GUIDE: How to make your O2J shifter feel less sloppy and other information.

Joester

Vendor
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Location
St. Louis
TDI
2002 Golf TDI
This thread is intended to be an accumulation of knowledge that I have obtained on my quest for a better feeling shifter in my 2002 Golf TDI. This should apply to most later (2000+) MKIVs and I believe MKV cars are very similar in design, although not identical. I found that most of this info is scattered across multiple threads on multiple sites, so hopefully this takes the work out of finding some solutions to your aging shifter.

First, let’s get a few terms straight.

Shift Knob: The thing you hold in your hand when you’re driving

Shift Lever: The metal shaft that the shift knob sits upon. You row this back and forth through the gears.

Shift box: The entire rectangular box part that sits right under your center console. It houses all the linkages and parts that make the movements of your hand on the knob move the cables in the correct direction.

Shifter Linkages: The plastic pieces that attach to the ends of the cables. These are used to calibrate the shifter to its “home” position.

Shift Tower: The cast aluminum piece that bolts onto the top of your transmission and its containments. It houses another shaft which is pushed up and down and rotated by the cables to put the car into gear, along with some bearings and a locking pin, which locks the transmission into “home” position.

Cable Bracket: This is the black steel bracket that sits atop your transmission. Attached by 3 bolts to provide no relative motion between the sheaths of the shifter cables and the transmission.

Useful video on linkage calibration done by dieselgeek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sheTKD03hmo


There are some things that you can do to make your shifter feel more solid. Here they are from most effective to least effective as reported by other VW enthusiasts.




#1 – Shift lever socket cup replacement

Part Number: 1K0711699

Cost: ~$8-9 + shipping

Where to buy: ECS Tuning (http://www.ecstuning.com/ES316522/)

How-to: Disconnect the shift linkages from the transmission. Just take off the two clips, you don't have to mess with recalibration. Then use a torx on the retention plate screws. From there, pull UP on the gear shift with one hand and pull the bushing out with the other. You may need to pry it out with some sort of tool.

Right underneath your shift boot, there is a plastic looking ball and a plastic looking cup that provides a pivot for the shift lever. Over the years this ball and cup can degrade. I think replacing the ball requires a new shift lever, but replacing of the cup is not too bad.
Here is a picture of the cup, part # 1K0711699 (1K0711699A is also a part number that you may stumble upon. My local VW dealer said that the P/N without the A is the one that I want, and that decision was confirmed by ECS Tuning. The 1K0711699A P/N is for MKV cars, I believe, but don’t take me up on that. Definitely confirm what part you need before ordering.)








#2 – Shift tower Bushing Replacement

Part Number: Bearing - 02A311648C ; Seal - 02A301227M ; Washer - 02A301320B

Cost: ~$25 + shipping

Where to buy: IDparts (http://www.idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2281) or ECS Tuning (http://www.ecstuning.com/ES271531/ --- http://www.ecstuning.com/ES271382/ --- http://www.ecstuning.com/ES271393/)

How-to: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...ng-amp-Bushing-Repair&p=78934588#post78934588
This is the bearing inside your shift tower that the gear selector shaft rides in. This, too can wear out over time. Replacing this part is pretty simple given you have the skills, and not too expensive either. Many report that this really tightens up the shifting quite a bit.








#3 – Shifter end linkage stiffening

Part Number: N/A

Cost: $26+

Where to buy:
Speedsource Solid Brass inserts $26 + shipping http://speed-source.net/?wpsc-product=vwaudi-shifter-bushings
42 Draft Designs aluminum inserts with brass bushings $35 + shipping http://www.42draftdesigns.com/VW-Shifter-Bushing-Set--Mk4-56S-MY02-05_p_279.html
034 Motorsport replacement end linkages with high density rubber $110 + shipping http://store.034motorsport.com/shift-linkage-bushing-pair-density-line-mkiv-vw-5-6-speed.html

How-to: Remove end links as shown in re-calibration video at beginning of thread. Remove old rubber, reinstall with stiffened bushings in place.






#4 – Cable Bracket Bushing stiffening

Part Number: N/A

Cost: $25+

Where to buy:
42 Draft Designs $25 + shipping http://www.42draftdesigns.com/VW-Shifter-Bracket-Bushings_p_749.html
Virdict Motosports $26 + shipping http://www.verdictmotorsports.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=0100
ForceFed Engineering $34.99 + shipping http://store.forcefedengineering.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=FFE_PE_SHIFT

How-to: Pretty simple stuff, just unbolt bracket, remove old rubber bushings, and reinstall with updated bushings.






