How to Fix the Malfunctioning Gear Selector Bushing in a Land RoverPosted on: 28, February, 2019
There’s something powerful, exciting, and adventurous about owning a Land Rover, isn’t there? The only problem is, it’s not always as easy to find experienced mechanics and parts for it in a world typically dominated by Corollas, Fusions, Ravs, and the occasional minivan. What do you do when you start having transmission trouble or problems with your gear selector bushing?
Look no further, we have a solution for you. Whether you are a bit of a gearhead yourself or a complete novice in all things mechanical, we have some tips on how to get your vehicle running and ready to take on the world.
Identifying the Problem
What should you check first? If you are having trouble shifting gears, the issue may be arising from the clutch, the transmission, or the gear selector components. If it is the transmission, you are looking at some complicated work that may be quite expensive as well. Chances are, if you are experiencing transmission problems, there will be more symptoms than just the gear selector getting stuck in between gears. You can expect some strange noises, and probably some erratic shifting of gears, perhaps even without your input from the gear selector.
If it is the clutch slipping or locking up somehow, you may need a new clutch. This being tied into the overall transmission system you will probably experience some other symptoms related to the gears shifting in the transmission and not tied directly to the gear selector. This also is going to lead to some more costly repairs and replacements, and unless you have some mechanical expertise and tools, it is probably something you need to find help in fixing.
If you’ve ruled out these two more severe conditions, you can begin looking at the gearbox itself.
What is a gear selector bushing?
Bushings in general, are rubber coverings that go around articulation points in your transmission system to help you shift gears more smoothly. The function in a similar way that cartilage does in your bodies joints. When your knees wear out all the cartilage between the two leg bones, they start to slip or lock up in painful ways. One of the main bushings in your overall transmission system connects the gear selector lever to the gear changing levers underneath the hood. The bushing covers the tip of the lever and allows it to move while holding it firmly in place.
How do you fix the gear selector bushing?
Over time the gear selector bushing will disintegrate, causing the gear selector lever to feel loose to the touch. The gear selector lever may wobble back and forth, and without the tight fit, it may have difficulty fully engaging the gears. From a physics standpoint, the bushing helps focus the energy of the lever directly to engaging the gears. When the bushing wears away, power is lost, and the lever may not have the strength to engage the gears as well, requiring more force from your hand to both engage and keep it in gear and your Land Rover may start feeling like driving an old tractor.
The bad news is, whether your bushing is nylon, rubber, or any other soft material fulfilling this job, it is not repairable, and sometimes you cannot find replacement bushings to attach to your gear selector. As with many items these days, they are often sold in gear selector kits instead, forcing you to replace the whole system.
Some mechanically trained and adventurous souls have used a tool and die to rework and weld new metal type bushings at the end of their gear selector levers, with a small measure of success, but this is a risky maneuver for vehicles long past their warranty expiration. Replacing vinyl with metal could cause further locking and introduce the possibility of oxidation (rust) into the apparatus, which could lead to further trouble down the road. If there is a possibility of just replacing the bushing, it will be at a shop with experts in working on Land Rovers.
Where can you find help?
If you need help getting your gear selector apparatus back up to par, bring your Land Rover down to Schearer’s Sales and Service, Inc. They have been offering distinguished service to Allentown, Bethlehem, and Macungie, PA for many years and will have the answers and the help you need. You can try a general mechanic, but if you are looking for experts with the parts on hand for your special vehicle, Schearer’s Sales and Service is the place to go.
* Range Rover Evoque image credit goes to: teddyleung.