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    GM Firebird 1967-1981 Repair Guide

    Linkage

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    ADJUSTMENT Column Shift



    1967-68 MODELS

    See Figure 1

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 1: Shift linkage adjustment for 1967-68 column shift models

    1. Located on the left side of the transmission case are two levers. Manipulate these levers until the transmission is in Neutral. Depress the clutch pedal, start the engine, and release the pedal slowly. If the car fails to move and the engine is still running with the pedal fully released, the transmission is in Neutral. If the car moves, the transmission is in gear and the levers should be repositioned until Neutral is found. Loosen the swivel nuts on both shift rods.
    2.  
    3. Move the shift lever (on the column) to the Neutral position. Raise the hood and locate the shifter tube levers on the steering column. Align the First and Reverse lever with the Second and Third lever. Using a pin (use a large L-shaped allen wrench), hold these levers in alignment (most cars have alignment holes in the levers and an alignment plate) until the linkage is connected.
    4.  
    5. Make the final adjustments to align the shift rods and levers at the transmission into the Neutral position. Road-test the car and check the shifting operation. If the adjustment is correct, the alignment pin should pass freely through all alignment holes. If not, readjustment is necessary.
    6.  

    1969 MODELS

    See Figure 2

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of the column shift linkage used on 1969 models

    1. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.
    2.  
    3. Loosen the swivel nuts on both shift rods.
    4.  
    5. Place the column-mounted shift lever in the Reverse position. There are two levers located on the side of the transmission case. The lever to the front of the transmission controls Second and Third gears while the other lever controls First and Reverse. Place this First and Reverse lever into the Reverse position. Push up on the First/Reverse shift rod until the column lever is in the Reverse detent position. Tighten the swivel nut.
    6.  
    7. Place the column lever and the transmission levers (located on the side of the case) in Neutral. (To determine Neutral, see Step 1 for 1967-68 cars.) The shift tube levers are located on the steering column mast jacket. Make sure that the column lever is in Neutral and hold it in this position by inserting a pin through the alignment holes in the shift tube levers (use a 3 / 16 in. Allen wrench).
    8.  
    9. Hold the Second/Third shift rod steady (to prevent a change in adjustment) and tighten the swivel locknut.
    10.  
    11. Remove the alignment pin from the shift tube levers and shift the column shift lever to the Reverse position. Turn the ignition key to LOCK and check the ignition interlock control. If it binds, leave the control in "Lock" and readjust the First-Reverse rod at the swivel.
    12.  
    13. Move the column lever through the gear positions and return it to Neutral. The alignment pin should pass freely through the alignment holes of the shift tube levers. If it doesn't, loosen the swivel nuts and readjust.
    14.  

    1970-74 MODELS

    See Figure 3

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the column shift linkage used on 1970-74 models

    1. Place the shift lever (on the column) in Reverse and the ignition switch OFF.
    2.  
    3. Raise the car and support it with floor stands.
    4.  
    5. Loosen the locknuts on the shift rod swivels. Pull down slightly on the First/Reverse control rod on the lower steering column to remove any slack. Tighten the locknut at the transmission lever.
    6.  
    7. Unlock the ignition switch and shift the column lever into Neutral. Position the shift tube levers (located on the lower steering column) in Neutral by aligning the lever alignment holes. Hold them in this position by inserting a 3 / 16 in. Allen wrench through the alignment holes.
    8.  
    9. Hold the Second/Third shift rod steady and tighten the rod locknut.
    10.  
    11. Remove the alignment tool from the shift tube levers and check the shifting operation.
    12.  
    13. Place the column lever in Reverse and check the movement of the ignition key. In Reverse and only Reverse, the key must turn freely in and out of LOCK.
    14.  