#5 – Other possibilities
Other parts in the shift box can wear out and cause play and sloppiness in your shifter.
- Transmission relay lever plastic guide. To my knowledge can only be bought with whole relay and end linkage assembly as shown here: http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Jetta_IV--1.8T/Drivetrain/View_All/ES4526/
- Shift box relay lever bushings. These bushings are the following part numbers: left - 1K0711067 --- right - 1K0711067A. These can also be bought at ECS Tuning.


EXTRA ITEMS WORTH MENTIONING:

Dieselgeek Sigma 6 short shifter(plays with lever lengths on transmission side): http://www.dieselgeek.com/5_Speed_VW_Short_Shifter_p/ss-sigma5.htm


B&M short shifter (replaces shift lever): http://bmracing.com/?wpsc-product=precision-sport-shifter-audi-and-vw


How to for removing and replacing a shift lever from B&M installation instructions: http://bmracing.com/wp-bnmcont/uploads/45114.pdf


So hopefully this clears some things up. I have a bunch of parts on the way, and I will update this thread with results as I install the parts. I made my own aluminum cable bracket bushing set, and ordered a new shifter cup, 42DD end linkage bushings, new shift tower bearing and seals, and also new shift box relay lever bushings. I'm also going to cut about 1" off of the top of my shift lever.

EDIT: I guess its worth stating that I am not involved or related to any of the companies listed above. I have personally used 034 Motorsport, 42 Draft Designs, ECS tuning, and IDparts and have nothing but great things to say about them. For the rest of the companies, you are on your own.
 
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mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2004 Jetta TDI, 2009 Jetta TDI, 2010 Touareg TDI
Awesome, thank you!

Once the warm weather comes I'll be doing all of these. Hopefully this helps my stubborn 1st gear and it's notchyness
 

runonbeer

Maintenance EnthusiastVendor
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Location
Austin, TX/Chapel Hill, NC
TDI
'00 Golf 02M, '10 Golf 02E, '02 UTE 02M
edit* see posts #21 & #22 by corradotdi. He has a fix for the issues I mention in this post that do not require replacement of the expensive shift tower. I did not redact my post below

Excellent information.

I will add that I have had more than a few cars come through that are unable to select either 5th or reverse. The cause in both cases is a complete blowout of the yellowish plastic sleeve on the end of the protrusion on the side of the sift lever that actuates the "up & down" cable lever. I have circled it in the photo below:



The part number for the lever on a Golf/Jetta is 1J0 711 112E. Its about $75-85. Removal of the downpipe, heat shielding, center console and shift box (with cables) is required.

On the last car with this issue, not only was the yellowish sleeve completely gone, but also the bushing inside the side to side cable end inside the shift box was gone too (it was in a little gooey pile on the shift box base).

I was prepared for the lever failure when I embarked on the repair but I was not prepared for the cable end bearing issue. So I took some measurements of the inside of the cable end as well as the axis pin of the lever and drilled and bench grinder'd a replacement bearing out of an M6, 10mm nut. Got a nice tight fit and shifting returned to normal. Dieselgeek has come out with a fix for all of the issues afflicting the shift box. I have installed a set and I highly recommend it.

It is likely that if you live in a climate where this type of material failure is going to occur, then your center console will also explode into about 6 pieces when you go to take it out.
 
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Joester

Vendor
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Location
St. Louis
TDI
2002 Golf TDI
thanks for the info runonbeer! That bushing is slightly worn on my car, but not to the point that its worth the money to replace. Maybe as a 200k miles present for my car or something :)
 

Dorkage

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Location
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
TDI
2003 Wagon TDI, 2004 Golf R32
#3 – Shifter end linkage stiffening

Part Number: N/A

Cost: $26+

Where to buy:
Speedsource Solid Brass inserts $26 + shipping http://speed-source.net/?wpsc-product=vwaudi-shifter-bushings
42 Draft Designs aluminum inserts with brass bushings $35 + shipping http://www.42draftdesigns.com/VW-Shifter-Bushing-Set--Mk4-56S-MY02-05_p_279.html
034 Motorsport replacement end linkages with high density rubber $110 + shipping http://store.034motorsport.com/shift-linkage-bushing-pair-density-line-mkiv-vw-5-6-speed.html

How-to: Remove end links as shown in re-calibration video at beginning of thread. Remove old rubber, reinstall with stiffened bushings in place.

