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Old 02-09-2015, 11:54 PM   #1
anmasher
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1996 SL2
Default Not your average shifter bushing failure.

I recently acquired another disabled Saturn in otherwise decent condition. It is a nice enough SL1 with around 155k, buzzsaw rims, SPS strut tower brace (that is getting cannibalized) - seems fairly well maintained. The problem is that it is stuck in first and "may need brakes". I paid $350 for it.

Some investigation tonight shows that the left-right selector cable is in a bind and won't move. Repeated apparently forceful attempts to move it with the shifter destroyed the left-right pivot ball bushing. Shifting functions properly at the shift tower so one would assume the transmission is OK. The shifter appears to have been cut down to make a short shifter, but I doubt that has anything to do with why it failed.

http://i.imgur.com/9VdUyH7.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cYYMxWF.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/58WmCrX.jpg

When time and weather permit I will remove the cables and see if they are crossed or if dirt has gotten into it. In the meantime does anybody have a shifter assembly they want to sell? ShawnV?
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Not your average shifter bushing failure.

Sounds like a trip to the pick and pull for the shifter along with the cables and selector tower out at the transmission. As you can get all of it for the price of any of it just start over with un-thrashed parts.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Not your average shifter bushing failure.

That's the plan as of now. Just need time off and warm-ish weather. Last time there were three manuals in the yard and I didn't pull an assembly because "There's already enough Saturn junk in the garage" or so I thought.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Not your average shifter bushing failure.

You never have the junk you need.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Not your average shifter bushing failure.

The bushing failed because the cables... exploded? The cable inside is barely supported at all and the best word I have to describe the sheathing is that it exploded. Fibers, plastic, and metal in a twisted mess all along the length of the cables; left-right is in a bind and the front-to-back cable looks to be about 20 shifts behind it.

Out of curiosity what causes the cables to fail like this?
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Not your average shifter bushing failure.

Force in the compress direction. Usually it is accomplished by twisting them in the un-lay direction out at the transmission and then attaching them. This causes the diameter to expand and jam in the housing when they are compressed. Proper installation is to turn them in the tighten direction when connecting. It is not unusual when the cables are replaced that they get rotated in the incorrect direction and then they fail. This is not an issue if it is a pull cable only but when used to push something it is a huge issue. This is why the soft bushings and actual suspension on the individual gear selector right hand cable. Once slammed hard the individual strands kink and stay deformed --party over--.

That would be my guess as to what happened. Sawed off shifter is a big clue as to how the shifting was being done.
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