Shift shaft seals here we go!!

Discussion in '308/328' started by Johnv10, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. Johnv10

    Johnv10 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 16, 2018
    Boerne Texas
    Full Name:
    John Hackett
    So I think I am ready to finally do this. My oil and tranny pan gaskets are weeping pretty bad so it would be a good time to get it all done at once.
    So far I have obtained;
    2 pan gaskets from Superformance.
    2 Shifter shaft dust boots Superformance.
    The seal kit from Verrell.
    Delrin shifter bushings from Verrell.
    The bushing removal tool from Verrell.
    Shift detent tool from Verrell - Ferrari equivalent AV-630.
    So my questions for you guys......
    When do I put the shift detent tool on? Right after dropping the pan? Do those balls and springs pop out!
    Do I put the gaskets on dry or do I use a gasket compound too? I don't want these things leaking again.
    What is the torque requirements for the pan bolts? I have also seen somewhere where somebody used nylon locking nuts to help stop the leaks????
    Does somebody have a good write up on this, I have searched youtube as well with no luck.
    I wonder how many new cuss words will be created during this process??
    Are any of you near the San Antonio area just in case I need a friend?

    I have tackled so many things on this car so far, but this one???

    Thanks in advance for your insights!
    Got my flame suit available just in case!

  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. conan

    conan Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2011
    I guess there should be a write-up somewhere, but I can at least send some hints.

    The detent balls will most likely drop, so keep a pan or something below to catch them. You don't want them to go down any drain in the floor.

    The detent tool is used when adjusting the shafts to get the right positions of the gears. This is especially important if adjusting the forks inside the gearbox, but also a great help to get the shift shaft aligned.

    Personally, I don't use any gasket sealers, just make sure the surfaces are really flat and very very clean. Take your time to cleanup the old gasket. Inspect surfaces and if there are rough spots, some sealant might be necessary.

    Good luck! Also, better ask a few more questions. No flames. ;-)

    Skickat från min SM-A320FL via Tapatalk
    mwr4440 likes this.
  4. mwr4440

    mwr4440 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 8, 2007
    Bavaria, The 'Other' Germany
    Full Name:
    Mark W.R.
    #3 mwr4440, Nov 28, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
    It is an easy job but tedious.

    My first job on my car ('81 308GTSi) AND MY FIRST 'DIY JOB' on ANY CAR.

    Getting the oil pan off can be a ^%"&=/ of a job. The dip-stick holder tube needs to come out and the hidden insert too. A stiff wire bent back on itself (about 150°) will usually do the trick to blindly 'fish' it out. Don't remove that and the Oil Pan will NEVER Come Off ..... sans Dynamite.

    Since you have to 'break' the shift-shaft anyway, Seriously Consider changing-out the silent blocks in the shift-shaft 'while you're there.' The interior console needs to be loosened for that. I also took the Seats Out making much more room to work. Again, not hard per-se, just work Slowly and Carefully.

    DO NOT DISTURB the fitting on the forward outside of the Oil Reservoir the Shift-Shaft runs thru. DO NOT. You CAN change those o-rings with it firmly IN-PLACE.

    The other set of o-rings seal the oil from the tyranny fluid reservoirs. That one is real easy to get to.

    Use soft wood or non-sharp plastic tools to Remove the Old, or Jiggle the New rings into place.

    Get a Parts Catalogue and STUDY IT, FIRST.

    Plenty can be downloaded for my favorite price .... FREE.
  5. Johnv10

    Johnv10 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 16, 2018
    Boerne Texas
    Full Name:
    John Hackett
    Yes is am planning on replacing those silent blocks. I got the delrin upgrade from Verrell.
  6. jmaienza

    jmaienza Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2009
    Full Name:
    Before you put the shift detent tool into position, lightly grease the balls, springs and spacers. this will help hold in the parts once you remove the shift detent tool.

    Here are some pictures of the ball and spring assembly.

    Torque is 9 ft lbs. be sure to check your cover edges to be sure they are flat. the bolts are often overtightened and warp the edges.

    Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Here is a detailed write-up about the shift alignment. This is not my work and I do not know who the original author was, but its very detailed and an excellent reference.

