1983 Porsche 911 SC Targa

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fixing Up the Car – Gear Shift Bushings

Over the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying the 911 under gasoline power. I want to have a performance reference to compare against once the car is under electric power. I also want to identify and make as many repairs as possible before starting the conversion.

I love the feel of the manual steering. It is more precise than any other car I’ve driven. The acceleration is terrific too. Adding to the exotic feel of the car, the pedals are hinged at the bottom, so shifting and braking are different than I am accustomed. What I hate is the smell that fills the garage, a mixture of oil and exhaust, which reminds me of an old pickup truck I once owned. There is also the feeling of uncertainty as to if the car will start up on any given attempt. Maybe the starting battery is getting weak. These will soon be non issues.

So far the repair list is small – minor looseness in the shift pattern, the car only has duplicate keys, different keys are required to open the door and operate the ignition switch, flimsy interior door handles, damage to the interior door panels from oversized stereo speaker installation, and a cigarette/12 volt outlet with intermittent power outages.

I will be keeping the stock transmission. The electric motors that meet my application requirements and my price range do not have a wide enough torque band to use with a fixed gear ratio. So the electric motor will be mounted to the transmission along with the flywheel and clutch. The car will shift much like a manual car, with a few noteworthy differences. At a stop the motor will not be spinning. With one foot on the brake the entire time, you could put the car into gear and release the clutch and the car will not move until you release the brake and press the accelerator. This means there will be no clutch slipping like on an internal combustion engine (ICE) as you try to coordinate releasing the clutch and pressing the gas pedal to get the car moving. Also, the electric motor does have a wider torque band than the ICE. A lot of electric car owners report starting the car in second gear, and leaving it there until up to 40 MPH (65 km/h). They shift to third for higher speeds.

While clutch usage will be reduced, it will still be used. To tighten up the shift pattern of the gear selector, I replaced the four bushings in the shift linkage. Pelican Parts sells them in a kit for about $23 USD. It looked like three of the bushings had been replaced recently, but the fourth and most difficult to access bushing was in poor condition. The result was a significant improvement in how the gear box shifts.

Rear Shift Rod Coupler and Bushings

The front shift rod bushing on the left was in
poor condition.  The others were OK.


  1. Hi Joey,

    This is a cool project. Much cooler than the electric pickup truck idea. And a natural progression from the motorized Lazy-Boy, no?

  2. Cool, work is being done.

  3. She's a beauty, Joey. Your blog is well-wrtten and very detailed. I am going to enjoy reading through it. I'd also like to know more about this motorized Lazy-Boy. Nothing turns heads like a fine piece of motorized living room furniture - http://www.pifflesquit.com/motorizedcouch/index.htm

    Best - Mark

    1. Thanks Mark. I've been following your project for awhile. I read about your couch, too. When I was in college a bunch of guys made a motorized couch and a recliner that did 30 MPH. I'll send you a picure to the account listed on your website.