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