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Old 08-05-12, 13:14  
Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
d-9 d-9 is offline 08-05-12, 13:14

At the weekend I decided to rebush the gearshift rods to try and sort out the change and adjust it so I could get first. As theres been a few threads asking I figured I'd write up how to do them. I replaced the usual suspects, which are the bushes on the end of the T rod, which lifts the shaft on the top of the box, the bush it sits in, the bushes on the relay lever and the bushes on the bottom of the lever. In this picture, numbers 47, 46 and 53, 42 and 27. Some photos shamelessly stolen from the shortshift thread, because I didnt take enough.

Remove the shift rods from the car:
1. On top of the gearbox, undo the two vertical 10mm bolts (49) that hold the A shaped bracket(50) which locates one end of the T-linkage (38) onto the gearbox, remove this bracket.

2. On top of the gearbox, undo the two 13mm bolts (54) that hold the pivot bracket (52) onto the gearbox. (ratchet spanners will help this bit).

3. Under the van, undo the 13mm nut that holds the relay lever (39) onto the T-linkage, pull the relay lever off the bottom of the T-linkage.

4. Under the van, undo the 13mm bolt that holds the forward/back selector shaft (43) onto the bottom of the gear shift lever, drop the selector shaft down and rotate the lot so that the relay lever pops off the forward selector shaft and drop it off the car.

5. Under the van, undo the 13mm bolt that holds the T-linkage onto the bottom of the gear shaft, by means of a round clamp(35). Remove the bolt and the clamp. Push the linkage forward and the bottom of the shaft backwards, so the linkage pops out of the bottom of the shift lever, then withdraw the T-linkage from under the car.

Removing the old bushes - There appear to be a couple of variants, one uses a retaining pin to hold the smaller ball onto the T-linkage, mine didnt so thats what I describe here. For the one that uses a retaining pin, press it out first.
6. Cut the old balls off the T-linkage, then pry off using a spanner:

7. Cut the old bearing bush out of the pivot bracket, then push out. Mine just fell out when poked with a 1/2" extension, no hammer needed!

8. Press the balls onto the end of the T-linkage. I used a press which was easy, but if you dont have access to a press a large vice or possibly a lump hammer would do:

9. Press the new bearing bush back into the pivot bracket - make sure you press this in the correct way around!

10. Press the T-linkage into the bearing bush. I used a spanner to support the bracket rather than pressing against the bush, however this caused the bush to pop out slightly and need pushing back in from the other side, Im not sure if it would be better to press against the bottom of the bush:

11. Pop out the bushes on the relay lever, these just pop in and out. While you've got it off, consider doing a short-shift conversion, as described here: Totally transforms the gearshift

12. Under the van, pop out the bushes on the bottom of the shift lever, these I just hoiked out with a pen-knife and pushed the new ones in.

13. Now put it all back together Once its all in place, have an assistant hold the lever in a sensible place while adjusting the forward backward and rotation via the clamp bolt at the bottom of the shift lever - If this is adjusted wrong you'll have to push the stick down to get first.

This has made a huge difference, its gone from sloppy and not knowing which gear I'm in, to nice and precise
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
13-01-13, 12:34 #21
Serial Poster

replaced all my bushes yesterday, used genuine bushes and had no issues fitting the balls or the bush in bracket (bracket removed from van)

Was still a pig of a job though, as has already been mentioned,my gearbox bracket was also held on with 3 allen bolts which are near on impossible to get to and took half an hour just to get these off.

tried hammering the ball into the bush on the bracket but there was no way it was going in, used some large waterpump pliers in the end and took all my effort, but eventually they popped together (did this off the van before refitting).

All bushes greased and now feels better than ever, there was definitely a point half way through the job though, that i wished i hadnt bothered.
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
25-01-13, 02:13 #22
Van Rookie

Hi guys!

Still in the middle of my repair (replaced torn bushing on gearbox side) but haven't yet pressed the small plastic sphere back into the bushing...

My T4 TDI 9ACV, 02G, DXZ will be 10 years old in May, and has not had major repairs - apart from a water pump replace due to wrong coolant mix used by de-listed VW workshop.

