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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out last night at the Essex Alfa section committee meeting so took the Spider, naturally. The gear change had been a bit notchy on the way over, then on the way back got worse and eventually I lost all ability to select a gear just as I was changing down for a roundabout.
Luckily there was a layby I could swing into. Equally luckily I carry a tool bag and torch, in case I need to stop and help owners of lesser cars from time to time :angel:.
It seemed the ball and socket joint joining the cable (socket) and short shift linkage (ball) was no longer an item and the parts had gone their separate ways. I couldn't press the socket back on to the ball fully, but 5 minutes and a sturdy cable tie later I was able to select a gear, chose 2nd , and drove most of the way home in 2nd. I did manage a change up to 3rd at one point when 4,500 rpm in 2nd got a bit tedious.

The rubber boot next to the linkage was torn and I suspect that some of it may have caught in the linkage and forced the ball joint apart when I changed gear. But I'm also wondering if the socket on the end of the cable is worn.

Question: If the socket does look worn, can it be replaced separately of the cable? If a new cable is needed are they available?

Thanks for any thoughts/suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Maybe the short shifter caused it?

Just an update to this. I hadn't used the car since the problem started. I did however take off the socket part of the cable, removed the plastic bush, packed it out a little by putting an o ring on the outside of the bush (there is actually a groove running round which the o ring slotted into) then put it back into the socket. It felt a better fit when I pushed it back on to the ball joint.
I haven't had chance to test it - not wanting to do it when the roads are busy - until today. The same thing happened as before - the linkage popped off in use.

I had a short shifter adapter fitted. This does angle the cable upwards a bit, as it sits on top of the original ball. It probably also needs more force to operate, being a shorter lever. Maybe this increased force and the changed angle was forcing the socket up too much for an old component to cope with?

Anyway, I have just taken the short shifter off and gone back to standard. A test drive with lots of gratuitous gear changing was fine, so I'm hoping that it will now be OK.

My wife wasn't very sympathetic - "well, if you will go fiddling with things that worked perfectly before you changed them what do you expect...."
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is broke :jester:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As Mrs. V says, “Where did you last have them”?
:rofl:

I didn't think of that! They are probably with the 13mm ratchet spanner and the spare bike key that I can't find either :biglaugh:
 
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