Tech article by smokeater11

Is your t-case shifter so sloppy that you can hardly get it into gear? Well I found a cheap and easy fix for this problem. Even if the shifter is still in the truck this should take less than an hour and cost less than $10.00.

Here’s what you need:
  • 1 or 2 brass bushing totaling 1 and ¾ inches(depends on long of a bushing you can find in the store, I used 2- 1’’ bushings) O.D. 11/16ths I.D. ½ inch
  • 1- ½ inch grade 8 bolt 5 inches long(5 ¼ if you measure the head of the bolt as well)
  • 1- ½ inch Nylock nut(see pic)
  • 2 flat washers
All of these items can be purchased at your local Lowe’s for less than $10.00.

In the base of the shifter where the bolt goes through to attach it to the intermediate housing, there was apparently some sort of bushing that came with the shifter from Ford. I am assuming this because the hole that the bolt goes through on the shifter is 11/16ths and the hole in the intermediate housing is ½ inch. My shifter had no such bushing and the shifter was extremely sloppy.

So what you do is take the brass bushings and coat them with a little wheel bearing grease and GENTLY tap them into the shifter. If you hit them too hard they will break off. I had about a ¼ inch left sticking out of my shifter but a cut off wheel made short work of that (what was left is what is in my hand in the pic). This is important… take a ½ inch drill bit and run it through the inside hole of the newly inserted brass bushings. They will have warped a little bit and gotten squeezed from the insertion process and this will clean out the hole. Test the bolt to make sure it will rotate in the bushings without restriction. Put a little grease on the bolt as well.

Put one washer on the head of the bolt and put the shifter back into place on the t-case. Stick on the other washer and the Nylock nut and tighten to your preference. The purpose of the Nylock nut is so that you can tighten the shifter down to your liking and never have to worry about it backing off and falling off. Some guys like their shifters to move a little easier than others.

Hook up the shift rail piece and give her a try, you’ll be amazed at how much easier you t-case will shift into and out of gear when the slop is gone out of the shifter. This will NOT eliminate all of the slop because there are other components involved, i.e. the shift rails, the connector piece that connects the shifter to the rails and possibly the hole in the intermediate housing. That said this simple fix will help a great deal with the majority of this common problem.

Happy wrenching,

Tech article by smokeater11