With Bill Johnston
T-Bra The 'New' Shifter Sheet
You have heard the story before... a guy finds a Samurai in great condition for a small amount of cash, the problem is the transfer case is stuck in gear and it hasn't moved for a month! The guy pays for the Zook, fiddles with the shifter for a few minutes (replacing the shifter sheet) and then drives off - astounding the previous owner.
Failure of the rubber shifter sheet (bushing) is a common problem with a Samurai, and it is one of the first items that should be replaced in the 20 year old vehicle. In recent years a poly version of the bushing was introduced in the aftermarket, and it has held up better than the stock component. But will it last for 25 years?
The new T-Bra from Zuks Off Road is a replacement brass shifter sheet that comes with a 25 year warranty! It doesn't look like these will need to be replaced any time soon though. For those that have never replaced their shifter sheet, here is a quick how - to. All this can be done by accessing the top of the shifter tower through the shifter boot hole from inside the vehicle, but to make it easier for the pix we will take a look at an install on the work table.
The shifter case boot is held in place with a ring clamp, easily removed by hand. Then the boot is slid up the lever and out of the way. The cap that is uncovered is the control lever guide. You can see the two slots that will give you something to grab onto so that you can twist it counterclockwise while pushing down. It will rotate a quarter turn and then the whole shifter lever can be removed. Twisting can be done with a pair of flat tipped screwdrivers, or if you happen to have one of these handy removal tools, just push and twist.
With the lever out of the way, you can see the shifter sheet down inside the housing. This orange version of the shifter sheet is the poly replacement version. You can tell if your shifter sheet is original if you see a green version, usually crumbling and in pieces.
To remove the shifter sheet, just use a finger to fish it out. You will notice a pair of pins inside the housing that keeps the shift lever straight. The flexible shifter sheet will just slide out around them.
The new T-Bra drops into place by placing one side under one of the pins, and dropping the side with the notch down past the other pin.
The shifter lever is then put back in place and the guide installed the same way it came out. Just push and twist clockwise.
Once the boot has been pushed back into place and the ring clamp installed, you are done. This can be done in about 10 minutes, but in this case it will probably outlast the rest of the vehicle. Source:
Zuks Off Road 586 Azure Drive Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Phone (714) 488-2272