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  • Detent Plate Installed

    I installed my detent plate today in my '58.

    Shifting still has some play and I notice that there is movement of the spring pin in the collar.

    I was wondering if anyone had ever drilled the collar and shift lever to accomodate a larger spring pin? Would this solve the problem or am I better off getting a new lever, collar and spring pin?

    Thanks.

    Leonard
    sigpic

  • #2
    Detent Plate Installed

    Hi Leonard, have you tried adjusting the neutral switch to see if you can take that play out of it. Have you ever replaced the shift tube selector arm down at the bottom of the steering column? Often times that is as much the culprit as anything else, after some 58 years of wear and tear on that piece. Mine was worn in the notched area and the entire area on the inside of the ring. It means having to take the whole steering column apart to do it, as I recall. I do not know the answer to your question, but hopefully someone does.
    Last edited by YellowRose; July 14th, 2013, 02:20 AM.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Yellowbird View Post
      I installed my detent plate today in my '58.

      Shifting still has some play and I notice that there is movement of the spring pin in the collar.

      I was wondering if anyone had ever drilled the collar and shift lever to accomodate a larger spring pin? Would this solve the problem or am I better off getting a new lever, collar and spring pin?

      Thanks.

      Leonard
      Leonard:
      I am in the process of rebuilding my column completely. I'm being a little creative in the area of the spring pin. I do not like the design. I think the spring pin will be tighter in the shift lever which means the collar is going to take the wear. A shift lever is about $40. A new collar is over $100. I really do not see a problem with going to a 5/16" spring pin vs. the original 1/4". You would have to drill the collar and the shift lever to do this. What I did was go to Ace hardware and buy a 1/4" bronze bushing and drilled the collar oversize to fit the bushing. Then I bought a 1/4" shouldered sleeve with threaded end on opposite site. I plan on using that vs. the spring pin and figure it will outlast me.
      As for the detent plate, I installed a new one, however the one that was in place did not look to bad on the edges. The shift lever however was pretty badly worn. Figured as long as I had everything apart, I would also replace the tube selector arm on the bottom. It had a little wear, but again was not to bad. Trying to tighten everything up as much as I can. The selector arm was on back order, so I am still waiting for that and then I can do final assembly. We'll see how it all works out for me.
      I also replaced the upper bearing and split sleeve. Getting the old bearing out was easy, however getting the new bearing back in was quite a challenge. Finally got it by using the old bearing to press the new one in place.
      I will try to include a few pics of what I am doing with my collar to give you a better idea. All parts came from Ace Hardware. ;-)
      Nyles
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        I changed my Detent plate a few years back, and replaced the shift tube selector arm as well. It all got alot better, but not perfect.
        However, I recall that I somewhere wrote something about a guy on another forum, who didnīt beleve in Alexanders thought about the detent plate, but argued that the problem was somewhere in the steering collumn. He didnīt agree at all with "this forum", so I guess I must have digged it up somewhere else. It was something about welding and filing to get something tight that have been worn. I even saw pictures of this article, but I just canīt find it anywhere anymore. And I have spend quite a lot of time to try to find it again. My theory is that it all have to be fixed in order to be cured. Does anyone else have a clue about what Iīm talking about? And where to find that article again?
        sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
        http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

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        • #5
          Anders , the only thing that comes to mined is he was probably to the conclusion that just rewelding the selector arm and reshaping it with a file was all that was needed . From previous photos and articles I've seen in the past , I would conclude the only safe way is to replace both of these components as well as the bearings and bushings . Your not talking a fortune for peace of mined and you have it all apart anyway . Ian (REMEMBER NOT ALL BIRDS FLY SOUTH)

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          • #6
            I agree that it was probably the shift selector arm that they were welding and repairing. This is a very common spot for the shift selector to become sloppy. The shift arm has only recently been available in a reproduction.

