'73 4 speed, rebuild or buy a new shifter?

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MustangNJ

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my '73 Mexican Mach 1 shifter is shot. its a Hurst 4 speed top loader. basically the shims and other internals are worn-out to the point that the shims are actually falling out of position and binding up when I reach for reverse.  I could buy a rebuild kit and attempt to rebuild it myself, or I could buy a whole new shifter with linkages and install kit.  apart from the cost differences, is there any good reason to rebuild what may be the original shifter?

 

mrmach1

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If it’s an original hurst I’d rebuild it myself but that’s just me. You could buy a new one and use the original shift handle and knob.

 

kcmash

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If it's original and you don't want to deal with it you can always donate it to me!  ;-)

I can add it to my "Projects for the future" shelf and make sure it survives.

kcmash

 
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Take it from me, send it to Hurst Shifters Online. They did mine earlier this year and what a difference! Only took 4 weeks door to door, but that was in January.

The aftermarket so called correct Hurst shifters are junk. The stick is not changeable and way too long, plus you'll have to buy the linkage kit as well for another bunch of bucks. I did this first and sent it all back to the vendor. There is NO substitute for original on our cars. As for rebuild kits, only if it's exact for the original Hurst Comp Plus shifter. here's my post on this!

https://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-got-my-rebuilt-hurst-4-speed-shifter-back

Stanglover.

EDIT: so there's no confusion, mine is for a 71 with a flat stick. 72 & 73 have a round stick.

 
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I would rebuild. Even the NOS Hurst Competition Plus shifters are different from factory. I have one and shift rods are smaller on the CP model.

I checked and Dan Williams does not rebuild the Hurst shifters anymore since they sold out. He does have some parts and might be someone to talk with.

Another member has a Mexican Mustang and his toploader was unique and had not been located before. Dan Williams is the best on them I know of.

On his site he says there are 133 different versions of the Ford toploader so can get confusing for sure. You need the tag number off the side of your transmission. Mexican shifters might be different also.

Here is link to info on his site. Go down the price page and he mentions the Hurst parts.

So you have to really know what you are buying or you will get something that is not right for your car.

http://toploadertransmissions.com/dwt-parts-department-price-list.php

 

MustangNJ

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If it’s an original hurst I’d rebuild it myself but that’s just me. You could buy a new one and use the original shift handle and knob.
I just watched a youtube video of a guy rebuilding a 4 speed.  I think it convinced me not to do it myself.  if you know exactly what you are doing its straight forward.  I have exactly no idea what I am doing and there are too many small parts that I could get wrong.

 

MustangNJ

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Thank Carolina, I had no idea that a mexican mach 1 top loader might be different, and therefore replacements might not fit. I can't imagine how they would be different, but I accept that they might be

 

Hemikiller

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I've run both the factory 71 Hurst shifter and the aftermarket Hurst Comp Plus units. Both are competent shifters and each has it's own advantages. The factory is nice with it's removable stick, but it has insulator bushings that get sloppy with age. The aftermarket is a single piece unit, but you can swap the nylon linkage bushings for bronze to improve shift feel. Both are complete garbage when you compare them to a straight linkage rod race shifter, but that requires major floor pan butchery.

If you're careful, you can disassemble the shifter body, clean it, -lightly- grease and reassemble. If the shims are wrecked, then you'll need to buy those. I have no idea if the Mexican Mustangs had a different shifter or parts. There's one sure-fire way to find out - dig in.

 

MustangNJ

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so I got an email back from Scott over at Hurst Shifters Online. they can sell me a new shifter kit, but he needs to know the exact trans and Ford part number off the tail shaft. does anyone happen to know the part number from the tail shaft and trans make/model?

 

73pony

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You will need to look at yours. As discussed earlier in this thread ford used many different variations of the top loader and especially being you have one built in MX you will need the specific numbers off your actual trans.

 

MustangNJ

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thanks Don, that MustangTek link is very helpful.

now I have a really newbie question: if I am replacing the shifter, why exactly does it matter what the tailshaft length is, or the spline count? or maybe those things don't matter, but what does matter is the bolt pattern on the housing where you bolt the shifter, or the length/position of the linkage rods?

I'm trying to educate myself on why it matters so much which new hurst top loader 4 speed I buy, when I am just replacing a hurst top loader? what are the variables that matter? sorry for all the really basic questions, just trying to get educated. thanks for the help

 

midlife

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There are two major parts of the shifter: the knob and lever that sticks up into the passenger compartment, and the shifter mechanism (which attaches the lever). The shifter mechanism has mounting plates that are specific to the tranny tail-shaft, and that affects the shifter rods and linkages. So...exactly where the shifter mounts affects nearly everything else in terms of placement and operation.

 
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I thought you could send it to Hurst for a rebuild???

If this was already mentioned sorry - just reading these last posts.

Ray

 

MustangNJ

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1990 Bronco, Eddie Bauer, 306ci
1978 F150 Ranger, 545 Stroker
1973 Mexican Mach 1 ( final confirmation TBD), 351C
[url=https://ibb.co/kqFMPqf][img]https://i.ibb.co/GCjFrCL/pic1.jpg[/img][/url]
I thought you could send it to Hurst for a rebuild???

If this was already mentioned sorry - just reading these last posts.

Ray
you can send out for a rebuild if you can wait 4-8 weeks.  I don't have place to have the car immobile for that long.

 
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