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Thread: 2013 Abarth - Shifter cable bushing fails at transmission

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loring View Post
    It's similar but different. This joint needs to be removable several times without failing in order to R+I the transmission. Heim joints would be great, but would be less servicable and require the modification and/or removal of the selector shafts, which on this transmission are partially internal. It would require a teardown, and I think we can accomplish the same thing while being less... invasive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loring View Post

    Loring: This thread is actually about the transaxle bushing, which connects to the transmission with an arm that removes from the transmission with a 13mm bolt. Connected to the arm is a 'ball' that this bushing pushes onto. I had this part in my hand this week, and the ball/shaft could be removed and replaced with a shaft that could accept a Heim joint, with some basic tools.

    "Cheking and eventually lubrificating bushes in a car during service is part of required scheduled maintenance of every car. The problem is if the dealers do all inspections."




    Hi MJAB. Unfortunately, these bushings don't have grease fittings, and aren't designed to be lubricated. They're not like suspension and chassis bushings in that manner. This is an actual part failure due to a material that doesn't handle the heat and mechanical stress under normal use. Even if they were to be lubricated, we'd still be experiencing these failures.


    As for lubricating, I also disagree. It is crystal clear that the bushing fails as a result of environmental conditions/heat: mine was totally rotted after 24 months of life. My new bushing from Fiat is now covered with a thick silicon type coating: made to protect the bushing (hint). I added some extra dielectric silicon to this bushing, as well as the shift bushing located aft of this one (the gear selector link bushing). The gear selector bushing (aft) on mine has not died yet, but shows corrosion. Hopefully, by lubricating it, the corrosion will be halted.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdseyeview View Post

    As for lubricating, I also disagree ... My new bushing from Fiat is now covered with a thick silicon type coating: made to protect the bushing (hint).
    Sure, but that's being used as a sealer or coating, not a lubricant (designed to reduce friction between two moving parts).

    As far as bushing scheduled maintenance goes (as MJAB was referring to), there would be a zerk fitting on the new part.

    I'm curious if anyone can find anything in the 500 (either owner's manual or FSM) scheduled maintenance that describes lubricating bushings. It's been a long time since I've seen that recommendation. They seem to have gone the way of wheel bearings in that manner.
    Ascension Engineering - Creators of BushingFix.com

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    Loring: This thread is actually about the transaxle bushing, which connects to the transmission with an arm that removes from the transmission with a 13mm bolt. Connected to the arm is a 'ball' that this bushing pushes onto.
    I knew generally what we were talking about, but looking at the parts catalog, I was looking at the selector shaft (13) and not the bracket (31). Thanks for the clarification.

    I had this part in my hand this week, and the ball/shaft could be removed and replaced with a shaft that could accept a Heim joint, with some basic tools.
    Awesome, thanks for that info. Interesting, because most 'spirited drivers' end up breaking the bushing that attaches to the equivalent of (13) from rowing the gears so hard around the track (or street)

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    If there was an aftermarket bushing replacement, I would certainly buy it!
    Tie Your shoes, Drive your car, Love your girl. -WP

    2013 Abarth
    1980 X1/9
    1977 124 Spider
    1974 124TC Wagon

  5. #25
    Senior Member trevc's Avatar
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    On the subject of selectors, any have input on how to change #32 without a teardown? Mine is torn badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loring View Post
    I knew generally what we were talking about, but looking at the parts catalog, I was looking at the selector shaft (13) and not the bracket (31). Thanks for the clarification.



    Awesome, thanks for that info. Interesting, because most 'spirited drivers' end up breaking the bushing that attaches to the equivalent of (13) from rowing the gears so hard around the track (or street)


  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    To fix the shift cable bushing you will need to order a replacement shifter cable for $125. You will only need a portion of the shift cable so it may be possible to just fabricate the bushing but since it is a simple push on type with no retaining clip or pin the fitment will have to be exact!

    To repair, you will need to disconnect the battery, remove the battery, disconnect the ECU plugs, remove the battery box/ECU. This will allow access to the shift bushings.

    This is what the view and work area is like.

    This is the failed bushing. You can see how it came completely apart and fell of the transaxle shift lever.

    This is the replacement part that you will remove from the new shift cable assembly.


    Here is the new part after it has been attached.


