Toploader/Hurst combo - hard to shift

Don65Stang

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So I drove the M-code all this past week & put 400 miles on her. Lots & lots of compliments. :)

However, at times I thought I sure would like an automatic because this thing is hard to shift. And it is hard to shift. If I tried to power shift it I think I would blow the engine first because it takes a pretty good effort to pull the shifter to 2nd gear. 3rd & 4th aren't so bad but still pretty stiff. Maybe I've become a pansy because I can shift my VW with 1 finger, but this Mach had me muscling the row boat gear pattern with gusto.

Any ideas why it's such a pull on the oar?

 
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goodnigh

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My toploader does the same thing. Sometimes you shift with a finger

and sometimes it is hard to find the gear. Sometimes it feels like it

needs a rebuild and other times it is butter smooth. Go figure.

May be just being a toploader.

mike

 

Don65Stang

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Glad to know I'm not being a pansy about it. Lol

I don't have much experience with driving a toploader so maybe this is normal Mike or maybe our transmissions need some attention. Maybe we are just getting old...but I refuse that idea.

 

marks73

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Have you changed the bushings in your linkages? Cheapest place to start tightening things up and easiest to do.

 

OPN PONY

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Second is a grunt on my car too. However, with a 3.50 trac-loc and what I assume is a close ratio toploader it will take off in 3rd gear. Not sure if it indicates that a previous owner knew that there was a problem but the car came to me with an envelope from a transmission rebuild company with a set of hardware for the linkage. The person I bought it from sent me a pic of a toploader and linkage from another car to match to when I tweak the linkage on mine. I'll have a look for the pic and post it for you. Maybe the linkage just needs adjustment?

 

72 R Code

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Is it hard to shift when the engine is off and the car sitting still? If it is, maybe you could squirt a little lube in the shifter.

 

goodnigh

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Second is a grunt on my car too. However, with a 3.50 trac-loc and what I assume is a close ratio toploader it will take off in 3rd gear. Not sure if it indicates that a previous owner knew that there was a problem but the car came to me with an envelope from a transmission rebuild company with a set of hardware for the linkage. The person I bought it from sent me a pic of a toploader and linkage from another car to match to when I tweak the linkage on mine. I'll have a look for the pic and post it for you. Maybe the linkage just needs adjustment?
You probably have a wide ratio tranny as the close ratio was used

on big blocks. I also start off in third when I miss first, it is really

easy to do. First thing you notice is the car is a little sluggish.

mike

 

Jim and Jutta

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How do you guys with toploaders drink your coffee on a morning cruise?

 

goodnigh

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How do you guys with toploaders drink your coffee on a morning cruise?
You don't. Need both hands, feet, eyes and ears to

properly operate the Mustang. I have a nice stereo

system but never use it, too distracting for the task

at hand.

mike

 

Qcode351mach

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So I drove the M-code all this past week & put 400 miles on her. Lots & lots of compliments. :)

However, at times I thought I sure would like an automatic because this thing is hard to shift. And it is hard to shift. If I tried to power shift it I think I would blow the engine first because it takes a pretty good effort to pull the shifter to 2nd gear. 3rd & 4th aren't so bad but still pretty stiff. Maybe I've become a pansy because I can shift my VW with 1 finger, but this Mach had me muscling the row boat gear pattern with gusto.

Any ideas why it's such a pull on the oar?
Funny I don't remember mine being that Hard to shift...Now the clutch that's a different story..Did you flush the tranny & put new fluid in it ?

 

Jim and Jutta

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How do you guys with toploaders drink your coffee on a morning cruise?
You don't. Need both hands, feet, eyes and ears to

properly operate the Mustang...

mike
WOW, morning coffee while driving or toploader...that's a tough one.

 

Jeff73Mach1

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If your clutch is misadjusted and does not have adequate freeplay, it will make it hard to shift. I agree with going thru the linkage and checking adjustment on the shifter. My toploader needed rebuilding due to wear in the case which necessitated a couple of bushings to be made and inserted in the case. As a result of the wear mine had shifting problems and would get completely locked up in reverse.

I would check the rear support and make sure it and the cross member are tight and there isn't any problem. If you get to the point where you remove the transmission, make sure and check the runout of the bellhousing as this can cause a slight misalignment if it is off.

 

c9zx

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As Mark suggested the bushings and spring clips could be damaged, I used to break the metal bushings frequently. The linkage could be out of adjustment as well. On the shifter "frame" you'll see a small half round notch at the bottom. With the shifter in neutral insert a small L shaped rod or allen wrench of the approximate diameter as the hole (.250). It should go all the way through the shifter. If it won't go through, the shift lever lengths need to be adjusted. Chuck

 

cobrajet99

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The Toploader In My Mach Is A Bear To Shift Too, Especially from first to second ??????

 

goodnigh

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I sometimes have a hard time getting mine into reverse but that is a problem with

the reverse lockout mechanism and not the tranny.

mike

 

Tnfastbk

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Man I had no issues with mine except every now and then if I was driving around in 3rd she would pop out of gear. But no shift issues.

 

goodnigh

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That probably explains why they put the T-handle on it.

You really need something to hang onto. A little plastic

knob would not cut it.

mike

 

mchandford

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Glad I found this post, seems like it has been a while. I am wondering if anyone has any new info regarding shifting issues with the toploader? I am having all the same issues as what other people are mentioning. Someone said adjust the rods and linkages but where do I start with that? I would like to think I can do it myself, but if I can't I don't know that there is a shop in my area that can even attempt this. Thanks for the help.

 

mchandford

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No new responses in a while. I am hoping someone has some new info as I am still having the 1st to 2nd shift issue. Sometimes it goes in nice and clean and other times it won't go in at all. Just grinds and pushes back, so i put it in third then come back to second. Someone mentioned the clutch may be the problem. What is the best way to check the freeplay on the clutch? I am trying to picture what it should feel like. On my car if the clutch is not all the way to the floor it is not fully engaged (disengaged?) So i am thinking i need to adjust the clutch a bit to give me a better shift. Where do I start? I was able to use you guys' info to change the bushings on the linkages and check the neutral alignment. That all seems good to go. Thanks for your help everyone.

 
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