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Joined: Jan 2003
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Sorry to ask so many questions. Trying to sort out my 1956 Bel air 6 cylinder with auto trans.

My automatic transmission gearshift selector has some slop in it. It does not click into gear like it should. It works fine, I just have to move the selector over the marked gears carefully.

Any idea what might be causing this?

Thanks.


Wilwood Engineering1955-1957

Willwood Engineering

Wilwood Engineering designs and manufactures high-performance disc brake systems.
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My first thought is wear in the linkage or improper adjustment of the linkage.


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There is a bell crank welded to the frame. It has a bushing in the lever that needs replacing. Available from 55-57 vendors.


Gene Schneider
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The guidance you are getting is on target. There is normal wear in the linkage as well as the detent plate and pawl that runs on the plate.

Think about all the pivot points and connections in that linkage. Remember that there are some inside the transmission. If each one wears just a little the accumulation can create a lot of slop.

Gene’s recommendation to replace that bushing is good advice. When you do that look at the ends of the various rods. If they are worn you might need to either replace them or have them built-up with weld and filed or turned to size. They do do not to be perfect but do need to fit snugly.


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Thanks. I will start with the Bell Crank Bushing.

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I see the piece welded to the frame and there is a single rod coming out of it. It appears that there are two white bushings on this rod and linkage going to each bushing. When I bought the bushings it came with two white bushings. Is this the rod that they go on?

Also, it appears that the majority of the slop in the linkage is by the transmission. Those rods have springs and cotter pins but I don't see any bushings. Should they have them? If not, I can't see any other way how they should be tightened.

I can't find any photos on line of this.

Thanks.

Last edited by DSVW; 11/24/21 04:04 PM.
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I doubt if there were bushings at that second location. My best guess is that you are seeing the results of wear on the rod ends and holes in the arms. Also the springs could be broken or just weak and not putting enough pressure on the rod to keep it tight.

One trick I have used with this type connection is to put 2 washers on the rod and capture the arm between them. I get the best results if I use a washer with a hole size the fits snugly on the rod end. I often start with a washer that has a smaller hole and open it up with a round file. That way each washer fits tightly in each location. Typically it was to be a thinner rather than thicker washer.

The washers will help keep the rod end perpendicular to the arm. You will still have some slop due to wear on the rod end and the hole in the arm.


Rusty

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The white plastic thimgs are bushings that ride on the bell crank shaft and are inserted into the openings in the bell crank lever.


Gene Schneider
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Thanks everyone, I am almost there. I am replacing all of the bushings in the linkage.

There seems to be two springs in this steering column to help line up and secure the shift lever so it lines up with Park, N D L R.

The actual shift lever spring seems fine.....there is plenty of spring in the lever when I go to shift.

My problem is trying to get it to line up with the Park, N D L R markings.

I have narrowed it down to the shift indicator spring bracket. Do I need to remove the entire steering column to get to it? There is nothing in my manual or online that I can find that covers this. Many thanks for this website and for the help.

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The 1955-57 midels were often dfficult to get into Park. If the teeth on the pawl did not engauge quickly you can put it in drive so the car barely moves and then Park.
To go into Park it is necssary to pull the lever towards you . This allows the shifter tube inside the steering mast jacket to slide. It this event you can slip back the rubber boot at the base of the lever and spray WD40 insie so it runs down inside of the column. This is what my '57 required.

Last edited by Chev Nut; 12/03/21 09:04 PM.

Gene Schneider
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I have replaced both rubber bushings (one has a metal sleeve) in the shifter linkage. I have also replaced the hard plastic bushings that go on the front bell crank.

My car will not go into reverse. I am going to replace my transmission mounts, I believe they are original and are shot.

I have noticed that I have a lot of play in the control shift linkage bell crank, that is located on the driver's side of the transmission.
This bell crank rides on a very large stud. It has two holes and is held onto this stud with a clip. It does not use bushings.

Is there a way to fix the play on this bell crank? Metal bushings in the holes? I am having trouble locating a new one.

There is quite a bit of play in this and I think it is the reason I can't get int reverse.

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Trying to fix worn linkage pivots takes patience and ingenuity. You have to address the wear to the holes as well as the pivot shafts.

For the holes you can either build them up with weld and drill the hole to original size or drill the hole oversize and install some type of bushing.

The pivot shafts are more typically more difficult to repair. Replacement is the best solution. You can try to build up the worn portion with weld material. Even JB Weld might make a difference. Then file or grind the pivot shaft to size.


Rusty

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Thank you for your help. I would purchase a new pivot shaft and bellcrank but can't find anything online. The search for those parts goes on....


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