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Discussion Starter #1
The problem:
- gears feel sticky/stiff, dropping into neutral the gear stick doesn't centre itself as seen below.
http://i.imgur.com/UyzqC.jpg

The solution:
- take apart the gear selector plate, thoroughly clean, grease, replace worn bushes with new ones.

This is a diagram of the gear selector:
http://koti.mbnet.fi/~vsix/Car/gear.jpg
The red "rod" (part 12), goes through the housing (part 8). The housing has bushes on both sides. You need to get to this, clean out the housing, grease and replace the bushes.

Parts required:
- new top hat bushes (I ordered mine from Ned @ auto lusso for £5 delivered)
- grease (I got a huge tub of Castrol multi-purpose grease for £6.99 from halfrauds)
http://i.imgur.com/OPwuj.jpg

The guide:

Step 1: removing the battery
- Open bonnet, identify battery, remove negative positive clips
- remove the battery strap via the nut hidden away on the left hand side between the engine and battery
http://i.imgur.com/badsi.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/vxPp1.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/KppkJ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/hByPN.jpg
Hidden nut will be a ***** to reach unless you've got a nice socket extension. Otherwise prepare for some struggling and knuckle scraping:
http://i.imgur.com/uMyUP.jpg
- you will also need to remove the nut attaching the cable from the left hand side on the relay box:
http://i.imgur.com/AbJhQ.jpg
- now you can remove the battery, you will see the battery tray:
http://i.imgur.com/u7ptd.jpg

Step 2: removing the battery tray
- remove the 4 nuts located on the right hand side wall of the tray:
http://i.imgur.com/LUdEW.jpg
- remove the fuse box lid:
http://i.imgur.com/skOHo.jpg
- unscrew nut holding the cable on the right hand side of the fuse box and push to one side:
http://i.imgur.com/E1XXF.jpg
- now you can pull the battery tray up amd upwards yourself (although it's still attached you'll now have enough space to work on the gear selector plate)
http://i.imgur.com/ILrro.jpg

Step 3: taking apart the gear selector plate, clean, grease, replace bushes
http://i.imgur.com/fN3EH.jpg
Closer look:
http://i.imgur.com/IJQcQ.jpg
- remove the nut, washer and metal twig thing:
http://i.imgur.com/48qQg.jpg
- you can pull away the part attached to the centre pivot:
http://i.imgur.com/YSOfk.jpg
(while that's out, I gave mine a good cleaning)
http://i.imgur.com/zpQZf.jpg
- slowly and gently tap out the gold bolt, I had a rubber hammer thing which suited the job nicely:
http://i.imgur.com/f61eK.jpg
The washers are on both sides on the "gold bolts" housing. Difficult to spot but they're there. I'm pointing at one in the picture below:
http://i.imgur.com/6Of6Y.jpg
- take out the dry, busted old bushes. (mine felt like they had been super-glued on, had to literally peel on of themoff using a screwdriver) old bushes:
http://i.imgur.com/ZjVqU.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/9wP0C.jpg
- you will need to thoroughly clean the housing for the gold bolt you just tapped out. Make sure it's squeaky clean, grease up nicely and the new bushes should easily slide in. If they don't slide in with ease you haven't cleaned/greased it properly!!
These are the new bushes:
http://i.imgur.com/iDrNx.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FKzsk.jpg
- clean and grease the gold bolt/rod and place back in the housing:
http://i.imgur.com/tEOUz.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/absn1.jpg
- replace back that piece you removed off the gold bolt:
http://i.imgur.com/YSOfk.jpg
- put back the metal twig thing, washer and nut:
http://i.imgur.com/6akxZ.jpg

OPTIONAL!!
Step 4: cleaning and greasing the ball joints. (i did mine)
- using a pair of pliers (not to squeeze but jam under and push up) pop the ball joint on both the rods:
http://i.imgur.com/UucvH.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/WD668.jpg
On mine the grease had dried up and was like dust in there)
- clean, grease, pop back on
http://i.imgur.com/9YOWw.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/E75L7.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/7aVHH.jpg

Step 5: putting it all back!
- battery tray and cable back to the fuse box:
http://i.imgur.com/GD3Ws.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/M3gvZ.jpg
- battery back in, not forgetting the strap, relay box cable etc etc. Just work your way back!
http://i.imgur.com/HmYaC.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/rFKbp.jpg
- realise all that for these two little things:
http://i.imgur.com/gYfUY.jpg

Step 6: admire and check your pride and joy
http://i.imgur.com/Jx67b.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/TNqlF.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/rfnNQ.jpg

Feels perfect now, gear stick springs back to the centre in neutral.
If anyone needs a hand or anything give me a shout, illbe more thanhappy to help.

