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Old 05-10-2022, 05:16 PM   #1
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Help with Shift Linkage

I had a nice surprise on the freeway last week where I could shift front to back but not left to right. Luckily 3rd is a very versatile gear. Turns out the bottom of the shift lever that connects to the two cables together came apart. One of the last janky parts left over from the previous owners was this component covered in RTV. I bit the bullet and spent 200 dollars on a new lever to find out my 97 is special and has a smaller ball fitting on the bottom. I modified a few circlips to keep it together... it's not a wonderful solve. Any thoughts on where I can find the linkage component without having to buy a whole transmission with it? New it costs as much as a used transmission as well....

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Old 05-11-2022, 06:16 AM   #2
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Numeric racing may have a solution, or Function First may sell an extra little arm for that for 5 speed, maybe they could sell just the arm (or the ends to upgrade the arm). In both cases I would call and let them know that you have one of the early cars with the smaller ball end.

Numeric:
https://store.numericracing.com/collections/transmission/products/shift-rod-linkage

Function First:
FUNCTION-FIRST > Shifter Cable Ends
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Old 05-11-2022, 10:53 AM   #3
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thanks - I'll give them a shout
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Old 03-31-2024, 05:29 PM   #4
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shift linkage broke also

Hope this helps fellow 986 owners. I too was stuck in 3rd on my '97 986, as the bottom part of the lateral shift linkage popped off the 8mm ball on the bottom side of the transmission. Old Porsches are often owned by enthusiasts that may not have the means to be buying replacement factory parts, so to cut to the chase: I know the sponsor sells a replacement linkage for $200+ and Numeric sells one for $125. I made mine for $25 but it took me a while to find a metal 8mm ball socket (it's a '97). 98+ use easier to find 10mm sockets. Anyway, a 10mm and an 8mm metal ball socket, M6x1.0 304 stainless all thread, and two 304 stainless locking nuts. Check out the pix, if I can upload. Took me an hour to make, precisely matching the 126mm center-to-center ball sockets of the original part. A good glob of bearing grease in each socket and installation took 5 minutes, without taking off the triangular aluminum underbelly. Endurance testing has begun. Shifter feels more notchy, not as mushy as before. BTW, both failed part sockets were toast. Anyway, if anyone is interested, and not to take business away from others, but I'm willing to precision-make this linkage for others for around $60, including an hour of my time. If you drive in a spirited fashion or are racing (btw, I drive like a grandma), the original linkage WILL fail and leave you with 3rd and 4th gear only. Thankfully, I did not need reverse to get home, but it is amazing that I could get going in 3rd, from a stop, uphill.
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Old 04-01-2024, 02:54 AM   #5
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Very nice! I love DIY solutions like this.
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Old 04-03-2024, 07:36 AM   #6
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Great idea, I'll be doing it on mine since the trans is out, but I can't get the damn sockets out? Mine is a MY2000, I assume they are both 10mm, but I can't for the life of me get them off. I have removed the outer clamp ring, but they won't pop off. The shifter cables came off without too much fuss, but these are defeating me.
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Old 04-04-2024, 07:31 PM   #7
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IDK, your ball sockets must not be worn, and I'm assuming they are plastic. My bottom one fell off by itself and the upper one I popped off with one finger, after removing the outer clip. If they are not coming off, I'd put the retaining ring back on and leave it be. Guess Porsche improved the design and quality by 2000.
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:06 PM   #8
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Hmm. I'll have to get the trans on the bench and see if I can figure it out. They don't look that great, so I really should replace them.

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