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There are a few weak spots on first and second generation Chevy II and Nova, so you can choose your issue. Mine has been the linkage for 3-speed. I've owned a number of 3-speed Chevy II's, and there is often a lot of play, tons of worn and damaged parts, and it's got to be due to misalignment, lack of lube, and a system underdesigned for the repeated task of shifting often over the years.

So for the very few people still running a 3 on the tree, I'd like to hear what they did that ISN'T changing to a floor mounted shift as they tried to keep the original column shift in place. I've had a little success, so I'll tell you what I tried to do:

-find a shift lever, pin and collar that wasn't worn, and the pin fit properly to hold the lever in the collar
-located NOS levers for the lower part of the column, totally dismantled the column and lubricated parts as I re-assembled them

After that, the pain in the neck are the shift rods. '62 is all by itself in design, with different length and 5/16" diameter pins at the column levers end, and '63-'65 are 3/8". They're shaped differently as '62 and '63-'65 are different. It's also confusing on the transmission end, where there are more than a few different levers with different sized holes. The transmission mounted levers I am using are common to Chevy II first generation, but I'm not certain when and if they went to a smaller diameter hole on the transmission mounted shift levers for later models. I know later (later than '63 at least) were stamped of thicker material and hold up better, but I'm having trouble finding out when the changes were made. I have no doubt '66 and '67 are all by themselves with the changeover from Muncie 318/319 transmission to the Saginaw 3-speeds.

Bone stock, the top end used hard rubber grommets, two per hole, part 3248357. I can't find them new or NOS, and I've seen enough of these fail from Nova to Nova to know that needs to be changed. The transmission end of the shift rod isn't much easier, as it will require:

Swivel: 3790230
Clamp: 3790231
Grommet: 3834139
Special Flat Washer: 3685781

And another nut and lock washer. The grommets die over time, and a lot of play develops, especially when all the joints aren't lubed. I haven't found the parts reproduced, though one place sells them used, if in stock, for $20/each without the grommet.

So, for the top end at the column levers, the levers have a 1/2 inch hole for the grommets. McMaster Carr turned up some oil-infused bronze bushings that would do the trick, only the length was a little long, so they required some shortening.

For the bottom end at the transmission levers, there is a 7/8" hole. I previously threaded one rod to take a heim joint which worked OK, but it becomes a little awkward when adjusting the linkage, and you have to find some pretty big washers to clamp to the 7/8" hole. Enter McMaster Carr again, with some of these bronze bushings with a 7/8" OD. I also purchased two bronze bushings with a 5/8" OD, and used a section of 5/8" heater hose to fill the gap to 7/8", so there's a little cushion. Haven't figured out the pins for the lower bushings yet, as I'll probably have to fab some, but I'll do that soon and try to post a picture.

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Since my convertible is far from a show car and I drive it often, I wanted something that would be more dependable and available than stock parts. I'd like to know what other members have done for solutions to sloppy linkage.
 

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I have a 63 with a 3 on the tree. I have same issues with getting "locked" between gears or stuck in one gear...usually 2nd...I could use any help or advice from anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sure. You have to have a little better description of what you have. Is everything on the upper column ok (pin, hole, lever)? Is there any play at any of the joints, either at the levers at the bottom of the column, or down at the transmission mounted levers? If all those are OK then we're just talking adjustment. If those joints are fine, adjustment will be easy.
 

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Thanks for the info. My 66 is 3 speed with 283 and I keep a right hand glove close by so I don't burn my hand on the manifold. It's the only 3 on the tree SS I've seen so I hate to put a 4 speed in even though I'd love it something romantic about the old 3 on the tree. I'd love to find parts if somebody does 3D printing or NOS whatever.
 
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