Shift Lever Rebuild
Last Updated: 08/13/2013
This is an alternate procedure
This article is an alternate procedure for overhauling the shift lever. Normally, replacement of parts with new would be ideal. The parts needed to overhaul the shift lever are listed below:
924, 944 all years:
- N012.231A - washer
- N012.437.3 - lock
968 all years:
- N012.648.2 - lock
- N027.381.2 - washer
- 900.222.015.01 - washer
For: 924, 944,968 cars with manual transmissions
Purpose: If you have a lot of side to side play in your shift lever in your 924/944/968, it is likely that the shift lever pin has worn and no longer holds the shift rod properly. If you have everything prepared in advance, this project should take less than 15 minutes to complete, and will save you a minimum of $60 for the cost of a replacement shift lever and restore that “Porsche” feel to your driving.
Use these instructions at your own risk! I cannot guaranty that everyone that tries this procedure will be successful, since I cannot guaranty that you have the necessary skills to do the work. I can only state that it has worked very well for my purposes, having done this on both my ’84 944 and my ’86 951. This is a very easy job to perform, but it does require common sense and basic mechanical skills
Step 1: Preparation
Gather your tools, parts and the right frame of mind for doing this project. It involves cutting, drilling and grinding, so please be careful, use appropriate safety equipment and goggles!
Tools needed include:
Step 2: Remove the shift lever.
This will consist of pulling up the console carpet and then the plastic surround/leather boot surrounding the shift lever on the early model 924/944’s, or by pulling up on the leather boot on the later model 944’s and 968’s. Be particularly careful with the plastic surround on the early model cars, as the plastic clips that hold it in are a bit fragile and tend to break off. Next, raise the shift knob cover to expose the circlip at the bottom of the shift knob and remove the clip and place the clip where you can find it later (see Picture 1). Once this is done, pull up on the shift knob to remove.
After the shift knob is removed, remove the inner boot (it just pulls up) and then remove the retaining clip from the shift lever pin and slide the shift rod off the pin. Using an 8 mm socket, remove the two bolts holding the shift lever in place. Remove the shift lever from the car (Picture 2).
Step 3: Modify the shift lever.
Start by cutting the shift lever pin off using a hack saw (Picture 3). Next, grind the outside of the shift lever where the pin was welded to the shift lever, to remove the excess material and leave a smooth surface (Picture 4). Once this is done, drill a hole that is only slightly smaller that 3/8” through the spot where the shift lever pin was located. I recommend center punching the spot you want to drill and start with a small drill and work up to the appropriate size. Thread this hole with a 3/8-16 tap from the inside (the side that the shift lever pin stuck out, Picture 5)
Step 4: Reinstall the shift lever.
Installation of the shift lever is reverse of removal, just place it back in the car, line up the bolt holes, and run the bolts back in and torque to 21Nm. I would advise using a drop or two of Locktite blue on the bolts, to ensure that the shift lever stays put.
Step 5: Cut the shift lever pin to size.
Before the installation of the shift lever can be accomplished, you need to measure and cut the new “shift lever pin” (the 3/8-16 x 2” bolt) to size (Picture 6). To do this, put the shift rod lever in place and insert the 3/8-16 x 2” bolt through it, with a nylon washer on either side of the shift rod bolt hole opening, and thread it into the shift lever. Get it snug, but not overly tight. Mount the jam nut on the outside of the shift lever, and then mark the bolt to cut the excess. Once you are complete with the mock installation, run through the shift pattern a few times to make sure that you are not binding or having any clearance problems, particularly with 5th or reverse gears. If you are having problems with clearance in 5th or reverse, check to make sure that the bolt you used does not have an excessively thick head, or you may need to grind it down a bit.
Remove the jam nut and then the new “shift lever pin” can be cut. Be sure to dress up the end of the bolt, preferably with a 3/8-16 die, to ensure that you don’t mess up the threads on either the bolt or the shift lever when performing the final installation.
Step 6: Final Assembly
Once the shift lever pin has been cut to size, you can do your final assembly. I recommend coating the shaft of the shift lever pin with white lithium grease and putting Locktite blue on the threads of the pin, again to ensure that it stays in place until you want to take it apart. The finished product should look like this (Picture7). Be sure to not over tighten the shift lever pin, as the shift rod needs to be able to rotate freely on it to work properly. I recommend no more than 15 Nm torque on the jam nut. After tightening the jam nut, the shifter knob can be is reinstalled in the reverse order that it was removed.
If your old shift lever pin was worn much, you will feel a pretty big difference in the shift lever, as it will no longer have much side to side play and shifting will feel much crisper and precise. Enjoy!
Credits: Scott Harrison