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Auto trans shift cable replacement

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by 70monte, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    I have to replace the auto trans shift cable on my 98 K3500 RCLB. I have the factory service manual for this truck and part of the procedure to remove this cable is to "Remove steering column filler panel from steering column" Does anyone know exactly what this is? Is this the lower section of the plastic shroud that surrounds the steering column or the whole shroud? Is this something else? I can't seem to find exactly what this piece is. Is there anything special to know when removing this?

    The cable should get here next week and I"m trying to find out as much about this procedure beforehand as possible. Thanks for any help.

    Wayne
     
  2. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Pull them both Wayne, the column surround ( half round piece directly under the ign switch and shifter stick) as well as the lower knee bolster attached to the dash (the flat panel directly in front of your knees. Doing this makes routing the cable much easier.

    Of course you'll need to remove the seat and pull the carpet back too but you know that already (I recall from you last post about this cable deal :))

    Two additional tips:

    1) Make sure to add just a dab of chassis grease to the pivot ball at the shift mechanism before you snap the replacement cable end onto the shift lever. It'll save you nerves later by preventing a very annoing squeak every time you move the shifter.

    2) Make sure the trans is in park and the truck is secure from unexpected movement before you disassemble anything.

    3) You'll more than likely need to adjust the cable after you get it installed. Make your adjustments in small increments and triple check all gear positions before calling the job completed.
     
  3. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    B&B,
    Thanks for the info and tips. Is there anything special to look out for when pulling the shrouds around the steering column? Do I need to remove the top part of the steering column shroud or just the lower? I wasn't sure if you meant to remove both shrouds and the knee bolster or just the lower shroud and knee bolster. I don't want to remove things that I don't need to.

    Hopefully this whole job will go smoothly. At least this truck has a 60/40 seat in it so I only have to remove the driver's side section

    Another quick question about cable routing on the cab floor. Does the cable run to the inside of the driver's side seat track where it bolts to the floor or does it run along the plastic kick plate at the door opening and run under the raised portion of the seat track? I have it currently running to the inside of the seat track but I'm not sure if this was how it was originally. I just don't want the new cable to be kinked or have too sharp of a turn before it goes through the floor grommet. Thanks again for all of your help.

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Only need to remove the lower half of the column cover (along with the knee bolster previously mentioned). Should be two Torx screws in the bottom of the column cover facing up.

    Route the cable to the inside of the seat track (just like you have it) and then over to the grommet. :salute:
     
  5. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    B&B,
    Thanks again for all of your help. I'll let you know how it went next week when I get it installed.

    Wayne
     
  6. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    Well, I got the cable installed but ran out of light before I could get it adjusted. The install went pretty smoothly except getting the seat back in became quite the job. It seemed like none of the bolt holes wanted to line up with the seat track. I didn't have to remove the bottom of the steering column, just the knee bolster and a metal brace that is back behind the lap vent.

    I'm going to adjust the cable tomorrow but something still has me concerned. I don't have my jack at my GF's house so I couldn't jack the truck up, but I ran the gear shifter through all of the gears 10 times and it still won't go into 1st. The shifter stops at 2nd and its the last gear that the indicator light lights up. The white tab is still unlocked at the end of the shift cable where it attaches to the tranny but I would still think that it would still go into 1st. The cable does shift a lot smoother than the other one so I know that it must of been damaged.

    Do you still think there is a problem somewhere? I'm going to bring my jack to my gf's house so I can jack the truck up to make sure the tranny is all the way into park.

    What else should I look at? Thanks.

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  7. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Disconnect the cable at the trans to see if you have first gear position in the trans (as a test). Then leave the cable disconnected and check the movement of the shifter itself.. does it move through all ranges as well? If they're both good then its not adjusting correctly. You can try pushing the lock tab back in and see what it then does. But technically it should still go to first with the lock pulled out.
     
  8. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    B&B,
    Thanks for the reply. I will do that and see what happens. What else could cause it not to go into 1st? Everything else seems to be correct from park on down to 2nd. What else could I have damaged by forcing the shifter into gear originally? Something on the column? Thanks again for all of your help.

    Wayne
     
  9. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Its always possible you bent or damaged something in the column depending on how hard your forced it. Once you disconnect the cable and move it through the detents, you'll know if a problem exists there.
     
  10. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    Well, I finally got the cable adjusted. I did what you suggested B&B, and disconnected the cable from the tranny and ran both the column shifter and the shifter on the tranny and they both went where they should. I jacked the truck up and made sure it was in park. I then let it down and moved the column shifter back and forth 10 times. While doing this the shifter still would not go into first gear. I then jacked the truck up again and made sure it still was all the way in park. I left it in 2nd and got under the truck and moved the tranny shifter into the first gear and the column shifter went into first also. I then moved the column shifter slowly back into park and then locked the cable tab down at the tranny. The column shifter then would go from park to 1st and all the indicator lights would light up.

    I haven't driven the truck yet so hopefully everything is okay. Thanks again for all of your help.

    Wayne
     
  11. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Sounds like you got it Wayne. Just double check to be sure its fully in each gear detent and not partially engaged and it should be good to go. :salute:
     
  12. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    I did get to drive the truck last night. I just drove it around the house when I went to park my flatbed trailer out in the field. It seemed to be in all of the right gears so I'm going to say at this point it was a success. It sure does goes through the gears a lot smoother. Thanks again.

    Wayne