Author Topic: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.  (Read 2794 times)

DeCaff2007

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Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« on: March 26, 2017, 06:38:33 PM »
Gents, I didn't see this topic here, so since I made a side project while waiting on parts.....  I thought I'd post this.  Feel free to add anything I may have missed.

This is my automatic shifter assembly from a 76 T/A.  400/TH350.  I guess they are all the same.  Mine isn't terrible, but it's filthy to the point where it's unacceptable to re-install it this way.  I would say it took me less than 45 minutes to tear everything apart.  Cleaning and reassembly time may vary lol.



First off, here are all of the tools you will need:



You may not even need the punch, depending on how stuck the dowel pins are.

Start by removing these two bolts on both sides of the shifter assembly.  This will free up the plastic guides. 



Once the bolts are removed, the passenger side guide will slide out the rear, and vice versa.  It may take some force, and your guides probably have cracked or broken corners.  This is common and the parts are readily available.



Next, we are going to remove the only spring on the whole assembly.  It's on the very bottom of the shift shaft itself. 



Start by removing the bottom part of the spring first.  This way, you will not be fighting the spring tension to totally remove it.  Simply grab it with needle nose pliers and press down and out.



The top of the spring slides out very easily after that.



Then grab the internal part of the shift shaft and pull it straight out.  It may take some force depending on the condition of your shifter assembly.





With that out of the way, we can now remove the linkage that connects the shifter shaft to the shift cable, which leads to the transmission.  Pull out this retaining clip. 



Then remove the shift shaft from the linkage.





You should now be able to swing the linkage up and toward you, to expose the remaining retaining clip.



Remove it with needle nose pliers.  If you can remove the dowel, fine.  If not, read on.

I could not remove my dowel pin, so I removed this last retaining clip with needle nose pliers.  With that last clip gone, the dowel pin may or may not slide right out.  Mine of course did not, and it's not a straight shot with a drift, so I used a pair of diagonal cutters to remove the last dowel pin.  You will have to perform this last step regardless, but I'm just showing how I had to do mine.





With that pain in the rear out of the way, you should be able to totally remove the shift linkage from the shifter assembly.



Since I couldn't remove that one previous dowel pin, I had to smack it out with the linkage in a vise, using a drift/hammer.





Last step.  If it's still there, there should be a small "S" clip on the front of the shifter assembly.  I believe this to line up the console during installation.  Not totally sure.  It removes quite easily with needle nose pliers.



Here's everything all disassembled and laid out.



Now for the fun part.  Cleaning!  I used carb cleaner, a wire wheel, and some clean rags to make everything look shiny.



You can even lightly wire wheel (brass wheel) the chromed shift shaft to clean and polish it.  Go easy on it and it won't scratch.



You may also want to grease up the rails where the bushings will install.  I used Universal GM grease for this application.



Reassembly, as much as I hate to say it, it the opposite of reverse.  There's nothing that needs real attention or precautions of lining up or adjusting.  It really is that simple (which could explain why even I was able to do it.)

Finished!



1976 T/A 400, 4-speed swap.... 

Check out my resto thread:  http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=48626.0

It's all trial and error until something lines up...

Dandy77

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 08:42:09 PM »
That looks great. But what about painting it and keep it from rusting?

maltoch

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 11:30:43 PM »
i did this.
if you have lateral play because the big plastic tabs are used .
you can add 2 very flat shims on one side and if the gap is always there, use 2 others flat round shims onthe other side.

I AM FRENCH AND LIVE IN FRANCE
job :champagne
food : snails, frogs and fromage.
hobbies : 79 formula

FormTA

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 04:22:04 AM »
Thanks Decaff for taking the time to photograph, upload, type explanations and otherwise post this info. Someday I may or others may need this ( I for one will probably not remember it is out there and if I do, I probably won't be able to find it. This doesn't diminish the value of this post just my memory ability).
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

DeCaff2007

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 06:04:05 AM »
Thanks Decaff for taking the time to photograph, upload, type explanations and otherwise post this info. Someday I may or others may need this ( I for one will probably not remember it is out there and if I do, I probably won't be able to find it. This doesn't diminish the value of this post just my memory ability).

Then, hey mods, maybe make this thread a STICKY?  It would be my first one ever. 

Like I said, the thing was too filthy to just bolt back on.  I also have other things hindering my progress so I thought I'd tackle the project.

Aus78Formula:  Plating?  That looks like bare metal.  What did you use?

That looks great. But what about painting it and keep it from rusting?

I had thought about that.  Pointless since no one will ever see it.  The rust wasn't all that bad in the 40 years since it was manufactured.  I'm not going to worry about it for another 40, lol.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 06:12:57 AM by DeCaff2007 »
1976 T/A 400, 4-speed swap.... 

