Hey guys, didn't know where to put this post. Have been going back and forth with some others on another topic, but didn't want to muddy the waters further.This should be an easy one. I have a TH400 (69 GP, 428, open 3:55? rear - and will rebuild engine - possible other upgrades), and I was wondering if anyone has info on the ratchet shifters used in these cars. Someone mentioned that the only other shifter they could think of was a His/Her shifter option in the SSJ GP's.Obviously the GTO had this option - and both are A-body from firewall back, right? Anyone have suggestions for shifter for a 69 GP. It looks to me like it'd be difficult to upgrade to an aftermarket B&M (or Hurst) ratchet shifter due to constraints imposed by the console. I understand that the standard shifter used in the GP (and many, many other Pontiacs) is indeed a ratchet shifter - moves left and right, and if you go to low (1), you can ratchet up to 2 by pushing to the right and forward - and no chance of missing second and going to D or N, etc.Maybe the best thing is a good rebuild of my unit, and adjustment of the linkage. Anyone have any advice on this process - or point out literature that might help me sort out my very sloppy shifter?Thanks!
hmm....i wonder.. if one of the console mounted shifters is actually going to fit...the ratchet is in the shifter... not in the transmission...http://www.opgi.com/gto/G241066/there are probably various versions.. i did not check.. got pictures of your shifter.. straight down.. so we can see the size.. we all don't have 69 GPs... i don't recall off the top of my head.. what the shift console looks like...i have seen bushing kits to repair GM console shifters.. where the plastic bushings have worn out.. i have a long time ago.. needed to quickly repair the shifter bushings. i was very bad.. had nothing in the shop.. so i cut the plastic top off a spray can into strips.. and wedged that in around the pivot bolt.. worked great.. i also cut thrust washers out of it for the sides of the shifter where the bolt passes thru..and.. i have seen flange bushings of various sizes in some either ace or truevalue hardware stores.. in the drawers of fasteners.. not all stores have that drawer..if the bushings in the cross shaft are worn.. allowing the shifter to rock around..measure the shaft and the opening.. perhaps.. some parts might be available.. perhaps from a corvette supplier.. as the had automatic console shift cars also.. will they fit??? whats broken..and could the issue be inside the transmission.. it is possible for the nut that retains the detent plate inside the transmission to come loose.. just before it completely falls off..i know this is the wrong shifter.. but its the only one that shows the bushings
AS WAYNE SUGGESTED IT IS LIKELY THE BUSHINGS. IDJ OR ROWSLEY MIGHT OFFER SOME SUGGESTIONS.I would simply get the console out and move the shifter to see exactly which part is worn. check the cable where it attaches to the trans also.in theory you can not accidental;y go into reverse unless you have the button or handle depressed. you do not need top depress to go from 1 to 2 to 3.unless you simply want the "ratchet" look of the gto style there is no real need for it. you can easily get used to shifting yours under power without fear of going into neutral.you can also get a rev limiter if you are afraid of hitting neutral and over revving. MSD has them. its not a bad idea to have a rev limiter anyway on the engine you want.
I believe you could replace that shifter with any run-of-the-mill ratcheting aftermarket 2nd gen F-body console unit. Since mine is a bench seat car, I'm just speaking from what I've seen. I love those "horseshoe" or "bucket handle" Chevy shifters like in Wayne's diagram, but if I recall correctly, the 69 GP shift knob looks like a haunted house doorknob. I've seen them and wasn't fond of the look. The 72 GP that I have that shifter from never had the knob but it looks like a 70-81 Firebird one works. Aftermarket shifters ratchet but in a straight line unlike the stocker. The slot in your console should allow plenty of space for a custom installation.By the way, I don't think that SSJ shifter was console mounted.A GTO his-n-hers could be mounted in a GP console but a custom bezel would be required. It could be done but the bezel is originally a cast and plated metal part. The GP simply did not have a dual-gate option and the GTO did. The consoles in the two cars are different, hence the conflict.On fixing up what you have ... I think if your car has as few miles as stated, the shifter itself isn't going to be the trouble. Old cable, missing, damaged, or misadjusted linkage parts or brackets, or dirt in the shifter are more likely culprits. Like Wayne said, some True Value stores do have a suprising array of bushings and what-not, but you'll need to look into the shifter first. The bushings in that diagram are shaped a lot like pedal bushings, hmmm. Fabrication to the rescue! Anyway, the shifter I have (its not installed on anything) was really stiff until cleaned but it seems good now. Replacements aren't too hard to find if you wanted to give a shot at finding one in better condition. Not really worth doing a lot of research or work on it. GM may still offer parts for the OE shifter, but finding the bushing part number is something I can't tackle. Your shifter shouldn't feel like a butter churn but it will never be as crisp as the aftermarket ratchets. I like the original type look and function but there is a certain amount of slop in a good one.
