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Question of the Month

Unquestionably Bill OHara Hi there.

I searched the net tonight, because my Landy got stuck in reverse. After serious jerking, I managed to get it stuck in 4th and drive home between low range and low range + over drive. In my searches, I stumbled across your e mail address. I am a South African missionary in Uganda. I drive a SIII 109, with 2,23L petrol engine and it has an overdrive. I am a bit of a noob with Land Rovers since this is my first one. If the gear lever feels like it it falling around loosely, and it does not want to change into any other gears, what could be wrong and what can I do to fix it? The clutch is fine. I don't trust Ugandan mechanics much so I just want to find out what is wrong before I take it to them or maybe I can fix it myself? Anyhow. Any help or advice will be welcome!

Kind Regards

Paul van Jaarsveld

Hi Paul,

I have had the same symptoms on my Series III 109. The gear shift lever suddenly felt loose and it could become stuck between gears and very hard to get out. In my case the problem was a bushing at the end of the shift lever had disintegrated. It is a cylindrical nylon bushing that fits in a groove at the tip of the lever. When it disintegrates, the tip is maybe half it's normal size and then it flops around and can get stuck between the shift levers. The bushing is not replaceable. You could replace the shift lever, or do what I did. I pulled the lever, and found a big nut that when measured across the flats fit within the selector fork grooves with room for play. Then I got a die the same size and thread as the nut and cut threads on the end of the shift rod so that I could thread the nut onto the end. Once that was done I brazed the nut in place - welding would do the trick too. Lastly I ground down the corners of the nut so that it was fairly round and fit in the selector fork grooves with enough play. Bolt it down and make sure you can shift into all gears easily before putting the tunnel cover back on (you need to pull the floor panels and tunnel cover to do this). Good luck, and let me know how you made out.

Bill Maloney


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