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Thread: 87 dodge d-50 5mt weird shifting problem

  1. #1

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    87 dodge d-50 5mt weird shifting problem

    okay this is a long story so please stick with me.
    i got this little d-50 5mt 4x4 from a neighbor and he got it from another neighbor, when the first owner had it, it got stuck in two gears, at least that was what i was told. when my other neighbor got it, he pulled the trans and was able to fix it, kind of. dont ask me how he did it, i don't know, but now when you shift into first when moving it feels like it goes in, acts like its in neutral. if you stop completely and put it in reverse, second then first it will shift in, but it feels week. i have been carefull not to force it into gear.
    just a little while ago when i was in a parking lot i backed into a spot and shut it off then let it sit for a few minuets. when i got back out to it, and started it it was stuck in gear, but it felt like it was in neutral. i carefully messed with it a bit and was able to get it out of gear and get started in second (i didn't even want to mess with first) everything seems to be back to the way it was before, but i decided to pull the shifter and inspect it. it looks like someone ground something down on the shifter and it has alot of slop.

    what im wondering is what could be the problem and should i try and fix it or just say screw it and get another trans and keep this one for parts.

    another question would be where would a good place be to find a good trans for this and is this a fairly common problem that i should look for

    thank you ahead of time for your time. i appologize for the bad grammer and i hope that it doesnt turn away any of the more knowledgeable people on here

  2. #2



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    Just FYI, this should be your parts listing for the shift area on your truck.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There are a couple good wrecking yards down here in Spokane that could maybe find yourself a shifter mechanism and try installing that maybe. Parts for our trucks are getting harder and harder to locate. I would suggest trying to fix your present trany without spending a lot of money at some trany shop. If you find another manual trany somewhere for a good deal, then swoop on it and replace yours. Then repair your original one during spare time maybe.

    There is a clutch adjustment under the hood against the firewall near brake booster. There is a cable shown in this image below and if you grab the cable from inside the engine bay and pull the cable like your pulling it out of the drivers compartment into engine bay, there should be about 1/8 inch gap between the bolt to the rubber gromet as you pull away from firewall. The rubber grommet has a nub on it that locks the adjustable spider bolt from turning freely after adjustment
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    Welcome to the forum, nice to see new northwestern states members.

  3. #3

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    i think ill try adjusting the clutch and see what happens there, then i will try and get another shifter assembly and see if that fixes it.
    the clutch was supposedly just replaced and maybe they just didn't adjust it right.

    other than the trans its a nice little truck and i hope to get years of use out of it. it only has 67k on it and someone has started a weber conversion, not a very succesfull one though, thats the next mess i will have to get into.
    thanks for the help

  4. #4

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    Okay I adjusted the clutch and it was a little sloppy, but it doesn't seem to be the problem. I think I found some good info finally here http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...ission+shifter

    i think I have a broken shifter ball and its making the shifter over extend and jam things up, I'm going to try and find another shifter that isn't as messed up and see if that fixes it.


    On a side note I locked the tranny up in my driveway again, but I found it was getting stuck in first and blocking me from shifting into any other gear than reverse and fifth. I was able to carefully shift it around and get it unlocked.

  5. #5



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    Sounds like your growing accustom to the problem. You shouldn't have too much a problem locating your part. That part is usually not the one people rape from our trucks at the wrecking yards and chances are you will find one. Hang in there!

  6. #6

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    nice i'm happy to here that its not a super common problem, i can hardly wait to start driving this truck. i really think if i can get this trans problem sorted out ill keep this truck for years, ive already changed the t-stat and done a couple maintenance things to it and am very surprised how easy it is to work on.
    shifter is going to be the next step, ill be giving spaldings a call in the near future, any other junk yards i should check out?

  7. #7



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    Don't forget to get the plastic cup that goes around the ball.
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  8. #8

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    absolutly, i was hoping that was going to be the problem when i pulled it apart. i used to have a suzukie sameri that got stuck in 4L because the teflon cup was gone and made the shifter over extend.
    hopefully once i find a shifter and plastic cup it will shift good again, it should since its only got 60k miles on it.
    i found three d50s in the inventory on pull and saves site 2 in mead and one in the valley hopefully out of those three one will have a shifter or a whole transmission, if i can get a whole good trans i will grab it just in case

  9. #9


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    Now remember just as Brad pointed out in the parts breakdown you have to use a 4WD shifter a 2WD will not work different bolt patterns you can also use first gen Montero as well only problem with them is you will have to remove center console because the Montero shifter is straight up and down. You would end up smacking your knuckles every time you shift into 1 and 3 or you can slightly modify one of these http://www.starionpartsfactory.com/transmission.html this is what I am running now, since I was unable to locate a stock 4wd shifter.