    Shift Alignment
    1. Raise car on jack stands.
    2. Start transmission fluid draining procedure by verifying you can remove the fill plug at the pan. The fill plug is at the aft end and top of the pan. Have on hand a new copper crush washer for this plug.
    3. Drain gearbox pan fluid by removing aft 12mm hex drain plug. Replace copper crush washer.
    4. Drain transfer case fluid by removing drain plug. Replace copper crush washer.
    5. Remove gearbox pan bolts and washers (16 each). The pan may need gentle prying but otherwise should pop loose. Have a towel underneath to help catch loose parts. On the left side of the pan there are sets of spacers, springs, and little balls. This apparatus provides the “click” when engaging gears. The setup is as follows:
      1. The front has a small spacer at the bottom with a spring on top of the spacer and a ball on top of the spring.
      2. The middle has simply a spring with a ball on top.
      3. The aft has a spring with a ball on top but sits in a cavity inside the pan.
    6. Clean the springs and balls in solvent.
    7. Remove old gasket material from the sump and the pan using a scraper, scotch brite pad, and Permatex gasket remover. Depending on the age of the gasket this step may require several passes. Be careful not to damage the soft aluminum of the sump.
    8. Fashion a support for the ball and spring apparatus out of wood. I measured the cavity in the pan and used the new gasket as a stencil. Create a gasket for the wood tool using the new gasket as a guide so there are holes for the spring apparatus to sit in. The wood tool can be fashioned by trial and error.

      When I got done fashioning my wooden tool out of ½”x2” wood, it measured 6” on the left side, 2” on the bottom, 5 3/8” on the right side. The top left corner went for 5/8” then cut down 5/8” and straight over – that is, there was a chunk cut out at the top right measuring about 5/8” long and 1 3/8” wide. Using the new gasket as a guide, hills were drilled for the studs. Raw gasket material was screwed on. A ½” diameter hole was drilled in the aft hole of the gasket for the aft spring and ball assembly. A 3/16” small piece of trim board was screwed onto the bottom of the wood tool to support the aft spring.

    9. Use grease with the spacer, springs, and balls to keep them together while fastening them into place using the wood tool. Then, you are ready for adjustments.
    10. A good place for basic information is Power from the engine drives a gear connected with another gear on the layshaft. Gears on the layshaft of varying sizes connect directly with counterpart gears of specific sizes on the shaft going to the differential.

      So, all the gears are in contact at all times. The ones on the differential shaft are on bearings so they spin on this shaft. The purpose of the collar is to connect one of these gears to the differential shaft. The collar can slide on the differential shaft. The dog teeth on the collar are what engage a gear to connect it to the differential shaft. The collar is controlled by a selector fork.

      On the 308 there are three selector forks. One for Reverse & 1st, one for 2nd & 3rd, and one for 4th & 5th. When they are all lined up the transmission is in neutral. If you are looking for them you will find them at the front left of the pan opening.

      There are two main adjustments for the shift shaft. One is a rotational adjustment. If you think about what is happening as you move the gear shift from left to right you are really rotating the shaft and thus lining up with one of the selector forks.
      My observations: The side to side direction of the shifter in the gate is controlled by moving only the front shifter rod. Loosen the front locknut and only move the rod to get the shifter centered, then tighten the locknut while holding long connector. The front to back direction of the shifter is controlled by loosening both locknuts on either side of the long connector and then turning the connector to lengthen of shorten the rods until the shift lever is centered in the gate.
      The factory method for adjustment is to get the aft part of the shift shaft, the piece in the transmission so it has selected second gear (middle selector “back”). Then, you get the gear shift also in the gate in second gear. With everything all tightened up in this position you are done.
    11. Get the gear shift and selector so everything is in second gear. Make sure the shaft rotational element is aligned in center of the selector. Make sure the gear shift is sitting correctly and centered in the gate.
    12. Tighten the aft locking nut to the shift length alignment adjuster just in front of the oil pan. This nut is left-handed. Tighten this nut very tight! If not tight it is easy to lose the selectors and you will have to start all over again – and this after replacing the gasket and refilling with fresh fluid. (Although having seen how the selectors work it is possible to realign without dropping the pan.)
    13. Now tighten the fore nut to the adjuster.
    14. Verify the transmission shifts correctly at the shift gate. Things should be fairly centered throughout operation. Travel fore and aft should be easy. It should be easy to select all gears.
    15. Remove the wood tool.
    16. Attach the pan to the sump using a new gasket. Again, use grease if necessary to help hold the spring and ball apparatus together. Note the spacer goes with the fore spring and ball.
    17. Attach nuts and washers for pan. Torque to 9 ft-lbs (11n-m).
    18. Assemble a funnel to one end of 6’ of 3/8” fuel line hose. I used a long funnel with a tapered end that I got at Wal-Mart. Place the other end of the hose through the engine compartment and put it into the sump fill hole.
    19. Fill the sump with fresh gear oil. For me it took about 4.5 quarts before excess began to appear. Tighten fill plug but not too tight!
    20. Add about 1/3 cup gear oil through the transfer case fill area at the top. Left wheel well may have to be removed to gain access. Replace the transfer case fill plug.
    derekw likes this.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. godabitibi

