, I looked at the option of using my first Ratchet shifter. Some basic tests showed it was possible, as well as adding the custom gear detent with extra gear notch, you would need to replace the ratchet side plate with 3 stops instead of 2 and respace to suit new gear locations. But I decided it wasn't something I wanted enough to bother with since it would just be a cruiser.
Title: Re: Ratchet shifters
Post by: Jack on May 15, 2019, 08:19:57 PM
For whatever it's worth my 71 Espirt did not have it, but since there are so many of them out there I swapped one in. My 72 had a B&M mega shifter which seemed more common to me.

Funny thing I've never used it and I don't think I know how lol.
Title: Re: Ratchet shifters
Post by: Grand73Am on May 16, 2019, 07:11:06 AM
Factory ratchet shifter operation: