Your Shift Lever Bushing
Shift Lever Bushing (#33505-35030)
10mm rachet Socket
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 4Runners.org. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
everything in reverse order.