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Tommybeach

Transmission linkage came loose

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I parked my 1990 Buick Reatta, everything was great . When I restarted and tried to drive away, the transmission level was disengaged. I had just installed a new radiator, last weekend, so I added transmission fluid on a hunch, but nothing happened. My initial thought was the  linkage had come loose, either on the transmission, or the gear shiftier. After adding the transmission fluid with zero changes or results, I am sure it is the linkage. Has anyone else ever had this occur? 

If so, which end came loose, and how did you fix it ?

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The same thing happened to me about a year ago on my '88 Reatta. Parked it, went in to work, came out 9 hours later, cranked her up, went to put in gear and the automatic shifter was loose and would not move to another gear. I had to have it towed ($120) to a great mechanic that had worked on my car previously and he said what happened was that a plastic clip that connected the cable to the shifter (my auto verbiage may be incorrect) broke and to get to it and replace it would mean pulling the transmission. So, about $1000 and a week later, the red monster was back on the road. That was a very expensive piece of plastic.

 

I hope yours is an easy fix and less expensive.

Tricia

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My granddaughter just had this happen on a 50K Buick Rendezvous......towing, part and repair was $400.

Whatya gonna do..........plastic parts break and they don't give you any warning.

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I would look under the hood first to see if the cable (3) has come loose from the gear selector arm (5) on the transmission. Then check the cable where it connects to the shifter inside the console.

neutral-park switch.jpgconsole_photos_2.jpg

 

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This was a problem for a while a few years back and then I didn't hear anything about it. For most of the guys it was #5 in Ronnie's picture. I believe the quick fix was a zip tie.

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10 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

This was a problem for a while a few years back and then I didn't hear anything about it. For most of the guys it was #5 in Ronnie's picture. I believe the quick fix was a zip tie.

Very common occurrence.  Occasionally they just pop off at the under hood connection. Pop it back on and if it happens again use DAVES89 suggestion. I get the feeling some mechanics is making a killing charging huge $$$$ for what is probably a 10 cent fix.

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Can reach on the driver's side near the firewall. Under the cruise control linkage. 3 pops off of 5. Usually can pop back on to get home. I wrapped some safety wire around mine but a ty wrap should work

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It is very common for the plastic end on the shift cable to come off the ball socket on the lever. There are four small tabs associated with the plastic end and these are supposed to hold the cable end so the ball does not let loose but that plastic gets brittle and breaks and doesn't lock the ball in place. Wire or a tywrap can work but it cannot be too tight as when the lever turns the angle of the cable head changes quite a lot. 

there are replacement ends available on ebay but they are about $ 30 A much easier fix is to remove the lever as it is held on with one nut and then remove the ball stud and put a bolt in place with either a self locking nut or double nut the bolt. You could also drill out both the lever and cable end to 1/4 inch.

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Jim has the repair I was trying to remember. I knew some guys did the zip tie, but there was a better way and this is it.

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On 2/22/2018 at 3:50 PM, 88redGG said:

The same thing happened to me about a year ago on my '88 Reatta. Parked it, went in to work, came out 9 hours later, cranked her up, went to put in gear and the automatic shifter was loose and would not move to another gear. I had to have it towed ($120) to a great mechanic that had worked on my car previously and he said what happened was that a plastic clip that connected the cable to the shifter (my auto verbiage may be incorrect) broke and to get to it and replace it would mean pulling the transmission. So, about $1000 and a week later, the red monster was back on the road. That was a very expensive piece of plastic.

 

I hope yours is an easy fix and less expensive.

Tricia

Thanks for your response Tricia... as you can see by the date, I am just learning to use this site... I am replying to yours, because I found the same thing you described. After sleeping on the problem, I decided it had to be something simple, like a broken linkage connection... I used a flashlight to locate the piece that came loose, and 2 tie wraps to reconnect it . It works fine !

 

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On 2/23/2018 at 2:05 PM, Jim said:

It is very common for the plastic end on the shift cable to come off the ball socket on the lever. There are four small tabs associated with the plastic end and these are supposed to hold the cable end so the ball does not let loose but that plastic gets brittle and breaks and doesn't lock the ball in place. Wire or a tywrap can work but it cannot be too tight as when the lever turns the angle of the cable head changes quite a lot. 

there are replacement ends available on ebay but they are about $ 30 A much easier fix is to remove the lever as it is held on with one nut and then remove the ball stud and put a bolt in place with either a self locking nut or double nut the bolt. You could also drill out both the lever and cable end to 1/4 inch.

Jim, thank you for your answer... I am just learning this site... I figured out the linkage had come loose, just as you described !  I appreciate your response and your knowledge. thank you , Tommy Hooks

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On 2/23/2018 at 10:36 AM, padgett said:

Can reach on the driver's side near the firewall. Under the cruise control linkage. 3 pops off of 5. Usually can pop back on to get home. I wrapped some safety wire around mine but a ty wrap should work

I'm loving the responses you folks sent me.... I am learning ... your response was exactly where I found the problem .... I used a couple tie wraps ... so easy 

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On 2/23/2018 at 2:05 PM, Jim said:

It is very common for the plastic end on the shift cable to come off the ball socket on the lever. There are four small tabs associated with the plastic end and these are supposed to hold the cable end so the ball does not let loose but that plastic gets brittle and breaks and doesn't lock the ball in place. Wire or a tywrap can work but it cannot be too tight as when the lever turns the angle of the cable head changes quite a lot. 

there are replacement ends available on ebay but they are about $ 30 A much easier fix is to remove the lever as it is held on with one nut and then remove the ball stud and put a bolt in place with either a self locking nut or double nut the bolt. You could also drill out both the lever and cable end to 1/4 inch.

Thank you Jim !  I've owned my Reatta for about 10 years, but I am new to this site... I got this fixed, just as you described....

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On 2/22/2018 at 7:58 PM, Ronnie said:

I would look under the hood first to see if the cable (3) has come loose from the gear selector arm (5) on the transmission. Then check the cable where it connects to the shifter inside the console.

neutral-park switch.jpgconsole_photos_2.jpg

 

Thanks to everyone that responded to my problem.... I am excited now !

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