Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Broken Shift Lever

The shift lever on an ATV takes a lot of abuse.  They are constantly being kicked and pushed around with your foot.  The most common problem with them is that they work loose and the small splines that connect them to the shift shaft wear out.  That did not happen to this machine, instead the lever simply broke off.

This photos shows me holding the lever in place where it is supposed to be.

This close up tells a little more of the story.  To remove the lever you take out the pinch bolt by the green arrow and the lever slides off the shaft.  It is important that the bolt is removed all the way, there is a groove in the shaft that the bolt passes through.   A few years ago someone was working on this machine and wanted to get the shift lever off for some reason.  They loosened the bolt, but did not remove it all the way, leaving the lever loose but still stuck.  They then got a large crow bar and preyed on the back side of the lever.  Eventually the small C clip that holds the shift shaft into the transmission failed and the whole shaft came loose.

After this happened they called me up to ask if I could fix the shift shaft that was now falling out of the transmission.  To fix it properly would require removing the engine from the machine and splitting the entire engine and transmission open to replace the C clip on the end of the shaft.  This would be a very long and expensive job. 

In order to save myself some time (and the customer a lot of money), I found an easier way.  The shaft was still able to shift the gears inside, but would simple fall out because there was no longer anything to hold it in place.  The red arrow points to my quick and easy solution.  I simply welded an "ear" unto the frame that keeps the shaft from sliding out.  It has worked fine for several years, and this new problem appears to  be unrelated.  This time the lever actually broke off at an original factory weld.

Fixing the lever this time is a rather simple welding job.  The only complication is the limited access to the welding area.  This photo shows one of my welding tricks.  Sometimes you can bend your welding rod to reach around obstructions.  In this case I used a "U" bend in the rod to allow me to weld on the back side of the lever where there is only a couple of inches of space.

Here is the completed job, ready for a few more years of being kicked around.

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