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  • Replacing Gear Shift Stick

    Hello! I have myself a new shifter stick and was wondering if it's possible to replace this part without opening up the the steering wheel? If there is a simpler way to do this I would like to do so myself, but if it requires taking apart the steering column and getting down and dirty I will have a pro do it.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    You don't need to take the column apart. You just need to knock out the roll pin with a punch and a hammer. Pull the old lever out, put the new one in and reinstall the roll pin. It does take a little bit of force to get the lever in and out.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

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    • #3
      Prior to John's response I had a quick look through the workshop manual but did not spot anything specific.Dismantling the steering column does look challenging.
      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_g...eplacement.htm

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      • #4
        Thank you. I looked up punch and hammer.

        https://goo.gl/images/W1pTUf

        That's basically the image that came up so I'll look for that at a hardware place.

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        • #5
          Comes out easily with a 1/8" drift pin. However, when you say you got a **new** one, beware. Here is what happened to the new one that I got from one of the Third suppliers. I don't know if they are made in Taiwan or just rechroming old ones. I ended up using my original Ford part.

          John
          Attached Files
          John Orwin
          1960 HT 430
          VTCI #11290
          Tbird Registry #1590

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          • #6
            Replaced my shifter a couple years ago, but that was during mini column rebuild. The original plastic has crazing and discolored. After installation of the shifter, I had trouble with the roll pin slowly coming out until I widened it with an awl.

            Quick story: I remember my dad wanted to replace the standard black handle on both shifter and turn signal lever on his new '63 Bel Air. He hack sawed both original knobs off and carefully threaded on these custom red translucent knobs. Very nice except one was too heavy for the turn signal lever which now positioned itself into a left turn, constantly. He either had to buy a smaller knob or he cut down the replacement to get it to work properly.

            Dean

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            • #7
              Following up.

              I got a punch and hammer ready. When I looked at the shifter there is a small little hole above the shifter and another one below the shifter. Which one do I put the punch into? I was afraid to try without asking which one.

              I also wanted to ask how forceful I need to be. And also, do I angle the punch into the hole? I imagine I would not hit it straight on into the column itself.

              Sorry for all the questions! I just don't want to break anything.

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              • #8
                You want to put the punch in the top hole so the pin comes out the bottom hole. Put the shift lever down in L. I find it easier than trying to do it in Park. You need to drive the pin out straight from top hole to bottom hole. Your punch needs to be at the same angle as the pin. You will need a decent amount of force to drive it out.

                John
                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                Thunderbird Registry #36223
                jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ssj335 View Post
                  Following up.

                  I got a punch and hammer ready. When I looked at the shifter there is a small little hole above the shifter and another one below the shifter. Which one do I put the punch into? I was afraid to try without asking which one.

                  I also wanted to ask how forceful I need to be. And also, do I angle the punch into the hole? I imagine I would not hit it straight on into the column itself.

                  Sorry for all the questions! I just don't want to break anything.
                  Christen: You should be able to see the split pin through the hole in the collar. Best to put the lever in low gear for hammering the pin . The punch should be straight and not tapered, slightly smaller than the o.d. of the pin. For split pins, the punch usually has a small bump on the end to go into the hole of the pin . Also best if you can use a piece of wood ( 2 X 4 ) under the collar to absorb the shock of the hammering as it will take a few good strikes to move the pin . Good luck and have fun .

                  ( Looks like you got there ahead of me John )

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                  • #10
                    Thank you guys! I did not realize it was one long pin. This is super helpful info. I'm glad I waited before trying. Will update you after I've tried this. It will probably be a few days.

                    Once the pin comes out the bottom I should be able to pull the shifter lever out yes?

                    Anyhow thanks again this is great to know.

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                    • #11
                      The lever will pull straight out. It's been in there for almost 60 years so it may take some effort. Put the new lever in and make sure the hole in the lever lines up with the hole in the collar. You should be able to put a thin punch in the hole and have it come out the bottom. Put the pin in from the top and tap it in with the hammer until it's just above the collar. Use the punch to tap it in the rest of the way so it's about even with the top. Take care not to hit the collar with the hammer or punch.

                      John
                      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                      Thunderbird Registry #36223
                      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

                      Comment

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