727 Full manual reverse valve body- third gear adjustment

Engine, Trans & Driveline

  1. Lexi

    Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    I have a 69 factory 383/727 sport satellite purchased bone stock from original owners in 1976; so all work or mods since then, were done by/for me, so no mysteries involved. In 1979 I took the car off the road to have it painted, rebuilt motor and trans with modifications for performance. At that same time a Cheetah full manual reverse valve body (P,R,N,1,2,3) was installed. I left the factory center console shifter in place. With the reverse pattern valve body and shifting away from neutral, it performed good enough for me, as I didn’t want to bugger up the console on fit in a slap style race shifter. I didn’t mind the full manual function, as I only drove it about 200 miles a year, if that. Here’s where my problem is. When we did the valve body install, there was quite a bit of finagling of the trans linkage to allow enough travel to get to 3rd gear with the shifter. I remember the trans guy saying I had just enough length to clamp the shift rod down to get all gear positions to work. Park, neutral, 1, and 2 were no issue, and 3rd was fine, although the shifter was as far back against the console as it could go, but it worked fine for 40 years. Forgot to mention that of course all the kickdown linkage under the hood was disconnected, and only the original gear selector linkage under the car at the transmission is used for the manual shifting. Long way to get to the problem, but figure too much information is better than not enough, so last week I had my car at a shop for some minor maintenance work and asked to check ATF leak, which was determined to be the lip seal on the speedometer gear adapter. Because he needed to free up his lift, we decided I would order the new seal kit, and install another time. He also mentioned he noticed the shift linkage under the car was “flopping” around and adjusted the rod per the factory manual. Well, I brain farted, and should have realized that was opposite of what I need for my gear selection. As soon as I picked up the car, I realized that the shifter felt funny, and getting reverse wasn’t normal, but worked pulling a bit further towards neutral. He was in a hurry so I figured I would take it home and deal with it later. It was when I was heading home that I realized that pulling back to get third gear didn’t work. Fortunately I only had to go a couple miles and traffic wasn’t too bad, so most of the drive was in second gear, but still about 3800 rpm just to go at a normal speed around 35-40 mph. Got it home, and got the car up on jack stands, crawled under and reversed his adjustment, which had the lower rod pulled towards front of car through the swivel and locked with about 3/4” of the rod end exposed past the swivel. I remember that was the area of finagling years ago and that there was barely enough of the lower rod in the clamping area to lock it in, and have my transmission operate as intended. I figured I could just loosen the nut, with car in park, and pull it back towards the rear of the trans, to about where I remember it being. I had my wife try moving the shifter in the car while I observed from below. Everything functioned normally, with her getting the click between everything until trying to get third, furthest position back on the console. It gets a spongy feel of resistance there, and just doesn’t want to click. It appears everything underneath is ok, but is there any way that I can confirm that? Will I screw something up if I take that rod out of the gear selector coming out of the trans, and move the selector itself by hand to check it. Will it click between positions down there, or is it strictly a position location for each gear selection? I thought about something off up at the shifter inside car, but don’t want to try that, as it was never part of the adjustment process before, so I don’t think my problem is there. Finally, all of this has been with the car up off wheels, and based on just the in car shifter feel, which feels normal until trying to get it to that last 3rd gear position. Would getting the car down and running change anything? I know I need to add some ATF once I lower it and get it running, just trying to get everything fixed while it’s in the air, as it’s a process to go through that, but if necessary, I’ll have to. Any help with this is appreciated. I’ve tried multiple adjustments on the lower linkage, with similar results; everything feels right until third gear. Thanks to all in advance.
     
  2. Darter6

    Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    2 things,Yes you can disconnect the linkage at the transmission selector shaft,then using the attached arm you should feel and hear every detent as the selector moves thru the rooster comb detents.
    That said maybe when the valve body was first installed the rooster comb may have been bent thus the 3 gear problem.
    Just speculating here.
     
