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Old 04-05-2003, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 226
shifter bushing - replacing

I need to replace the shifter bushing, the one near the transmission. I've read the posts where I need to drop the assembly or lever so I can replace the bushing on the workbench. I've gone under the car and I concur with that assessment. However, I cannot figure out how to drop the "assembly". I've read where a 10mm bolt must be removed. I have removed one 10mm bolt but what I think is the assembly won't budge leading me to think that another bolt is somewhere else. Please advise as descriptively and verbosely as possible on how to remove the "assembly" (please describe what this assembly is, I'm only guessing at this point). Thanks.

P.S. I've replaced the bushing near the shifter before already
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Old 04-05-2003, 08:54 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,486
Hi 96C280, you may have to replace the bushing with the shift lever installed. On the 722.6 transmission, the lever may not un-bolt from the outside. To make the job easier, put the new bushing in some HOT water for a few minutes prior to installation. This makes it pliable, but it's still a pain in the neck to install. Good luck
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Old 04-06-2003, 01:30 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 226
I think you may be right after inspecting it, however, my transmission is a 722.4. Does that change anything?

Does anyone know if the dealer uses a special tool to put these bushings in? If there is one, is it available for sale somewhere?

Last edited by 96C280; 04-06-2003 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 04-06-2003, 01:45 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
Another trick is to cut the bushing, one slice on one side. This allows it to curl a bit and greatly eases pushing it inside the hole you are trying to get it into. Once in you need to push the curled end outwards to fit properly.

Edit: You can also warm it up as suggested and push-in one side enough to allow it slip into the hole. Then use something such as below to push through the middle to fill it out again.

I have a tool that looks like a screw driver except the end has a 90 degree turn and it is pointed. I used this to move the curled end outwards.

Keep us posted,

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
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Last edited by haasman; 04-06-2003 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 04-06-2003, 05:29 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 226
I appreciate the moral support. I'm pretty discouraged at this point. I changed the other bushing by the shift knob about a year ago and that one was difficult even when I had it right in front of me after dissassembling the center console and pulling it up to get easy access. Shifted great afterward, nice and tight!

Now, with this other bushing, it looks like if I can't get out the gear selector assembly (see pic, item #27) to work in front of me, the limited access precludes me from getting this bushing in while it is still in place. I really wonder how the dealer mechanics do it... MUST be a special tool. Anyone know, for posterity?

Anyway if any of you guys can take one last look at item #27 and confirm that it cannot be removed from the outside, I will officially wave the white flag.....and have the dealer do the work. Nothing against the dealers but I like to do things myself. Regardless, thanks for the tips.
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shifter bushing - replacing-range-gear-selector-lever.jpg  
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Old 04-06-2003, 01:50 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Walnut,CA,USA
Posts: 554
Item #27 Cannot be removed from the outside,Only way to do this is on car use pry bar & socket work the shifter bushing in to the bracket.It is a pain in the nack job,Special for diy who don't have a lift to get under the vehicle.Let pro to finish this job for you......Good Luck
MB STARS Master Guild Technician,17 years MB tech
14 years independent shop owner
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Old 04-06-2003, 08:40 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,486
Hi 96C280, sorry about the mistake (722.6/722.4). There is no special tool to install the bushing, but I wish there was. I agree with MBStars' advice, but there's no simple way to describe how to do it. I dis-agree with haasman however. Sure, you'll save time. You'll also wind up replacing the bushing again before long.
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Old 04-07-2003, 12:16 PM
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I did this on a 124 chassis. MB charges about 130 dollars for this job. You need two large diameter washers, one metal spacer bushing with an ID greater than the OD of the shifter plastic bushing you are inserting and a nut and bolt that will fit nice and tight through the washers.

On one side of the shifter arm, place the washer and the shifter bushing. On the other side place the spacer bushing and the other washer. Thread the bolt through all of this and tighten it up with the nut. Now once the nut is hand tight, keep on tightening with an appropriate spanner. Sooner or later the shifter bushing will pop through.

Not the easiest place to get to and make sure the area is cool but I did not need to drop anything.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 180
Amplifying on renatim's comment, instead of a spacer bushing, you can stack two or three large diameter washers. I did this and it worked a charm -- my detailed post should be in the archives.
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Old 04-09-2003, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 226
It worked...barely.....using the "spacer bushing" and bolt concept.

-Putting the bolt and washer and nut into the gear level was difficult.

-Forcing the bushing through with the tool was relatively easy, just difficult to determine if the bushing was all the way through (bushing gets quite compressed in the procedure).

-Taking the bolt out after the bushing is in was very difficult in my situation as the bushing in place restricted the angle of entry/exit of the bolt and, as you all know, space is at a premium. In short, make the bolt as short as possible and/or as thin as possible in order to remove it after inserting the bushing.

I hope for my sake, I won't have to change the bushings for another 5-6 years. But the shifter feels really sweet now. Thanks for everyone's input.
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