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HOW TO: THE MK2 gear shift linkage repair guide


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#1 rubjonny

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 11:17 AM

GSF sell the linkage repair kit in the UK:
71709C GEAR LINKAGE REPAIR KIT 5.75 + VAT

This is what you'll receive:
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1x big red bush (in the large bracket that holds the gearlever shaft)
4x hard plastic bushes (only 2 needed, for bracket bolted to the gearbox)
2x big clear soft rubbery bushes (for the relay shaft)
2x small white soft rubbery bushes (for the ends of the shift rod)
2x rivets (un-needed, used for the red bush housing but no need to drill out old ones)
4x soft foamy washers (used on the short & long link rod ball joints)

Its also worth buying an uprated relay shaft bush from:
http://www.iol.ie/~l...ade/bushes.html

Will improve the forward back feel a great deal =)

Ok pop the bonnet and this is what you'll see, note I've already fitted the weighted shift rod:
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Remove the header tank and place it out of the way, this gives you loads of room to work in. Pre 90 spec ones are just slotted into the bracket, 90 spec ones are held on with 2 bolts/studs under the black plastic trim bit. Don't forget to disconnect the level sensor if one is fitted!
The short & long rods with the plastic end caps have little clips to clamp the ends, carefully unclip these, I snapped one off and had to make an emergency visit to the scrappy! Both rods should then pop off with a little persuasion.
Lever the spring clips out of the metal shift rod and remove, make sure these don't ping off & disappear!
Undo the 13mm nut on top of the relay shaft, and remove the large metal arm.
Loosen the 13mm pinch nut & bolt on the clamp on the gearlever shaft bracket, until it can be removed (you might want to mark its position but Chances are the alignment will be out after refitting all the bushes anyway!)
Remove the 3 13mm bolts holding the relay shaft bracket to the steering rack, and remove. This is tricky, you have to wiggle the bracket about whilst holding the gearlever shaft as far back as it will go, there is only just enough clearance!

Your engine bay will now look like this (note 2 of the gearbox linkage bracket bolts are circled):
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Now you have 2 choices, either remove the bracket bolted to the gearbox, or just unbolt the lever from the bracket. If you wish to change the gearbox it would be a good plan to do it at the same time as the only way to do it is to remove the linkage bracket. It also makes it easier to fit the replacement bushes and refit the lever, plus you can clean it up nice :smiley:

To remove the bracket:
Undo the large bolt through the middle of the gearbox mount.
Jack the gearbox up as far as possible, go slowly as the clutch arm will hit the inner wing.
Remove the bolts holding the linkage to the gearbox and it should slide out nicely
If you want to replace the gearbox mount, there are 2 smaller bolts holding the gearbox mount in the subframe, remove these and you'll have JUST enough clearance to remove it and swap in the new one.

To remove the lever from the bracket:
Simply remove the 13mm nut & bolt and the lever will slide off :smiley:

Ok now you'll have a pile of linkage bits on your workbench, after cleaning em up with a wire brush you'll have something like this:
Posted Image
(notice I forgot to put the small plastic linkage and the lever mentioned above in the pic)

It should now be pretty obvious which bushes go where, if you are unsure I've listed the locations above. The tricky one is the big red bush but it is possible to rip the old one out and fit the replacement without drilling out the rivets, put it in a tub of warm water first to make it a wee bit more flexible. Then as the red book says, re-assembly is the reverse of removal, make sure you grease up the moving parts while you put it all back together :smiley:

Now to set up the alignment, dave2227 sells the alignment tool on ebay to make the job easy:
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Also heres a link to an engineers diagram of the tool, so you can get it made yourself:
http://vwtech.no-ip.info/image...5.png

But being a tight Northerner I just used an old cassette tape held in the gap between the reverse gate & lockout lever with duck tape! Make sure you do the pinch bolt up tight, I made the mistake (twice!!) of not doing it up enough and lost all my gears a day or so afterwards as a result :grin:

Job done:
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Edited by rubjonny, 12 March 2009 - 04:34 PM.


#2 rubjonny

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

Gearstick housing replacement:
It's pretty straightforward to do but a bit fiddly. You can still get the repair kit from VW, part number is 191 798 116A. I would recommend you get the genuine kit, this isn't a job you want to be doing twice! It also helps if you get an alignment tool from Dave2227 off ebay, but this is not essential.

