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Transmission moving?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 07-16-2014 10:56 pm
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answerman
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This is kind of hard to explain, and I'm not even sure I have a problem yet, it may be all in my mind.  I haven't gotten under the car to see if I can figure it out yet.

First, the question: is it normal for the transmission to shift/move from side to side while driving?  And if so, what would be causing it?

What brought this on:  Took Ms. Jenavieve out for a drive with the local British car club last weekend, and on the way back Mrs. Answerman asked if she could drive.  So, this was the first time that I've sat in the passenger seat for any length of time.   I noticed as we were driving along that the shift lever is not even close to being centered in the console opening, it's probably about centered when in first/second gear, and in reverse it's almost touching the right edge of the console cutout.  Like I said, I've never really looked at it from this angle before, so maybe it's always been like that and I never noticed before.

Since I noticed this, of course I've gotten all paranoid about it and have been paying attention.  Another thing I've since noticed is that it actually moves while driving.  If I take a reasonably hard right turn, I can see the lever actually move to the left about an inch during the turn.  Same thing on the other side.

Again, maybe it's always been like this and I've just not been paying attention.  So, asking the question again: is this normal?  And if it's not, what should I be looking for?  Motor mounts maybe?  Is there a mount that holds the transmission in place, or is it just bolted to the engine?

Last edited on 07-17-2014 09:06 pm by answerman

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 Posted: 07-17-2014 08:51 pm
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Frank Schwartz
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Interesting...is your car fitted with the Getrag transmission as in later cars? If so, I suggest your shifter is loose, very loose... Pete Bahr has a permanent fix for this. Requires that you remove the shifter unit and send to him...the results are amazing and a lifetime fix. However if it an earlier shifter, there are a number of things...perhaps the tail post mount under the car is loose allowing the entire thing to move about.
Tell us more...type of transmission, VIN number of the car...etc.
Also if you can, get under the car and check that tailpost mount....new ones from JHPS and if not, from Delta.

Tell us more, please.

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 Posted: 07-17-2014 08:54 pm
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Frank Schwartz
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One more thing....if your transmission is of the later type, that is, Getrag, there is a "rebuild" kit for it consisting of nylon bushings...which is what wore out in the first place. I suggest that the rebuild kit is not that good and you are back in the same ditch as before, that is, of wearing nylon bushings. Pete Bahr uses bronze oilite bushings I think...I've seen this in action and the crispness of the unit as to where a gear is, is simply amazing.

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 Posted: 07-17-2014 09:02 pm
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answerman
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No, it's the earlier 4 speed Chrysler transmission (VIN 16173). The lever itself feels nice and snug, it's not that I can move it with my hand when it's in gear. It just seems like the whole powertrain is moving.

I'll get under there to investigate further. I just figured that this might be common enough that there was an accepted fix, assuming that it's a problem to begin with.

I'm going to take from your reply that this is not a normal situation? That it shouldn't be moving about like this?

Last edited on 07-17-2014 09:04 pm by answerman

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 Posted: 07-17-2014 11:34 pm
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Frank Schwartz
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NO, unless the shifter mechanism is worn, which is unlikely...However, I have seen the Chrysler transmissions where the shift lever goes way over to the right side and far forwards...more than one would think it should be..but...if it is in gear, it should not be wobbling or moving about...check the rear tranny mount..probably not that, but worth investigating...

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 Posted: 07-18-2014 01:58 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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It's not supposed to move alot so time to check the trans mount's and also the engine mounts. Rev the engine and watch it to see if it is moving to much, also check the small engine stablizer on the fire wall, they all need to be good.

Brett

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 Posted: 07-20-2014 05:57 am
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answerman
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Well, I took today to assess the situation. I was planning on a car show today (in addition to one tomorrow and another one next Friday, tis the season) but of the three today's was the one I really didn't care about, and I've been more and more obsessed with figuring out the issue. Last night when I took her to fill up the tank I heard some interesting scraping from underneath when taking a hard left turn, which I assumed to be the front driveshaft U-joint hitting the right side of the tunnel. So, under the car I went today.

To make a long story short, it's fixed, at least good enough for now. And if this story doesn't make it apparent, I don't get under the car much... 90% of the work I've done has been cosmetic work to the body, along with brake and engine work. I've been pretty lucky mechanically up till now. This was the first time I really examined the underside of the car. This picture shows what I ended up finding...


At left is the transmission mount, which needs to be replaced but seems to be mostly serviceable at this point. At right is what the bracket SHOULD look like, at least mostly (more on that later). At center: well, that's what I took out. Apparently it's been like this since I got the car, since I'm pretty sure I would remember hitting whatever object that bent it like that.

It's kind of hard to picture it in context, but those of you that are familiar with this part know that it shouldn't look like that. First of all, the bolts that attach the mount to the transmission (the "ears" in the mount at left in the picture) were nowhere to be found. Worse, the bracket is bent so far that the mount wasn't even underneath its expected mounting point... if you were to see the bracket when it was mounted to the car, it's bent at well over a 45 degree angle and the mount was an inch or so in front of where it should have been. Oddly enough, it was bent FORWARD which I don't quite understand.

So, while it was holding the transmission up, it wasn't actually attached to the transmission at all. Nothing to keep it from moving from side to side. My guess is that it's been like this since before I got the car, and I must have hit a bump hard enough and/or driving it hard enough that the driveline torque was pushing it to the right.

Now for the good news: those of you that were at the Jensen East meet this year remember that I had the trailer full of assorted bits from my parts car. And I distinctly remembered, as I was looking at this, seeing a bracket just like this and putting it in the trailer with the other bits. Honestly, I didn't even know what it was, and I don't remember removing it from the parts car. My guess is that when Ernie pulled the engine and tranny from it, he must have just tossed it in the boot. Or, I did remove it but promptly forgot where from. Anyway, I dug through my parts and there it was... and that's the one you see on the right in the picture. It's not perfect, but it's WAY better than the bent up one and it actually bolted on nice and flat.

So, I jacked up the transmission, removed the bent bracket (which was a chore because it was bent so badly that I couldn't get at one of the bolt heads, I had to get in there with a vise grip and bend it back enough to give me access), removed the mount assembly (which isn't in the greatest shape but serviceable) and headed across the street to the hardware store for some new 5/16-24 bolts and locknuts. Cleaned everything up, chased the holes in the transmission with a tap (since there hadn't been bolts threaded into them since who knows when), and reassembled everything with the "new" bracket while prying the transmission back to where it should be as I tightened the nuts.

And she's... well, not good as new, but at least everything is now where it's supposed to be and not moving around like it was. I think I'll be ordering a new mount from Delta, probably this winter when I replace all the suspension bushings (at least that's my plan anyway) and address it then. At least I now know everything is secure, and the cost came to about $2.06 for the nuts and bolts. Once again the boxes of bits removed from my parts car comes through for me, and gives me yet another entry in the "glad I kept all that stuff" file.

Last edited on 07-20-2014 06:00 am by answerman

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 Posted: 07-23-2014 07:54 am
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answerman
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100 miles later, all looks good. Transmission hasn't moved. Whew.

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 Posted: 07-23-2014 04:40 pm
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Frank Schwartz
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Glad to hear it. That crossmember mount was really messed up...it must have been hung on a curb or something to have bent it so badly....and you were lucky to have had some spares....but...I had one on hand if you had needed it...

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