i can look and see if i have a good stock shifter. i do have 2 parts cars if you need anything else.never liked ratchet shifters to many moving parts. always had good luck with b&m pro stick or the hurst quarter stick! they are simple and fool prof. just push the shifter for 2nd squeese the handle and push for 3rd, let off the handle to put in neutral. it takes 2 hands for reverse.a good well ajusted stock shifter will work fine. most of the time it is a streched cable causing the problem.
76 455/4spd TRANS AM69 GRAND PRIX 455/5SPD
i cannot tell if this will fit.. i know that somebody has parts books for the GP.http://www.ebay.com/itm/69-72-Grand-Prix-Center-Console-Shifter-REBUILT-NEW-CHROME-LEVER-Ratchet-OEM-Pon-/121173964220?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A1969|Make%3APontiac|Model%3AGrand+Prix&hash=item1c3687f5bc&vxp=mtr69-72 Grand Prix Center Console Shifter REBUILT NEW CHROME LEVER Ratchet OEM Pon
Wow, thanks for all the info. I think the obvious things is that I need to take it apart and see what needs done. As pointed out, it is probably not the shifter - and I simply need to deal with the linkage, cables, bushings, whatever.Wayne, I like the His/Her (well, actually never used one, seems like it'd be OK, and I thought if mine was bad, why not), but I don't see it happening in the GP - not without much pain - if you mounted just the shifter to the floor - you'd be screwed with the GP console - and the dual gate mounting plate will never fit in the GP console - and I'd have to deal with linkage, etc.Shyrgfuh3 - I like the idea of a rev limiter - have had them in cars I owned, but haven't retrofitted an old car - but sounds like a good idea. Regarding the sifter - yeah, you can't go into neutral easily, when using the ratchet shift option - most people never figured out exactly how the GM ratchet shifter worked - or at least many I have encountered. Unlike the B&M, and maybe the Hurst aftermarket ones, which shift in a straight line, the GM ratchet shifter has to be held to the right - and the you can simply push forward and it will stop at 2 (assuming you are in 1), and push again to the right and forward, and you go to 3 - that is why you see N,D,2,1 on the left, and 3,2,1 on the right - and actually SOME of the reason there is play in this style shifter - it is spring loaded to stay to the left - and you depress the button to move out of park, and from Drive to 1, and on the left you can push forward into N from D, but if you push to the right, it will only go 1 to 2, to 3 - and you have to let it go back to the left, and push the button to go into R or P, etc. Actually, it is just like the GTO dual gate - it jus doesn't have the physical gate - that is, the mounting plate on the GTO.Rowsley, thanks, regarding possible parts from a parts car - I will contact you when I get to that point - also, I looked at the Hurst shifter you mentioned. It looks like it might work - I am sure I could get it mounted, and it would shift the TH400 brilliantly - the only worry I had was if this would mount and work with my console - or if there was a mounting plate that would actually fit my console - I think the way to go is to open her up and see what I am dealing with - fix it, and go from there.oh yeah, Wayne - that shifter looks exactly right - and I am sure they used the same style shifter for many other cars - and pretty sure 69-72 are identical. I will assess the condition of mine and if necessary, see about getting a rebuilt unit. I think that would work perfectly - but hopefully I can get everything sorted by addressing the linkage issues.Thanks again everyone, have a great weekend!