  10. #10

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    cool thanks for that info, i knew that the 2wd and 4wd shifters were different since the 4wd shifter sits on top of the transfer case and would mount differently than the 2wd. i might buy that shifter that you linked to, but that is a high price not knowing if it will fix the problem or not for sure, if i knew for sure i would buy it in a heartbeat. ill keep the updates coming, ill try and get some pics of the shifter up tonight if i can, i might even get a thread started in the introduction forum with a couple pics of it too so keep your eyes out if your interested in what it looks like

  11. #11

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    pics of my shifter, sorry their so late, im an auto technician so the last thing i want to do when i get home is work on my car
    but here they are






    it almost looks to me like someone tried to make a shifter that works out of another one.

  12. #12

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    well i dont know what happend, but my posts with the pics didn't show up

  13. #13

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    cool sorry for the delay on this, im an auto technician and i really dont feel like woking on my cars when i get home so it takes me a while when i have to take something apart

  14. #14



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    It went into moderation. The SPAM system checks how many links you had in the post. Then it looks at how many posts you made. But you were still in the new user group. Once you hit XX posts then is stops looking at your links because it trusts what you are posting and moves you into a deferent group. Did you notice your user name has changed color.
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  15. #15

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    oooh i didn't notice, cool thanks for that info. i have used vbulletin sites before and never came across a feature like that before, interesting.
    well i figured out part of the problem, the second peice of the shifter, i think its called the shifter gate part#23184 in the diagram posted earlier was upside down and now its shifting much better. a little more grinding on the shifter and i can acctually get it into first while moving, i think i will try out the shifter posted my mopar ja and see what that does, i think the whole problem is in the shifter.

    does anyone know how i can get one of those teflon cups that the shifter ball rides in? mine looks like crud and i would like to replace it with the shifter

  16. #16



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    I'm sure your going to have to order what you need to get one of those cups. I don't think it's Teflon either, maybe some type of plastic or delrin or something. If not your going to have to become like a dumpster diver, but the dumpster is a wrecking yard. We can supply links to the best auto parts places that thankfully still supply our addictions. Some things are getting harder to find, but I may be able to help you with this one. Here is your part#MD701577 Contact a dealer and have them see if you can order one. About 3 years ago, they were $7.00, but now they could be $107...who knows. There's your lead, see if you can locate it. Many times just typing in the part number in google will give you the information you will need to do the detective work.


    part#MD701577 PNC#23995 size 18mm x 12mm BUSHING,M/T GEARSHIFT EQUIP

  17. #17

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    Ill see what napa comes up with (I work in a napa autocare center) and see if they can get me this part, if not ill check a few of my online parts suppliers and if all else fails ill try a google search and see what I can find.

    Im not sure what it is made of either, but if it was made to last I would assume its made of Teflon (wich does resemble plastic)

  18. #18

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    I found a dealer who's shipping is great! $2.30 for three. http://www.quirkparts.com/oe-mopar/md701577

    I'll let ya'll know how it does.

  19. #19

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    Does anyone have a part number cross reference resource? I'm looking for the little plastic gasket/holder 23991 to hold the metal ball that goes in the switch for the reverse switch. Can't find it anywhere under that part number. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  20. #20



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    I've never seen a holder for the reverse switch ball bearing. I believe it just sits in there with the switch holding it from falling out? Or atleast every one I've ever pulled out(6+)
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  21. #21



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    Suresight, there is a program we use to reference part numbers and its called Mitsubishi ASA program, Updated CAPS program. It's the same program used at the parts department at the dealer. Though it is not the latest edition, it does have great references to part numbers and so on.

    If you have a picture of the part, this might help me locate it in the program if it exist in the program. Also the number you have given looks more like a PNC number instead of a Mitsubishi part number. Mitsubishi parts usually start with a MD.


    You also may try looking into Mazda or Hyundai for your part. Sometimes these other manufactures used Mitsubishi parts and can be more accessible then a Mitsubishi search. One last tidbit would be to look into a modification part. Possibly the hardware store or even creating one yourself. There also is manufactures overseas that create parts for our trucks and these are some of the parts that you would never think existrd. For example the gear shift ball cups. It may take some deep searching, but remember to broaden the search to even Japan and China searches.

  22. #22



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    Hyundai uses the same plastic cup on some of their shifters - there is a thread on here with the part number. The shifter ball does just sit between the switch and the arm that moves it. There is a gasket on the switch, but that is easy to make.
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  23. #23


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    Suresight, the number you referenced 23991 is not a holder its the washer for the switch see Brads pics in post #2, DroppedMitsu is right the switch retains the detent ball against the shift rail, if you are needing the plastic cup that goes around the little ball at end of shifter that takes up the slack to the shift cup in the trans as in Mikaleda pics good luck i found NO place that had one, let alone sell one including Mitsubishi dealer, Ford dealer that is part of the reason i put the starionfactoryparts short throw shifter in my truck.

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    I got 3 of them from the local mitsu dealer for 4.35 each before the Hyundai part number was posted on here.
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