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vintchry

39 LaSalle Shifting

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I am certain someone has run into this before. On a 39 LaSalle in my shop when shifting from first to second it hangs up. Sometimes finding first or reverse can be a trial. The shop manual does not cover this as a wear factor, only new adjustments and that is not working. What do I look for, it certainly feels that the problem is in the area under the steering column. Any help will be appreciated. Rob

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Does it have the same transmission as a 1939 Buick?  I think it might.   If so, you might post in the Buick section too.

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At the end of each shift rod (link) is a rubber bushing. It is like a grommet with a inner metal sleeve. Your rubber bushings are rotted and need to be replaced.

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It's a Cadillac transmission.  (I owned a 1939 Cad 75 for 42 years.)  I agree with the need to replace the rubber bushings/grommets at the end of the shift rods.  Also ensure thorough lubrication of the "sliders" on the steering column, under the hood.  Grit is attracted as causes them to bind.  I'd be inclined to flood these areas with aerosol penetrating oil, blow it out with shop air, then re-lubricate.

 

When it hangs up (and it will periodically--this was the second year of column shift on Cadillac vehicles), the transmission linkage will be caught between two gear positions.  Shut the engine off, raise the hood, and shake each rod at the top end, seeking the center position.  It helps if someone holds the clutch down while you're doing this, or carry in the trunk a pedal depresser (broomstick plus a piece of 1 x 4 12" long with a hole near one end 1/16 larger than the broomstick diameter).

 

 

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