    godabitibi F1 Veteran

    Jan 11, 2012
    Papineauville, Quebec
    Full Name:
    Claude Laforest
    I don't understand why torque specs below 25 ft/lbs are given in manuals. That should NEVER BE.

    Multiply 9 by 12 and torque it to 108 in/lbs. That is a precise torquing.

    No wonder why bolts get stripped or broken.
  9. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kingsport, TN
    Full Name:
    Lawrence A. Coppari
    My experience with seal replacement on my '87 GTS:
    1. Getting the old seals out was not a walk in the park. They were quite hard and came out a piece at a time.
    2. Inserting the shift rod through the new Verrell X seals was tough. I greased the shift rod but was not strong enough to get it through even the exterior seal. I eventually grasped the shift rod with a pair of vise grips at a position that does NOT enter the seal and rotated and pushed at the same time. It was easier to push on the vise grips.
    3. The new seals are tight and shifting took effort for about 500 miles. Another poster on this forum did not experience this.
  10. Freddie328

    Freddie328 Formula Junior

    Jul 29, 2013
    Herts, UK
    Full Name:
    You may also find a small magnet handy to get the detent springs/balls out incase they don't fall out. Those small "pen style" magnets are ideal.
    I used X rings when replacing mine. I made a mandrel with generous tapered end, which I slid through the X rings to expand them as I was pushing the shifter shaft through. A very simple tool and made reinserting the shaft a doddle without putting any excess force on the seals. The mandrel was exactly the same diameter as the shaft - 20mm I think but cant remember for sure.
    Its also worth getting a stubby socket wrench for removing/tightening the dip stick tube bolt that screws into the crankcase. There's very little room around this bolt and a stubby wrench works great. If your lucky the dipstick tube sealing bolt will undo and leave this bolt in place. If this is the case check the bolt is tight before reassembly, as it may have come loose during removal of the dip stick tube bolt! Mine had and was leaking oil- badly.
    Its also worth tidying up any damaged oil pan studs before trying to remove the nuts. These studs are very soft and will strip out very easily. The studs are not easy to remove for replacement. I think they must have have been glued in !
  11. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    Kingsport, TN
    Full Name:
    Lawrence A. Coppari
    Mandrel idea is a good one. I don't have a lathe so I could not do that. 'Screwing' the shift shaft in was a big help for me. I could not reinsert the shift rod without doing that. One thing I forgot to mention was that I filled the X with grease prior to inserting the shift shaft.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Johnv10

    Johnv10 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 16, 2018
    Boerne Texas
    Full Name:
    John Hackett
    What gear oil are you guys recommending to go back in the transmission when done?

    Sent from my iPad using mobile app
  14. Freddie328

    Freddie328 Formula Junior

    Jul 29, 2013
    Herts, UK
    Full Name:
    Redline MTL works well in mine.
    Better than others I've tried and definitely better than the Redline cocktail of MTL and NS.
    Nuvolari and thorn like this.
  15. thorn

    thorn F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tallahassee, FL
    Redline MTL has been great in mine. I don't even have to let it warm up for 10 minutes to shift into second without grinding.
    waymar likes this.
  16. derekw

    derekw Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 7, 2010
    London, UK
    Full Name:
    Derek W
    Stretch the viton x seal over something cylindrical that is a bit bigger and put it in the freezer. You have a few minutes of it being loose to get it into place and the shaft through. As Mark says above, don't remove the steel washer on the outside (front) of the o-ring. The old seal will come out with a hooked wire and the new one can be fed into its groove behind that washer.

Share This Page