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detent cable woes


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Ok, the detent cable adjuster thing on my car (70 LeSabre w/ 350 engine & trans) was missing when I bought the car. I never bothered fixing it cos I didn't car too much about going fast in the car or passing power and what not.

But I got bored today and started tugging on the frayed end of the cable that sticks through the eye-hole at the end of the gas pedal thing. Well, I pulled on it to make sure it still would move freely, or see if it would jam. It moved freely enough out, but then didn't go back in.

Now the damn trans thinks it's always needing to downshift...I mean always. Like, it ONLY is in downshift mode. So if I go over 30, I have to rev the engine up pretty high just to get a response.

I mean, this is kinda fun and all, cos damn the car is quick, but it also really sucks cos I can no long drive on the freeway and I'm burning up my gas like there's no tomorrow.

How do you fix this? I'm sure I need a new cable, but I'm also pretty sure this thing is jammed in the downshift position. How do I go about either replacing the whole thing, or at least getting it out of the downshift-constantly position without severely screwing some stuff up?

Thanks for any and all help.


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Unhook it at the trans end (where it is held onto the case by one small bolt) and see if you can free it up that way by pulling on it just as you did on the other end. Before you do that, it might be advisable to put the car on a lift and change the trans fluid and filer (as when you drop the pan to check for binding in the linkage inside the pan, you'll be there anyway) plus some fluid might geyser out of the hole in the case when the cable is removed if you don't drain the fluid first.

Unhooking it down there will let the trans think everything's at idle again so you'll have to manually do all shift points, probably, that aren't taken care of by the vacuum modulator valve. It would also be advisable to get a new cable from somewhere too.



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