…and I still didn’t fix the problem. Who knew Tarantino’s methods were good for fixing broken mechanical things, not just for torture?
My shifter on the Goat had a weird rattle to it, so yesterday I decided I would take it apart to see if I could track down the rattle. To get at the shifter, there are 4 nuts underneath the car above the transmission that hold the rubber boot that fits over the shifter mechanism to the floor. I was able to get to 3 of them without much hassle but the 4th was just out of reach. I ended up being able to get the boot out without the 4th nut off, so all was good for now. I saw some debris sitting in the old pivot point for the stock shifter and thought that may have been the cause of the rattle. I got all of it cleared away and then noticed the handle of my shifter had a bit of play in the lower 2 bolts, so I decided I would try to re-tighten them. It was already pretty tight, so that didn’t help. Since there was still some play in it, I decided I would take the bolts out and replace them. As I was taking the 1st of 2 out I started to struggle due to the red loctite we had used when installing the shifter since these bolts are notorious for coming loose. To get ssome more leverage, I got out my breaker bar to really show it who was boss and as I tried to turn it, it gave and it sheared right off! I took the rest of the shifter apart so I could work on it outside the car and tried to get the sheared off bolt out with some vise-grips on the threaded portion that was still protruding out of the threaded handle. All that did was tear up that portion of the bolt. By this time it was time to head out to Jason’ party for swimming, eating, and drinking which I figured would be a nice escape after a frustrating day. After showing all the GTO guys at the party the handle, they all just said it would come out with a bit of heat to break the hold of the red loctite.
So after a night of chillin’, I went out to the store to get a torch. After wrestling with it for about 30 minutes using the torch and the vise-grips, I was FINALLY able to get the damn thing out. Now that I could get the handle back together, I had to figure out how to get that pesky 4th nut for the boot ring removed. After battling claustrophobia and frustration from trying to work in close quaters under the car with my arm and hand in tight spaces, I begged Tasha to get on some grubby clothes and see if she could snake her arm and hand up there with a wrench to get it out. Sure enough, she was just itty bitty enough to get the job done.
With that out of the way, I got it all back together enough to drive it but still troubleshoot, got Tasha to get the 4 nuts back on, and was ready to take it for a drive to see if the rattle that started this whole ordeal was gone. After a quick drive down the road, I realized I had gone through all that for nothing…it was still there! So I got Tasha in the passenger seat to listen and feel for the rattle while I drove. Sure enough, it is the washers on the other 2 bolts that seem to be loose despite the bolts holding the handle nice and tight. Those guys are red loctited in also, so I just gave up. I put it all back together to tackle another day. Now that I know to just “go to work on the holmes here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch” I should have a less eventful fix the next time around…
Now for my remaining 3 hours of defensive driving that I had planned to start this morning…only 6 days left to finish it and I am out of town for 3 of those!