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Thread: 280Z 5-speed in an early 240Z Console Cutting

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    Default 280Z 5-speed in an early 240Z Console Cutting

    New user to this website so bear with me. I have a 12/70 240z and am in the middle of installing a 5-speed transmission from a '77 280Z. I know this topic has been batted around quite a bit, and I have read most all previous threads on this topic. I understand that to facilitate the later B-Type 4-speed or 5-speed transmission, one has to trim the frontmost part of the transmission tunnel and install the later boot from a 72-78 Z car. The reason is obvious once installed, as the transmission is set forward considerably. The car had been hacked slightly 1/2" with the previous owner using the later B-type 4-speed transmission. The 5-speed is about 1/16" shorter than the 240Z 4-speed B-type. As it stands now the early boot will not actually slip over the shifter as there is simply no clearance. I am OK with removing some metal and installing the new boot... but when I mocked up the console today, it was clear that some of the console was also removed by the previous owner. I now have a console that I picked up which is in rather exceptional condition with no altering of the fibreglass construction. I have a lot of hesitation in cutting the tranny tunnel metal, and now to alter this nice console is killing me. There is no way for the early console to sit correctly without removing a portion of the console. I have a later S-shaped shifter from another 240Z, but this alone is not enough to gain clearance. Is there anyway around the cutting of the early console, or is it something that just has to be done. Rob


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    Rob, there is another option. It requires cutting and welding on the later shift lever. Here's a couple of places with some details and info.

    http://classicmotorsports.net/projec...atsun-details/


    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...ld+shift+lever
    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...question/page3
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Thanks for the links... I just had my shifter re-chromed (shame). It's either alter the transmission tunnel and console or alter the shifter then... which is the lesser of the two evils?

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    To me? The shift lever, hands down. I refuse to do anything to the car itself that isn't reversible.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Arne, I think that is wise advice, afterall the positioning of the shifter is too far forward, so it makes sense to increase the bottom length of the shifter closer to its original position. Having stated that, I will move forward and mig-weld the tranny tunnel "hack job" back to stock specs, use the the smaller early shift boot, and then alter the shifter as specified in the link you so kindy sent me. I appreciate your tips, this seems to be the best way to go. Rob

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    After some review, I think the small area that was cut by the previous owner is important. Even if I alter the shifter there is still a shortage of space to move into the uppermost gears. So i think I will leave the 1/2" notch alone, otherwise the shift path would be obstructed. The old style shorter shift boot was a bit of hastle stretching over the shift bracket, but it can be done. At least no further cutting of the tunnel will be required.

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    Default An update to Installing a 5-speed without cutting your console...

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ID:	51130Just thought I would post an update and a few pics to demonstrate how the 5-speed in a Series I 240Z went.

    I chose to weld the transmission tunnel back to original stock specs.

    I drew out a plan at 1:1 ratio so I could match the contour of the drawing. I then fabricated a shifter by means of a few cuts, welds, and a little bit of straightening with heat to create an offset shifter that will not interfere with the metal in the transmission tunnel.

    I have now chosen to use a 5-speed from a later model 280ZX, the one with the close ratio gears. This particular 5-speed has a hole for the shifter pin that is significantly lower in position than the conventional 5-speed from a 280Z (please reference pic). The ears of the shifter supports have to ground down to about 1" from the base of the ears. Whatwith the lower positioning now, it gives me an extra 1/8" clearance between the the transmission ears and the body of the transmission tunnel, giving me a total of 3/8 total clearance.

    Now that the modified shifter has been installed, it brings back the center position of the shifter handle directly through the original position through the console. I made sure that there was clearance in all gears to ensure a smooth path to all gears without obstruction. The offset matched the difference in length from the 280ZX tranny and the stock transmission it came with.

    By modifying the shifter this way, the shifter worked out to be only about 3/8" shorter than the original s-shaped shifter it was made from. With all these mods to the shifter and transmission, I can now enjoy a shifter that comes straight up through an unaltered Series I console without hitting the console nor the body metal of the tranny tunnel.

