Friday, March 20, 2009

Installing New Shifternob

OK anyone who has ever changed one of these knows about all the little parts (2 springs, rubber gasket, plastic molded pieces, ball bearing, etc) that can and do go flying if you aren't really careful when you take the top off.  We of course did great the first time, but we didn't add any extra petroleum and so had to take it apart a second time.  That time both of those stupid little springs went flying as the air blew them to who knew where along with the rubber gasket.  The rubber gasket and the first spring I found almost immediately right next to the gas peddle.  The second one took us over an hour to find.  It had landed and rolled just far enough under the base of the brake peddle that unless you lifted it you didn't see it.  Can you imagine calling dispatch and telling them the truck can't make the pickup because we lost a tiny little spring less than 1/4" long x 1/8" wide?  And all because I wanted to replace a scratched shifter knob.

Unless you are unlucky like we were, it really is a simple job to change
 one of these out (I have changed many throughout the years 
without incident).  Remove the top access panel and the two screws.
Lift off the knob and the side gear splitter switch.  This is where it 
gets tricky.  See those two very small holes at the right side that are
 sort of outlined?  Those are air outlets and are highly pressurized.  
Once you loosen and lift off the cover they blow air hard, fast and loud!
This air blowing is how you loose those little parts.
Since we didn't have any petroleum jelly handy and didn't want to spray
 white lithium here, we used just a dab of Carmex.  It holds those tiny
 little parts in place as you flip the selector switch upside down to put it
 back in place, lubes and helps seal the air gasket.
Now that the air has drained off for the second time, 
I flip and very carefully set the selector switch in place.
Now all we have to do is put the new knob on top...

and screw it back down.

The last step is to place the access cover in the top of the knob.
Viola.  New fancy carved wooden shifter knob.
We started the truck and reaired the system to test it.  It 
worked better than before!  I guess that Carmex was just the ticket.

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