The MGA With An Attitude
ANTI-RATTLE DETENT For Shift Lever - GT-124

shifter top At the bottom end of the hand lever is a smaller ball (160) which sits in a cylindrical hole in the rear lever (163). The rear lever on the remote shift rod has an extension at the back which carries an anti-rattle detent ball (160) and spring (159) secured with a split pin. If you pull the hand lever out the top, the small ball will likely be lost. That results in a nasty noisy rattling vibration of the hand lever at an engine speed right around highway cruising speed in top gear, which may drive you nuts on the open road. It may also vibrate and rattle at idle speed, or slightly faster, depending on mass of the shift ball you may have installed. When the unit is in the car, this split pin lies above the gearbox tail housing and propshaft connection where it is generally inaccessible. So if you need to fix this problem, the shift extension assembly should be removed to gain access to the anti-rattle detent parts.

The small steel ball will often wear a vertical slot in the back of the small sphere on bottom end of the hand lever. With enough wear on the ball and socket joint and the worn slot, the detent ball might fall out. You can rotate the hand lever 180 degrees to present a fresh smooth surface at on the rear side to mate with the detent ball.

Once when I was missing the detent ball I made a small cylindrical brass rod to replace the detent ball. Length of the rod can be adjusted to fit with nearly full compression of the spring (when new) for best anti-rattle function. Length may be about twice the diameter. With brass against steel and flat nose on the brass rod, wear life of the parts will be greatly extended. This has worked quite well for a couple decades and a quarter million miles. The little brass button is easy to replace (compared to welding and filing the steel ball end).

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