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Old 08-16-2007, 06:22 PM
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Auto shift lever adjustment

have a 1972 3/4 ton Chevy pickup with a350 and 350 auto shift on the column. The shift lever is loose and won't hold in neutral, reverse or drive. I check my manual and there is a clearance given for the lever. It says to loosen the clamp rings and adjust the clearance to .33 ot .36. It has 2 clamp rings one below and one above. I loosed both and tried to move the lever with no luck. I tried taping it with a hammer and squeezing it with a clamp. It is now a bit tighter but I don't think it will last long. It looks like the lever rides on a notched plate above the lever.

What do the clamp rings really do? How do I get this adjusted so the lever hold at the gear selected. One of the bolts on the top clamp ring is stripped out. What is the function of the bolt and can I put in a longer one without problems? Is there a spring that hold everything together?

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 08-16-2007, 06:57 PM
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I am thinking something is wrong with the detents in the transmission. Even if the column shifter was worn and loose, the detents are what holds it in gear.

Do you have really worn out linkages? That truck uses a cross-shaft from frame to trans, and wear at each moving part can add up tp major play. But the shifter sticking out of the trans should click and hold in each gear, even with the linkage disconnected.

I am trying to follow which rings you are trying? The one at the lowest part of the column , under the hood?
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:02 AM
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The rings are under the hood at the shift lever. The transmission was just rebuilt by a very reliable person. I got is so it is a little tighter now but doesn't hold in reverse. It drops to neutral. I can shift past drive and move it back and it will hold in drive. The shifting is not the issue. It goes into all gears just fine it just won't hold on the column indicator.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:25 PM
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Did you try readjusting the linkage right at the link from column to cross-shaft?

The reason I ask is that the detents in the trans should be what holds in in different gears, BUT, if the linkage is off a little, it would be fighting the "gates" in the lower column. Those are notches in a plate, so you can shift without pulling up on the lever, like when you go to low or park.

I'd try adjusting the rod a little.

You don't want to tighten the freeplay rings to cause a bind, in an attempt to "hold" it in gear.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:40 PM
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I second what F&J said. I don't know the exact procedure for that truck, but try putting in in park and loosening the adjuster, wiggling the linkage a little but just to free up any binding, then tightening it up.

If that doesn't work, somebody at www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard might be able to tell you how to fix it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:57 PM
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I had the guy that built my tranny look at it and he found a warn shaft but the linkage was loose at the lever on the trans shaft. He fixed everything installed a new filter and new tranny fuild and did not share me a dime. I had a great time with him talking cars and rods. He owned a hot rod shop before he went strickly to tranny work.

If anyone needs a 350 rebuilt and lives in the Spokane area, he is the guy to do the work.
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