Knuckle-buster in 1st and 3rd gear


jrmcafee

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A few weeks ago I removed a 3" body-lift from my 98 SE. The shifter wasn't smooth by any stretch pre-BL removal, but now I am regularly striking the center dash shroud when I shift into 1st or 3rd gear. To belabor the point, the repainted center bezel around the climate control is now chipping.

Reading some prior threads here and on YouTube, it sounds as though there is a straight shaft lower selector replacement from Rough Country that might be an appropriate add. I still have 4" of suspension lift in place--is this the appropriate direction to go?

Also, @Jerry Bransford remarked on a prior thread that the AX-5/AX-15 has a solid upper/lower mechanism that cannot accept the afore-mentioned RC straight shaft extension. What's the right solution here? I don't love the idea of heating/bending the existing shaft, even if (or especially if) it's been bent previously.
 

P man

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I would first try and determine if they heated and bent your shifter..do you have a friend with a similar tj you can reference? Or look at pics on ebay?
 
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jrmcafee

jrmcafee

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I would first try and determine if they heated and bent your shifter..do you have a friend with a similar tj you can reference? Or look at pics on ebay?
I could probably manage to do that. I don't know that it matters though at this point, right? Something will have to change, whether it's due to the 4" lift or somehow the upper or lower shaft has been damaged.
 

P man

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I could probably manage to do that. I don't know that it matters though at this point, right? Something will have to change, whether it's due to the 4" lift or somehow the upper or lower shaft has been damaged.
It doesn't matter it's just how my brain works..I need verification that it has been altered before I can think about a solution. ..there really isn't anything else I can think of that would cause your issue.
 

P man

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Screenshot_20210729-220729_Chrome.jpg
 

zackcj7

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If your 3 inch body lift was dealer installed, they have been known to heat and bend or even cut and weld an extension to the shifter. Do you see any evidence your stock shifter has been modified?
 

Dr. Internet

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When I installed my Tuffy console the shifter didn't have enough room to shift. Took about 5 minutes with a handheld propane torch and a pair of gloves to bend it enough to clear.
 
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jrmcafee

jrmcafee

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If your 3 inch body lift was dealer installed, they have been known to heat and bend or even cut and weld an extension to the shifter. Do you see any evidence your stock shifter has been modified?
I don’t yet. To @P man’s point, that may be where getting a side by side comparison comes in. It was definitely not dealer installed though.
 
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jrmcafee

jrmcafee

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I had to run the Jeep through the shop for something unrelated and they bent the lower portion of the selector so that I now have about an inch of clearance. Probably not right yet but closer and more functional.