More help required... Z-bar bushes - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-10-2019, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
Ray Bell
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More help required... Z-bar bushes

I'm away from all of my stuff at the moment otherwise I could ferret around and check the bits I have and know what I'm doing.

However, I have to get some new bushes for the Z-bar on my van, it's critical as it looks like it's broken right up now and I don't really want to wear away the inside of the cross-bar.

I can get bushes for Valiants fairly easily, does anyone know if they fit?

Just to put you in the picture here, Valiants were the only Chrysler cars sold in Australia after 1960 which had manual transmissions and hence Z-bars. And they went by the wayside in 1981, so even stuff for them is hard to source.

Anyway, I'd appreciate if anyone knows if the bushes interchange...
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-15-2019, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Having established locally that they should be the same, I've now pulled mine out and they look quite different.

As I've ordered new ones I will post pics tomorrow of the two different kinds.

I'm also going to make up new pull-rods for the clutch linkage using rod ends, I'm sure it won't hurt to have nice smooth operation with spherical bearings which won't wear out.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-18-2019, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
Ray Bell
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So here we go...



As can be seen, though the bushes themselves are the same diameter and work on the same size ball stud, the retaining clip comes in at a different point... that's the groove around the outside of the bush. There are also channels for grease.

Now that I have it apart I can see that there's no real problem with the originals so I guess they'll get put back in.



The original rods that pull on the Z-bar work through a bell-crank under the floor. So there's a vertical rod which appears to me to be about 5/16 thick, it has little 'horizontal' pieces welded to it and they go into the clutch actuating lever up at the pedals and the bell-crank at the bottom. It all looks fairly flimsy to me, though obviously mine did lots of miles in the slant 6 van from which it came.

However, it is a wear point at each end, the horizontal pieces must wear and the holes in the points where they run must wear over time.

The rod from the bell-crank to the Z-bar is similar, though maybe it has bigger pieces going through the bell-crank and the Z-bar lever to which it links. I can see plenty of wear in that hole!

So I'm going to use 8mm female rod ends. These are not very expensive at all...



...about $AU8.00 for two including postage. Of course I need four. The ⅜" female rod end shown on the replacement clutch push rod was dearer, about $AU17. The 8mm rod was only $AU4.50 and some nuts and bolts pushed another $AU15 onto the price list.

To make the clutch push rod I got two 4" ⅜" UNF bolts with thread all the way to the heads. I've chamfered the heads and welded them back to back, then cut the short end to the required size. A bit of judicious grinding to emulate the original flat on the thread and it was just a matter of grinding back the weld to form a 9/16" hex and bolting it all together.

Thus far the 8mm rod ends haven't arrived, but they should be here early next week. I should be able to fit it all up about this time next week when I once again go to the shed where the van is stored for the moment.

I've made the threads on the rods a bit longer than should be needed as I don't know how far the rod ends will screw on nor do I know the exact length of the vertical rod. I can cut it if needed, but I can't do any more thread once I get to the shed. I can also use long (about 1" long) locknuts if the exposed thread is too great.

With all of this I hope to make it more durable and smooth-running and take away some of the fears I have of those original flimsy rods breaking when I'm a long way from home.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-16-2019, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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It's all fitted up now, but I'm wondering what I might do if I ever need to replace those bushes...

The difference between them is great, though I guess I could drill more holes in the Z-bar tube. Anyway, the clutch is working fine and I'm able to have more confidence in the setup.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-08-2019, 06:19 PM
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Nice...Ive never seen a manual set up...
There are very few manual vans left...you will probably become the forum expert on them LOL

As for the bushings, when I get stuck like that I go to NAPA or a large dealer and ask to parts guy to take me to the bushings so I can match something up. I just had to do this lately. The expansion valve for my ProAir rear AC is actually one from a late 80s/early 90s Honda Civic...
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-08-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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My manual bits came from a slant 6 van, very base model, I think...

I'm now becoming convinced that the A833 was the wrong transmission and I'm thinking about a tougher 5-speed.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-10-2019, 05:41 PM
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Isnt the 833 a stout transmission...I thought it was...
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-10-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
Ray Bell
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I really am perplexed about that issue...

There's plenty of conflicting advice on the internet about them. Talking about the overdrive version, many say that the step in the mainshaft for the overdriven gear weakens them considerably, but are they talking about a drag car with a 440 or an everyday workhorse with a slant 6?

Both of the transmissions I've put in mine have been used ones. Not even opened up for inspection.

The first was from a slant 6-powered van which had done, apparently, a lot of miles. It was about 18,000 miles into my usage when it started to make bearing noises, I removed it at about 25,000 miles and it sounded terrible by that time.

The replacement was from a slant 6 pickup I found in a wrecking yard in Arkansas, I bought it because I felt it was possible the then-growling original could let me down before I got to LA to ship the van home. When I did instal it I was delighted at how quiet it was and everything about it. Happiness.

Since then I've done about 4,000 miles with it, but it's copped a caning because the pressure plate has warped (or something) and I cannot get enough travel in the clutch to completely disengage it. Graunching gears happens, so I'm thinking that perhaps some metal filings are being released and are floating around and have got into bearings.

A833s are known for 'cratering' the internal surface of the cluster gear, the area where the roller bearings roll on the lower shaft. Also the same thing happens to the nose of the mainshaft.

What I really need to do is build up a good one, new bearings and thoroughly check everything out and try it. I also think I'd like to do that with a '74 model version, that year they still used the cast iron main case, I think I have one at home. Even if I don't, I could probably find among my bits an iron case with the bigger bearing size to build one into. The difference here, often propounded to be a problem, is that the lower shaft (or pin) is more securely located in the housing.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-10-2019, 09:51 PM
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Manual transmission vans were always rare in North America, and basically non-existent after the early 80's. The only ones I've ever seen/owned are three-on-the-trees from the 70's, and they frankly sucked. Awful to drive. While theoretically you could convert these to a floor shifter setup, without a lot of custom work the lever placement would be extremely awkward. American vans never used floor shifters because as work vehicles they wanted to keep the floor clear to allow lumber and carpet rolls to be placed between the seats.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-11-2019, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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I can see that being a problem...

However, one turned up at a wrecking yard in Spokane and gave me the box, shifter, pedals and linkages for my setup and I don't question what kind of life it had in the past.

I later saw the van, after Jon had raided it for my bits, and it had a definite building-industry tradesman's look about the stuff in it.
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