Shifter works and so does oil fill

I took my wrecked shift rod to Mike at National Budget Muffler on Wednesday morning to see if he could braze it back together. The conversation went roughly as follows:

Me: As you can see, I tried to stick-weld it, because I’m stupid like that.

Mike (turning it over, looking at the brass insert): what’s this?

Me: That’s is a piece of plumbing supply I put in there as backer. The old one had something like it but I wanted a longer piece. I had to grind it to make it fit. Those rivets are holding it in the orientation it needs to be . . . 

Mike: Why didn’t you put metal in there? Then we could weld it.

Me: Look at me. Look what I did. I told you already and showed you that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing! You can’t braze that?

Mike: Maybe could if we had some brazing rod. It’s not so bad. Maybe we could weld it.

I left it with him. No receipt. No phone. Went back today to check on progress. Mike wasn’t there but another guy was. He pulled the part from a mess of jackets behind him in the booth facing out on the customer waiting room. It looked like this:

shiftrod redo6

“He ground it smooth and painted it up so it wouldn’t rust,” the man told me. “That work for ya?”

“Welded or brazed?”


“How much?”

“I dunno,” the guy says. “$10? $20?”

I handed him $15 and asked what kind of beer they like. He didn’t tell me.

I headed out to the Despot for some PVC pipe to mock up my coolant lines. I plan to bend it with heat and run it just as if it were the metal lines I want the muffler shop to make for me. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon.

While there I also bought a two 3/4 inch copper fittings, a 45-degree bend and a straight reducer for like $2 each.

When I got home I had to drill the cut ends of my oil filler tube just slightly in order to fit the copper bits in them.

oil fill fix 2 oil fill fix 3A little solder to sweat the copper joint, then roughed the surfaces and epoxied it all together. It should work fine as-is but I think I’ll also fiberglass it from the outside to make it neat and a little stronger.

Flushed with success I moved to the shift rod. I greased and reinstalled the coupler, greased the slider and and the cup and fed the whole assembly back through the giant hole in the top of the tunnel. I got the transaxle end hooked up and installed the shifter.

Took a couple tries, but after about 10 minutes of fiddling I was able to shift into all four gears and reverse. I wired the set screw on the coupler and called it a day.

shifter back incoupler recoupled


About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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