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Help! Stuck in reverse - Rookie mistake

cimi73

New member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
2
Location
Elgin, IL
Corvette
1973 dark blue
Hi,

Rookie here (1973) - I think I went to quickly from first into reverse and initially the car didn't move anywhere. After a few attempts, it did move, but forward which at least allowed me to get into the garage. I did some research and it looks like I just need to remove the shifter rod from the linkage for 1-2 and manually move it to neutral. If I move the shifter now, I can move reverse in and out but not move over to neutral or any other gear.

My question is, does that sound correct? If so, do I need to jack up the rear or can I just remove the cotter pin and put into neutral?

Here is a pic, it's a little hard to tell but the 1-2 is not quite vertical, it's a bit forward.
linkage.PNG

Thanks for helping a newbie out
-Mike
 
Last edited:

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,203
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
It looks like you need to get the shift levers lined up again. It may have been out of alignment or really needing lubed and that is what caused them to jam together and not allow 1-2 to return to neutral. Removing the shift rods and getting all three levers aligned on the shifter in neutral and then putting all three trans levers in neutral is necessary. Then adjust each swivel on the rod until it slip fites directly into the trans shift lever. With your neutral gate aligned all the way across and the swivels slip fitting into the trans levers you should be good to go. This is assuming there is no serious wear of the shifter. A good lubtrcation of the shifter arms may do wonders for your car also.

Your shift lever should move side to side in the neutral gate through R, 1-2 and 3-4 without having to move it fore or aft to catch the next gate. Rear or front wheels don't need to be off the ground except to allow you access under the car to work.

Tom
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
First you need a 73 Service Manual and then you may need to make a "locating gauge" to lock the shifter in neutral. The instructions on how to make the locating gauge are usually in the FSM.

You insert the gauge into the bottom of the shifter, manually put each of the three levers in neutral, then adjust all the rods such that their ends fit into the shift levers on the sidecover.

Remove the locating gauge and the shifter should be properly adjusted.
 

cimi73

New member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
2
Location
Elgin, IL
Corvette
1973 dark blue
Thank you

Thank you for the responses - I had to jack up the back end to get under it and before I started disconnecting anything, I figured I would try manually moving the linkage into neutral. Luckily they moved easily and then I tried shifting and it was freed up. I lubed up the shifter the best I could and it seems to be working fine now. The shifter seems pretty loose so I'm going to have to fix that pretty soon.

Thanks again for the advice
-Mike
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,203
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
CC has a linkage parts kit that takes care of most items that wear.

They also sell a new complete shifter assembly if the main shifter unit is worn excessively. The price is really decent compared to trying to rebuild one and expecting like new operation. They also sell a Hurst shifter kit that uses an original looking lever. These are great but costly.

1973 4 Speed Shifter Page

Also notice that the adjustment/alignment gauge is only $2.95 here.

Tom
 

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