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Registered User
Gordo2's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Quantico
Posts: 1,772
Shifter Bushing Replacement Tips '83 SC

Replaced my shifter linkage bushings this evening. Figured I would offer up some tips seeing that it seems to be a common job for a lot of folks this winter.

Front (Shifter Lever Coupling and Shifter Rod Bracket) Bushings:

#1 Center counsel removal: Recommend making a small cut in the carpet to expose the rear screw. I ended up fighting with it on removal and cutting the carped to replace the screw when I was done. Getting the screw lined up with the hole with the carpet in the way is next to impossible. Only need about a 1/2" cut in the carpet.

#2 Recommend using a short ended 4mm hex key to get the shift lever coupling set screw out. Cut the key down so you have about a 1/2" after the elbow. Getting the key in the shift lever coupling set screw is very difficult if your hex key is too long.

#3 Cut the old shift rod bushing out of the bracket with a utility knife rather than trying to pry it out.

#4 No advice on getting the new shift rod bushing in. It's a tough fit. I got part of it started and pressed the remainder in with a channel lock pliers. Also pressed the edges in with a screwdriver.

Note: The front two bushings didn't show much if any wear. Not sure when or if they were replaced in the past. The rear (shift rod coupling) bushings were worn. The shift rod connector wobbled in the fitting. My guess is that these bushings are the ones that have the biggest pay off on replacement.

Rear (Shift Rod Coupling) Bushings:

#1 Use a small punch to scribe a mark on the rear shift rod for allignment. I used a punch that is made for finishing nails. Scratch a mark in line with the small teeth on the rear shift rod in between the forward rod coupling clamp down (in the cut out). This gave me a precise mark to go back to (alligned in the clamp down cut out) and to make adjustments from.

#2 My Shift Rod Coupling was on stuck on the rod. I put a vise grips on the rod (to the rear of the coupler) and pried off the coupling by wedging a screwdriver between the vice grips and the coupler.

#3 Using a press to get the pin out of the coupler was too easy. Think it would have been difficult if I would have tried one of the other methods.

Overall the job was fairly easy. 101 and the Bently manual were very helpful.

Hope this is useful to others performing this job.

Good luck,


Don "Gordo" Gordon
'83 911SC Targa
Old 01-02-2003, 09:44 PM
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magilla's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Swampscott, MA USA
Posts: 531
But you missed the important part...

Did you notice an improvement? Was it worth the effort, or simply a "I'm glad I did it, but won't ever do it again"?

Thanks for the tips. I am looking to do this soon, so all the advice and suggestions people can provide is much appreciated!
Old 01-03-2003, 04:29 AM
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Gordo2's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Quantico
Posts: 1,772

Yea, should have mentioned how it impacted shifting.

I decided to do the job because shifting from 1st to 2nd was rough. Kind of popped into second. Not always, but most of the time.

I think it is better. Again, my bushings were in pretty good shape, so I think that adjusting the shift set up had more impact than the bushings.

Once you get into the job you will realize how easy it is to adjust the shifting. It's pretty straight forward. Play around with the shift rod coupler when you have it apart, you can tell where 1-4 are and adjust your shifter to it.

I also adjusted the forward to rear play in the shifter so when I shift to 2nd it's not jamming into my leg/seat.

So, bottom line, yes it shifts better.

Don "Gordo" Gordon
'83 911SC Targa
Old 01-03-2003, 06:40 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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I have been reading the threads regarding taking care of the coupler bushings, since I plan on doing that tonight. That assumes that I can get that cone-shaped screw out... my previous efforts last night proved useless; that thing is in there damn tight.

I did have a question reading about the "big socket/small socket/hammer" method of getting the pin out. How hard are the OEM bushings. Would it be possible to use a dremel/drill to punch a couple of holes in the bushings, & then just pull them out from around the pin? Is the coupler sensitive enough that I'm going to break it if I do anything other than the method described previously?
1982 911SC - Metallic Rosewood
Old 05-05-2005, 03:14 PM
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oldE's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: N.S. Can
Posts: 3,991
Regarding the removal of the coupler bushings: I had read a post about 3 weeks before I did mine in which a fellow broke the yoke of the coupler. Hmm. Turns out its not that hard at all. When I got the coupler out of the car, I realized the pin is a press fit into the block. All I did was capture the block in the end of my vice, being careful to place no strain on the cast-alloy yoke, and (gently) drive out the pin with a punch. (sorry, no pics) No problems. The old, badly worn bushings practically fell out, the new ones popped in in a few seconds. To reassemble, I held the yoke, (with its new bushings) in allignment with the hole in the block, (block still clamped in the vice) and slid the pin back in. A tap or two with a small hammer centered it. On reinstallation of the coupler, it was easy to tell where the gears were on the transmission rod (901), so the thing went back together in one try. Start to finish, replacing the complete set purchased from our host was about 45 minutes. (I could have left the passenger seat in place, but felt I needed the room.)
Worst parts? Getting the shift rod bushing into the support flange and getting the rubber boot back on to the flange at the rear of the tunnel.
But OH! I can find the gears on the first try now.
"Emerson, there's an easy way to get rid of the understeer. Just use more throttle." Jochen Rindt
Old 05-05-2005, 04:51 PM
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Jdub's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Great NorthWest
Posts: 3,847
Just finished all four bushings and want to add to this thread the following:

- A 3/16" hole directly in the center of the cup bushing, shifter handle end, allows excess grease to move out as it is displaced when you push the shifter handle end ball into the cupped bush. Generally you will have a situation where the shifter does not want to go in if you have put grease into the ball cup of the bushing.

- I could hand pop in the shift rod round bush for the shift rod - this is because it appeared to be made of a far more flexible, near transparent, plastic than the original (was in decent shape FYI) bushing it replaced, which was whitish-yellow from age and grease stain.

- Switched from red, ovaled coupler bushes to the black, solid round types to reduce slop. Made quite a difference, but then again the old bushings were worn. Coupler now is very, very tight.

Old 10-15-2010, 07:55 AM
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