1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The "No Slop" FJ62 shifter mods

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by Spook50, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    588
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    After almost 22 years, my 62's shifter was in sad shape. Even with new OEM bushings and proper adjustment per the FSM, it still had a lot of lateral and fore/aft slop. So the other day I decided to take a break from my current projects (and troubleshooting) to tackle this and fix it for good.

    The first order of business was to lose the OEM urethane bushings and install bronze bushings from Lowe's. The proper bushings are Hillman part# 882995. Lowe's is the only place I've seen them, which makes me wonder if they own or have exclusive rights to retail Hillman stuff. Anyway, the bushings are just slightly smaller ID than the pivot rod, which is easily remedied by a little (VERY little) massaging with a sandpaper drum attachment on a Dremel. The OD was also slightly larger than the ID of the shifter mount bracket (the gate assembly), so they had to be turned down slightly. This took a little while as I kept taking off just a bit, then test fitting until they were a snug fit inside the bracket. I just put the bushings on the pivot rod and tightened the nuts on either end to secure them, put the rod in my drill and spun it on high speed while I slid a file back and forth along them.

    Poor man's lathe :hillbilly:
    [​IMG]

    The bushings installed in place of the OEM ones
    [​IMG]

    This alone made a considerable difference. Lateral slop was greatly reduced and the shifter felt much more "solid" for lack of a better way to put it. Credit for coming up with this goes to doctorjj, who I shamelessly copied :D

    Next up was to find a way to correct the fore/aft slop. If you look at the pivot rod, you can see flat portions machined on to it that the vertical linkage and the shifter handle slide onto. After 20+ years and 246K miles, those can wear pretty good, which was the case with mine. Instead of plunk down what I thought was way too much for a new rod and handle, I pulled the whole thing out, including the vertical linkage. I installed the shift rod onto the vertical linkage and secured it. Then I secured it into a vice, punched it, then with a drill press I drilled a 1/8" hole through it. The hole now goes through the vertical linkage AND the pivot rod.

    The hole drilled through the linkage and rod:
    [​IMG]

    I then drove a 1/8" tension pin through the hole once the assembly was installed back into my truck:
    [​IMG]

    I did the same thing for the shift handle as well. One important note is that it is absolutely CRUCIAL that you use a drill press with a vice installed to ensure that the bit goes straight through the center and does not walk. You don't have any room for error here and if you **** it up, you're pretty much stuck with a broken vertical linkage and pivot rod, which could leave you without a truck in the worst case while you wait to get new parts shipped to you.

    Handle drilled and pin installed:
    [​IMG]

    While I was pulling the vertical linkage off I saw that the linkage under the truck is connected with steel sleeves and hardened rubber bushings.

    Old bushing at the connection point:
    [​IMG]

    More potential for slop, so I picked up an aluminum cable end that ended up the same as the bronze bushings (just slightly smaller ID than the rod's pin going into it and just slightly larger OD than the hole it needed to go into. This was easy though. I just filed a bevel into one end of the aluminum "bushing" (it was actually a crimp-on cable end) and used the press to press it straight into the hold in the vertical linkage. I then cut it to match the length of the steel sleeve that went between the rubber and the pin. Handheld band saws are awesome, BTW :D

    The bushing pressed in and cut:
    [​IMG]

    Another shot showing the fore/aft linkage and the old bushing and sleeve (used a razor to cut one of the flange portions off of the rubber bushing so I could remove it without destroying it):
    [​IMG]

    There are two hardened plastic (maybe nylon?) washers that go on either side of the bushings. I reused those and secured the two rods back together with a cotter pin. There's another identical sleeve/bushing arrangement where the fore/aft rod connects to the arm on the transmission itself that I didn't get to because I could only get one aluminum bushing. Once I get another I'll do that portion too. After putting everything back together I adjusted the shifter per the instructions in the FSM and it feels like a factory new shifter. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Well under $50 for all this stuff put together, but you need good shop tools and it's a full day's worth of work to get it all done. I already had the bronze bushings in place and it still took me 9 hours to do everything else. I love how my shifter feels now. Nice and tight with no slop whatsoever.

    For reference, this is the nut you use to properly adjust the shifter (I'm pointing to it):
    [​IMG]


    Edit: Oh yeah I almost forgot to add, despite the pin I installed in the shifter handle, I realized I can dismantle everything while it's still secured to the pivot rod, so I got a little crazy and just welded the two together so there would be ZERO movement. If you do this, WELD THE THREADED SIDE! If you weld the smooth side, it won't go into the bronze bushings again. I ended up putting the washer and nut back onto the threads anyway, just so they wouldn't be lost.

    [​IMG]
     
    abosely likes this.
  2. karlsz

    karlsz

    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Location:
    Catharpin, VA
    great write up. Thanks.
     
  3. euclid

    euclid

    Messages:
    5,981
    Media:
    14
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    344
    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Location:
    Jackson, MS
    Thanks spook. FAQ
     
  4. doctorjj

    doctorjj

    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Very nice!!! I just did the bronze bushings and then stopped there. That was all well before I discovered this site and had no reason document what I was doing. I appreciate the props above, but you went above and beyond!!!