My inner Polock came out when I did this the cheap way. I filled the bushing with JB weld completely and then sanded off any excess. Super cheap and extremely effective.
 

Joester

Vendor
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Location
St. Louis
TDI
2002 Golf TDI
My inner Polock came out when I did this the cheap way. I filled the bushing with JB weld completely and then sanded off any excess. Super cheap and extremely effective.

I was thinking about doing this, but I was scared that the JB-weld would break after a while of use. Glad to hear it worked out for you! :cool:
 

deejaaa

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
Location
Baytown, Texas
TDI
FOR SALE, 2002 Jetta GLS, 5 speed
great thread.
after i installed my stainless shift knob, i dropped a few squirts of dry teflon chain lube onto the socket cup/ball and it made movement a lot better.
 

Joester

Vendor
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Location
St. Louis
TDI
2002 Golf TDI
I got my 42DD aluminum end link bushings today and I have to say I am not overly impressed. Perhaps I got my hopes up too much. I suppose it makes it feel a bit better, but not $43 shipped better. All in all, I would still buy them if i have money laying around, but I'd rather have dinner at a nice steakhouse.

Worth noting: I have no complaints about the service of the company, the product that I bought just isn't as effective as I was under the impression it was going to be. That's not their fault.

The rest of my parts should be here early next week. I will update as I install them.
 

BlankThis

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Location
Montreal, QC
TDI
2002 Golf GLS TDI
I got my 42DD aluminum end link bushings today and I have to say I am not overly impressed. Perhaps I got my hopes up too much. I suppose it makes it feel a bit better, but not $43 shipped better. All in all, I would still buy them if i have money laying around, but I'd rather have dinner at a nice steakhouse.

Worth noting: I have no complaints about the service of the company, the product that I bought just isn't as effective as I was under the impression it was going to be. That's not their fault.

The rest of my parts should be here early next week. I will update as I install them.
I have a similar relationship with my DG short shifter... Just got too excited I guess. I think I want to go back to the smoother stock shifter.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
Neat. I just thought it was something inherent in cable shifters that they feel like a video game joystick. Guess I'll have to make up some solid bushings and see the difference for myself.
 

Joester

Vendor
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Location
St. Louis
TDI
2002 Golf TDI
In my shifter adventures I've found that much of the slop is inherent to the design of the transmission itself. I haven't installed it yet, but I'd wager that the most effective thing to do is that cup bearing that the shift lever sits in.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
In my shifter adventures I've found that much of the slop is inherent to the design of the transmission itself. I haven't installed it yet, but I'd wager that the most effective thing to do is that cup bearing that the shift lever sits in.
Simple test, pull your boot off and wiggle the shifter enough to feel most of the slop, look for what is moving. Have a friend do it while you're watching under the hood.
 

corrado tdi

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Location
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
TDI
2016 Golf TDI
Add a shim to tighten up your ball!

Hey y'all,

I saw this post and wanted to add a few things to it. Feel free to add my info to any other post in this thread if it helps those searching for info.

The #1 item on the first post: Shift lever socket cup replacement

I found an even easier and equally effective method to remove slop in your aging ball socket. If you shim the outside of the socket with a piece of card stock material you can take all of the play out of the socket for free. I did this years ago and it works great. Just cut a 3/4" wide by 3.25 inch long piece of card stock similar to what is shown below. Substitute note card stock for the coke can as it is thicker and works better. For you more visual types, I have a YouTube video to show you how.



Remove the top plate of your shift lever socket with a Torx T20 screwdriver:



Slip the note card shim around the outside of the rubber sleeve that goes around the shifter socket like this:



And then replace the top cover again. There will be noticeably less slop in the ball socket of the shift lever. On my shifter I didn't have any slop after I shimmed my socket.
 
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corrado tdi

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Oct 3, 2000
Location
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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2016 Golf TDI
The First Gear Getter

Hey y'all,

I was in Roswell, New Mexico last summer promoting my new Beetle handle products at the annual New Beetle Roswell get together. I had some downtime and went driving to a local state park to go swimming. Well, all of the sudden, I lost the ability to easily get first and second gear. I looked at everything that might be causing it and I saw this:



I opened the driver door of my car and got better shots of this odd earwax colored bushing:



For comparison, here is a good "earwax" colored bushing:



Here is the earwax bushing after I took it off. It was very crumbly:



Here is the shift lever with the earwax bushing removed:



SO, I came up with a fix and had my machinist cut some prototypes out of UHMW plastic. After a few revisions we came up with the fix:





The "First Gear Getter" fixes the issue entirely and has been in place for 10 months on my personal car. It is an official product called First Gear Getter with a SKU of "FIGG". I have been sending them to people who call or email me with this specific issue. So far it has fixed all cars where it has been installed.

