Gearstick stiff fore and aft

nolan

A2OC Donor
I've had my 75bhp diesel (AMF) A2 for a few months and I'd like to diagnose the gear change being so still moving the stick forwards or backward from the middle position.

Side to side is fine and it centres well, I lifted the gearstick surround and the rubber was very perished plus the plastic? panel under the gear gaitor was also alll broken apart. I removed the gator and C clip, lifted the gearstick and cleaned as well as I could and put some new grease on the ball. This doesn't seem to have made a great deal of difference.

At the gearbox end I can move the big counterweighted arm (that the fore-aft cable connects to) without much effort which makes me think the issue must be cable related.

Am I barking up the front tree here? How hard are the cables to change? I'm generally ok mechanically but it does look like a PITA to get to as I looked from above and below and they seemed equally awkward from both directions :)
 

audifan

A2OC Donor

Clackers

Member
Check your tower, mine was horrendous, and managed to replace it...like a new car! I even managed to spray some lube down the cables whils they were disconnected...
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
Changing the cables isn't a straightforward task, and it's extremely rare that it's actually necessary. My own car has done 244,000 miles and the original cables are fine. The problem is more likely to be with the roller sleeve bearing at the top of the gearbox selector tower.

If you detach the cables from the top of the gearbox selector tower, you can assess things independently. With the cables detached, does the gear stick within the car still feel overly stiff when moving it in a forwards-backwards motion? If you grab the counterweight at the top of the gearbox shift tower, you can attempt to rock it from side to side to assess how worn the roller sleeve bearing is. How much does the vertical shaft that enters the gearbox from above rock from side to side? It should be held tight, with only rotational and axial motion permitted.

A failed/failing shift tower bearing is something I see not infrequently. Once a little bit of water gets through the rubber ring seal at the very top, the deterioration starts. Although I'm not known for doing a lot of mechanical work, I had to change a complete shift tower mechanism recently for a TDI owner who lives locally to me. His roller sleeve bearing failed completely, meaning he could only access 1st and 2nd gear. He drove the car to my house via all the country lanes and held my driveway to ransom until I fixed it!

The photo below shows the bearing housing, which also accommodates the reverse switch, the locking pin, etc. You can see that the seal at the very top has been ovalled. This wasn't picked up early, meaning the whole shift tower had corroded and needed to be replaced.

107088285_266693597972138_1365666852409429045_n.jpg


New shift tower...
106659277_2960812793967488_8998780138803744220_n.jpg


All reassembled with a new bearing and bearing housing (the housing had to be replaced because the steel sleeve inside, which holds the bearing central, had corroded and worn unevenly...
106529201_969401306831139_7655101517859176920_n.jpg


The car now changes gear like it's done 15 miles.

All required (genuine) parts cost £185. However, I also replaced the gearbox oil at the same time, as it was contaminated with water.

Of course, I'm not saying that this is definitely the problem with your A2, but it's something to assess.

Cheers,

Tom
 

cheechy

A2OC Donor
Is there a how to on shift tower bearing replacement anywhere? Is it worth doing if you dont have water in the oil?
 

Colin 540

A2OC Donor
Changing the cables isn't a straightforward task, and it's extremely rare that it's actually necessary. My own car has done 244,000 miles and the original cables are fine. The problem is more likely to be with the roller sleeve bearing at the top of the gearbox selector tower.

If you detach the cables from the top of the gearbox selector tower, you can assess things independently. With the cables detached, does the gear stick within the car still feel overly stiff when moving it in a forwards-backwards motion? If you grab the counterweight at the top of the gearbox shift tower, you can attempt to rock it from side to side to assess how worn the roller sleeve bearing is. How much does the vertical shaft that enters the gearbox from above rock from side to side? It should be held tight, with only rotational and axial motion permitted.

A failed/failing shift tower bearing is something I see not infrequently. Once a little bit of water gets through the rubber ring seal at the very top, the deterioration starts. Although I'm not known for doing a lot of mechanical work, I had to change a complete shift tower mechanism recently for a TDI owner who lives locally to me. His roller sleeve bearing failed completely, meaning he could only access 1st and 2nd gear. He drove the car to my house via all the country lanes and held my driveway to ransom until I fixed it!

The photo below shows the bearing housing, which also accommodates the reverse switch, the locking pin, etc. You can see that the seal at the very top has been ovalled. This wasn't picked up early, meaning the whole shift tower had corroded and needed to be replaced.

View attachment 66593

New shift tower...
View attachment 66594

All reassembled with a new bearing and bearing housing (the housing had to be replaced because the steel sleeve inside, which holds the bearing central, had corroded and worn unevenly...
View attachment 66595

The car now changes gear like it's done 15 miles.

All required (genuine) parts cost £185. However, I also replaced the gearbox oil at the same time, as it was contaminated with water.

Of course, I'm not saying that this is definitely the problem with your A2, but it's something to assess.

Cheers,

Tom
I can confirm with Tom, had my transmission tower bearing replaced 3 years ago now at womautomotive and gear box oil change also.
Been so smooth since and still the same today, thanks to Tom and wom.
👍
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
There's no How-To that I'm aware of. Whether you change just the bearing and its seals, or the bearing and its whole housing, or the entire shift tower mechanism depends on how much deterioration has occurred. In this case, the whole lot had to be replaced.
Is it worth doing if you don't have water in the oil?
Only if there's side-to-side movement at the shift tower or a difficult shift action. I guess it's about weighing up our desires to perform preventative maintenance vs. the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Cheers,

Tom
 

nolan

A2OC Donor
Thanks for the ideas, so the tower is the bit on top of the gearbox? (I read about it in old threads but wasn't sure if it was park of the gearstick mechanism!) I'll disconnect the cable ends and see if the stick move freely. I did plan to do that last time I looked but wanted to check how to remove the cables before I did anything I regretted. I think the workshop manual that audifan posted covers cable disconnection so I'll read that.

Assuming the tower can be replaced with the gearbox in place I'll be happy to have a go at that if it's the issue.

Will report back when I've had a look.
 

steaman

A2OC Donor

nolan

A2OC Donor
Well I've disconnected the cable that connects to the tower and the for aft movement is still still very stiff so I guess the issue is the stick end or cable.

At least now the stick has more movement (while the cable is disconnected) so I'm going to have another look under the gator and see if I can clean any more rubber crumbs from it.
 

cheechy

A2OC Donor
You may need to change the bearing shell - not expensive really (under a fiver) - if its not been changed before.

Part number 1k0711699
 

nolan

A2OC Donor
You may need to change the bearing shell - not expensive really (under a fiver) - if its not been changed before.

Part number 1k0711699
Is that the white part in the picture here?

I was going to mention that it looks like it might be damaged
 

Attachments

nolan

A2OC Donor
Found a thread about it

Mine definitely appears damaged so will order a new one, looks like it can be changed without too much hassle.
 
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