how to change your gear rod bushes

Discussion in 'How To' started by Diddymen, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    changing you gear rod bushes and coupler can greatly improve your gear changes if yours are worn.....heres how I did mine......with a lot of inuendos ;D

    firstly, you need to remove your main rear gear rod..........which means gear box out I'm afraid!

    so, some pics from some one elses bus as it was up on the ramps at the time........

    before removing the gearbox you will need to disconnect the gear coupler, undo the square headed bot using an 8mm spanner, it will be fixed in place with some locking wire which you will have to cut off and remove. The locking wire passes through a hole in the head of the bolt and wraps around the shaft of the coupler to prevent it comming loose while you are driving.......make sure you use new wire when you replace the coupler

    the square headed bolt seems to have been replaced with a hex head bolt on this bus...probably because it was missing its locking wire, if you cant see the bolt it will be located just above the heater Y tube


    next you need to undo the square headed bolt (8mm spanner again) fixing the rear rod to the front gear rod.....this is located under the cab floor and also should have locking wire fixing it in place


    you should then be able to remove the main gear rod by pulling it out from the rear of the bus.....the bushes wil probably get caught where it passes through the rear top hat section!! ....but it will come out with a bit of tugging!!!

    you can then remove the front shift rod which locates over a pin under the cab


    I had bought a kit with every thing in it (except the rubber boots - bought them separately) and heres what was in it



    you dont need all those bits, I only needed 3 of the bits in the end, these 3 as it happens


    first was to prize out the one that goes in the front rod and here is the replacement


    ...and pushed in


    there are a few variations between years, mine uses the 'shuttle cock' with the metal ring at the rear of the bus, others have theres at the front.

    You will be led on this by the old ones (if you have them intact and some one hasnt left them off) and by looking at the rod its self.

    You will notice there are 2 dimples/indents at one end of the rod and only one at the other, the bushes have lugs corresponding to these dimples

    so my rear one has 2 dimples and the bush has 2 lugs

    the first thing to do is to slide the new rubber gaiter on from the front of the rod (making sure you have it the right way round) then assemble the bushes on the rod with the 'open' end of the 'shuttle cocks' to the rear should then be able to slide the whole assemly into the tube from the rear (I did say 'should' ! ::))

    you can see in the next few pics the orientation of the bushes on the rod, and the corresponding dimples and lugs

    1 lug bush -

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    2 lug bush-



    and the whole lot assembled


    next you want to grease the whole lot up, I did this a bit at a time as I started to insert the rod (yes Im aware of all the sexual inuendos!! ;D) as its a bit messy to do

    the first bush should slide in nicely, when you come to the rear one with the metal ring you might find it is a little tight ;D

    I then tried to get the rubber gaiter to go through the rear top hat......that was a fiddle!, must have taken 20mins to do and it was all greasy by then...think I poked a hole through it with a screw driver trying to get it through but I'd given up caring but that point. It was at this point I thought it may in[glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300]FACT[/glow][/glow][/glow][/glow] have been better to have put the rod through the top hat then slid the gaiter up....then assembled the bushes ::)

    back to the tight rear bush, in[glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300][glow=red,2,300]FACT[/glow][/glow][/glow]
    [/glow], I couldnt get mine to go in at all!! after a lot of swearing I heard a click and the rod went was then I noticed I'd snapped the rear bush :mad:

    so I bought a new one

    this time I didnt have much choice but to fit it on in place (after removing the remains of the broken one)

    and I decided it would have been easier to have assembled the lot off the bus like I did originally....must have taken me an hours wrestling with the greasy bush to get it on my rod (chuckles)....with considerable force I then managed to get it into the tube....phew!!

    next was to cnnect the coupler........
    steveagain likes this.
  2. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    I've got a new polyurathane rear coupling, I've heard these tend to fall apart from a few people. Looking at it, it looks pretty solid, the cage looks identical and same gauge metal as my old one and the poly urathane should last a bit longer with out so much play as rubber.

    I decided the weak point was the method of fixing it to the rear rod, the thin tube with the large self tapper bolt in it, if this failed the whole lot would fall apart.

    so instead of using the self tapping bolt, I made a long stud to go through the tube, using 5mm round stock. I cut a thread at each end and using nylock nuts it shouldnt fall apart :)



    and slid through the tube between the poly bushes..


    it was then a case of fitting it in place, which I thought I would do before I fully push the rod into place as it would be easier to do now


    ...and there you have it!

    .........except there seems to be an awful lot of play :mad: seems the tube which goes between the poly bushes and through the end of the rod is smaller than the hole in the end of the rod by an amount that gives it lots of play....if you know what I mean :mad:

    so I took it off didnt work :(
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  3. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    I had a bolt turned down on a lathe which is the perfect fit in the coupler.......




    if it works it should be much better than the original fixing method....hopefully!

