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Old 09-30-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
Slammin96
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1996 SC2
Default Shifter cable/linkage issues

I changed my shifter bushing about two weeks ago using a windshield wiper bushing as suggested on here for a quick replacement. I used the proper lubricant (teflon powder) and made sure the installation was correct.

It was shifting perfect, going straight into gear with good engagement and firmness. No more sloppy/hard shifting

Well, about three days ago it started becoming real hard to get the car into second gear. It wasnt that bad at first, then it got worse, and worse, and worse. Yesterday while driving my girlfriend home from work I couldnt even get it in 2nd gear. I was cruising down the road and when i tried shifting from 4th to 5th the shifter went limp.

Took the console off, shifter bushing still attached exactly how it was when i put it on. But underneath the hood, what I think to be the shift linkage to the transmission (right underneath the brake booster) there is a cable that is barely hanging on with one wire in the middle, and a bunch of steel braided wires that look like they have separated from something.

Is this the shifter cable? if so, how hard is it to fix, and what might have caused this problem?
...
My first Saturn: 1996 SC2 5-speed
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

Sounds like the shifter cables came detached from the transmission. Not unheard of before; it happens; but if you have the end that came detached to the transmission and it looks like twisted braided metal ends, it sounds very much so that you will need to replace the shifter cables.

There are two of them, and you don't have alot of space to work with in replacement through the Firewall. There are 2 (10MM) Bolts that hold a rubber grommet in place that the shifter cables will need to be fed through in the firewall as they make their way from the shifter tower to the transmission itself.

You will need to get OEM SHIFTER CABLES ONLY!!! from a JY car that is in good shape. DO NOT USE Aftermarket cables, they WILL Break and put you in the same situation you are in right now.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

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Old 09-30-2009, 11:55 AM   #3
Slammin96
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

oh yeah i know to use the OEM ones, i just finished reading your old thread about your shifter bushing replacement =)

I'll step outside and snap a quick pic of my problem and post it here
...
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1254328697

This is the shifter cable i was telling you about that is all frayed and coming apart.
...
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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1996 SC2
2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slammin96 View Post
http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1254328697

This is the shifter cable i was telling you about that is all frayed and coming apart.
Is that at the firewall? There isn't much light on the picture.

-Robert
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

no, that is right before the part where it comes into the transmission.
...
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

I have been looking for threads on shift cable R&R and i cant find any, can anyone help point me in the right direction?
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

Somebody please help ... OldNuc, FDryer, all the other smart people .. I know your out there.
...
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

I found this thread, which details the replacement of the Manual Trans as an entire entity.

I didn't read through it completely; but there is mention with pictures of removing cables, etc.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...shifter+cables

Also has a link to an online webpage created by the author with pictures.

Hope this helps...
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

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Old 10-01-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
Slammin96
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

I appreciate the help, now I at least know how to remove the cables from the engine, but what about the firewall, I have heard they are only attached by 2 10mm bolts, is this true, and how hard is it to replace the cable?
...
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slammin96 View Post
I appreciate the help, now I at least know how to remove the cables from the engine, but what about the firewall, I have heard they are only attached by 2 10mm bolts, is this true, and how hard is it to replace the cable?
There is a grommet that the 2 cables are fed thru on the firewall. The grommet is held in with 2 10MM bolts. The older style was a snap in type grommet.

There is not alot of area to work around in down there, so it can be a pain. You will need to have the car up pretty high to gain some good clearance, or on a lift.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:11 PM   #12
Slammin96
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1996 SC2
Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

getting the car up high is not an issue, i have a pretty beefy set of jackstands.

As for tools all i have is basic stuff like a full ratchet & screwdriver set, channel-lok, needle-nose, vise grips, very very basic tools. I just want to make sure i can get it fixed by this weekend.
...
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

You'll also need to take out the center console to access the firewall and Grommet.

I'm only going on what I have read and what information my saturn mechanic has told me. If you have all the tools and some working ability to fix things, it may take a bit, but it is doable.

I was going to do this myself when my cables went on my 94 SL2 in January of this year (it's been that long already? Wow.) But my mechanic friend said he could get it done quicker...He had my car on his personal lift to get the cables replaced...
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:21 PM   #14
Slammin96
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

The center console is already out of the car. I took it off when i thought the shifter bushing had broken again, and when i discovered it wasnt, i just left the console off because i figured I would need to access the shift cables.

Another question: is the shifter cable in this car, a complete unit or 2 separate parts?
...
My first Saturn: 1996 SC2 5-speed
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slammin96 View Post
The center console is already out of the car. I took it off when i thought the shifter bushing had broken again, and when i discovered it wasnt, i just left the console off because i figured I would need to access the shift cables.

Another question: is the shifter cable in this car, a complete unit or 2 separate parts?
There are 2 cables. One on the left and one right, underneath the shifter tower.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

Well yeah I can see both of those, and can see both of them connected to the shifter. My actual question, and I should have been more specific, is ...

is the shifter cable 2 separate metal cables connected together underneath that grommet? or is each of the 2 cables just one big metal cable?

A better way to revise my question, would be ... is there 2 pieces to each cable or just one?
...
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

As far as my understanding, they are each a seperate cable that each connects to each side of the manual trans.

2 Cables, that are each 1 piece per cable...if that makes sense one left, one right.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
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91SC
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

makes perfect sense. my next question is ... how do i get the cables into the cable end loop?
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:59 PM   #19
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

It's two cables that work independently. One moves with left-right shifter movement and the other moves with fore-aft shifter movement. They have to be replaced at the same time, however, since the two cable housings are bonded to the firewall grommet.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: Shifter cable/linkage issues

so i need to pull both cables from the JY and not just the broken one?

The only other question i have left is, how do i remove the eyelets from the shifter end of the cables?
...
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