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Loose Shifter? - Replace your shifter bushings! - Write up with pictures

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by ramonortiz55, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Aug 27, 2018 at 11:41 AM
    #1
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Ramon
    Vehicle:
    2001 4runner limited silver millenium
    My 4runner's shifter had too much slack for my liking. I was worried that one day I wouldn't be able to turn on the 4runner or have it release my key from the ignition. So I decided to change the shifter bushings as preventative maintenance.

    This writeup also applies for 1st generation tacomas.

    Each shifter assembly requires four bushings, here is the part number:



    Stare at the center console for 5 minutes. Give it a long mean mug stare.



    Set hand brake and grab pull out the cup holder:





    Next pull out the trim around the shifter, simply tug:



    Remove the center console. This is held down by two bolts inside the console:



    Remove the screw holding the center console to the shifter trim, one each side. This will allow the center console assembly to pull out of the way:



    Next remove the 4x4 shifter head, my particular setup is not threaded. Therefore, I remove the set screw and pull the head off carefully.



    Be very careful not to pull the wiring that leads to the 4x4 shifter (black).



    I placed it to the side, did not really disconnect the wiring because I was afraid of messing up the pigtail connection.



    Next I removed three screws that hold the shifter down to the assembly:



    Once removed, it revealed this white device thing:





    I removed the three screws that held it down. Pay attention to how it is mounted, there is a rectangular piece that goes inside of it. This needs to properly seat within a slot that is built into this device thing:



    Before continuing, I went under the truck - Driver's side, and I disconnected the shifter from the transmission. Making sure to mark the location where it is bolted along the slot:







    Once that is complete, I went back up to the shifter assembly and removed 8 of these bolts. They are located on the perimeter of the shifter panel against the floorboard:



    Disconnected a couple of plugs to allow removal of bolts:



    Had to pull the radio bezel off the dash to access one of the bolts:



    Pull away! - here you can see the location of all 8 bolt holes, for reference.



    Now that the shifter assembly is out, stare at it. Show it some attention. Give it love.



    See this nut? Remove it.



    It will release this bolt:



    The shifter bushings go in each end of the bolt housing:



    Old shifter bushings, rotted away:



    Make sure to clean out any remaining bushing pieces within the bolt housing:



    Install bushings and install bolt.



    Next, I located the other two bushings, these are in here:





    Remove nut and bolt, just like previously done:



    Once the nut and bolt is out, you will need to break the linkage as shown here. This is done by removing a C clip.





    Once the linkage is apart, I wiggled the housing up so I can pull out the old bushings:



    Installed the new ones:



    Install bolt and nut, reinstall linkage and C clip.



    Reinstall into truck:



    Reattach rod to transmission:



    Carefully assemble the white thinga-machig to the shifter. Make sure that the rectangular portion shown in the photo earlier lays within the channel:



    See this? - How does it go?



    Let's find out:

    It directly connected to the emergency shifter release button:



    Looks like it toggles when I move the button back and forth, two positions:





    Looking down into the shifter assembly I see this triangular piece of plastic. Lets set it BEHIND this piece.



    Once it is set, I check for functionality:



    See that white plastic cylinder? Its right above the screwdriver tip. Toggle the release button, this white cylinder should move in and out, if installed properly.



    Once you confirm functionality, reinstall everything else:



    How is the shifter?

    Mine is tighter than a frog's arse!
     
    NuGuru96, Trekker and DesertRoads like this.
  2. Sep 15, 2018 at 7:59 AM
    #2
    Studebaker

    Studebaker New Member

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    Wellborn, Fla
    Nice write up! Just did this on a 99 2WD. Those only take two bushings.
     
  3. Apr 11, 2020 at 4:44 PM
    #3
    16runnerblue

    16runnerblue New Member

    Joined:
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    16 trail blue
    Great article to follow ,I just rebuilt mine ,took me proably 1hr 15 min ,got the OEM bushings it was well worth it.
    Thank you,thank you for sharing !!!
    Now my 02 ,4 runner has a tighter than a frogs arse shifter. ...
     
  4. Jul 31, 2021 at 10:02 PM
    #4
    CavScout85

    CavScout85 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2021
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    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Clayton
    Vehicle:
    2001 4Runner
    Just wanted to add a 'hell yea!' Great instructions and I was able to knock it out in about 2 hours. Thank you!
     
  5. Jul 31, 2021 at 10:39 PM
    #5
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Ramon
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    2001 4runner limited silver millenium
    the real questions is...

    is it tighter than a frogs arse?
     
  6. Aug 1, 2021 at 11:43 AM
    #6
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2019
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    385
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    First Name:
    Patrick
    OREGON
    Vehicle:
    1987 4Runner all stock, owned 32 years
    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    This is a great write up, detailed, lotsa pics. Very well done indeed.

    Ok, now that I'm done sucking up, can anyone do something like this for a first gen pickup, with a MANUAL transmission? The shifter in my pickup has a throw longer than you would believe. After 34 years and 372,000 miles, I'm not surprized, through.
    My 99 4Runner's shifter is tighter than a frog's arse, but the pickup...

    I won't say how effective it is at picking up a girl sitting in the center part of the seat though. When the shifter throws where it shouldn't, well...

    Just wondering.
    Pat☺
     
  7. Aug 2, 2021 at 12:03 AM
    #7
    CavScout85

    CavScout85 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2021
    Member:
    #22615
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    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Clayton
    Vehicle:
    2001 4Runner
    Tighter! I did not realize how used to the constant rattle I had gotten until my test drive after putting every thing back together, I thought something was wrong. It wasn't until I noticed how quiet it was that I knew the issue was truly fixed@!
     

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