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Old 12-21-2016, 01:14 PM   #1
dmjlambert
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Automatic shift lever pin

What is the proper way to remove and insert the pin on the steering column shift lever on a 67-72 truck? I have an automatic transmission and non-tilt steering column. I was able to remove it only because it was partially out and I grabbed it with pliers. But now that I'm done working on the turn signal switch and horn I would like to go ahead and fully insert it. I tried to press it in with large pliers, but started to scratch up the shifter ring that goes around the steering column. Then I tried tapping it with a hammer and punch but now I'm worried about breaking something.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:18 PM   #2
RodnRudy
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

On my 68 I tapped the roll pin in with a small hammer with no problem. Just take your time and don't try to kill it. LOL
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:28 PM   #3
Gromit
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

Not sure this will help except in a preventative way; but regarding any hammering on the shift lever please keep in mind the forces translate through the linkage into the linkage bushings and the mechanism that moves the valves to and fro in the transmission valve body.

On my 1970 shift lever the bore for the pin was worn enough that a roll pin would go in with moderate resistance. So for example I didn't disconnect the linkage from the trans as a precaution before installing it. After installing the shift lever roll pin I put a machine screw (sorry; don't know the size it may have even been metric) into the top of the roll pin and that expanded the roll pin just enough to stay fast and without stressing the linkage and transmission controls.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:06 PM   #4
dmjlambert
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

Yes, thanks guys. That is exactly the sort of thing I was wondering about. So I think perhaps I won't do anything beyond tapping with a hammer. Or maybe I'll press it in with a C-clamp. If I need to get aggressive, I will disconnect the linkage, and may also consider squeezing the pin a little with a vise, evenly in all directions, to reduce the size slightly, and do that screw expander trick. I wonder if they had a special tool in the factory, or if pro service technicians have some sort of special tool. I am an amateur mechanic, so don't have every tool imaginable, yet.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:52 PM   #5
djeCST
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

The original pin looks like this:



You can buy a replacement from Wes at Classic Hearbeat. The top of the pin, right under the head, is knurled which gives it a little grip. Simply tap it in with a soft punch to avoid marring the head. Reverse the procedure to take it out. Piece of cake.

Good luck!

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Old 12-22-2016, 08:15 PM   #6
dmjlambert
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

Hey, that is neato. Mine has a roll pin, and I didn't realize but I suppose the original owner or his mechanic lost the original pin and put a roll pin in it. What is a soft punch?
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

A soft punch would be one made of brass or something softer than the target material. I have a couple of brass punches I use for situations like that. You can use a steel punch since you won't have to hit it very hard, just put some tape over the head of the pin so you don't mark it up.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:25 PM   #8
57larry
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

a big hammer! no, just tap it in

Last edited by 70LonghornCST; 12-22-2016 at 11:51 PM. Reason: language
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:58 PM   #9
dmjlambert
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

I was checking out at the classic heartbeat site, and I just couldn't bring myself to finish the order and click submit. $22 for a little-bitty pin. $10 for the pin and $12 for the cheapest shipping. I wrote them an email to see if they can give me a break. I guess I should just bite the bullet, maybe tomorrow I will feel more willing.

Last edited by dmjlambert; 12-31-2016 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:49 PM   #10
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Re: Automatic shift lever pin

The roll pin in my truck works its way out and makes it hard to get into park. I see that the original should have a knurl and a shoulder. I'm going to take the pin out next time I visit my truck, and take it home. I'll use my brake flaring tool to upset flare one end so that it doesn't fall through anymore. That's an option. So much has been mickeyed on this truck that I can't see my way to making it look factory.
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