Shift linkage

Buford T. JuSStice

Buford T. JuSStice

Master Mechanic
Aug 16, 2010
294
43
I'm sure this has been beaten to death in the forums, but I must not be using the right search criteria because I haven't found a thread that satisfies the question I have.

I've got a 700R4, swapped from a 200C. The original shift linkage reaches, but it's off angle and putting the car into "P" sometimes results in it actually being in between "P" and "R" which is no bueno. I tried modifying the linkage, and for a little while it worked, because the car could go into and stay in park, but only if you really slammed it home and held it there. I found out the hard way already that the shifter position is enough to engage the ignition electrically, but mechanically the transmission isn't fully engaged into Park. The result was my starter getting it's teeth gnashed up hard. Before I bother swapping the starter, I better fix the shifter.

So is there a fix for this without going to a floor shifter? With a 200-4R column shift linkage work?
 
Dixie Restoration Depot

Dixie Restoration Depot

Apprentice
GBodyForum Sponsor
Oct 24, 2016
91
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Manchester, CT
Have you checked if the oval-shaped bushings are missing out of the linkage? When those bushings break and fall out it causes a problem that sounds like the issue you are having. From my memory, I thought that the linkages were the same coming off the column and the only difference was the internal stop for the OD trans equipped cars.
 
Buford T. JuSStice

Buford T. JuSStice

Master Mechanic
Aug 16, 2010
294
43
Well you're right about the oval shaped bushings being toast. I'll try picking those up and see if anything changes. But there are in fact different linkage set ups for different transmissions with variations mostly in lengths, and angles of the different parts. The Shephards crook looking part for example, is slightly longer on 200-4R and the angle of the crook is sharper by about 3-4 degrees and turned a little more inward than one on say a 200C or TH350. I think it was mainly a difference between OD and 3Speed transmissions, but I may be wrong.
 
Buford T. JuSStice

Buford T. JuSStice

Master Mechanic
Aug 16, 2010
294
43
Here we go. This is a great showcase of how the linkages differ. You can get the metric shifter to fit on the 700-R4 with the C Shaped shift lever found on I think a TH400, but as I've found out through hard experience, it isn't perfect, and the linkages need to be adjusted more than I'm comfortable with doing. If I break it then I'm totally out of luck!

http://www.myelcamino.net/elcamino6.htm
 

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Buford T. JuSStice

Buford T. JuSStice

Master Mechanic
Aug 16, 2010
294
43
The problem too is that unless you learn how to tell the difference between the two, you could easily get ripped off on Ebay by somebody selling a metric linkage set advertising it as a Grand National 200-4R one!

Makes me super cautious about buying one.
 
Dixie Restoration Depot

Dixie Restoration Depot

Apprentice
GBodyForum Sponsor
Oct 24, 2016
91
33
Manchester, CT
Well you're right about the oval shaped bushings being toast. I'll try picking those up and see if anything changes. But there are in fact different linkage set ups for different transmissions with variations mostly in lengths, and angles of the different parts. The Shephards crook looking part for example, is slightly longer on 200-4R and the angle of the crook is sharper by about 3-4 degrees and turned a little more inward than one on say a 200C or TH350. I think it was mainly a difference between OD and 3Speed transmissions, but I may be wrong.

I learn something new each day, even in taking these cars apart over the years I never noticed those were different. If those oval bushings are as bad as you say I would start there and let us know if it helps at all.
 
Winkernod

Winkernod

Apprentice
Sep 13, 2018
63
33
Reading this thread got me thinking as I am in the middle of doing an LS swap with a 4L60E trans into an 80 Grand Prix with a console shift. I have also grabbed a shifter and cable from an F body. I guess the big question for me is will I be able to use the linkage from the trans to the column as it was originally setup or what parts /mods do I need to look at. Thanks in advance. I have been lurking here for a few months now and have for most of the information I needed with just a search.
 
Buford T. JuSStice

Buford T. JuSStice

Master Mechanic
Aug 16, 2010
294
43
Reading this thread got me thinking as I am in the middle of doing an LS swap with a 4L60E trans into an 80 Grand Prix with a console shift. I have also grabbed a shifter and cable from an F body. I guess the big question for me is will I be able to use the linkage from the trans to the column as it was originally setup or what parts /mods do I need to look at. Thanks in advance. I have been lurking here for a few months now and have for most of the information I needed with just a search.
That's a HARD no unless you are an expert fabricator and can figure something out. If you look at where the shifter linkage connects at the firewall, you'll see that it's sunken in about 2" or so, with the part that the linkage attaches to barely clearing the firewall. Lokar for example, sells a column cable kit, but it does not work on G-Bodies because there isn't enough clearance to attach the bracket for the system with how the attaching point for the lever is so close to the firewall.

That's probably not explained very well, but the point is that unless you're very talented with fabrication, it's not doable with off the shelf aftermarket parts.
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
4,327
113
Shelocta, Pa
Outside of the possible need for TH200 4R linkage & bushings, the general adjustment of the linkage to match the shift pattern plate. When I still running 3sp automatics I would put the trans & column both into 1st then adjust the linkage. I always had good luck having the needle point to the right position. But that was my car & we all know everything is not always the same.
 
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Buford T. JuSStice

Buford T. JuSStice

Master Mechanic
Aug 16, 2010
294
43
Outside of the possible need for TH200 4R linkage & bushings, the general adjustment of the linkage to match the shift pattern plate. When I still running 3sp automatics I would put the trans & column both into 1st then adjust the linkage. I always had good luck having the needle point to the right position. But that was my car & we all know everything is not always the same.
Amen to that. Mine is just a blonde one away from working, and I could probably adjust it to work, but even a minor adjustment to the arm could potentially destroy it, and that's bad.

Last time I adjusted it, I put the arm in a bench vice, and then slipped two sockets over the actuating piece that goes through the shift lever - one big one to cover the base of the actuator, and a smaller on that just barely fit over the arm itself, but also inside the bigger socket - and then attached a breaker bar to the big socket and pulled down on it (gently, but firmly) it until it moved about 3-4 degrees.

That DID actually help quite a bit, but it's still just a couple of degrees off. I suppose I could adjust it again, but like I said...
 

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