Column shift binding

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Help' started by Minotaur, Aug 1, 2020 at 2:28 PM.

  1. Minotaur

    Minotaur In Second Gear

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Allegan, Mi
    My 'chero has the 2.77 3-speed and has been pretty smooth shifting so far.
    However these last two days I've been putting some pretty serious mileage on the car just driving around, sight seeing, basically really enjoying it.
    And now I feel like I have to arm wrestle with the column shift to go from 1st to 2nd, or dropping down from 3rd to 2nd sometimes releasing the clutch to a whir of gears not fully engaged.
    The shift arms and linkages all look good, is this a bushing in the column causing the binding?
    Just wondering if this is a common issue and what to look at, thanks.
     
  2. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    First thing is make sure the transmission is full of oil. Look at your engine and trans mounts to see if they are deformed and letting things get out of alignment. Drop a bit of lube oil on the obvious pivot points. You may have to separate the various shifter arms and levers to determine where the binding is located. Problem is usually in the linkage arms, not in the column.
     
  3. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Agreed. The column shifters I've dealt with, if the column is the problem, it's plain stopped. Just having to 'force' a shift, it's the linkages, or internal to the transmission.
     
  4. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Did you look at the bushings on the shift arms of the transmission? Sounds like the 2-3 link may have lost a bushing allowing the link to bind in the transmission lever.
     
  5. Minotaur

    Minotaur In Second Gear

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Allegan, Mi
    I pulled the pins where the linkage rods attach to the shift arms on the transmission, and was able to move those with no issues thankfully.
    Before connecting the rods again I checked for binding where they attach to the arms on the column and everything was good there, so reattached the pins and lubed all pivot joints.
    Still experienced difficulty moving the shift lever, so I took a can of Deep Creep spray lube and put the straw at the gap between the bottom of the collar and the column that the shift lever attaches to and put just a small burst in, all the way around, went through the H pattern several times and now it's smooth as silk.
    At any rate thanks all for the replies, I'm thankful for the wealth of knowledge on this forum and the eagerness too help.
     
  6. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Good to hear it's working good again. Though I'm not big on column-shifted manuals, it did figure prominently in my learning to drive, and my favorite high school teacher teaching us kids how to do it so as not to confuse gear positions.
     
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  7. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    "Moose" Bouldin was my favorite, football coach who doubled as our driving teacher. We were stuck with donated 64 Novas from the local Chevy dealer. Anemic sixes with three on the tree but if you wailed on them they were fun for a kid. One rainy day I introduced Moose to drifting way before it got popular. Tennis court was like an ice rink when wet and the temptation was too great. Kept it slideways for three laps wound out in second gear before Moose regained the ability to bellow "STOP!" Didn't even spill his PBR he always had in a red Solo cup. Never got told to drive again in his class for some reason but passed with an A+. I never told him that I had been doing it for years in an old 57 Ford Dad kept out on the farm. Poor old Ford spent most of it's time in perpetual valve float out in the pastures. Good memorys Andy !
     
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  8. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Took my 65 for inspection before putting in a 5 speed. Inspector needed to get the "old guy" out of the back room to show him how to get it into first (for the brake check). Guess he was reluctant to show his ass to the (client? owner? taxpayer who hadda put up with that crap?) by asking me.

    They changed to emissions only testing the next year (as in does the check engine light work? Is it on? Are the cats there?)
     
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  9. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    When emissions testing started in Washington, they did Dyno testing, for the most part. I once joked about my '74 Squire, and how I wondered if the intermediates after '72 had column manual shifters to the test agent. He looked at me with a dagger look and said, "That's not funny." I guess I p!$$ed in his Cheerios; he must've had to do a run with a three-on-the-tree car.
     
  10. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Today Dad and I call that shifter - - Any manual shifter, a Theft Deterent.
     
  11. Minotaur

    Minotaur In Second Gear

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Allegan, Mi
    I'll admit it's not a driver's car, and with 1st being so short I'm changing gears as soon as I'm underway, and that's the awkward 1st to 2nd where it feels like traffic is climbing up your back, but the aplomb that plucky little six fires up with sure does make me smile.
    No matter how long it's been since the last drive, I pull the choke, pump the pedal once and it's running as soon as the key is turned.
    It's a survivor and a legit time machine.
    It may be anemic, it may be undesirable with a three on the tree but it's mine.
    All the better no one would want to steal it.
     
  12. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Not knocking your Ranchero at all. Those Ford sixes have the personality of your quiet but reliable friend who isn't a weight lifter but physicaly sticks with you while you complete projects together. That three on the tree shifter marks an era when life was austere but fun, involving the driver in the process instead of some repetitive computer that had no soul. I restored a very nice 57 Chevy BelAir for my wife, added some modern luxury things like A/C, killer stereo, cruise control, power seat, digital instruments, and a healthy 327 from a 64 Corvette. What I DID NOT alter was the column shifter non syncro first gear three speed transmission. Replacing that transmission with a modern auto trans. would completely isolate the driver from any experience relative to owning a 57 back when those cars were new. I kept the column shifter because it involved the driver in the decisions needed to drive that car. Didn't take my wife long to learn what it took to drive her new baby. Driving her car was like stepping into a time machine and I never regretted that shifter choice.
     
  13. Jeff B

    Jeff B In Maximum Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

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    My first car was a Jeep pickup with three on the tree. I had the shifting down pretty quick and also learned about jumping out and shifting it back to neutral when the shift lever jammed from under the truck. I also got to rebuild the 3 speed column and all the bushings involved on my old bosses Econoline pickup. I was the only guy at the station that he would allow to drive it.
     
  14. Minotaur

    Minotaur In Second Gear

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Allegan, Mi
    Nicely put Hillbilly, had a lousy day at work yesterday and a poison ivy rash that's ravaging my right arm, it's thrown off my chi.
    It's just cool to have such analog old school technology and be out there in traffic rowing through the gears in a vehicle 40 to 50 years older then your fellow motorists, fully engaged in the driving experience, while all they did is put it in drive and go.
    That said I'm glad it's not my daily driver but I sure do enjoy driving it when I do.o_O
     
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  15. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    All my Dad's pickups in the 60's had 3 on the tree, and I learned to drive them before I had my license. Not hard at all, as long as you weren't in a hurry to grab a gear. My high school buddy Phil's Dad owned the local Phillips 66 station, and he had a '65 C10 shop truck that we used to do 1-wheel peels and attempted speed shifts with the column stick. We climbed under it many times to knock it into neutral.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020 at 2:22 PM
  16. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    When I was a grounds maintenance laborer at the Bangor submarine base in Washington, I was driving a motor pool C-10 shortbed, inline 6/three-on-the-tree, and I was downshifting while getting ready to stop...totally brainfarted when I grabbed the shifter and went from third to first...tires screeched as the clutch grabbed and the engine went stratospheric on redline...immediately dynamited the clutch, I'm sure I took 20K off that poor engine's life.
     

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