Redoing the Transmission Shift Cable

The position of the shift lever on the new Ididit steering column is much different that where it was located on the original 1982 Olds column that I had used for the initial set up. The lever is located several inches down the shaft from the stock location. Also, the lever can be rotated to any one of 24 different locations. The more I thought about it, I decided to make things easy on myself by buying an Ididit column shift kit. Of course they only made kits for GM and Ford transmissions, I mean who in their right mind would choose to use a Chrysler 545RFE truck transmission in a custom car, I mean really… So I decided to go with the ever popular GM transmission kit that fits the Turbo 350, 400 and 700R4. Figuring if I couldn’t make it work, I could always sell it to a belly button builder.

As previously noted the 545RFE shift pattern is the exact reverse of the 700R4, but what I came to find out is that the cable stroke to activate either is 2 inches! I had already adapted the Dodge shift cable mount to handle a standard Morse cable so all I had to do was to calculate where to put the new mounting hole in the shift lever on the column. After a few trig calculations I came up with a new hole location that was 2 inches from the center of the column. As a nice check, the GM instructions for the 700R4 indicated that the new hole should be in the same location! After removing the lever, drilling a new 5/16″ mounting bolt hole and trimming back the end of the lever to make it look better I was ready to route the new Morse cable, but first I had to install the head-pipes and catalytic converters so that I would be sure not to interfere with them.

The cats actually fit quite well. The 1956 Dodge rear transmission mount that I modified for the new transmission was kicked up enough to allow both exhaust pipes to easily clear the mount. Due to the shape of the 2005 Durango exhaust system I had to cut both of the down stream O2 sensors off so that they can be repositioned properly with the new tailpipes when I have them done.

Cats Trimmed and Reinstalled

Once all of that was taken care of all that was left was to route the cable around, over and under various bits and pieces and then do the final positioning of the shift lever and cable mount. I am happy to say that Park is where it belongs, all gears can be engaged and Low is where it belongs as well. The only thing left to do is to install the gear shift position sensor for use with the new Dakota Digital gauge set so that the gear selection will be shown on the new speedometer/tach guage. I will take care of that when I start to wire everything else up.

New Shift Cable Installed


Redoing the Transmission Shift Cable — 1 Comment

  1. I have the exact same setup going into a 54 plymouth. Would you be interested in making a cable for me and sending greater details on the installation. Would be happy to compensate you for the work. Thanks

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