Manta Montage shift linkage issues

I took a brief break to sit under my car for a while today to think about why it's not shifting correctly and how best to fix it. I can get it into all the gears if I shift carefully, slowly, and precisely, but on the road it effectively can't shift at all.

Taking a closer look at how the current shift linkage works makes it clear that this car has probably never been driven with this engine setup. A “stock” Manta Montage has a transverse mounted V6, and this one has a longitudinally mounted V8 on a 5-speed Porsche transmission that now takes its shifting instructions via a rod at the rear that rotates and moves in and out. This is currently attached to a rod that does the same via the shift lever, about three inches below the transmission.

Seriously, WTF? Clearly this is not a compatible link, so to “solve” the problem the previous owner inserted a couple pieces of rubber into the linkage to give it enough play to just barely work. It's pretty nonsensical… when I first looked at it I assumed that the main rod was controlling the in/out motion, and that there must be a second one controlling the rotation, since the single rod setup that's there now is pretty much the worst mechanical cludge I've ever seen on a shift linkage.

My thought right now is to totally scrap the current set up and replace it with a shifter from a Fiero (which uses a pair of cables, which I could easily build brackets for to control the current transmission). Tim S has a very different engine setup in his Montage, but he's also used this shifter and the picture from his car makes it clear how easy a conversion this should be:

Anyway… unless anyone has a better suggestion, I think I'm going to look around for a Fiero shifter to graft in since that seems like the easiest solution. When I bought this car the guy told me “the shift linkage will need some adjustment”… Yeah, I'm pretty sure that “complete redesign and replacement” isn't the same thing as “adjustment”.

Update: Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think I have to replace the shifter… If I attach a pusher with a bearing/yoke between the bars, that would deal with the in/out motion without restriction on rotation, and then I could throw a matched pair of levers coming off the side of each rod to handle the rotation itself… A local machineshop could make those pieces for me for a few dollars so that's probably what I should try first.

One Comment

  1. von wrote:

    You do not know of any Montages or Mirages for trade do you. I have a 67 Camaro Coupe. I had to ask. Either way let me know. Thanks

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *