Changing Your Shift Lever Bushing
By: Bob_98SR5
Date: October 24, 2003

Part Needed
Shift Lever Bushing (#33505-35030)

Tools/Supplies Needed
10mm rachet Socket
Philips-head Screwdriver
Needlenose Pliers
Lithium Grease
Wheel Chocks

I am providing this write up for illustrative purposes only. Perform at your own risk. Any mods (including this one) you perform on your vehicle is your responsibility. Furthermore, commercial use of this write up is prohibited---all images and text are property of Linking or copying any portion of this write up may result in legal action.

If your 5-speed "doesn't quite feel right" anymore or your gear shifter has a habit of popping out of gear too easily, you probably should check your shift lever seat. I didn't think that this mod would make much of a difference. However, my shifting is much smoother and it only took me less than 45 minutes to complete this task.

Step 1: Removing the Shift Lever Boot Cover

First as a safety measure, chock your 4runner's rear tires and pull the e-brake. Then start by unscrewing both your shift knobs. Next, unscrew the shift console side panel, push the panel pin in, and slide this panel out. This will allow you to remove the parts necessary to access your shift lever.


Unscrew knobs (K), unscrew screw (S) and lift up on area (L) to remove

    To remove the side panel, press (P) with a pen, slide forward, and remove. Note: this is a pic of the other side

Step 2: Removing the Shift Plate Cover

With a 10mm rachet socket, remove the four bolts. Then gently lift the shift plate cover out to expose the shift lever itself. A good tip is to spray the shift levers with water to more easily remove the shift plate cover.

Remove bolts (B)   Here's what the shift plate cover looks like. You might want to clean it while its nice and accessible

Step 3: Removing the Shift Lever
Lift up the smaller shift boot to expose the shift lever. Next, press down on the shift lever cover and turn clockwise (or counter-clockwise; depends on your model) to remove. Remove the shift lever, paying careful attention to the orientation of the shift lever.

Lift boot cover (B) up and out of the way   With your thumbs, press down on areas (P) and turn clockwise

Examine the shift seat itself. Look for broken or shattered parts. Many owners have said that their shift seat were shattered in many pieces---mine was not. If your parts are shattered, use tweezers and relive your years of playing "Operation" by picking out those pieces.

View from top: old shift seat (S). Examine carefully for broken parts. Mine is intact. Guides (A) allow you to guide the shifter into the shift lever chamber   My shift seat was split in half---it is missing the black seat. The new shift seat on the right is a one-piece part---a blue part and a black part which is fused together.

Step 4: Re-assembly
Lightly grease the new shift seat with lithium grease and put inside the shift lever chamber. Next, clean the end of your shift lever and then put a little lithium grease on the end of it. Guide the shift lever back into the chamber, paying careful attention to line up the slots in the shift lever itself into the guides (A)

Grease end (B). When inserting shift lever into chamber, line slots (S) with shift chamber guides (A) in picture above  

Re-assemble everything in reverse order.

Lessons Learned

If you cannot re-seat the shift lever cover because of high spring tension, you have not seated the shift lever properly. Align shift lever slot (S) and shift lever chamber guides (A) again.


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