View Full Version : LIGHTNING ROD PROBLEM
08-13-2001, 11:55 AM
ANYBODY HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THEIR LIGHTNING ROD SHIFTERS? WHEN MANUALLY SHIFTING THE SHIFTER FEELS MUSHY ,IT WONT ENGAGE INTO THE NEXT GEAR RIGHT AWAY, IT GETS JAMED UP, BASICALLY IT SUCKS BUT I KNOW THIS IS A RARE SHIFTER AND I WANT TO KEEP IT BUT ITS KILLING ME. ANY SUGGESTIONS ON A REBUILD? CAN I SEND IT BACK TO HURST?
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 87442:
ANY SUGGESTIONS ON A REBUILD? CAN I SEND IT BACK TO HURST?</font>
I have no experience with lightning rod shifters or Hurst, but it says on their website that they can rebuild shifters. It says on the website that LR rebuilding costs $90. Go to
08-13-2001, 05:52 PM
I have absoleutely no experience with Lightning Rod Shifters but I'd say try lubing it up w/ whatever (Oil, WD40, grease). But I also heard they are more show than go, but I don't think it should jamb up.
It's probably out of adjustment. My wife has an 84 H/O, and it had the same problem. The shifter depends on the tranny detents to maintin its position.
You adjust it with both the shifter and trans in neutral. The stud and nut that holds the cable end to the tranny arm can slide in the slot. Make sure everything is where it needs to be and tighten it up. I'd try to adjust it before I bought a new cable
If you still have the column linkage hooked up, check your motor mounts, especially the driver side. Check the tranny mount too. If the mounts are bad, the engine/tranny can move around and tweak the column linkage, which in turn can work the shifter cable and stretch it. It's especially noticeable if you can't shift out of first under heavy throttle, but have no problem when sitting still or cruising.
If you have the top plate off, you can get unjammed by moving the shift arm that the cable connects to in the car until you can get the button down on the jammed gear.
I've been in the same boat, and it's *no fun* to be stuck at a stoplight trying to get it out of first, or backing out of a parking spot and blocking traffic while you unjam the shifter.
08-14-2001, 07:43 AM
GBH , thats exaclty what the shifter does, I have brand new motor and tranny mounts the motor is also chained down, the tranny is also brand new, how do i adjust the cable? Are there any other adjustments on the shifter? Its so annoying trying to find gears and then getting stuck in them.
Adjustment is easier if you have somebody to help. Get the car up on jackstands so you can get under it. Make sure it can't roll, cause you're gonna be under it while it's in neutral. Make sure the shifter (and hopefully tranny) is in neutral. Crawl under the car. You'll see an arm attached to the tranny shift pin that also has the column rods attached to it. You may wanna have your helper shift from park to drive a couple of times so you can see it operate. Watch for slop in the cable as it moves, and note which direction is park (forward, I believe). The cable (mine, anyway) mounts through a slot in the shift arm. Loosen the stud that holds the cable, noting its original position. Your new adjustment probably won't be far off from where it is now. I pulled the cable out of mine at this point and counted the detents forward and back a few times to make certain it was in neutral. Then I had Sarah (my wife) run the shifter through the gears and back to neutral. The I put the stud back in the slot and tightened it down. Have your helper run the shifter a bit and see how it looks. It helps to (for example) put the shifter into second and see if the trans is in the second gear detent where it should be. If it isn't quite lined up, you can get an idea of which direction to tweak the adjustment to get it right on.
I got my new cable from AutoZone, and had to drill out the shifter end because the hole was to small as supplied. Other than that, it went pretty smoothly. Take your time. It's really gratifying to drive it without the stickiness. Lemme know how it goes...
08-18-2001, 07:01 PM
In case you're not aware of it, the Hurst Olds used a special "Short Cable" and a unique bracket on the pan of the 2004R. If you are using a standard cable or not using the proper transmission bracket, they will not work correctly and can be very frustrating.
Let me know if you need the part numbers for the cable. The bracket is discontinued and no longer available but I beleive the lshorty cable still is.
I'm not driving to fast, I'm flying to low.
83 H/O Stock - 38K
83 H/O - Soon to be Tubbed Warren Johnson Replica.
83 Buick T-Type Stock
86 Buick GN - 11.04 @ 124.47mph
79 T/A 468 Olds W30 - 10.86 @ 127.2mph
..and let's not forget the wifeeee's "UltraFast" 99 Alero GLS 3.4 Grocery Runner.
[This message has been edited by 83 H/O (edited 08-18-2001).]
Oh yeah, i should have mentioned that mine is a GM cable that I picked up through the commercial accounts guy at AutoZone. I got a better price that way than the dealership wanted to give me. You might try Vandervere at http://www.vandevere.com/
The parts guy is Dal, I think, and he comes highly recommended. You may get a better price than locally.
Let us know how it goes.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by GBH:
You might try Vandervere at http://www.vandevere.com/
The parts guy is Dal, I think, and he comes highly recommended.
I ordered some parts from Dal at Vandevere because a few guys on Oldsgmail.com recommended him as "the man" for obtaining NOS parts at low prices.
I wanted ~two~ gray shifter handles, a dipstick, and dipstick tube for my 307. The prices were good, but there was a $5.00 s/h charge that Dal never told me about, even after I asked about shipping charges. I guess I should have specifically asked about HANDLING charges. When I got my order, there were two of everything--two handles (as requested), two dipstick tubes and two dipsticks. Sigh.
Dal was willing to take back the extra dipstick and tube, but it wasn't worth it to ship back two $5.50 items for a credit. So I kept them, and now I share my experience with you all...
08-23-2001, 10:09 AM
Hey, 87442. Do you have lighting rods on your 442? If you do I was wondering what all you needed to do the conversion. I want to do it to my eighty-five.
I know you want the shifter cable. I know that that is a must...more like a have to have.
1985 Cutlass 442
1986 Cutlass Supreme
1996 Monte Carlo SS
08-23-2001, 10:35 AM
I TOOK THE ENTIRE SET UP OUT OF A WRECKED 84 H/O.....THEY FIT INTO THE CONSOLE FINE, I HAD TO MAKE A CUSTOM COVER PLATE, CANT FIND A CHEAP COVER PLATE AND THE AFTERMARKET ONES ARE TOO EXPENSIVE. THE LIGHTNING RODS LOOK GREAT BUT ARE ALL SHOW AND NO GO.
08-24-2001, 08:47 AM
You're lucky to find all those things.
But what is "the set up"
08-24-2001, 12:25 PM
uuuh... the set up is the entire set up. Everything like the shifter, cable, brackets, nuts and bolts, the shift lever on the trans, etc.
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