Help with removing the shift lever

Thomas Mesich tmesich at
Sun Jul 22 19:02:24 EDT 2007


Thanks, those pictures did the trick.  I did not realize that the metal
ring was as wide as it is.  I was looking for some circlip type ring.
My shifter is now safely out.  Since I am doing this to hopefully take
some of the slop out of the shifter, it does not matter how much "short
shift" I get out of it.  I am going to check to see if that rubber
grommet piece is still available since it sure appears that if the
rubber gets stretched out over the years, the shifter will be more

Thanks again for your help!


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Rose [mailto:pjrose at] 
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 9:37 AM
To: Thomas Mesich
Cc: 200q20v at
Subject: Re: Help with removing the shift lever

I made the decision to avoid removing the console for this job. In 
the end it may have been easier to remove the console. If you don't 
remove the it, what you'll find is that removal of the old shifter 
(and replacement with new) is hindered by inability to remove the 
shifter assembly "plates"  (those heavy steel plates that support the 
shifter's lower ball cup). Removal of the brass-colored plate is 
prevented by interference between it and the sides/edges of the 
console. I didn't want to cut away the console material--perhaps I 
was being too "conservative".

  I ended up using a Dremel tool to grind away those plates--getting 
enough clearance so that I could access the bottom pivot cup and 
remove/replace the shifter's rubber bushing and ball-joint. The 
following photos show what I did. The first photo simply shows what 
I've labelled as "extra metal" tabs--ones that interfere with simple 
removal of the plates.  The second photo shows the result of the 
Dremel grinding (involves both plates) to take just enough material 
away so that you can ease out the black rubber "bushing" which holds 
the ball joint.  If you do this, use plenty of protective cloths/rags 
and lots of vacuuming.

That rubber bushing needs to be gradually eased out of the "cup" a 
little bit at a time--carefully prying upward with the blade of a 
small screwdriver. Go easy on this as the bushing needs to be 
re-used. After the new shifter pieces are assembled, the ball joint 
is pushed into the rubber bushing, and finally the bushing is forced 
back into the cup. This operation requires a bit of fiddling--I seem 
to recall that the socket pieces (without the ball) first need to go 
into the rubber bushing, then bushing into the cup and finally the 
ball is forcefully(!) "popped" into place. Sorry, it's been a couple 
of years and some of this has become a rather vague recollection. ;-(  (Disregard 
notation concerning "small tab". In the "factory" short-shifter 
instructions, there is reference to cutting away a "small tab' but 
this does not apply to the '91 200q)  (Here the 
new shifter assembly has been assembled and inserted. The rubber 
bushing around the ball-joint is visible here only because although 
it's supposed to secured by a thin metal cover/retainer (a circular 
cover) that has not yet been replaced. This thin circular retainer 
might not be absolutely necessary to replace, but I recall that I 

You'll find that your new shifter pivot (the sliding assembly) cannot 
be adjusted all the way to its maximum possible height. This is 
because the shifter arm (linkage rod that connects the shifter to 
tranny) ultimately starts to contact the top edge of the "tunnel" it 
must pass through on the way to the tranny. That contact ultimately 
limits the height that's possible with the shifter adjustment. With 
the tranny in first gear,  I adjusted the pivot upwards until it was 
just causing slight contact between the rod & tunnel. Thus, the shift 
throw "shortening" will definitely be somewhat less than the 
advertised maximum percentage ( as I recall there was roughly 20% 
shortening of the shift "throw" rather than 30+%).

Hope this helps (and doesn't discourage too much) ;-)


At 3:57 PM -0500 7/21/07, Thomas Mesich wrote:
>I am in the middle of installing a short shift kit for my '91.  I
>at getting the consoles out of course.  Is it really possible to get
>end of the hand brake off?  I see the tab on the underside but there is
>no indication that the handle wants to move at all.  As always in these
>projects, I just don't know how hard to crank on something before it
>breaks.  Anyway, I am up to the point of removing the shift lever but
>what I see does not seem to match with what is in the instructions.
>instructions talk about a retaining ring and Bentley shows a retaining
>ring but I don't see one.  The instructions also talk about a black
>rubber retainer and I see no such thing.  What I see is the plastic
>on the end of the shift lever held in by some white plastic  clip.
>clip has slits on both sides that open up a little when the shifter
>moves.  I pried at the plastic a bit but could not get underneath
>anything.  Can anyone point me to more definitive instructions, maybe
>with pictures, or just give me some third grade level directions so I
>can figure them out?  I just don't want to pry with too much force in
>the wrong place.  Thanks for any help.
>Elk River, MN
>200q20v mailing list


Phil Rose.....Rochester, NY USA
'06 A3q 3.2 V6 (5K, silver)
'91 200q	(156K, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (70K, Tornado red)
'89 100 (Bamboo gold)

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