    I made sure I had at least 1 thread inside the poly bushes to ensure I could clamp it up fully.....if the thread was to short it would never hold it all tight


    I fitted it into the rod with a smear of copper slip.....and it fits nicely 8)

    the gear box can go back in and then the square headed bolt can be tightened up with the locking wire replaced

    then the front gear rod can go back in and tighten the square bolt....and replace the locking wire

    you can then refit th gear stick that I forgot to meantion removing inthe first post ;D.....and you should be good to go......oce you've put the engine back ;D

    hope this has helped :)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
    rob dawson likes this.
  4. I don't suppose there is any chance you have a spare one of those do you? Or perhaps might have thought about knocking a few out for others? I've got a polybush coupler there, and that would definitely be better than the retaining clip it comes with.
  5. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    I dont have any spare I'm afraid, I only got the one made :(

    I have thought about making a few up though :thinking:

    .......but I had to ask a favour from someone at work in the machine shop ......I'll ask him again nicely if he will knock a batch of them up
  6. Thanks. :)
  7. Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017
  8. Excellent how to dude, this job is on my list but hadn't realised it was an engine & box out job :eek: If you do get a batch of those bolts made up I would be happy to purchase one as I also have bought the polybush coupler & thought the self tapping bit looks a bit carp...

    Thanks again for the how to, I shall be printing this off for reference for when I go for it!

  9. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    thanks mate, glad it helped :)

    I'll have to get on to that, it had slipped my mind!
    Robo likes this.
  10. Thanks for the right up! Don't suppose you did make the bolts!? :)
  11. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    no unfortunatly I didnt.

    I did speak to the guy that did it and he wanted £5 per bolt to turn down.....and that is with me supplying the bolts ....then there would be postage I thought they would probably end up costing more than £10 each which I thought was a bit steep
  12. Do you remember the sizes diddymen? It may be possible to buy some metal tube with the right ID and OD to just sleeve a standard bolt. Maybe?
  13. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    possibly .....I think the O/D to fit through the gear rod was 9.5mm (which is why you cant get a 10mm bolt through)

    cant remember the length of the shaft ......but it was flush with the cheek of the poly bus....with enough sicking out to cut an 8mm thread to hold a nut and could take the measurements off of the coupler its self :thumbsup:
  14. Cool. I'm not doing this myself (yet). just thought it may be an option for the ones that are.
  15. Just clicked this how 2 >thanks ,the photos showing the assembly laid out and latterly with new bushes fitted pre assembly explain it for me >nice one .
  16. how is the shift now is it any better?
    Where did you get the bush kit from too?
  17. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    I got the kit from JK, its got all the bits, plus a few you dont need

    I've also fitted a quick shift plate.....still not driven the bus yet though :D

    ......but it does feel quite tight and positive :)

    never having driven this bus or had much to compare to myself, I asked my mate and he said the shift felt great :)
  18. @Diddymen , as you do looking under my bus I've found something else that needs doing! My rear bush has dislocated :(

    I read this in your post - this time I didnt have much choice but to fit it on in place (after removing the remains of the broken one)
    and I decided it would have been easier to have assembled the lot off the bus like I did originally....must have taken me an hours wrestling with the greasy bush to get it on my rod (chuckles)....with considerable force I then managed to get it into the tube....phew!!

    Everything I have read says you can't replace this one with the gearbox connected?

    a) have you disproved this?
    b) how do you know where the locating holes are on the rod? Once the bush is in I would guess you can't spin it.
    c) I guess the struggle was squeezing the lugs on the bush into the pipe and locating them?

    My gears have worked fairly well with this out, but if possible I'd like to fix it back - somehow?
  19. OOOOps :rolleyes: just read this, so that's one question answered! :thumbsup:

    You will notice there are 2 dimples/indents at one end of the rod and only one at the other, the bushes have lugs corresponding to these dimples
  20. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    a) The rear shuttle cock can only be done with the gearbox out to the best of my knowledge (mine was already removed at the time) as you need to slide the rod out of the conduit towards the rear of the bus to expose it (and the gearbox gets in the way!)

    b) yep, lugs on the shuttle cocks and dimples in the rod means you can go wrong :thumbsup:

    c) getting them on the rod and squeezing them into place wasn't a problem from memory, the hard bit was getting the rod back in the conduit, well, not so much the rod its self, but the shuttle cocks as they are meant to be slightly larger than the internal diameter so they are a good fit. the metal ring at the end is 'open' so it can be compressed slightly, and it will spring open in the tube to make a snug fit....I suppose a bit like a piston ring, if I'd used a jubilee clip or similar to compress it, I probably wouldn't have had a problem.

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