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5k shifter problem found...

I was having problems with the shifter in my 5kcstq, namely that it felt
like the lower pivot was sliding forward sometimes when you tried to go
into the "back" gears (2, 4, R), so that you weren't able to get it in
gear. The suspected culprit was the shifter socket bushing. Thanks for
all for that advice.

As it turns out, the socket is okay--not perfect, but not the real
source of the problem. The entire push rod (the lower connection that
holds the socket) was moving forward when you pulled back on the
shifter. Hmm...

You may recall that I had my clutch replaced in Albuquerque back in
June, when I was on a cross-country road trip just a few weeks after
buying the car. (That was my first mistake, of course.) The problem
didn't develop until a few months later. This made me wonder if the
clamp between the front and rear portions of the push rod was loose.

Sure enough, it was--and it was covered in grease! It looks like the
mechanic intentionally lubed the clamp and the two portions of the
rod--whether out of ignorance or intentional ill will, I do not know.
Any guesses? So I tried to get the grease off of it and then torqued it
up properly, and now the shifter behaves like it should.

The shop was Foreign Aide in Albuquerque, NM, primarily a VW shop. I
wouldn't say I recommend them.

Well, at least this gave me a chance to adjust the position and angle of
the shifter. It had always been too far back in its box for me, so that
my elbow would hit the passenger's when shifting to 2, 4, or R. I
adjusted both the push rod and the shift rod so that the shifter is now
very far forward in the box--so far that the press-to-reverse feature
doesn't exist. I didn't mean to adjust it so, but I do like having the
shifter forward like this. Is there any reason I should move it back? I
can imagine that the pin sticking off of the push rod, about which it
rotates, may not like that it's cantilevered out an inch or so.

Thanks, as always, and hope this helps someone else.

- Wallace
  '87 5kcstq 151k