A Quiet Gear Stick

SIII gear sticks are notorious for rattling, and mine was no exception.  The bottom ball of the stick, which engages in the selector shaft cups, has a groove with a runner o-ring to prevent rattles, but these o-rings quickly wear flat spots and allow metal to metal contact and rattles.  I found I had to replace the o-rings at intervals of less than a year, and mine has needed renewal for the last few weeks.  Even when new, the o-rings are only fully effective in fourth gear, with some occasional rattling in the other gears.

Last year, in one of the second-hand parts stalls at the Soneleigh show, I found a good condition gear stick with a different end fitting – it has a tough but slightly soft plastic bush which is loose enough to rotate freely on a slightly differently shaped end ball.  This looseness prevents friction problems between the selector shaft cups and the ball so that the plastic doesn’t wear and so that gear selection is still easy.  I’m not sure which vehicles these were originally fitted to – I had heard of them but had never seen one until I saw this one at the show.

I had to bend the stick a little more at its base to clear the Mudstuff dash console, and to be honest I bent it a little to far and it had to be slightly re-straightened , but it’s a pretty simple job that should ensure that the gear stick rattle is a thing of the past – it’s certainly nice and quiet at the moment.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Hello

    Thanks for a great website.
    Would it be possible for you to take some detailed photographs of the “new” gear end ball the next time you have to take it out for examination.
    Would it be possible to modify a standard ball to take a “similar” plastic bush?

    Best regards Jan

  2. Hi Jan,

    You can see the bush in the photo- it’s the thick green bit at the bottom of the fitted stick.

    You could probably have the ball turned on a lathe to take a suitable bush, but it might be difficult with the full stick because of the bend in the upper section – a machine shop might have to snap the upper part off (it’s just brazed into a hole in the upper side of the pivot ball) for the bottom to fit a lathe. You might be able to do it yourself slowly with a grinder and finishing with a file without having to disassemble the lever. Finding a bush to fit the selector rod cups would eb the difficulty, though some LR specialists like Dunsfold may have the bushes in stock.

    To be honest, I think that it would be more trouble than it’s worth – if you modify the transmission tunnel cover the way I did (which is worthwhile for many reasons), it’s a very quick job to keep replacing the o-rings. If you stumble across this type of bushed stick like I did, then that’s another matter…


  3. Rob Ferris says:

    Hi Nick – what mods did you do to your transmission cover? (are there details on this site?). I’m assuming you’ve made an easy to remove top to get at the stick base, selector cups, return springs without having to remove the entire floor first ?

    Thx Rob

  4. Hi Rob

    That was exactly the purpose of the tunnel mod (and to make refilling the oil quick, clean, and tool-free). I initially just fitted the MoD style tunnel cover , filler cap and aRocky Mountain dipstick, but I later modified the tunnel cover and used the orignal cover cut down to make it more easily removable for access to the gearbox selector system. These older posts will show you how it was done – the photos show the edges of the old tunnel cover used merely for supporting the floor panels, while the new tunnel cover had its bottom flanges cut off so that it would sit above the floor and overlap the old cover remnants:


Speak Your Mind


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.