A lot of thanks to Ned @ auto lusso for the advice and info, plus the phone call giving me directions when I got stuck!!
 

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Will definitely come in handy for those that need to do it.

I was a bit confused at first because there were no step by step photo guides, got there in the end but something like this would of been great.

:thumbs:
 

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Great thread!!

one question tho, i've done mine and now its as if the gear stick is traveling past the gate for 5th and 6th gear, so its a bas***d to get it in, 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th are all fine. i need HELP

thanks
 

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Great thread!!

one question tho, i've done mine and now its as if the gear stick is traveling past the gate for 5th and 6th gear, so its a bas***d to get it in, 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th are all fine. i need HELP

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments.

Hey Scott,
Does it actually go into gear in 5th/6th, it's just the neutral doesn't spring back on the right side?
Did you change both bushes, then clean and grease up properly?

When i did it, it was back to normal when I just popped off the ball joint cables, cleaned, greased. Ned @ auto lusso advised me that would only be a temp fix so I did the bushes too. So what I'm getting at is, maybe you should do the ball joints too?
 

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.....
- now you can pull the battery tray up amd upwards yourself (although it's still attached you'll now have enough space to work on the gear selector plate)
This will almost certainly result in you straining the lead for the reverse-light switch as it is hooked to the back of the battery plate. A bit too much strain and you will pull the wire clean out of the plug on the top of the gearbox.

Extra step is to disconnect the plug from the gearbox before removing the plate or unhook the cable from the plate (from the pictures it appears that is what you did).

PS. Mineral based grease was a bad idea as it'll perish the plastic bushings. Always use silicone based grease on plastics.
 

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Great thread!!

one question tho, i've done mine and now its as if the gear stick is traveling past the gate for 5th and 6th gear, so its a bas***d to get it in, 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th are all fine. i need HELP

thanks
You have undone the 13mm which is the left right adjust

Ned
 

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I had a similar problem on my 2.0 147. Tried greasing the gear selector but it only lasted a short while. Whole new plate from my local dealer was only 20 quid and well worth it, especially as I bought the car very cheap as the guy said "it needs a new gearbox" hehe
 

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I had a similar problem on my 2.0 147. Tried greasing the gear selector but it only lasted a short while. Whole new plate from my local dealer was only 20 quid and well worth it, especially as I bought the car very cheap as the guy said "it needs a new gearbox" hehe
What difference would the new plate make tho? I was under the impression that it was only the bushes that caused the stiffness, the plate could just be sanded/cleaned if need be?
 

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Handy thread as I was going to tackle this today.

I managed to strip away the battery tray but them am stuck.

I removed the nut, washer and clip as per your instructions and then I pulled out the part attached to the centre point.

I'm now stuck at what to do! Here is a pic of the current state of play and the bits I've removed.

I've got the new bushes all ready to go but am unsure as to what my next step is. I've stopped due to fading light but want to crack on again first thing in the morning.
 

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Looking back through your pictures on here it looks a lot clearer now (was using the iPad to view them outside before).

I see that I just need to tap out the gold bolt using a hammer, only got a standard one so will be careful!

With regards to the ball joints where is the second rod attached? I can see the one with the gator next to it on my picture but am not sure where the second one is?

When you recommend pliers for the job do you mean narrow nose pliers or just normal big 'uns?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yep, you're on the right path.

-Tap out the golden bolt looking thing, Mine was solid, had to be a bit firm.
- one of the ball joints is behind the part youre tapping out so difficult to see it. It is actually connected to the gold bolt if I'm not mistaken.
- the other ball joint is directly to the left of the part you removed

Any pliers will do, just to get under the ball joint and pop it off, could even use scissors.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
escortvan- yep! Lol, wrote it all out on my iPhone, clicked "post thread" got ERROR. had to write the whole thing up again!

wonder_lander- i initially did the ball joints because i actually was stuck finding the bushes at first and it seemed to cure the actual problem, gear stick centred perfectly. Then I got guidance from Ned and he described perfectly how to do it so I did the bushes AFTER. doubt it'll make a difference what order it's done.
 

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Job done! I used a spanner to pop the ball joints and a socket set extension bar to aid my hammer blows to the gold bolt!

Whilst I was in there I also found an egr gasket that the garage had evidently dropped down there at some point!

Thanks for the great guide!
 
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