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23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#1
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JRScout
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I know this topic probably exists elsewhere on the site, but I can't find the right search combo to get to it...anyway, my 23rd series is stuck in my garage, nose in, in first gear. The shifter is almost completely immobile. I've tried rocking it in gear with the engine running, and without power- nuthin'. Clutch works fine, but the shifter won't budge. Is there some common/regularly-occurring linkage problem that I should look for first?

Posted on: 2018/6/20 17:06
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Re: 23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#2
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HH56
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Assuming no damage in the trans, check the two levers at the base of the steering column. No lubrication is provided and if the top 2-3 lever has rusted or corroded and started to seize to the rotating shift tube it will try to rotate even though not selected. Even if you have pulled the operator lever back and are trying to move the 1-R lever, just a slight bit of motion on 2-3 will block all movement due to the interlocks in the trans. If yours has reached this condition be sure not to force the operator lever or there is a chance of breaking the pot metal upper piece the operator lever attaches to.

You may be able to manually move the bottom 1-R lever to get both in neutral without crawling under but if the levers are sticking and not movable by hand place a few drops of penetrating oil at the top of the upper lever so it runs down below the clip and washer to get in between the lever and shift tube. Also place a few drops of regular oil in the small hole on the side of the shift tube so it runs down inside and gets the inner pieces and can run out the slot in the tube to lube the bottom 1-R lever. If the levers free up then periodically place a few drops of regular oil in the hole and at the lever so it can run between the upper lever and tube. Worst case if it doesn't free up, you will need to remove the column to disassemble the shift assy to clean things up.

Here are some photos showing were to put a few drops of oil periodically. The hole can be in other positions so search for it if it isn't readily visible. The other two photos show where the lever and tube gets corroded and starts to bind and also the shift tube in a clean condition..

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Posted on: 2018/6/20 18:01
Howard
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Re: 23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#3
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packard1949
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I would suggest to not use wd40-a very light oil. Work the gear shift back and forth do not force anything. I will free up after awhile-may have to wait over night.

Posted on: 2018/6/20 19:17
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Re: 23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#4
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Wesley Boyer
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My 47 shifter has a plug just between the spring and the cotter pin. I almost lost it when it shot out removing the cotter pin. I don't know if yours has the same but keep an eye open if you pull the pin. Parts manual part number 3.324.
Wes

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Posted on: 2018/6/20 19:43
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Re: 23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#5
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JRScout
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This all looks like very helpful information. Thanks. I'll work on it this weekend and report back.

Posted on: 2018/6/21 9:34
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Re: 23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#6
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Fish'n Jim
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I recall having to completely disassemble my '49 shift column to get it free/unstuck. I think HH gave me the info as well. The end gums/rusts up after all those years.
To check the trans, disconnect 2 shift levers from column at the cotter pins, and see if it shifts into neutral. I don't remember which one does it but it's in the manual.
My guess, it'll probably be Ok once you get the column free, since it's not moving. If the trans was "bad", the column might still move. That little oil hole, caused a lot of problems and it wasn't designed to sit idle or last that long without moving.

Posted on: 2018/6/21 14:29
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Re: 23rd series shifter and/or transmission stuck
#7
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JRScout
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It ended up being a little bit of both- I freed up the shifter, then had to disconnect the linkages and fiddle around with the transmission levers, but all is well now. Thanks for the tips.

Posted on: 2018/7/11 15:14
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