Gear Selector Linkage Modification
Picture of completed mod (gearbox end)
- • Steering column Universal joint from Rover 200/400 series (believed to be 14mm shaft size).*
- • 13mm ring spanner
- • 13mm socket
- • 10mm socket
- • 5mm (¼") pin punch
- • Hacksaw
- • File
- Place front of car on Axle stands.
- At front of gear selector rod (see Fig1)
- On front gear selector yoke (1) remove pin collar (2) and remove roll pin (3) using a ¼" pin punch. Please note that Fig1 is only typical. On my vehicle the roll pin was vertical, not horizontal as shown.
- Using the gear lever to assist leverage (if necessary), slide the selector yoke towards the rear of the car to release from gearbox selector shaft.
- At rear end of gear selector rod (under gear lever).
- Mark underside of gear selector rod (it is easy to try and fit back upside down).
- Slacken but do not remove rearmost clamp bolt (13mm).
View of rear attachment
8. Slacken and remove front clamp bolt (13mm).
9. Pull rear of selector rod down to release from gear lever ensuring rubber washers are not lost.
10. Replace front clamp bolt and rubber washers into gear selector rod and loosely refit nut. This is to ensure no parts are lost.
11. Note the route that the selector rod takes and remove gear selector rod from vehicle.
12. Cut gear selector rod immediately behind and as close to yoke as possible. Deburr end of rod and paint end to prevent corrosion.
13. Fit Universal Joint onto gear selector rod. The UJ has different sized clamp holes at each end. It is the large end which attaches to the gear selector rod. It is suggested that the gear selector rod is pushed into the UJ until the end of the rod is flush with the inside of the clamping section.
14. Ensuring the gear selector rod is the correct way up, refit to the gear lever. This is a reverse of that in 7-9 above.
15. Ensure the Gearbox selector shaft is in Neutral.
16. Slide the front of the modified gear selector rod UJ onto the gearbox selector shaft.
17. Ask an assistant to place the gear lever into a nominal neutral position and clamp the UJ to the gearbox selector shaft. Ensure that the UJ is clamped TIGHTLY to the selector shaft as this is prone to slipping.
18. Ask the assistant to engage all gears and check that the selector rod moves freely without fouling the gear change steady bar (or anything else).
19. Lower car and try your "new" gearbox.
N.B As an improvement to the above a steering rack gaiter can be slid over the gear selector shaft (prior to 13 above) and then slid forward over the UJ when attached to the gearbox. This would ensure no dirt gets to the UJ and if (heaven forbid) any bolts become loose they will be trapped in the gaiter.
Piece to remove from front of rod
It cannot be stressed enough that it is CRITICAL that the UJ is securely fitted to the gear selector rod and the gearbox shaft, because if the UJ becomes loose, YOU WILL LOOSE ALL GEAR SELECTION!
* Please Note: The gear selector rod on on the diesel 2001 45 TD is a larger diameter(around 22mm ) and this will not fit.
I believe that the input shaft and selector rod are both 14mm Dia. - This to be confirmed.It appears that some vehicles have 14mm and 16mm shafts. please ensure the UJ is suitable for YOUR car.
if yu pm me the rod dia of your model and the donor vehicle of the UJ used - I will publish the data below.
rod dia / Gearbox shaft dia / donor vehicle UJ
14 / 14 / Rover 200
14 / 16 / 04 reg zr 1.4
Extra info - thanks to GAZKAZ
Comment - MGZS Diesel - has larger hollow change rod - cant grind down to fit the UJ as hollow "too large" - therefore only option is cutting off old UJ and welding on a length of rod, as above - but I used a double ended clamp UJ (so note need to cut a "little extra" off the rod when removing old UJ to preserve existing overall legnth when a new double ended UJ fitted - reason none of the existing change rod goes into new UJ - it is the protruding welded on rod that inserts and clamps into UJ- otherwise if not accounted for ,you will extend overall original length of original change rod when you add the length of the new double ended UJ)
Viewed from the gearbox end (with the bottom of the counterbalance weight on a flat surface) I found welding the new bit of rod at the "7 & 1/2 mins past the hour position" onto the existing rod - preserves the offset of the original UJ found on the ZS diesel (ie both the vertical and horizontal plane offsets)
In hindsight I wish I had chosen to remove even a touch more off the original change rod - as at 6 Foot - I have the seat fully back & shortening the original overall length, would have brought the top of the gear stick back towards me a little (alternatively I would have BENT the gearstick rearwards a touch for same effect - or a bit of both of course).
New UJ sourced from bottom of a Honda Civic steering column (double ended - approx 14mm both ends) clamps at both ends ie so clamps onto welded on rod, and also gearbox stub shaft - £5 - see above re need to remove extra off the original change rod to accomodate overall lengthening effect of adding "a double ended clamping UJ".
Per MGJohn - quickshift/shortshifter - welded in 20mm to the gear stick (below the "ball" section), Purrrrfect - the counter balance weight "swing" at the back of the change rod clears the exhaust by a hairs breadth. Shortens throw a good 20% - very sporty.
New polybushes feel much firmer than saggy rubber - approx £25 delivered from Mark (2 piece kit - one piece large round front steady bar bush, and the rear steady bar to car body mounting block).
Overall effect of short shift mod - UJ mod and poly bushes - STUNNING - I have had the car four years from new - and it is now Mmmmmiles better than it was new. You can actually feel through the gear stick, the "click" back from the stub shaft of the selectors as you change gear - so positive it's amazing.
PS On a ZS diesel - if doing shortshift mod too - you don't need to remove front and rear consoles to remove gearstick (as states in Haynes Manual)- remove gear knob, then just prise up (ash tray end) the panel surrounding the leather gearstick gaitor and then slide panel towards front of car - - lift the gaitor and panel off the stick- exposes and gives access to all you need to remove.
If for any reason you want the little nylon collar off (that holds the gear stick gaitor up and in place) -drilling two small holes just either side of the split in the collar with a dremmel and using expanding circlip pliers restricts breakage & expletives significantly.
PPS - Removing original roll pin (original UJ to stub shaft) - I was using a 1/4" parrallel punch and hammer - found it very helpful to pack and counter lever against the opposite side of the UJ/shaft (stops the "bounce" effect of the shaft being in a rubber seal negating the strike), - of course dont block exit of the pin though. Famous 3rd hand - in my case, a son, helps too.
UPDATE - Dropped the linkage back off (15 mins now no pesky roll pin to deal with). Shortened welded on rod, refitted UJ , reducing ORIGINAL overall length of gear change rod by about 20mm. Gave the gear stick a couple of stout hefty tweaks with a 2lb Birmingham screwdriver. Refitted - brings top of gearstick backwards about 2 inches off the perpendicular vertical when in neutral. Hand comfortaby and naturally drops straight onto gearknob (Purrrrfect for a 6 footer with seat fully back). Overall it's like my sons MGTF - slick, extreeeemly positive & quick.