It is important to me to mention that all of the older MK4 shift boxes will likely one day suffer this bushing failure. Some already have. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the presence or absence of any brand of short shift kit. I think it has more to do with heat and age.

To sum up, The First Gear Getter fixes the side to side slop you get when the earwax bushing develops either disintegrates or develops a flat spot on the bottom. When the earwax bushing lets go, you will likely not be able to get first and second gear without pushing the shifter very hard to the left. If you attempt to readjust the shifter with a bad earwax bushing you will not be able to get 5th gear (or 6th if you have it).
 
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corrado tdi

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor , w/Business number
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Oct 3, 2000
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San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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2016 Golf TDI
One last thing. When I had to send out my shift box to my machinist (who is 100 miles away), I had to swap in another shift box with a good bushing. When I did this, the stock VW side to side cable end bushing crumbled into many pieces when I tried to put the shift cable back onto the new shift box. SO, I had my machinist make them:



This bushing is not available separately from VW. If you motor on down to your local VW dealer and ask for a cable end bushing they will smile and try to sell you a whole shift cable for something around $200.00 to replace an otherwise perfectly good shift cable.

Replacing the front/back cable end bushing or the cable means dropping the exhaust, heat shield and finally the shift box.

Here is a YouTube video for diagnosing a bad cable end bushing.
Here is a video to identify which type of side to side cable end your car has.
Here is a video for replacing the front to back cable end.
Here is a video for replacing the side to side cable end.

Again, the stock cable end bushings are made of some spongy clear earwax colored rubber/plastic and won't last anywhere near as long as the shift cable itself. In my opinion, they go bad due to age, heat and tampering. If you leave them alone they will last longer. One shifter brand requires you to detach the shift cables during shifter install.

EDIT: I added a whole shifter bushing section to Dieselgeek recently including the First Gear Getter, Cable Saver replacement cable end bushings and the 5mm shifter adjustment alignment pins. There's a little something in that subcategory for MK3 and B4 Passat owners, too.
 
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mrrhtuner

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London Ont Canada
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2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2004 Jetta TDI, 2009 Jetta TDI, 2010 Touareg TDI
corrado tdi,

What does this fix exactly? What is first gear getter?
 

corrado tdi

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Joined
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San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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2016 Golf TDI
Thanks for this question. I amended my FGG post above:

The First Gear Getter fixes the side to side slop you get when the earwax bushing either disintegrates or develops a flat spot on the bottom. When the earwax bushing lets go, you will likely not be able to get first and second gear without pushing the shifter very hard to the left. If you attempt to readjust the shifter with a bad earwax bushing you will not be able to get 5th gear (or 6th if you have it).
 
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corrado tdi

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
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San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
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2016 Golf TDI
Very cool Jim! How much for the FGG and the side-side bush?
I have created the product now for the FIGG or First Gear Getter. I set the price at $25 and it is linked under "Short Shifters>Shifter Parts" on my website. It is an easy install.

I am not including the cable end bushings with the FIGG since the two parts don't seem to be breaking at the same time. I don't recommend changing it if yours is not bad.

If someone needs a set of cable end bushings, they are found under "Short Shifters>Shifter Parts" on my website.
 
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[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
The #1 item on the first post: Shift lever socket cup replacement

I found an even easier and equally effective method to remove slop in your aging ball socket. If you shim the outside of the socket with a piece of Coke can material you can take all of the play out of the socket for nearly free.
I used a mcdonalds receipt between the plastic cup and the rubber bit when I had it apart to cut down the shifter's metal shafty bit.
free short throw with no slop
 

GASDAG

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Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Location
Columbus, OH
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS 5MT Sedan Silver, 2004 GMC Sierra i.e. no need for a wagon
I have a similar relationship with my DG short shifter... Just got too excited I guess. I think I want to go back to the smoother stock shifter.
Can you talk more about your satisfaction or lack thereof with the DG Sigma 5? I'm planning on getting one as well when my new clutch goes in. I have just gotten used to how my stock 5 speed works, but I definitely think it's sloppy and would like a tighter shorter throw. I had a B&M short shifter on my eclipse gsx back in the day and thought it was a great improvement.
 
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