Check out my resto thread:  http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=48626.0

It's all trial and error until something lines up...

Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 06:04:05 AM »

Grand73Am

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 05:49:56 PM »
Nice documentation of the standard shifter assembly.

One thing to point out is that there's also different factory "rally slap shift" shifter, which has some mechanical differences, so people who have a rally shifter should know that things will be different on their shifter.
Steve F.

roadking77

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 05:57:24 PM »
What is the rally slap shifter? is that the same as a Hurst dual gate?
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Grand73Am

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 07:45:04 PM »
No, it's an optional factory shifter. It was available from 1970 and up, but not as plentiful as they were from 79-81. Looks just like your shifter, but the mechanism is different down below. The quickest clue to having a rally shifter is that the shifter handle is spring loaded so you can push it to the right. To manually shift, you pull it down into low, accelerate, then push it to the right and forward. It has a stop to stop in 2nd gear, so you don't accidentally shift into 3rd. Accelerate in 2nd, and push it right and forward again and it stops in 3rd gear. Here's a little video I just made so you can see how it works:   

https://youtu.be/RYJo-vM8ffM

Steve F.

olds403

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 08:52:36 PM »
Very Nice....now I reason to do the one in the TATA.

Aus78Formula

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 02:12:13 AM »
There was a forum rebuild somewhere before that was good. Also, a recent Firebird/Camaro/Muscle car magazine covered a rebuild in last year or 2.

The most obvious way to tell is the chunky spring in the base and the pivot point in the shifter stick. Here's a neat pic from The Part Guy:

http://thepartguy.com/images/products/shifters/SlapShifterZINC(SecondGen)-6.JPG

gstrandfarm9420

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 09:12:02 AM »
If you had to get parts where would you find them, such as the plastic guides?

Aus78Formula

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 05:52:25 PM »
I'm not aware of any new parts. I had to combine 3 assembles into 2 as two of them both had one plastic slider cracked. Problem is you usually can't tell until pulled down and cleaned.

DeCaff2007

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 06:09:01 PM »
I'm not aware of any new parts. I had to combine 3 assembles into 2 as two of them both had one plastic slider cracked. Problem is you usually can't tell until pulled down and cleaned.

LoL and like that's so difficult.
1976 T/A 400, 4-speed swap.... 

Check out my resto thread:  http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=48626.0

It's all trial and error until something lines up...

Aus78Formula

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 06:13:10 PM »
It's fairly difficult sourcing them and they aren't cheap here.

Grand73Am

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 06:34:18 PM »


LoL and like that's so difficult.

Did you watch my video, that I posted a link to above, to see the rally shifter difference?
Steve F.

Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 06:34:18 PM »



Mace1971

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 09:59:46 AM »
The S Clip on front holds the wire to the shift position indicator backlight. 
1971 T/A 455 HO.

"Some people are like a Slinky.  Not good for much but they sure bring a smile to your face when you push them down some stairs."

gstrandfarm9420

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 06:07:50 PM »
WellI tore mine down and cleaned it all up, 1 slide had a crack but is still intact so will live another day. works nice on the bench. got a new cable coming so should feel like a new shifter!

rdx

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 10:23:17 AM »
Nice write up! I'm having issue in which I loose either park or 1st depending on how I adjust the cable at the transmission lever and seems like I can't get it to work. I took the console out and I see the shifter is hitting the stops before it can fully engage the gear I'm loosing. I've been searching and I'm not sure what might be wrong. Any ideas?
1967 GTO / 400 H.O. - 4spd
1973 Firebird / 67 400 - TH400
1996 Formula / LT1 - 4L60e

Garry

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2017, 11:02:31 AM »
Nice write up! I'm having issue in which I loose either park or 1st depending on how I adjust the cable at the transmission lever and seems like I can't get it to work. I took the console out and I see the shifter is hitting the stops before it can fully engage the gear I'm loosing. I've been searching and I'm not sure what might be wrong. Any ideas?

Cable might be pushing out at the crimp. When you adjust the cable you do it in neutral.

Aus78Formula

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2017, 12:51:54 PM »
I'm not aware of any new parts. I had to combine 3 assembles into 2 as two of them both had one plastic slider cracked. Problem is you usually can't tell until pulled down and cleaned.

LoL and like that's so difficult.

??

PonchoVia

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2018, 04:10:37 PM »
Nice documentation of the standard shifter assembly.

One thing to point out is that there's also different factory "rally slap shift" shifter, which has some mechanical differences, so people who have a rally shifter should know that things will be different on their shifter.