1. Remove the gearstick gaitor & centre console to give you more room to work
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2. Undo the 2 10mm nuts either side of the gearstick.
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Raise the car on ramps, or jack it up, if it’s too low for ramps. Observe safe practice - use axle stands, apply the handbrake, chock the wheels. Select neutral.
Now get under the car
3. Remove the exhaust centre heat shield by removing the 6 nuts/clips holding it on, then rotate it round the exhaust an off the car
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4. Shove the housing up into the car, it is only held in by gravity & grease at this point, then remove the 4 13mm nuts holding the shiftbox to the car
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5. Now get back in the car, pull up on the stick and push down on the shiftbox, and Jiggle the gearlever housing about until you can get it out, bit of a fiddle but it can be done!
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6. If the ball looks like it is worn you can remove it, if it looks OK I wouldn't bother! Its tricky, you need to press the ball upwards while someone holds the gearlever down, then you need to remove the split pin. Not an easy task!

It's much easier if you drop the gear lever down and out through the hole left by the absent ball housing. You need to wiggle the stop plate gently through the aperature, then the white plastic detent block through the same hole. A little pressure to move the exhaust sideways a fraction helps and it’s much easier with two people - one in the car and one under it. It will come out, but needs fiddling.
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7. Refit the gearstick if you removed it in the previous step. Remember to be careful getting the stop plate through the housing. Install the new ball housing its just as fiddly as getting the old one out, some swearwords may need to be spoken!
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Other useful pics:

Gearstick removed (new ball fitted)
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Wear inside the ball housing - certainly enough to get you reverse instead of first. On my GTI you could actually see through the bottom of the housing!
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Old and new balls; wear looked quite minimal, but in for a penny...
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Big thanks to Gary Woods for supplying the pics for this guide and some extra hints :)

#3 mattyass

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:06 AM

Hi mate is this fitting guide for an 02a gearbox? Ive just bought a kit for my mk3 gti 8v and was wondering if this guide will be the same?

I did notice in a previous thread that u said steer clear from the ebay kits. Unfortunately thats where ive got mine from (BandB componets/Tierod69) Will this be decent enough?

Any help would be great cheers

#4 CustomJ

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 07:14 AM

Jonny... what about the bush in the front of the shifter box itself.
Isn't that the same as the orange bush too?
Its Just I think that the one in the selecter box is worn on my car too.
Can you get just the orange bush from GSF et al?


edit: Have since found that the part number for the bush at the front of the box is
191 711 190 B

And it is not the same as the orange bush!

I should be trying to swap the bush this week, so will let you know how it goes! lol

-J

Edited by CustomJ, 12 August 2009 - 01:03 PM.


#5 CustomJ

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 11:57 AM

ok. doing the bushes is ok... but that ball.... its a barstweard to swap the cup out on the bottom.
Really... leave this job till you need to remove the exhaust anyway and do it at the same time!
:angry:
-J

#6 Oli.

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for the guide Jon - just did this on my mk2 and its improved the shift no end!

When I stripped the linkage off the car, it was obvious why shifting gear felt so nasty - about half of the bushes were missing :lol: :lol:

#7 atlasgrey16v

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 08:35 AM

I used this guide a few months back and it's perfect! Really useful and it's fixed my sloppy change completely. I found heating up the big red one made it really easy to get in.
I'd say replacing the cup and ball is definitely a two man job, and even two of us struggled!

#8 Sandro

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:35 AM

I used the linkage bush guide yesterday, very handy, thanks very much. As said, stick the red bush in hot water and it goes in easy. :)

#9 Gadsters

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:17 AM

Great guide, going to have a bash at this soon as i've lost a couple.

stick the red bush in hot water and it goes in easy. :)


Said the bishop to the actress ;)

#10 drewbar

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

Oops

Edited by drewbar, 19 September 2012 - 08:50 AM.


#11 drewbar

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:46 AM

My bad, triple post

Edited by drewbar, 19 September 2012 - 08:51 AM.


#12 drewbar

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:49 AM

I did two of these repairs the other weekend, both of which the bottoms of the ball housings were totally missing! Has totally changed the shift on both cars obviously :)


For changing the ball on the bottom of the gearstick if you don't have a vice, I found if you compress the spring then grip the shaft with some molegrips, leaves you two hands to knock the roll pin out, if you rest the end of the gearstick over a deep socket whilst knocking the pin out also helps making the job easier.

#13 SDUB2

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

I searched for the alignment tool on ebay, but no joy.

looks handy.