Gear Selection Lever Rebuild

John Seegers

Or Stick Shift Rebuild.

7 Pieces: washer, bushing, guide, washer, bushing, shim, cup/cap

Complete kits are available from Rosenthal Mazda

Recommended additional piece: 1 lower rubber boot

Replace the upper boot at your discretion

This job is done in two places not one, on the stick and in the turret.

Everything above the ball you rebuild on the stick.
Everything below the ball is inserted in the turret.

The plastic bushings ride against the ball – the wavy washer on top of the upper bushing rides against the underside of the lower boot, the wavy washer and shim on the bottom ride against the floor of the turret opening.

Remove gear selection lever assembly from car

Unscrew knob

Cut away old lower boot

Do not remove permanent rubber ring on the stick or lever

Slide off old wavy washer and bushing if present

Pop out old guide in ball.

Pop off plastic cap or cup on the ball on the end of the stick that goes down in the turret

Clean everything up nice

Place wavy washer on SMALLER bushing THE ONE WITH NO CUT OUT by its three prongs (they have matching grooves in plastic bushing) and slide on to the ball with wavy washer facing UP. Bushing will have curved edge which fits against ball. See Image

Press fit the plastic guide in place

Grab a bottle of dishwashing liquid and a cup of very hot water. Soak the lower rubber boot in hot soapy water and pour dishwashing liquid on stick shaft then slide the boot over stick until it pops in place – it will go without tearing. I wrapped the stick in 1/8” rubber and clamped it in a good vise.

Another option is to use Aerospace 303 which can even extend the life of the boot.

Note: You may find aftermarket “upgrades” for the lower and upper boots.

Put a dab of good grease on the plastic cup and pop it in place over the ball at the end of the stick

You are now done with the stick

Now move to the car and with a good strong flashlight look inside the turret and find the other wavy washer, plastic bushing and shim.

Carefully pry the old bushing out

Chances are good that the wavy washer and shim may be missing

Try fishing around down in the turret well with a magnet with hopes of finding what is left of them

Assemble the LARGER plastic bushing the one WITH THE CUT OUT with the wavy washer just like the first one. Bushing will have curved edge that matches ball.

Hold the shim in place UNDER the wavy washer and carefully insert the bushing cut out under the pin in the turret well with the wavy washer and shim facing down

Fill the turret with appropriate heavy oil (see other posts at Miata.net) as always open to debate… Most people use a “turkey baster” to suck out the old.

Note: Do not drip heavy oil in the holes for the lower boot bolts!

Carefully guide stick in place making sure it lines up with the pin

If the cup catch deep down in the turret is not in line use a socket extension or non-sharp tool to guide it in place

Tighten down the three boot bolts in a slow zig-zag pattern and you are done

Note: The use of the shim seems to be open for debate with strong advocates on either side. Considering its thickness I think we can assume its use is not a life-or-death issue.

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