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Old 08-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #1
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Atlas II shifter pivot replacement

New to me van, Original owner and previous previous owner used the 4wd but the previous owner didn't. The front axle shifter had some significant side to side play (similar to my Toyota T-case shifter in 4H) so I figured since it was in neutral, that might be natural. When I tried to shift my front axle into gear for the first time (slowly rolling fwd), the stick flopped backwards with almost no effort and fell through the floor (well, not all the way through, the shifter ball caught it on the boot...)
I got under there and saw that the shoulder bolt on which the shifter lever pivots had twisted off where the threads meet the shoulder. By the looks of the rust on the broken face of the bolt, this failure had been coming for a while and I just finished it off.



The bolt is pretty obviously seized in the linkage block. I can sort of get to the bolt head by taking off the shifter boot. I also had to remove the shoulder bolt from the rear axle shifter so I could get that lever out of the way.



That bolt isn't seized yet, but it sure is creaky. I coated the whole area in PB blaster and tried to knock the bolts out, but they're in there pretty firmly. I might try heating it up as the aluminum linkage block will expand faster than the steel bolt.

I'm contemplating pulling the T-case and fixing the linkage on the bench, but dang, that seems like an extreme way to do this. Anybody ever seen this problem before? Anyone got a better idea of how to get those bolts out of there?

Related but tangent: This seems like a funny choice for the design of this joint. The shoulder bolt goes through a stationary block and threads into the shift lever which moves. The bolt turns with the shifter. There's nothing besides the thread preload to keep that bolt screwed into the shifter. If there's any friction between the shoulder and the linkage block, it seems like that would slowly unscrew the bolt. Besides coating the shoulder with anti-seize before I put a new bolt in, I might try to find a bolt with longer threads and cross drill it so I can put a castle nut and cotter pin on the outside of the shift lever.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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Re: Atlas II shifter pivot replacement

Welp, T-case is coming out. I spent another two hours and used all my tricks and still couldn't get those dang shoulder bolts out. When they go back in, they'll be COATED with antiseize maybe I'll drill and tap for a zerk fitting...
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Atlas II shifter pivot replacement

T-case stayed in. A couple taps with an air chisel and flat end rivet set and that bolt popped right out. The threads were seized so hard in the shifter though that I broke off a .250" easy-out. I ended up having to drill the bolt back to it's minor diameter and re-tap the threads to push the old metal out. In case that happens again, I measured to make sure there's room for a thin-walled Keensert; there is.

After searching for a replacement shoulder bolt with longer threads, the only ones I could find had a hex head instead of a socket head. The hex head won't fit in the counterbore so that's a dealbreaker. I called Advanced Adapters and ordered a few more bolts and bushings. The threads of the shoulder bolt have a nylon pellet imbedded which locks the threads in the hole. Not fail-safe, but it'll work. I slathered the new bolt in anti-seize (but kept the threads dry) so it should be a while before I have to do this again.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:18 PM   #4
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Re: Atlas II shifter pivot replacement

Revisiting this thread in hopes of getting some new ideas...

Even though I reinstaled it with antiseize last time, (like a dumbass) I didn't put in a fresh bolt and the the rear shifter pivot broke the same way (where the threads meet the shoulder) a couple months ago. This time though, none of my tricks are working to get the broken bolt out of the pivot block. That sucker is stuck. I can turn the bolt with effort, but can't budge it axially. I even made an offset rod for my air hammer and pounded the crap out of the broken end.

Sooo... before I drop the T-case, do any of you old pros have a trick you'd like to share for extracting stuck bolts in a spot with terrible access?

If I have to drop the T-case, what's the best way to go about this? My initial assessment is that I'd take off the driveshafts, support the transmission, unbolt the T-case from the tailshaft adapter, drop the whole T-case crossmember with the case in place.

Anyone have a recommendation of a 4x4 shop in the Seattle / Puget Sound area who could get that case out if I get lazy?
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:36 AM   #5
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Re: Atlas II shifter pivot replacement

Damn, I hope that don't happen to me. Sounds like a job.
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