I am thinking about switching from 3 on the tree to a 3 speed floor shifter in my 56 pickup. The linkage for the column shifter is not reliable. I don't mind popping the hood now an again to tweek the linkage but it limits where I go. I don't want it to lock up in a bad spot. Has anyone had experience with this? Iguess I am wondering how labor intensive it is. Thanks in advance for any tips.
Most floor shift conversions for 3 speed transmissions put the shift stick in an awkward position and require you to butcher up the floor pan pretty badly. Unless you do some creative fabrication to the shift lever, you'll usually end up with the stick tight against the front of the seat cushion, making 1st. and 3rd. gear hard to engage without modifying the bench seat or installing bucket seats. Try to find a good condition Hurst Dual Pattern shifter at a flea market or a swap meet. Some of the shifters produced by Mr. Gasket or some of the overseas copycats are pure junk, and they'll make you wish you had you're moderately flaky column shift back. Considering the cost and hassle involved, I'd recommend rebuilding the original shift linkage. Jerry
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My suggestion would be to first look at what is causing the problem. There are some wear points that can be repaired and bushings that can be replaced. Check to see if there is grease in the shifter control box and adjust the linkage. I believe there are still some aftermarket 3 speed floor shift conversions available. Also some used units providing the're not worn out. You could just be replacing one problem with another one. Fred
I have had no luck finding replacement linkage items for the column(bushings or otherwise). All i find is the bushings from off the trans itself. Any sources.?I did clean out and regrease the housing. Not sure how to adjust it. It seems like a common problem with this type of linkage. Any tips would be appreciated greatly. Thank you
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Repairing the shift system requires a bit of mechanical skill. Not overwhelming but you must be pretty meticulous. Welding up elongated holes and redrilling levers. Replacing components inside the shifter box on the column. Get a repair manual or Chiltons for your truck. Procedure will be outlined there. Parts are available from all the usual old truck outlets.
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Another thing to pay attention to is the motor and trans mounts. I found in my 51 Chevy 2 dr sdn that drivetrain movement will contribute to missed and hard shifting. Just something else to look at. I have a 261 with a 235 head in it. Still using and loving the 3 on da tree. I actually broke a front motor mount. Replaced it and chained motor. I also drilled through both trans mounts and put a grade 8 bolt through em. Made all the difference in the world.Good luck. Dont overlook obvious issues. I usually find out the hard and more expensive way..