The excellent German VW mechanic who did the repair wanted me to have the van towed 30 km to his workshop because he said he wanted to remove the starter to get at the linkages from below, "otherwise it's an almost impossible job". It sure was next to impossible, what with all the coolant/airconditioning hoses criss-crossing the 'work area'...

The most time-consuming job was to get the three hex socket screws of the bracket out: I made three trips into town by bus to buy an ever-increasing stock of tools! But getting them back into place was even worse LOL

Now before I start levering the balls back into the bushes, I find myself looking at an unusual angled bracket (part no. 701 399 355) that I can't remember where I took it off...

BTW, the German mechanic suggested pushing the small sphere into the bushing SIDEWAYS, as that would be easier, and then fiddling to line up the hole with the shaft. I left the sphere intact on the shaft, the other one too, since they look o.k.


LMH a.k.a. carioca
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
30-01-13, 15:52 #23
Van Man

Has anyone had any success doing this on the type with the roll pin holding the small bush onto the shaft?

I attempted this today but it seems that all of the bushes available are for the type without the pin. I tried anyway but it isn't going to work as the small bush does not locate correctly on the shaft.

In desperation, I took the linkage to my local VW specialist in the hope that they might be able to do it for me. They advised me that they could only do the job by changing the selector shaft for the other type at considerable expense.

I cannot seem to find the correct bushes for my shaft.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
25-07-13, 09:54 #24
Van Master Jedi
Official MemberVW Transporter

I found that the balls went on quite easily - by hand even, with a bit of grunting.

Now about pushing this ickle ball into the bush....

I tried a g-clamp - couldn't get it to go on straight, little ball bulged alarmingly
I tried a vice - ditto
Lump hammer - bit scary - no go
Brute force (you're having a laugh)

That bush is like Worthing Pier, or a tight pair of ballroom

Took it to my local village garage this morning, 30 seconds later...Bingo! A 30 tonne press did the job. No charge

The guy who did it has a T25 and was telling me how lucky I was to have the gearbox under my feet rather than half a mile behind you. I guess it's all relative. He did initially say "that'll never go in there" though...I assuured him it should!

Anyways, big thumbs up for my local garage - I don't take the van there (their roof's a bit low) but they have always done our cars, so here's a shameless plug for them 'cos they did me a favour and they're a good bunch of guys.

Stoke Gifford Garage - Five Stokes Auto Services
81 North Road
Stoke Gifford
BS34 8PE

Phone: 01179 315684

Fax: 01179 691050
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
12-10-13, 17:12 #25
Van Guru

I found this guide very easy to follow but opted to do the bush in a vice as I don't have a press.
I used a hand held ball joint splitter/compressor to push the ball into the new bush.
Took me 2 hours in total so well happy.
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
04-03-14, 09:59 #26
Van Pro

When it says hold it in position with an assistant can it not be put in first gear then bolted up???
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
04-03-14, 18:18 #27
Van Pro

Where it states it needs to be held by a 3rd party can u just put it in 1st then tighten it up???
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
07-06-14, 14:30 #28
Van Jedi

Great writeup.

Any easy way to do it on a 2.5 TDI?

Guess I need to remove hoses for intercooler...
And maybe heaterhoses

Can the balls be changed with the selector in the car?
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
19-07-14, 19:57 #29
Van Rookie

Thanks for this post, it's been a great help in locating the fault on my son's T4

He only bought it recently and when I drove it to Ebbw Vale yesterday I couldn't understand why the gear lever acted like you were stirring porridge! Turned out, on inspection today, there are a couple of bits missing! He now has a list

Thanks again
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Re: Gearshift Bushes - how to :)
04-08-14, 13:08 #30
Van Man

The ball (larger of the 2) on the gearbox end of the T bar certainly can - I have done it, takes about 10 minutes and went on by hand after soaking in hot water. 3.60 +vat from VW. The pivot (bracket) end looks much more difficult and probably needs dismantling and removal of the rod as the area is very crowded and getting the 2 parts back together in the bracket may need more pressure that you'd be able to get in such a restricted space.

In my case the larger ball had disappeared completely but the pivot end was completely unworn and I couldn't detect any play in it so I left it alone. I didn't have to re-adjust the gearchange either which was a bonus. All done under the bonnet with the van on the ground in the end.
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gear linkage, gear linkage overhaul

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