    Here is the failed bushing. It looks pretty bad for a 2 year old car with ~30k miles. The housing is rusted and the rubber parts are degraded. Heat and exposure seems to be one factor here. The alignment of the bushing was off as well which will place additional strain on the rubber parts. I made sure the alignment was decent and installed the new bushing part with 9.5 turns.
    Thanks for these pics! I ran across this very cable when I had my driver side wheel off and was wondering what it was and if the odd orientation of the bushing could be causing my shifting problems. Is the bushing supposed to be sitting straight sideways like your installed pic shows? Because mine was twisted at an odd angle from the rod, looking like it was under stress. I could physically push the cable end into the position you show in pic but when you let it go, it twists back at an outwards angle (the top of bushing angles down towards the front of the car). It just looks odd to me. My tranny is having difficulty engaging primarily 1st and 3rd although reverse also does something odd. When I try to engage 1st, the shifter basically binds, running into what feels like something blocking entry to the gear. You have to push real hard sometimes and suddenly a slight plasticky feeling snap is felt and it clicks into gear. This doesn't happen all the time but quite a bit. Other times, it engages smoothly, with no barrier. 3rd also encounters this barrier but to a lesser degree. Generally, 2nd and 4th are unaffected. With reverse, sometimes the lever goes into reverse but feels like it doesn't go all the way down. When this happens, if you try to engage the clutch with hand off the lever, it will pop back into neutral or grind. If you leave your hand on the lever and keep slight pressure on it while you slowly lift up the clutch pedal, the lever will suddenly drop down a 1/4 inch on its own and fully be in reverse. These shifting issues have baffled me and the dealer claims they have no idea why it's so intermittent and say unless something breaks their hands are tied. When I saw this pic and how your bushing is perfectly up and down and mine is all angled, it makes me wonder if this could be the source off all my problems. Do any of my shifting problems sound like things you encountered??
    Last edited by carfreak09; 03-14-2016 at 12:54 AM.
    2013 Fiat 500T Rosso
    RRM rear sway bar, Koni front struts, El Gato front chassis braces, 500Madness GoPedal, NeuF muffler delete, EC V4.1 intake, Gofastbits DV+

    2016 Fiat 500X Pop Arancio
    500Madness GoPedal, custom Abarth style exhaust (resonator/muffler delete.), Gofastbits DV+, LED interior lights.

  7. #27
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    dear lord where do you live that your engine bay looks like that after only 3 years? lol.

    and I wanna thank everyone that quoted the same pics multiple times so I had to scroll extra far.
    --2015 Sport 5mt--

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalomaniacal View Post
    dear lord where do you live that your engine bay looks like that after only 3 years? lol.

    and I wanna thank everyone that quoted the same pics multiple times so I had to scroll extra far.
    I was wondering the same thing, does he live in a city where there's a lot of winter road-salt use?

  9. #29
    Super Moderator Tweak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalomaniacal View Post
    I wanna thank everyone that quoted the same pics multiple times so I had to scroll extra far.
    I have no part of this thread but am tempted to quote and reply simply to amuse myself at this point.

  10. #30
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    That sounds like similar shifting issues to what we experienced. The alignment of the bushing will change depending on the gear selection but if it is really awkward, you can try adjusting it. There are two nuts (a adjustment nut and a locking nut), just pop the bushing/cable off he shift lever (nothing is really holding it on except some rubber friction from the bushing) and shorten or lengthen it and see if 1) you can get a better looking alignment and 2) your shifting improves.

    I live the Washington DC area, there is salt used during the winter on our roads. I guess people should not buy a Fiat if they live anywhere where it gets cold enough to snow in the winter? Or just drive it for 3 seasons and park it all winter?


    Quote Originally Posted by carfreak09 View Post
    Thanks for these pics! I ran across this very cable when I had my driver side wheel off and was wondering what it was and if the odd orientation of the bushing could be causing my shifting problems. Is the bushing supposed to be sitting straight sideways like your installed pic shows? Because mine was twisted at an odd angle from the rod, looking like it was under stress. I could physically push the cable end into the position you show in pic but when you let it go, it twists back at an outwards angle (the top of bushing angles down towards the front of the car). It just looks odd to me. My tranny is having difficulty engaging primarily 1st and 3rd although reverse also does something odd. When I try to engage 1st, the shifter basically binds, running into what feels like something blocking entry to the gear. You have to push real hard sometimes and suddenly a slight plasticky feeling snap is felt and it clicks into gear. This doesn't happen all the time but quite a bit. Other times, it engages smoothly, with no barrier. 3rd also encounters this barrier but to a lesser degree. Generally, 2nd and 4th are unaffected. With reverse, sometimes the lever goes into reverse but feels like it doesn't go all the way down. When this happens, if you try to engage the clutch with hand off the lever, it will pop back into neutral or grind. If you leave your hand on the lever and keep slight pressure on it while you slowly lift up the clutch pedal, the lever will suddenly drop down a 1/4 inch on its own and fully be in reverse. These shifting issues have baffled me and the dealer claims they have no idea why it's so intermittent and say unless something breaks their hands are tied. When I saw this pic and how your bushing is perfectly up and down and mine is all angled, it makes me wonder if this could be the source off all my problems. Do any of my shifting problems sound like things you encountered??
    Tie Your shoes, Drive your car, Love your girl. -WP

    2013 Abarth
    1980 X1/9
    1977 124 Spider
    1974 124TC Wagon

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to TubeDriver For This Useful Post:

    carfreak09 (04-27-2016)

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