85 Chevy truck column shift

Scott B

Newbie
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
23
Points
1
85 C10, 4.3L V6, 3Sp manual, 275K miles, one owner. The standard column shift feels a little sloppy and will hang up in neutral when going from 3rd to 1st unless you are careful about how you do it. From 3rd, move the shift lever straight up to detent, then straight back, then straight down to 1st and its fine. If you get in a hurry and shift it like an upside-down "U" it will hang up. When it hangs up, you have to turn off the engine, pop the hood and move the transmission linkage into 1st. This is rather annoying at traffic lights. I have the GM shop manual from Helm, the lower bearing adjustment seems to be at its limit to take up clearance. The steering is fine and all of the other shifting is fine. Are there any common wear items in these shift columns? Anyone else had this problem?
 

Transman

Receptionist & Complaint Dept.
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,953
Points
0
Location
New Jersey
Website
www.edsofvineland.com
This problem goes all the way back to the 60's with GM. The shift tube wears. We used to put a hose clamp at the bottom with a big washer to push the 2 levers closer together when we were kids. Just be careful not to make it too tight or it won't move. The other fix is install a floor shifter. You can inexpensively buy the shifter kit, cut a hole in the floor to install it and ALL DONE. Good Luck, Transman
 

NickD

wrench
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
5,210
Points
48
Normally when a part wears out, repair or replace it. With the clunker program, perhaps your wrecking yard has one with less miles on it. Unless you live in Wisconsin where liability laws prevent a guy from going in the yard to remove a part for a couple of bucks. Have to pay a kid to remove it, and end up paying more for a used rusty part than a brand new OE one.

With linkage, most of the parts are good with only rod and bushing wear. Find in my case, easier to resleeve the bushings, got a machine lath for that, and build up the worn rods with weld and machine them back to tolerance. just as good as new again.

Seen several clunkers I would have laid out more than 5,000 bucks for, still well below the trade-in value, crazy, but they are doomed. Hope the guy that traded it off his happy with his new payments and getting 1 mpg more.
 

Scott B

Newbie
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
23
Points
1
I cleaned & oiled the levers at the lower shift tube and double-checked that all of the adjustment was taken up. Parts for this column seem scarce--I like the idea of a washer to take up some of the slack. Not ready to go with a floor shifter just yet. I have been looking into clutch adjustment also. This truck is sort of a hobby now and fortunately I have the time to deal with it. Sounds like its time to put the column on the workbench and see exactly where and what is worn. Thanks for the replies, this is a great forum!
 

Transman

Receptionist & Complaint Dept.
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,953
Points
0
Location
New Jersey
Website
www.edsofvineland.com
I believe the worn part will be the "Shift Tube". You will see the part that is worn down but I agree that parts for this are getting scarce especially on a part that was very common to "wear-out" like this one. You might check Dorman's web site, they may make a replacement from the old days. I believe, some of the old timers, used to build the "Tab" up with weld and file it down to fit. Keep us posted, Transman
P.S. It's dormanproducts.com, I think
 

NickD

wrench
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
5,210
Points
48
I believe, some of the old timers, used to build the "Tab" up with weld and file it down to fit.
Dang, does this mean that I am an old timer? Heck, even my kids passed me up in age. But you can spend a lot more time looking for a part then buy building it up with weld, but either use my machine lath, grinder, or milling machine to bring it back to specs. File takes too long.
 

NickD

wrench
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
5,210
Points
48
Off and on for about 54 years now, never purchased the equipment for aluminum, but have a friend that is real good at that, we kind of trade favors. Use to design AC/DC and electric arc welders about 36 years ago, but switched over to ASIC's, more interesting. I think I do a fair job, but is certainly not a job that I would want to do eight hours a day, that smoke irritates me.
 

NickD

wrench
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
5,210
Points
48
Kind of miss my acetylene torch, but got rid of that about 25 years ago. Wouldn't be bad if my local supplier would fill my tanks, but had to rent his for 15 bucks a month each tank, whether I used it or not. That was 360 bucks per year, did have brand new whatever approved tanks couldn't find any guy within a 150 mile radius to fill them, claim something about liability, but their tanks looked like left overs from WW I. Does everyone have this problem?

So I got one of those toy oxy-mapp torches, seven bucks for a gas filled oxygen tank that lets me remove just two cat nuts without breaking them off. And takes about ten minutes before they get red hot, barely gets the job done. I don't know if this practice has been changed or not, was talking to a scuba dealer last year, he says his local gas shop fills their oxygen tanks. That kind of shocked me in that they would even fill someone else's tank. And those places really are not approved for human air consumption. But didn't check if they would fill a tank for a torch.
 

Transman

Receptionist & Complaint Dept.
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,953
Points
0
Location
New Jersey
Website
www.edsofvineland.com
It can be a problem to get tanks filled especially when you own them outright like we do. I guess it's who you know, a friend knows someone who knows someone and they fill 'em up for me every time. It can't hurt that I replaced all my hoses with him, about 500 feet of hose in one purchase. I also bought a few new brazing tips. Transman
 
Top