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            • #7
              Anders,
              I believe that article referred to the shift tube which transfers motion from the shift lever and collar to the shift selector. These also wear at the point where they engage the above, and can be repaired by building up with weld and filing to fit. Here are photos of the top and bottom of the tube showing the wear points.
              Carl
              .
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Detent Plate

                Thanks everyone for your repsonses.

                I'll probably try the bronze bushing method. Can the shift tube selector arm be tested for play by holding it while someone moves the selector lever?

                Don't want to tear down the column unless I have to.

                Thank you again for the help!

                Leonard
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks all. And sorry for hijacking the thread. I also found a whole series of films on You Tube on this topic. How about that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXCj1sRgSqM
                  sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                  http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

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                  • #10
                    Detent Plate

                    Leonard:
                    If you do use the bronze bushings to repair the shift collar I would not recommend trying to install the roll/spring pins to hold the shift arm. There is not a lot of metal holding the bushing and I think installing the pin would push the bushing out. That is why I am using the 1/4" pin with collars on the end. I'll attach some pics so you can see how the shift arm attaches to the tube.
                    Nyles
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Detent Plate

                      Thanks for the information Nyles.

                      I had questioned theuse of the spring pin after boring the hole to a larger diameter.

                      Leonard
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Shift Collar

                        I tried to drill and salvage my shift collar but ended up replacing it. My recommendation is to replace it and save a lot of grief. Be aware that you will need to paint it as I beleive it comes in just one color (can't remember what it is). Ultimately you would be smart to replace the shift lever as others have suggested, but requires a complete disassembly of the steering column. Good luck.

                        Neil

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                        • #13
                          Replacing Detent Plate

                          Originally posted by cuul59 View Post
                          I tried to drill and salvage my shift collar but ended up replacing it. My recommendation is to replace it and save a lot of grief. Be aware that you will need to paint it as I beleive it comes in just one color (can't remember what it is). Ultimately you would be smart to replace the shift lever as others have suggested, but requires a complete disassembly of the steering column. Good luck.

                          Neil
                          Well, I completed my shift column O/H after taking it back apart about 4 times. Just wasn't happy with certain things. I replaced the shift link arm, upper bearing and sleeve, detent plate and shift lever. I did not replace the shift collar.
                          Here are some things that I learned:
                          1. If you replace the upper bearing, it is not to difficult to get the old one out, but installing the new one without damaging it was difficult. A proper sized bearing driver would be nice. I ended up using the old bearing to press the new one in place.
                          2. The first time I put the column together, I was pretty happy with everything but the new shift lever seemed to have a lot of play in the direction perpendicular to the shaft tube. BTW, the new shift arm lever was to tight on the shaft and needed to be opened so the shift tube would slide through it.
                          3. Disassembled and changed the position of the lower shift arm spring so it would push against the shift arm lever to to remove the perpendicular play. That worked like a champ, except for the spring riding on the raised guide piece which caused the shift tube to hang up and not let the shift lever to release.
                          4. Disassembled again and looked everything over to weigh my options. I ended up making a .020" shim and place it below the bottom spring retainer. This keeps the retainer tight against the shift arm lever and removed any perpendicular play. Things on the bottom end are really nice and tight now and the shift tube releases nicely.
                          5. I had already installed 1/4" bushings for the guide pin in the shift collar so the shift arm was nice and tight and worked freely. I was really happy with that. What I didn't realize is that the shift collar has a slotted fitting in it, much like the lower shift arm only it is a much longer slot. I do have play in the collar at this point and it gives me a little looseness but the shift indicator is aligned nicely and gear selections are right on. Also, the safety neutral switch/back up light switch is right on and works great.
                          6. If you have the column removed, I installed and adjusted the safety neutral switch on the bench and when I installed the column it all worked properly. Saved some crawling around under the dash and trying to adjust it.

                          Well, I'm on to my next step which is reinstalling the dash. Instrument cluster is ready to go in and I checked all the wiring and switches etc. to make sure everything is working properly before the dash goes in.
                          Here's hoping.
                          Nyles

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