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Old 11-14-2016, 09:22 AM   #1
clydesdale
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Transmission linkage so loose, hard to find reverse witout removing shif boot

I don't know what the hell happened but the shifter seems so sloppy that I can swing it left to ride several inches while it is in gear. Now, I can't get the shifter far enough to the left to get into reverse. The only way to do it is to remove the boot and then crank it to the left. When I do that, the center console even moves a touch to the left before I get far enough over to find reverse. When I'm in 4th, it looks like I'm in second.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:54 AM   #2
Kershaw
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Time to rebuild all your shift linkage.
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:59 AM   #3
clydesdale
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OK, how bad? Ugly job or no big deal? Any write ups? I plan to do a motor swap and tranny swap, so is there a common part of the linkage that will correct a good deal of the slop and allow me to avoid a full rebuild? Would love for there to be a decent Band-Aid.
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:39 PM   #4
jlevie
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A full rebuild really isn't any worse than a bandaid fix.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:47 AM   #5
MR E30 325is
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If this happened all of a sudden make sure your shifter tray connections are good. Sounds like 1 of the connections may have failed.

But yes, a shifter linkage rebuild is on the easier side of things.
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Old 11-24-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
clydesdale
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Yes, this did really seem to happen all of a sudden. I did have the car off the road for about 3 months and then the day I got it back up and running, I drove down a washboard dirt road and since then I have had this issue with extreme slop. The throw to 5th gear is as far as my truck. But, with the car in gear, I can swing the shifter back and forth several inches. What is the shift tray? Do you have a picture of what you think might be the issue? Meanwhile, I will google. Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:14 PM   #7
clydesdale
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I screwed up and ran with this wounded for a little too long. I wanted to make it to the weekend but the car is now stuck in first gear. The linkage is completely dead. The shifter feels completely detached, I can move it in circles and in any plane. It sounds like I am dragging something lightly but I am not. I am stuck in a parking lot and likely will need to be towed home. Anybody know how I can get this thing into second or third gear, what did I likely wreck. and how bad is the fix for this problem?
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:08 PM   #8
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The shifter tray has a space for the ball on the shift lever to sit. This ball and socket connection is what allows you to shift gears by pulling or pushing on the shifter.

The shifter tray is 'rigidly' mounted to the body via some bushings. Your tray is disconnected now. So you no longer have this pivot point.

You will need to be towed. Do not attempt to drive this anywhere, unless you can safely stay at a low speed while on the road. If it were my car I'd have it towed.

You need to google E30 shifter tray and shifter linkage to familiarize yourself with the system. I do not have a picture to share with you.

The damage is not bad. You may need a new tray or shift linkage, but the world is far from being destroyed. But you'll have to get under your car to really figure out whats going on.
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:34 PM   #9
clydesdale
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MR E30 325is - Ok, I am home. I drove in 1st gear to a Costco about 1 mile up the street. I then comfortably waited for AAA. We got it home and I will put it up on 4 ramps tomorrow evening. What will I be looking for? Will I need to remove any parts of the exhaust? This car is my winter car. I care for it, but it sees salt, so things don't like to come apart easy. I have no idea what the linkage looks like. Please stay tuned tomorrow so that you might be able to give me some additional advice. Thank you soooo much.
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:45 PM   #10
superj
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If you dont have huge hands, you can do some investigating and some work through the shift hole. I, being only 5'8", can do almost all the shift console repairs sitting in the front seat. I cannot palm a basketball so if you cannot either, you might be able to do it also
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:53 PM   #11
clydesdale
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OK, I can't palm a basket ball, so.... Do I remove center console and start digging?
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:36 AM   #12
MR E30 325is
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydesdale View Post
OK, I can't palm a basket ball, so.... Do I remove center console and start digging?
Yep.

You're just going to have to start taking stuff apart. Take some pictures when you see some stuff that you don't think looks quite right and we can help you diagnose the issue and tell you what to replace.
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Old 12-30-2016, 02:02 PM   #13
clydesdale
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I removed the center console and am down to just the rubber boot that is down around the floor board around the shifter. I imagine I have to remove this boot, but it certainly looks like it would be a pain to get back installed. Any thoughts on this? Just pry it out?
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Old 12-30-2016, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydesdale View Post
I removed the center console and am down to just the rubber boot that is down around the floor board around the shifter. I imagine I have to remove this boot, but it certainly looks like it would be a pain to get back installed. Any thoughts on this? Just pry it out?
You need to get under the car.

Edit: It sounds to me like your linkage has disconnected itself.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:06 PM   #15
clydesdale
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Yes, I am going under tomorrow. I got the car up on 4 ramps this afternoon and I will be getting under it tomorrow after work. But, should I remove that boot that covers the shifter? Even with it stable up on 4 ramps, I would rather work from up top, if I can.
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