 Exactly one year later, and I’m cruising through this thread, and read about the rally shifter. I had no idea it existed, didn’t realize I had one already! Thanks for bringing it up!
'80 Trans Am

737driver

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2018, 09:03:58 AM »
this is a really good read! Is there any chance to repost the pics somehow?
Very god right up though!
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1972Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird

TammyTA

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2018, 09:23:49 PM »
I hope you can repost them too. I used them some time back to rebuild mine.  Thx.

gstrandfarm9420

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2018, 06:07:08 PM »
Having taken the shifter apart , cleaned and lubed it and replaced the cable... it does move easier but there is still too much slop in it I think. Like the guy said you either lose park or 1st which is aggravated by that #** back column linkage. What do you folks think, try to fine tune it somehow or just get a B &M console unit? On a side note, does the B&M use the OE neutral safety/ reverse light switch or their own? Thanks for any suggestions

Aus78Formula

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2018, 08:40:21 PM »
You can just source another shifter unit or 2 for spares, and use the least worn parts and cracked sliders. I've got 4, so they u can't be too hard to find in the US.

I get bored easily when I can't get car completed, so I decided to rebuild some and have plated with other parts to save cost.

Shifter used 9 by Aus78Formula, on Flickr

Firebird shifter 3spd replated1 by Aus78Formula, on Flickr

FormTA

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2018, 10:26:42 PM »
Gents, I didn't see this topic here, so since I made a side project while waiting on parts.....  I thought I'd post this.  Feel free to add anything I may have missed.

This is my automatic shifter assembly from a 76 T/A.  400/TH350.  I guess they are all the same.  Mine isn't terrible, but it's filthy to the point where it's unacceptable to re-install it this way.  I would say it took me less than 45 minutes to tear everything apart.  Cleaning and reassembly time may vary lol.



First off, here are all of the tools you will need:



You may not even need the punch, depending on how stuck the dowel pins are.

Start by removing these two bolts on both sides of the shifter assembly.  This will free up the plastic guides. 



Once the bolts are removed, the passenger side guide will slide out the rear, and vice versa.  It may take some force, and your guides probably have cracked or broken corners.  This is common and the parts are readily available.



Next, we are going to remove the only spring on the whole assembly.  It's on the very bottom of the shift shaft itself. 



Start by removing the bottom part of the spring first.  This way, you will not be fighting the spring tension to totally remove it.  Simply grab it with needle nose pliers and press down and out.



The top of the spring slides out very easily after that.



Then grab the internal part of the shift shaft and pull it straight out.  It may take some force depending on the condition of your shifter assembly.





With that out of the way, we can now remove the linkage that connects the shifter shaft to the shift cable, which leads to the transmission.  Pull out this retaining clip. 



Then remove the shift shaft from the linkage.





You should now be able to swing the linkage up and toward you, to expose the remaining retaining clip.



Remove it with needle nose pliers.  If you can remove the dowel, fine.  If not, read on.

I could not remove my dowel pin, so I removed this last retaining clip with needle nose pliers.  With that last clip gone, the dowel pin may or may not slide right out.  Mine of course did not, and it's not a straight shot with a drift, so I used a pair of diagonal cutters to remove the last dowel pin.  You will have to perform this last step regardless, but I'm just showing how I had to do mine.





With that pain in the rear out of the way, you should be able to totally remove the shift linkage from the shifter assembly.



Since I couldn't remove that one previous dowel pin, I had to smack it out with the linkage in a vise, using a drift/hammer.





Last step.  If it's still there, there should be a small "S" clip on the front of the shifter assembly.  I believe this to line up the console during installation.  Not totally sure.  It removes quite easily with needle nose pliers.



Here's everything all disassembled and laid out.



Now for the fun part.  Cleaning!  I used carb cleaner, a wire wheel, and some clean rags to make everything look shiny.



You can even lightly wire wheel (brass wheel) the chromed shift shaft to clean and polish it.  Go easy on it and it won't scratch.



You may also want to grease up the rails where the bushings will install.  I used Universal GM grease for this application.



Reassembly, as much as I hate to say it, it the opposite of reverse.  There's nothing that needs real attention or precautions of lining up or adjusting.  It really is that simple (which could explain why even I was able to do it.)

Finished!







What a pain... But I think I fixed them all for him/ you...
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 10:32:13 PM by FormTA »
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

737driver

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2018, 10:51:30 PM »
The Pics are great!!!
thx,
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1972Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird

Aus78Formula

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2018, 10:57:19 PM »
That quote thing works??

I just spent close to 2 hrs swapping Pbucket images to Flickr for another old post :(

FormTA

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Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2018, 05:03:09 AM »
Quote and then add ~original behind every link...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 07:07:53 AM by FormTA »
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Re: Automatic Shifter Assembly teardown and rebuild.
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2018, 05:03:09 AM »
You can help support TAC!