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Stick shift has too much vertical play

My friend got a manual 95 ford aspire for cheap in pretty good shape to drive around town.

I gave it a spin this morning, and noticed the stick shift has A LOT of vertical travel…im talking like 3 inches up and down…

what’s going on with the stick shift?? It seems it didn’t do it before I got in the car (just my luck), so I took it upon myself to investigate.

The first step is to visually inspect all the linkages between the lever you hold to shift, and the transmission. There may be something broken. Not sure how its done on a 95 Aspire, but on my Corolla that’s pretty easy to do; just remove the console stuff between the seats, you see the end of the shift lever is attached to some cables. Follow the cables to the transmission … etc etc … Before going down this path see if you can find another Aspire of that era to compare against, maybe this is normal.

Like George says… but don’t wait to find another Aspire before looking!

I seem to recall Ray and Tom having fun with the Aspire’s name … Tom: Just what does it aspire to be then? …lol …

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Ok so it seems like an easy fix,
there’s a rubber “gasket/boot” at the base of the shift stick stem that was all dried out (not talking about the one that’s visible around the stick shift), it seems to be the only thing that holds the whole linkage arm to the inside of the vehicle and it was all frayed / dried out…

so the whole stick shift and linkage underneath was touching and resting on the exhaust pipe

I think I kinda slammed hard on the stick shift like to get in reverse on a VW, and that popped it down the hole

now I need to know what that part/ gasket / boot is called…

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Good diagnosis job there. You may have to visit a Ford dealership to figure out what those parts are called. They’ll likely have a diagram of how it all fits together, with the part names. I expect you already know that you may have some difficulty obtaining replacement parts.

In that case, it clearly wasn’t your fault

If you pay for the parts out of your own pocket and install them, I’d say your friend owes you a steak dinner . . . and not at place like Ponderosa or Sizzler

Off topic but there has to be a story to go with your screen name .