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1957 mercury shift pattern


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Your 1st-reverse shift rod and the 2nd-3rd shift rod are switched on the levers at the bottom end of the steering column. This could be done fairly easily, and they would only be a slight bit out of adjustment..

When you pull the shift lever towards you, the finger on the column moved up and engages the upper shift lever, this lever should have the revers-1st push/pull rod on it.

Usually these push/pull rods have a 1" 90* bend on the end, and goes through a rubber grommet in the shift lever. Held in place by a cotter pin.

I'd take a look at the push pull rods, and swap them on the short shift levers at the bottom of the steering column.. I'll bet they criss-cross each other, and should not or did not from the factory.

Post a photo or two of the transmission linkage and column linkage and levers.

Greg L

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I presume there was no synchromesh on first gear in those days. You can get into first while moving, but it takes a technique called double-clutching.

1. Push in the clutch, shift into neutral.

2. Let the clutch up, rev the engine until it's going the speed it will be going when you're driving in first gear.

3. Push in the clutch, shift into first.

It sounds harder than it is. Until you get the hang of it, you'll get a bit of gear bringing in step 3.

By the way, those of us who play with cars built before about 1930 have to do ALL our shifts this way.

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I had a 54 dodge 1.5 ton that I had to shift like that, but I'm thinking the messed up pattern messed me up in my thinking. Now with the above info my suspicions were right. So hopefully once I fix it i will be more in the groove. My ride was her first in over 30 years. Between the thumping original tires and the wandering steering it one one heck of a ride and it was only around the block.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Years ago I owned a 57 Fairlane with the 3 speed and floor shifter added. It had a later model fully synchronized transmission in it and was a real pleasure to drive. I could slip into low gear at any speed desired. I didn't fully realize at the time the implications of this. I was running about 60 mph one night with some friends headed to a movie, bragging on my transmission I told them "watch this". I clutched it and slipped out of 3rd and into 1st. I heard the usual whine of the synchronizers as it wound up the input shaft speed but this time it peaked with a BOOM! I never intended to let the clutch out, was just showing them how 1st was synchronized. The crazy high rpm of the input shaft at 60 mph in 1st literally exploded my clutch disc slinging all the friction material. Young and stupid! Had to put a clutch in it on the side of the road, didn't get to the movies that night.

If I remember correctly the early 60's were synchronized and just needed to be spaced back to allow for a little longer input shaft. Boy it made it fun to drive, especially with the floor shifter.


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