    This lesson is only applicable to the Series I 240 owners, who want a 5-speed in their car. This 5-speed will marry up nicely against the 3.9 ratio R180 rear end. The only issue I have had is the fitting of the small shifter boot. Normally the shifter comes out the top of the boot, and in this case the shifter comes out the side of the shifter. The boot does still fit and stay in place but perhaps a better fitting boot could be used. The much larger rubber boot above it, fits without any obstruction, provided you use the later 5-speed from a 280ZX.

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    Last edited by redzedsled; 02-05-2012 at 06:01 PM.

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    PJOE just did the same thing with his shifter, but used heat to bend the B shifter to fit the console without cutting the shifter or welding it. It too worked without cutting the tunnel or console. Nice work!
    Last edited by Diseazd; 02-05-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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    70, 71, 2 72's, and a 73 240z....
    90 300zx and a 1996 Acura NSX.....but who's counting?

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    Nice job, impressive work!
    2/74 260Z

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    Quote Originally Posted by redzedsled View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	51130Just thought I would post an update and a few pics to demonstrate how the 5-speed in a Series I 240Z went.

    I chose to weld the transmission tunnel back to original stock specs.

    I drew out a plan at 1:1 ratio so I could match the contour of the drawing. I then fabricated a shifter by means of a few cuts, welds, and a little bit of straightening with heat to create an offset shifter that will not interfere with the metal in the transmission tunnel.

    I have now chosen to use a 5-speed from a later model 280ZX, the one with the close ratio gears. This particular 5-speed has a hole for the shifter pin that is significantly lower in position than the conventional 5-speed from a 280Z (please reference pic). The ears of the shifter supports have to ground down to about 1" from the base of the ears. Whatwith the lower positioning now, it gives me an extra 1/8" clearance between the the transmission ears and the body of the transmission tunnel, giving me a total of 3/8 total clearance.

    Now that the modified shifter has been installed, it brings back the center position of the shifter handle directly through the original position through the console. I made sure that there was clearance in all gears to ensure a smooth path to all gears without obstruction. The offset matched the difference in length from the 280ZX tranny and the stock transmission it came with.

    By modifying the shifter this way, the shifter worked out to be only about 3/8" shorter than the original s-shaped shifter it was made from. With all these mods to the shifter and transmission, I can now enjoy a shifter that comes straight up through an unaltered Series I console without hitting the console nor the body metal of the tranny tunnel.

    This lesson is only applicable to the Series I 240 owners, who want a 5-speed in their car. This 5-speed will marry up nicely against the 3.9 ratio R180 rear end. The only issue I have had is the fitting of the small shifter boot. Normally the shifter comes out the top of the boot, and in this case the shifter comes out the side of the shifter. The boot does still fit and stay in place but perhaps a better fitting boot could be used. The much larger rubber boot above it, fits without any obstruction, provided you use the later 5-speed from a 280ZX.

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    So, you just ground down the ears of the tranny where the shifter pivot installs and that gave you enough clearance to install the early style trans tunnel boot? Do you have any pictures showing that installed?

    Also, have you driven the car with everything put together? Did the rubber boot pull the shifter out of gear? I had that issue on my yellow car.

    Marty

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    At this point the transmission is not in the car, so I don't have any pics at this moment. I will make a point to follow-up with some finished pics. Initially I mocked up the early boot with the 280Z 5-speed (see attached pic above), and was not an easy chore, but it did go on. With the later 280ZX 5-speed as I mentioned, the pin is much lower, so it allows you to grind down those huge ears enough that you are gaining an extra 3/16 or so for the large boot to go around it all.

    I could see why the small boot could be a problem for this application, however I have yet to actually test it out on the road. I have been keeping my eye out for other makes and models of boots that would be a better fit. I hope I don't have the same problem as you have had, but perhaps a different boot would be the ticket.

    Below see a side by side comparison of the two 5-speeds in question... these pics were taken before I starting grinding down the ears.

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    Last edited by redzedsled; 02-06-2012 at 08:32 PM.

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    Default modified shift lever

    I was able to heat and bend my lever enough so all I had to trim was a little bit of sheet metal. Dont try to bend it all at once though. I put a bolt through the pin hole to keep from distorting it. Once it was bent I heated it up and flattend it out with a hammer to give me a little more clearance. With console in place it doesn't hit. In the pictures...the transmission is in 3rd gear. This is a type B 4 speed in place of a type A 4 speed.

