1950 Pacemaker shift issues

Hello fellas
Newbie here, trying to get some info on the shift linkage/cable on a 1950 Pacemaker.
My buddy cars, and he pulled it out of the garage, and after about 10 minutes of driving it, he can no longer shift into reverse, or first gear.
The linkage appears to be working as it should (but what do *I* know), so I guess my real question is, what is that cable for that sits on top on the steering column that goes down to the trans?

It moves when you go from first to second with the car off, but nothing while the car is running.
Thanks in advance...


  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 108Member
    The cable makes the crossover to shift first-reverse, or second-third. many times, the collar around the column, that supports the shifter shaft, will slip on the column. look for a witness mark on the column, and make sure the collars are where they are supposed to be.
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,046Senior Contributor
    You may need to adjust the clutch linkage. When the clutch plate warms up its thickness increases slightly, it may not be releasing fully.
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,678Expert Adviser
    Hello; welcome!

    The shifter in your car was called Handi-shifter by Hudson.  You can determine the alignment as well as any maintenance by reading the mechanical procedure manual.  There are several issues that can cause your problem.  Go to my website https://hudsonrestoration1948-54.com/

    and select transmission review the information and I am confident you will determine your problem and formulate a fix.  Good luck.
  • onerare39onerare39 Posts: 1,009Expert Adviser, Moderator
    Also make sure that the overdrive is not engaged, the overdrive knob should be pulled out to disengage.  This may help.  
  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 108Member
    The collars I was talking about are #K21-10, at the top of the column, and #K21-15, under the hood between the firewall and the steering box. Thank you Glowplug for posting the illustration.
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,889Administrator
    Have you added Hudsonite to the clutch lately?  If the clutch is low on fluid you may not be able to shift. It might have nothing to do with the linkage.
  • ernie28ernie28 Posts: 481Expert Adviser
    edited July 13
    I had frustrating issues over the last year or so and it turned out that it was the K21-15 collar that was loose. Tightened that and issue resolved. Being a RHD car it was not easy to get to so had to remove inner guard! The effort was worthwhile with a good outcome. 
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