    Floor Shift

    1967 MODELS SAGINAW AND MUNCIE TRANSMISSIONS

    See Figures 4 and 5

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 4: Three speed linkage adjustment for Saginaw transmissions used on 1967 models



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 5: Muncie 4-speed linkage component identification for 1967 models

    1. Place the transmission levers (located on the left side plate of the transmission) in Neutral. The lever closest to the bellhousing operates Second and Third gears while the other lever controls First and Reverse. Check for Neutral in the manner described in Step 1 of the procedure for 1967-68 column shift models, located earlier in this section.
    2.  
    3. Place the floor-mounted shift lever in Neutral and insert the locating pin into the notch of the shift lever and bracket assembly. On the four-speed, connect the reverse rod to the lever and secure it with a retainer.
    4.  
    5. Loosely install the nut and clevis on the end of the shift rod and attach the other end of the rod to the lever located beneath the shift lever bracket. Secure the assembly with a retainer.
    6.  
    7. After attaching the rod to the lever, move the lever against the locating pin and adjust the clevis (U-shaped shackle) to the transmission lever until the clevis pin passes freely through the holes. Place a washer on the pin and secure it with a cotter pin. Prevent the clevis from turning by tightening the nut.
    8.  
    9. Install a nut, a swivel, and another nut on the other shift rod. Attach the other end of this rod to the other transmission lever and secure it with a retainer.
    10.  
    11. Located beneath the floor-mounted shift lever are two levers (three on a four-speed); each connected to a shift rod. The first lever and rod were connected in Step 3. Move the second lever against the locating pin and attach the swivel to this lever, then secure it with a retainer. Tighten both nuts against the swivel.
    12.  
    13. Remove the locating pin and check the shift operation. Adjust the clevis and swivel if readjustment is necessary.
    14.  

    1967 MODELS WARNER TRANSMISSION

    See Figure 6

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 6: Linkage used with 1967 Warner T-16 3-speed transmissions

    1. Place the transmission levers in Neutral. Verify the Neutral setting in the manner described in Step 1 of the procedure for 1967-68 column shift models, located earlier in this section.
    2.  
    3. Place the floor-mounted shift lever in Neutral along with the two levers directly below it. Hold the levers in Neutral by inserting a locating pin into the lever bracket assembly ( 3 / 16 in. Allen wrench).
    4.  
    5. Insert the longer rod into the transmission lever and secure it with a retainer. Attach the swivel end of the rod to the other lever and secure it with a retainer. Repeat this procedure for the shorter rod.
    6.  
    7. Remove the locating pin and check the shifter operation.
    8.  

    1968-69 MODELS

    See Figure 7

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of the linkage used on 1968-69 Saginaw 3-speed transmissions

    1. On 1969 models, turn the ignition key to the OFF position.
    2.  
    3. Loosen the swivel locknuts on the shift rods. On 1969 models, it will be necessary to loosen the locknut on the back drive rod.
    4.  
    5. Place the shift levers on the side of the transmission and the shift lever in the car in Neutral. Lock the car shift lever in Neutral by placing a pin in the notch of the lever and bracket assembly directly below the shift lever.
    6.  
    7. Move the shift rod nut against the swivel on each rod. Then tighten the locknut against the other side of the swivel. Remove the locating pin and check the shifting operation.
    8.  
    9. On 1968 and 1969 models with a Muncie four-speed, readjust the reverse rod by shortening it 3 turns of the jam nut. On 1969 models, shift into Reverse. Push up on the back drive control rod in order to place the column mechanism in the Reverse position. Pull down slightly on the rod to remove any slack and tighten the jam nut. Place the ignition switch in LOCK. The switch should not bind when moved in and out of LOCK; if it does, readjust the back control rod. Check the shifting operation and correct it as necessary.
    10.  

    1970-74 MODELS

    See Figures 8, 9 and 10

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 8: Shifter linkage used on 1970-74 Saginaw 3-speed transmissions



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 9: Shifter linkage used on 1970-74 Saginaw 4-speed transmissions



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 10: Transmission shifter linkage used on 1970-74 Muncie 4-speed models

    1. Turn the ignition switch OFF ( LOCK for 1970 cars), raise the car, and support it on jackstands.
    2.  
    3. Loosen the swivel locknuts on all shift rods and on the back drive control rod.
    4.  
    5. Place the transmission shift levers (on the side of the transmission) in Neutral.
    6.  
    7. Place the floor shift lever in Neutral and lock it in this position by installing a 1 / 4 in. pin into the lever bracket assembly directly below the shift lever.
    8.  
    9. Move the shift rod nut up against the swivel on each shift rod and hold it in place by tightening the locknuts.
    10.  
    11. Remove the locating pin from the control bracket assembly and shift the transmission into Reverse. On 1971 and later models, place the ignition key in LOCK. To remove any slack in the steering column mechanism, pull down on the back drive rod and tighten the nut. When in Reverse, it must be possible to easily turn the ignition key in and out of the LOCK position. If any binding exists, leave the key in LOCK and readjust the back drive control rod.
    12.  
    13. Check the shifting operation and readjust as necessary.
    14.  

    REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 1967-69 Models



    1. Raise the car and remove the driveshaft. On floor-shift models, remove the trim plate and shifter boot.
    2.  
    3. On 1968-69 models, it may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust pipe at the manifold.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the speedometer cable and, on floor-shift models, disconnect the back-up light switch.
    6.  
    7. Remove the crossmember-to-frame bolts. On floor-shift models, remove the bolts holding the control lever support to the crossmember.
    8.  
    9. Remove the transmission mount bolts.
    10.  
    11. Using a suitable jack and a block of wood (to be placed between the jack and the engine), raise the engine slightly and remove or relocate the crossmember.
    12.  
    13. Remove the shift levers from the transmission side cover.
    14.  
    15. On floor-shift models, remove the stabilizer rod (if so equipped) situated between the shift lever assembly and the transmission.
    16.  
    17. Remove the transmission-to-bell housing bolts. Remove the top bolts first and insert guide pins into the holes, then remove the bottom bolts.
    18.  
    19. Remove the transmission.
    20.  
    21. Lift the transmission into position and insert the mainshaft into the bell housing.
    22.  
    23. Install the transmission-to-bell-housing bolts and lockwashers, and tighten them to 50 ft. lbs.
    24.  
    25. Install the transmission shift levers to the side cover. On floor-shift models, install the stabilizer rod (if so equipped).
    26.  
    27. Raise the engine slightly, position the crossmember, and install the bolts.
    28.  
    29. Install the transmission mount bolts. On floor-shift models, install the bolts holding the shift lever support to the crossmember.
    30.  


    CAUTION
    Lubricate the tailshaft bushing before the driveshafts are installed.

    1. Install the driveshaft and, if removed, install the exhaust pipe to the manifold.
    2.  
    3. Connect the speedometer cable and, on floor-shift cars, connect the back-up light.
    4.  
    5. Fill the transmission with lubricant.
    6.  

    1970-81 Models See Figures 11 and 12

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 11: Shifter linkage used on 1975-81 4-speed manual transmissions 1970-74 models similar



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 12: Shifter linkage components used on 1975-81 3-speed transmissions 1970-74 models similar

    1. On the floor shift models, remove the shift knob and console trim plate.
    2.  
    3. Raise the car and support it with jackstands.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the speedometer cable and the TCS switch wiring.
    6.  
    7. Remove the driveshaft as outlined later in this section.
    8.  
    9. Remove the bolts securing the transmission mounts to the crossmember and also those bolts securing the crossmember to the frame. Remove the crossmember.
    10.  
    11. Remove the shift levers from the side of the transmission.
    12.  
    13. Disconnect the back drive rod from the bell crank.
    14.  
    15. Remove the bolts from the shift control assembly and carefully lower the assembly until the shift lever clears the rubber shift boot. Remove the assembly from the car.
    16.  
    17. Remove the transmission-to-bell housing bolts and lift the transmission from the car.
    18.  
    19. Lift the transmission and insert the mainshaft into the bell housing.
    20.  
    21. Lift the transmission and insert the mainshaft into the bell housing.
    22.  
    23. Install and tighten the transmission-to-clutch housing bolts and lockwashers.
    24.  
    25. Install the shift lever.
    26.  
    27. Install the shift levers to the transmission side cover.
    28.  
    29. Connect the back drive rod to the bell crank.
    30.  
    31. Raise the engine high enough to position the crossmember. Install and tighten the crossmember-to-frame bolts and transmission mounts to crossmember bolts.
    32.  
    33. Install the driveshaft.
    34.  
    35. Connect the speedometer cable and the TCS wiring.
    36.  
    37. Fill the transmission with the specified lubricant. If applicable, install the console trim plate and shift knob. Adjust the linkage.
    38.  

     
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