very hard to shift dodge minivan?

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  #1  
Old 11-22-03, 07:55 AM
scooter100
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Question very hard to shift dodge minivan?

1985 Dodge minivan w/ 2.6L Mitsu, auto trans
PROBLEM: The gear selector arm on the column requires a lot of force to operate. Nothing in my Hanes manual on how to lubricate it, or troubleshoot it. Any suggestions? thanks, scooter
 
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  #2  
Old 11-22-03, 12:25 PM
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Unlikely to be in the area of the lever itself. More likely problem would be a binding somewhere else in the linkage or something interfering with proper movement. Best thing to do will be to get it in the air so you can check the linkage all the way to the tranny. Would also be a good idea to disconnect the linkage from the tranny and see if the lever on the transmisssion itself moves freely. That will eliminate any trans problems as the culprit. Ensure vehicle is properly supported and wheels blocked/parking brake set before you move the shift arm out of Park.
 
  #3  
Old 11-22-03, 11:23 PM
mike from nj
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mr. tow guy (and scooter), no need to get under the car, everything is conveniently under the hood.

like he said, make sure the e-brake is on and it still holds the car, even chock the tires too.

pull the shifter cable off the trans linkage, now try the shifter again, it's either still tight or it's good. cables can mysteriously get bent(usually right after someone moves stuff in that area) or, the shifter tower sticking out of the trans(where you just disconnected the linkage) gets a little rusty and starts to stick in the case. try to move that lever, it should move with a little effort, but not be very tight.


let us know what you find
 
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Old 11-23-03, 06:48 AM
scooter100
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I'll do it!

Thank you guys,
I'll go do this soon and let you know...
 
  #5  
Old 11-23-03, 11:33 AM
scooter100
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its the transmission

I disconnected the cable as yiou suggested, its the tranny not the cable. Now what? The tranny works, just very difficult to shift.
 
  #6  
Old 11-23-03, 01:39 PM
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Brain fart, Mike; I knew it would be accessible from topside. Had my mind on my wrecker.

Not likely to be anything user-friendly if the tranny arm itself is stiff. Drop by a good tranny specialty shop and get a professional opinion. May not be economically feasible to open it up and repair; could easily exceed the value of the vehicle.

You might get away with some penetrating oil in the area where the shaft enters the case, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
 
  #7  
Old 11-23-03, 10:19 PM
mike from nj
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the real repair is to drop the valve body out of the trans, and wire wheel those two shafts clean, then repack with a trans fluid friendly grease and reassemble.

being the lazy person that i am, i would remove the little e-clip from the top of that shaft, then the washer, then the rubber o-ring. then i would let a good rust penetrant soak on that for a few days to do it's magic and work it back and forth many times to work it in(this is between the two shafts). also i would do the same thing to the area where the outer shaft meets the case.

if you want some real entertainment, try to have a dealer parts department representative look up that little o-ring seal. he will probably pull his hair out looking for it in the computer, unless he is an old timer and knows right where to look. it can't be more than a dollar or two.

let us know how it goes.
 
  #8  
Old 11-24-03, 06:14 PM
scooter100
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Thanks again

Now I've stripped the bolt that holds down the shift cable clamp! I'll have to get to this on Wednesday. This poor van has 217,000 miles and I hate to give it up. I'll take the lazy approach with some cleaning/lubricant at the lever as suggested. Also, shall I lubricate the cable while I'm at it? If so, how does one do that? I'll go to Pull-and-Save and get another tranny if I have to. I'll get this fixed. Happy Thanksgiving to all...

Thanks guys,

scooter
 
  #9  
Old 11-24-03, 08:37 PM
mike from nj
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the cable should be sealed, no need to lube that, unless the rubber boot is ripped on the end.

if you stripped the bolt i'm thinking about, can't you just put an extra nut behind it to tighten it
 
  #10  
Old 11-26-03, 02:57 PM
scooter100
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count 'em ten thumbs!

Okay Mike,
Now I lost the e-clip. Just went SPROING! and vanished. The guy at the Dodge dealership parts is cool. He will get me a new e clip and o ring. There is still hope that Blueboy will roll once again.....

Thanks, Scooter
 
  #11  
Old 12-10-03, 04:00 AM
scooter100
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Blueboy rolls again!

Thanks Mike and Tow Guy-
I lubed the transaxle shift cylinder-soaked it in "free", got a new e-clip and shifter cable at the pull-n-save ($4.99). The problem was the cylinder AND the cable. Now both are corrected, just need to adjust the shifter and throttle cable so that it shifts properly. This car has 217,000 miles and, thanks to your help, I hope to get another year or two out of it. I still have about 25,000 miles left in the tires I bought last year!Thanks and..

Best Holiday Wishes,
Jeff in Colorado

p.s. if you are interested in sustainable architecture, check out the house I just built at http://thefarmhouse.org
 
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