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Projects 1958 t-bird gear shift lever

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Red Magnum, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Red Magnum
    Joined: Apr 24, 2012
    Posts: 6

    Red Magnum
    from sacamento

    I have a 1958 T-Bird, I have a problem with the column gear shift lever staying in place. It is also sloppy at best when selecting gears. I have replaced the steering column, the shift lever, the upper bushing and bearing and just about everything I could buy to tighten it up, the springs on the linkage have been replaced etc. The trans has also been rebuilt it is the original cruise-o-matic and the lever is solid when shifting through the range manually without the linkage hooked up.

    The really dangerous part is that when in park at idle it can by itself drop down one gear into reverse and just take off.

    Anybody know what to do to solve this problem??????
  2. railroad
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 242


    Sounds like the pivot points on the linkage are too tight.The long rod or rods running from the lower column to the trans arms should pivot at the connection points. You may have too many shims or washers not allowing this. The shifter would try to return to the position where it was installed and overtightened. If this is not what you are feeling, you might want to disconnect at the trans and see if you can feel the detents in the trans valve body linkage. I'll bet there is a detent in the column somewhere, but I am not familiar with it.
    good luck,
  3. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    It should be pretty easy to see what is worn or broken when you take it apart. Finding replacement parts could be a problem unless it is a common problem and then the T bird parts stores will have the offending parts. If they don't you will probably need a used column. I have welded up detents in worn steel, so it might be able to be repaired but you will have to get it apart to figure out what is wrong and what needs to be repaired/replaced.
  4. Wolfman1
    Joined: Jul 8, 2010
    Posts: 265


    Sounds like the detent plate is worn, pt# B8S-7A216-A

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