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'74 Cj5 304 T18 Shifter Feel Question...

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by Scott Davison, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Aug 17, 2018
    Scott Davison

    Scott Davison New Member

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
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    3
    The vehicle I have in my care has a hard time finding third. The stick has no resistance side to side, (modern transmissions typically self center in the 3rd/4th gate) even into reverse. Is there a centering detent or does the shifter rely on the reverse piston as a third gear guide?
     
  2. Aug 17, 2018
    dane71

    dane71 New Member

    USA
    Joined:
    May 11, 2017
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    20
    I currently have 2 jeeps with the T18 and theyre both that way, granted they've likely had a lot of use without any rebuilds, but i assume its normal. Muscle memory.
     
  3. Aug 18, 2018
    '74Renegade

    '74Renegade Sponsor Sponsor

    Fair Oaks, CA
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    Sep 1, 2005
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    That's the way mine feels also. I purchased a rebuilt top some years ago and it was the same way. However, I have driven one or two with some type of spring to self center.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2018
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Sep 23, 2002
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    11,324
    The reverse spring wears out/breaks in the T-18 top. It was a mandatory replacement in every T-18 I modified/rebuilt. Probably in the vicinity of at least a hundred and probably more.
    That spring keeps the shifter centered and keeps it from moving in positions it shouldn't be. Almost all of them are collapsed or broken into little pieces unless replaced.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    There exists a T-18 shift top parts kit, containing that spring and a lot of other small parts. This one - T18 & T19 TRANSMISSION TOP COVER SMALL PARTS KIT FITS FORD JEEP INTERNATIONAL (SP18-50Y) - you should be able to buy it through your local transmission parts supplier, or one of the Jeep specialists like Parts Mike or Novak.

    I did this to my T-18, replaced that spring (broken in many pieces, as Nick says) and it improved the gates of the shifter a lot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    Bowbender likes this.
  6. Aug 18, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    shifttopT18 (842 x 1154).jpg

    6.020-4
     
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  7. Aug 20, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Hi Scott - welcome from Boston!

    Yes, the reverse piston is supposed to keep you out of the reverse gate when you shift into 3rd. If the spring is in good shape, you can avoid clipping reverse from 2nd by just letting the shifter move to the right side of the neutral gate, and then moving forward. These transmissions are not fast shifters, even when in top condition.
     
  8. Aug 20, 2018
    Scott Davison

    Scott Davison New Member

    North Carolina
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    Aug 17, 2018
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    Thank everyone so much! The owner of the Jeep had just purchased it and had concerns. I've owned a few beaters in my day that were really vague shifters so I could find it easy enough, but he couldn't get in third to save his life. I've ordered the top kit and will be going through the cover.
     
  9. Aug 20, 2018
    heavychevy

    heavychevy Sponsor Sponsor

    Danielsville georgia
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    Sep 7, 2008
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    157
    Welcome Scott from northeast georgia
     
  10. Aug 22, 2018
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
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    Jan 15, 2011
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    Bad thing i read that....now i need to solve mine ahahah
     
  11. Aug 22, 2018
    '74Renegade

    '74Renegade Sponsor Sponsor

    Fair Oaks, CA
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    I was thinking the same thing.
     
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  12. Aug 27, 2018
    Scott Davison

    Scott Davison New Member

    North Carolina
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
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    3
    Here's the update. Ordered the top parts kit from the link above, pulled the shifter top off and began hammering out roll pins. Once I got the reverse gate piston out the spring was in 3 pieces. Going back together I almost flummoxed myself by not having the reverse gate in the groove inside the cover. This is important and very easily overlooked.

    Once back together 3rd is now easily findable, however I feel like that spring could be a good bit stiffer as you can crash right past it in a hurry. Doesn't help that this thing has a two pound metal hand grenade as a shifter knob.

    Thanks a ton, guys! You've made for a happy customer!
     
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  13. Aug 27, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Yes. The T-18 shift pattern changes in 1978 or 1979 and puts reverse by 4th, solving this problem. Glad it helped!
     
  14. Aug 27, 2018
    IrishCJ6

    IrishCJ6 Member

    Wicklow Ireland
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
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    387
    Yes mine has reverse down by 4th and it's a 79 model. Top hat feels as tight as new
     
  15. Aug 27, 2018
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
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    Jan 15, 2011
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    I got both version with the short shaft and 6.32 first speed...
     

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