  3. 493 Mike

    493 Mike FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Are you using the original lever, clamped on the valve body or was it furnished with the manual body? Sounds like a leverage/ratio issue.
    Mike
     
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    • Darter6

      Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      ^^^ YES those arms do come in different lengths. #3 on your list !
       
    • Lexi

      Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Thanks. Not sure what the rooster comb is, but I will research it. Won’t be doing anything until tomorrow but thanks for the input!
       
    • Lexi

      Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      As far as I can remember, everything outside of the valve body is original. Whatever it is, it happened right after the guy re-adjusted the linkage that didn’t really need adjustment. I will explore your thoughts as well. Thanks
       
    • Lexi

      Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Will double check but as far as I know everything is original on the linkage. Thanks
       
    • moparsaver

      moparsaver FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      upload_2021-4-4_14-0-7.jpeg
       
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      • Fran Blacker

        Fran Blacker FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Maybe loosen adjuster move console where 3rd gears is, all the way back. Then move trans lever to where 3rd gear is without moving console lever. Lock down adjusting rod. When starting the car in park be careful, foot ON brake pedal just in case. MO. See what other guys say about this method.
         
        Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
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        • Lexi

          Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          I see what a rooster comb is. Is that something that can be examined easily, when dropping pan to change filter? Does valve body need to be removed too? Sorry, not a trans whiz. Thanks
          . Yep-that’s exactly how I’m feeling now.
           
        • Lexi

          Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Thanks Fran. I’ll definitely try that first, before anything else. And I’ll be careful. Good advice.
           
        • Lexi

          Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Do you think it could have been bent by the way the linkage adjustment was done? He pulled that rod back (towards the front of the car) pretty firmly. I’m wondering if it was supposed to be pulled towards the rear of the car then re-tightened. This being done in park per factory manual.

          C9363D0C-BC7E-45D4-9C3D-6546D0131195.jpeg
           
        • moparsaver

          moparsaver FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          It is possible, Yes. My guess is that it is adjusted incorrectly. Try adjusting it by the Factory service manual. It is also possible that they did not tighten the clamp to the 100 inch pounds and it came loose? More than likely and hopefully an easy fix.
           
          Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
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          • Fran Blacker

            Fran Blacker FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Check for worn/missing parts, bushing?
             
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            • Lexi

              Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Thanks. The clamp was tight. I think part of the issue is that the adjustment per the factory manual should be reversed; in that the gear selection/ shift pattern is reversed. Instead of “D” or 3, that’s now 1, then going back 2, and 3. It appears adjustment begins at Park, so I’ll start there first, but reverse it, and try Fran’s suggestions. Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll start exploring tomorrow. Have a nice rest of the Easter weekend.
               
            • Lexi

              Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Hi Fran,
              There’s a lot of slop in the torque shaft rod that passes through that offset bracket-the one bolted to the transmission... always was that way, looks like a nylon bushing in there. Not sure if there’s supposed to be anything else in that stationary offset piece, but all I see is a nylon looking bushing in that part, and the torque shaft passing through is smaller than the bushing ID, and doesn’t appear to be dependent on a tighter bore/ I.D. Opening size. The rod has plenty of clearance/slop that it seems of a guide to keep it in place, rather than a part to prevent end play or directional stability/limitation, if that makes sense. It was always kind of loose there, but everything worked as it should. Thanks for weighing in. Appreciate your input.
               
            • Darter6

              Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Lexi, Unfortunately The rooster comb it at the top of the valve body and may be hard to see. It's been awhile for me being inside a Torque-Flite You may need a mechanics mirror when inspecting.
              Yeah, the torque shaft bushing,even a new one has a good bit of slop.
               
            • Lexi

              Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            • Lexi

              Lexi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Ok. No problem. Thanks for the feedback
               
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              • Fran Blacker

                Fran Blacker FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                If push shift lever all the way forward or backward should feel 5 clicks going in the other direction. Be careful not jump one, that tells you your getting all six positions.
                 
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