    Brian
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    Last edited by pjoe; 02-07-2012 at 07:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjoe View Post
    I was able to heat and bend my lever enough so all I had to trim was a little bit of sheet metal. Dont try to bend it all at once though. I put a bolt through the pin hole to keep from distorting it. Once it was bent I heated it up and flattend it out with a hammer to give me a little more clearance. With console in place it doesn't hit. In the pictures...the transmission is in 3rd gear. This is a type B 4 speed in place of a type A 4 speed.

    Brian
    Any problems with your shifter popping out of gear on you?

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    No problems. Haven't driven it much because Im still trying to get it ready to paint. I dont expect to have any issues since its not hitting anywhere. It stayed in gear the 5 miles Ive driven it so far. You can see in the picture I did have to trim the metal a little but I wont have to trim the console.

    Brian

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    It would be nice if someone like Dave (z'sondabrain) or Esprit could work this mod out and manufacture these shifters with the correct bend and angles to make this install a drop in. I own 2 early cars with A transmissions that I would love to be able to convert. I think they would fetch a nice price.
    Last edited by Diseazd; 02-08-2012 at 05:37 AM.
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    Brian
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    Guy, when Im back on the road I'll give you a hand bending one up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diseazd View Post
    It would be nice if someone like Dave (z'sondabrain) or Esprit could work this mod out and manufacture these shifters with the correct bend and angles to make this install a drop in. I own 2 early cars with A transmissions that I would love to be able to convert. I think they would fetch a nice price.
    Hi Guy,

    Since I'm chiming in almost a year later, do you know if anyone has started manufacturing the modified shifters yet? I am in need of one and have been looking all over the Internet and haven't found one yet.
    Last edited by lonetreesteve; 01-27-2013 at 11:31 AM.
    Steve

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    About half way down they show one from Summit, S shaped, Technical Information Page ..... Transmission
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Quote Originally Posted by siteunseen View Post
    About half way down they show one from Summit, S shaped, Technical Information Page ..... Transmission
    Siteunseen, Thanks for the link, I appreciate your response. The only thing is that the picture of the S-shaped shifter on the zcarz.us website is no different than the stock shifter that comes on the Type B transmission (see 1st pic below). It needs to have more of a bend at the lower part of the shifter like the shifter that Brian modified on Post #13 in order for a '70/'71 console to fit (see 2nd & 3rd pics below). I'm hoping that someone manufactures one like this.
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    Steve

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    Steve.....I don't know of anyone modifying the shifter for sale, but I believe Carl Beck has the drawings required to correctly modify your shifter. When you modify the shifter, you must get the center axis right as well as the bend......Brian did it by trial and error. Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diseazd View Post
    Steve.....I don't know of anyone modifying the shifter for sale, but I believe Carl Beck has the drawings required to correctly modify your shifter. When you modify the shifter, you must get the center axis right as well as the bend......Brian did it by trial and error. Guy
    That's good to know. Thanks, Guy. Sounds like I will need to drive my car somewhere that can modify the shifter and test it in the car, rather than removing the shifter and then taking it someplace.
    Steve

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    Thats is correct. I heated and bended then tried it. Took me 4 or 5 times to get it right. All together I spent an hour or 2 doing it.

    Brian

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    I have driven car for about a year now including 10 laps around a road course at gripfest and have had no problems with the shifter. This shifter is for a 4 speed type B transmission. Not a 5 speed. Not sure if there is any difference that would make this shifter not work with a 5 speed. If 5 speed is same as type B transmission except for the extra gear, I would think it would work fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjoe View Post
    I have driven car for about a year now including 10 laps around a road course at gripfest and have had no problems with the shifter. This shifter is for a 4 speed type B transmission. Not a 5 speed. Not sure if there is any difference that would make this shifter not work with a 5 speed. If 5 speed is same as type B transmission except for the extra gear, I would think it would work fine.
    Thanks, Brian. That's good to know. As soon as the weather gets warmer and the snow melts from a recent storm, I'll find some place to drive my Z and get this done. I recently bought a spare shifter off of Ebay just in case something happens to the existing one when I get a shop to bend it for me.

    Thanks again and I'll let you know how it works out.
    Steve

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