Seeking advice- Shift lever for 1978 with H55F conversion

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Jul 21, 2021
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11
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virginia
Seeking advice or recommendations-

I have recently acquired a '78 40. The PO knew almost nothing about the truck but it has a 5spd transmission- has to be an H55F.

The shift lever that came with it appears to be the original 4spd. It did fit right and had ~3 inches of play/wobble when in gear. Pictured:

8LYOunb.jpg


I bought an H55F shift lever, which is clearly for a different vehicle (60/62?). It fits the trans like it was made to and feels 1000% better. Zero play and shifts easier, but I have an angle problem:

gZGQHqY.jpg


Seems like I have three options:

1- Heat/bend shifter. I doubt I will be able to pull this off without melting the rubber liner on this two-piece lever. I would also prefer original tall shift lever.
2- Cut both shifters, splice together. Ruins two perfectly good assemblies.
3- Cut H55F shifter, weld and thread on rod to imitate original. Preferred.


Thoughts?



Also, the truck:
YeRQeOm.jpg


Lot going on with this (H55F conversion, power steering, OME dakar lift, A/C, on-board air, rear locker, speakers and 12" sub, tuffy box, spare carrier gone, interior bedlined, some bondo'd body panel pitting, EMPI weber knock off carb, cut for flares) but does have a low miles 2F and is cleaner than most. Runs great... drove it several hours back from purchase. I'd like to "resto-mod" it eventually and get it back to original color from the data plate (olive green).

Thanks
 

Engineer8000

CAPE FEAR ELECTRONICS
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I have read where people have successfully heated and bent the 5 spd shifter cane without melting the rubber isolator. Mine came loose about 5 years after bending while changing the knob. I bought a tube of shoe goo rubber cement and glued it back together a couple years ago with no problems since.

If it comes loose again, I have some left over material from my kitchen project I will use. It is a bostic product that is primarily used for roof membrane service. It stays flexible and adheres like nothing else. I used it to glue a 60 lb cast iron fire back to cement board on the wall above my range. An idea I got from TOH. They tried a little to hide the product information on the show but Tommy let it out.
 
Joined
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The LHD 60 series cane is probably the furthest off where you want to be. But also appears to be the only shift cane still available new. Only have a used LHD 60 series because it came in a package deal with a 40 series top cover for the H55F. The 60 series cane still sold is designed to be used with a 3F bellhousing that rotates the transmission clockwise. This actually works as advantage on RHD canes and disadvantage on LHD canes when using it on a 40 series.

60 Series LHD.
IMG_20200219_132805936.jpg


60 series RHD.
IMG_20200219_132948469.jpg


70 series RHD.
IMG_20200219_133046351.jpg


Have not been able to find a 70 series LHD cane. Not sure if the 3F bellhousing it is designed to work with will make it any better than the 70 series RHD shift cane. If I don't straighten out the bend in the RHD BJ42 shift cane will probably do a slight bent in the 70 series RHD shift cane using a press and no heat.
 
Joined
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Messages
11
Location
virginia
The LHD 60 series cane is probably the furthest off where you want to be. But also appears to be the only shift cane still available new. Only have a used LHD 60 series because it came in a package deal with a 40 series top cover for the H55F. The 60 series cane still sold is designed to be used with a 3F bellhousing that rotates the transmission clockwise. This actually works as advantage on RHD canes and disadvantage on LHD canes when using it on a 40 series.

60 Series LHD.View attachment 2995959

60 series RHD.
View attachment 2995958

70 series RHD.
View attachment 2995960

Have not been able to find a 70 series LHD cane. Not sure if the 3F bellhousing it is designed to work with will make it any better than the 70 series RHD shift cane. If I don't straighten out the bend in the RHD BJ42 shift cane will probably do a slight bent in the 70 series RHD shift cane using a press and no heat.

Fantastic information, and thank you. If you don't mind, how can I identify a 40-series top cover on the H55f? I am assuming that mine has one, but other things on this vehicle are one-off fabbed so nothing would surprise.

All- I appreciate the input. Anyone have experience modifying one of these to look like the original, long/skinny shift lever?

I'll try to bend mine first just to have it running without hitting the seat or anything in the cup holder.
 
Joined
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Messages
21,423
Fantastic information, and thank you. If you don't mind, how can I identify a 40-series top cover on the H55f? I am assuming that mine has one, but other things on this vehicle are one-off fabbed so nothing would surprise.

All- I appreciate the input. Anyone have experience modifying one of these to look like the original, long/skinny shift lever?

I'll try to bend mine first just to have it running without hitting the seat or anything in the cup holder.


The shifter on the 40 series cover is further forward. Yours is most likely a 60 series cover. The speakers on the transmission cover would not fit if you have a 40 series cover.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Here are a couple pictures of a four speed from a FJ60 I copied from for sale section. Five speed cover is a little taller but shift tower location is the same front to back and side to side on a 60 series with a H55F.
FEDEBE4A-0B89-41D2-B9B4-E52ED8E0AA93.jpeg
73ECDEA6-D4F3-4E6F-B6FA-30EAA2471F1A.jpeg

Here is a side view of a 40 series H55F top cover.
IMG_20200219_141020196.jpg

There are a couple of threads on the 40 series cover being reproduced. Other than that used is the best to hope for. Someone from a new old stock cover a few years back but wouldn't count on finding one and if you did would most likely be very pricey.
 
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362
Location
Minnesota
If you know somebody with a induction heater for heating up nuts/bolts, that's a slick way to do it I'm told. The heat is in one little area and easy to control.

Mine needs to be bent, I haven't done it yet. I was going to wait until the swap was done then tackle it, but I think the shop doing the swap is going to handle it for me. I can bounce the shift knob off of the console if I'm being more aggressive than necessary.
 
Joined
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Messages
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If you know somebody with a induction heater for heating up nuts/bolts, that's a slick way to do it I'm told. The heat is in one little area and easy to control.


Never worked with an induction heater, my back ground is HVAC. Have worked in that field for years. For things like TXVs and reversing valves used a paste called Heat Trap between the actual devise and the fitting being brazed. Copper transmits heater better than steel but were also dealing with tubing not a solid piece. Besides the Heat Trap also wrapped the devise with a wet rag. Not really much advantage wrapping the wider part of the shift cane since the rubber section between the two acts as a insulator to heat as well as vibration. Since heat rises have the wide section lower and keeping a rag wet on the end of the solid skinny section just before in goes inside the wider section would help. Also heating it quickly and bending then cooling off would allow less heat to travel under the wide section.

The idea behind applying heat on a frozen nut is the nut expands quicker than the bolt and breaks the rusted bond between the two. Heating to bend is different.
 

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