with Richard Davis
Suzuki Samurai Shifter Bolt Transmission fix
One inherent problem I have heard every samurai owner complain about is the horrible shifter problem. The one when you finally look into it, you find out the shifter bolt has broken off and you need to replace it. So you do what I did, after the bolt broke off and you shifter goes into outer space, you open up the shifter and hope the bolt end has not fallen into the transmission, fish it out, and replace the bolt, only to have it break a couple years later. Well I found a permanent fix for the problem from Kevin Lafferty at Midwest Performance Parts.
Here is what happened to mine, the pin broke and slowly worked its way back and forth till it wore a grove in the housing. The shifter egged out over time.
The way Suzuki should have done it in the first place is what Kevin did. Putting a shifter pin on both sides, that way not one pin is holding all the stress of shifting; it is spread between two pins. You should never break a pin again. His unit came with the housing modified with two shifter pins and the shifter with the new slot for the new pin.
New Shifter assembly, rags, 10mm and 12mm sockets, RTV gasket caulk, and about a half hour. 1. Put your shifter in neutral. If you dont you will not be able to put in the shifter when you put the new shifter assembly on. 2. Unscrew the shifter knob, then remove the bolts holding the shifter boot on. Remove the boot off the shifter stick and set it aside.
3. Double check that the shifter is in NEUTRAL before removing the housing. Remove the 4 bolts holding the housing. If there is a ton of dirt, grease, and general buildup around the housing, clean the extra stuff off before removing the 4 bolts, that way dirt and grime dont get into your transmission.
4. Remove the old housing, being careful to not scratch the surface where the new housing will be bolted up soon. 5. Carefully clean the residue off the transmission top where the new housing is going to be bolted in. Take the RTV gasket maker and put it on the surface that you just cleaned, to outline the whole surface where the new housing will be bolted in. Put the new housing in and bolt it up, remember this is aluminum so dont over tighten the bolts.Note: The new unit is greased, so you dont need to worry about that, however now would be a good time to put in the poly shifter sheet if you have one. 6. Put the main boot back on, bolt it back in and put the shifter knob back on. Quick and easy to do.
Product Review All I can say is wow, my shifter has not been that solid for many years. I had to learn how to shift all over again; I was used to my shifter having LOTS of play in it. You will notice at first shifting is stiff, but after a little bit, it is smooth and easily shifted. This will be the last time I will have to worry about the shifter bolt breaking again. Thank You Kevin.