    BTW, what would you think of drilling out the handle just on one side, then threading it and putting in a set screw to take out the slack instead of a tension pin????
     
  5. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    588
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    You talking drilling the same way it's drilled for the pin, or drilling it actually into the rod lengthwise through the handle? If there was more mating area to work with, that'd probably work. I'd definitely use red threadlocker on the screw(s) though. For the handle it's easy to just tack it in place. If the nut between the gate assembly and vertical linkage wasn't an issue, drilling the vertical linkage like that (lengthwise into the rod) would be a great way to go.
     
  6. Randy88FJ62

    Randy88FJ62

    Messages:
    4,391
    Media:
    1
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    165
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    North of LA California
    I have a lot of slop in my shifter linkages due to the old rubber bushings as well. This is definitely on my list of things to do. I always get people in the passenger seat asking me how I can be driving in Neutral :D
     
  7. mkguyvr

    mkguyvr

    Messages:
    269
    Media:
    21
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    ST.LUCIE.FLORIDA
    just got back from lowes.....they have the boxes for these bushings but nobody does the maintenance on them and they are out of almost every size...man they stink.
     
    Ghetto Fireman likes this.
  8. WNC2OBX

    WNC2OBX

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Location:
    Raleigh
    thanks for the write up. in the middle of this project and waiting for my dremel to charge.

    how much 'spinning' play should be in these bushings when fitted in? they are pretty snug now; probably would have to tap them in with a hammer. or should they be looser?

    it may not matter, just a particular person here...:rolleyes:
     
  9. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    588
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    I went until they could be slid into place by hand with some difficulty. That way they're tight enough to hold everything stable, but not so tight that they seize everything in place. As long as the pivot rod pivots easily on them you're good, though.

    I took a friend of mine to Cabela's earlier today and he commented on "how good the shifter feels to use", comparing it to the shifter in his new SUV. So I told him all I had done to make it that way. It's funny how some obscure little mods can really get peoples' attention.
     
  10. WNC2OBX

    WNC2OBX

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Location:
    Raleigh
    thats the dumb kindof thing i would notice ;)

    go her done! thanks for the post about this. its rock solid. tho, i did skip the forward and aft part. i dont have a drill press.

    cheers!:beer:
     
  11. tonyota

    tonyota

    Messages:
    5,034
    Likes Received:
    72
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location:
    In the garage.
    Nice wright up Spook.....I work for Lowes & while I'm not at liberty to discuss it, Hillman is a Lowes owned company....oops!

    Anyway....I have re-built my shifter as well. But I never think to take photos & all that.

    You , sir, are an inspiration....Not to mention a big help to the Cruiser world.

    Thanks again...
     
  12. vasellers

    vasellers

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    Did this today, great repair, should be in the FAQ for sticky for sloppy shifter fixes if it isn't. Thanks again for a great write up and PICS!!
     
  13. xxAg3ntOrang3xx

    xxAg3ntOrang3xx

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Largo, FL
    what a difference those bronze bushings make!
    Excellent fix!
     
  14. John McVicker

    John McVicker SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,113
    Likes Received:
    315
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Location:
    Big Pine, CA
    Hey Spook,

    I'm a bit slow...just got around to this post. Excellent write up...have it book marked. Thanks for taking the time.

    John
     
  15. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    588
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Seems I'm the one who finds all the obscure crazy ideas that end up being popular mods. I usually get the idea from someone else and just run with it. This, the hood shocks, the manual vacuum valve for the tcase, the dual iPod/cellphone holder, and the fire bottle mounted in the cargo area :D
     
  16. cruisermon

    cruisermon

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    Holladay UT
    Great mod. Picked up the bushings this week and did the drill "milling" tonight. I used a cheap caliper to match the IDs and ODs. I turned down the pivot rod instead of enlarging the ID of the bushings. Seemed like a simpler solution to me and easier to get uniform than two separate pieces and a dremmel sanding drum. After milling/turning I polished the surfaces with Brasso for a nice smooth contact surface. I cut down one of the bushings so that their combined length was equal to the length of the pivot rod surface. Not sure if that was needed or not but it made sense to me.

    Thanks again Spook!
     
  17. Benjaman

    Benjaman

    Messages:
    1,525
    Media:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Oakland, Cal.
    This is a good mod, and In spooks case totally necessary, In my case the stock bushings fixed it, cost less than $3. for a set, and took all of 10 minutes to install.


    Corrected!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  18. KonTiki

    KonTiki

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    :rolleyes:In spooks case, the OEM bushings didn't fix it..
     
  19. learning fj62

    learning fj62

    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Just got done with this. It is the best thing i have ever done... It worked great and fixed all the "looseness". The only issue now is when i have it set in park, with my truck off, the car wont always turn on. I have to go jiggling the shifter until it hits the right spot. Any ideas?
     
  20. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    588
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Your neutral safety switch is still engaged for some reason. If the shifter's in reverse or any of the drive gears it prevents a circuit being made to the starter relay. After doing all the mod, did you adjust your shifter according to the FSM's procedure? I do it every time I take any part of the shifter apart, just to make sure everything's matched up the way it should be. If you do that and get it all set right, and it still gives you problems, the switch itself might be going out.