Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!

I crawled under to change the transmission shifter rod bushings, and found that I didn't need to put any effort into getting the old ones out. There were no old ones! No wonder my shifter was feeling a little sloppy.

Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!-img_5353.jpg

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 09:46 PM
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I feel your pain. just changed both myself. Used a muffler hanger tool to ease the bushing into place.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 06:44 AM
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There is a tool designed for replacing those busings...Ebay usually has quite a few listed...search for "Mercedes transmission bushing tool"

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 10:39 AM
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've got the Bergsma tool, but after much grunting and groaning I gave up any idea that I could get the bushings in those holes while lying under the car. Maybe if I had a lift and could get the car higher I could get more muscle on them, but I instead elected to pull the shifter and the lever and do it on the bench. Removing the shifter wasn't hard. I'm glad I did because I found a bit of rust under there, probably from some fluid spilled on the shifter console. The rubber boot is shot, so I'll need to replace that.

Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!-img_5362.jpg

Fortunately, the gods of fasteners smiled on me and getting the lever on the transmission off only took a little bit of Kroil and the nut and bolt came out pretty easily, though it is a tight fit to get wrenches up in there.

Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!-img_5359.jpg

The shifter rod was completely covered in surface rust, so I wire brushed as much as I could and then hit it with some Rust-B-Gone and I'm now letting a light coat of paint dry in the afternoon sun. Tomorrow I'll put it all back together again.

Tom

Last edited by therling; 08-21-2016 at 01:32 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 06:18 PM
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Therling, looks like you are doing a great job. Removing that lever is the way to go.

I did the bushings on my 1980 without the Bergsma tool or whatever it may be called, actually never knew it existed until now. I was able to get the more difficult bushing seated by shaving off maybe 30% of the flange with a boxcutter. That left enough on it so it would not dislodge. Thanks to Reno for naming the tool so it can be easily found online.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Got the bushings on. The one for the lever at the side of the transmission took a bit of twisting and turning to get it on there. The one for the shift lever popped right on. Before trying to install them, I took some steel wool and got the inside of the holes where the bushing goes perfectly smooth and shiny. I doubt I could have done that easily with them still in the car.

Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!-img_5371.jpg

I also realized that, gee, the end of the shifter rod has threads so that the length of the rod could be adjusted if need be. So I set out to get the part at the end with the threads and its lock nut to loosen. A "while I'm there I might as well..." job. A bit of heat and plenty of Kroil and I got them to move, but not too much.

The threads are in pretty bad shape because of rust, as you can see in the photo in my first post above. I wire-brushed as much rust off, and then got some more rust off with derustifier. Not good enough. The entire rod twisted when I tried to loosen the locking nut further. I stopped because I didn't want to chance having the lock nut get stripped using too much force. I gave the threads another thorough brushing, and I've started to chase the threads with an appropriate sized die, but I gotta go walk the dog.

Transmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!-img_5374.jpgTransmission shifter rod bushings? We ain't got no steenkin' bushings!-img_5377.jpg

Tom

Last edited by therling; 08-22-2016 at 06:07 PM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 07:48 PM
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That nut is a definite candidate for heat. Propane torch until glowing red, cool and repeat. Let the entire thing cool down, kroil it one more time, it should turn. Nice picture essay. Hope your dog appreciates your efforts.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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I got it to move with generous doses of Kroil and some heat from the MAPP gas torch I'd picked up to do a plumbing job a few years back. I could get both parts to move a bit, but the rest of the threads are in such bad shape that I didn't want to move them any farther for fear of stripping any threads. Fortunately, it's a preventative maintenance job. It's possible I may not ever need to readjust the length, but I'd rather do it now rather than some time in the future when the transmission is acting funny.

The good news is that a previous owner had the transmission overhauled, so it's not a crucial problem right now–I hope. Quite frankly, it's not somewhere I want to go. If my transmission needs work, I invoke the wisdom of Barney Rubble who once stated that "It's a wise man that knows when he's stupid, Fred Flintstone."

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Got the bushings in, put everything back together again.

As I was reinstalling the shifter rod, I was glad I had cleaned up the threads on the adjuster end. The part that connects to the gear shift needed one complete turn to fit properly. I'm not sure why that was necessary, perhaps when the transmission job was done way back when, the bushings had shrunk? Or maybe everything has moved around a bit. Dunno.

Regardless, I would have had to have taken the rod back out and cleaned up the adjustment threads anyways, and I'm glad I did it before I put in any of the furshlugginer clips. One of them went ping! as I was trying to get it on and so I had to hunt around with a mirror on a stick for it while lying under there.

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I have now learned that having a tap and die set is handy when dealing with 30 year old fasteners. It's a cheap set from Hazard Fraught, but all I use it for is cleaning the threads on various parts, so it's good enough for that.

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