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  1. #1
    Enthusiast Vipervin's Avatar
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    Shifter Not Returning to Center

    I've had an issue with the shifter on my 2003 not returning to center which makes it difficult to find gears. I believe it has a short throw shifter, but I'm not sure what kind. Or, it may just have a shorter shift knob.

    I've removed the console because I've read a few things about weak springs being the culprit. I'm currently at the point below and there's a rubber surround that I'm unsure of how to remove. Any input on how to proceed and get the shifter springs replaced?

    Thank youPXL_20210514_191001078.jpg

  2. #2
    I believe this is a semi-common internal T56 problem, but I'm still researching it myself as I have the same problem.

    I've suspected my STS as well though, as it's a B&M and is missing (or never came with?) the protective boot.

    EDIT: you also might want to check that the bolts on the shifter housing are tight to the transmission. Mine were partially backed out when I bought it and made it difficult to find gears. Again, I think a semi-common problem - I've had friends with Camaros and Corvettes that have had theirs back out too.
    Last edited by usmcfieldmp; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:23 PM.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
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  3. #3
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    Having 5 different T-56 Vipers, all I can add is that thus far, our stock Vipers do not have this issue. Small sample, I know...but I would suspect the short shifter or the installation of same. It will be interesting to hear from folks with wider experience.
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  4. #4
    In my research of it, I found a couple SRT-10 Ram guys that ran into it being an issue.

    This is an SRT Ram guy that shows his is a transmission issue, not STS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp9BzRkO_FQ

    You can, at a minimum, maybe test yours the same way as he does.

    I saw another of a Mustang/Cobra guy, but his issue WAS the shifter. Dumped a tube of grease on the ball and replaced some springs.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
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  5. #5
    i've seen this in other cars. have you tried changing the oil? does it go away when the oil is warm?

    if the answer is yes, then it's swollen bushings and not much of a fix u can do without tearing down the tranny.....

  6. #6
    lol you got the classic torn boot. i had that too. replaced mine and that helped keeping the heat out... wasn't fun drilling and putting in new fasteners.

  7. #7
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    Steve M's Avatar
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    The rubber boot is riveted in place, so you will have to drill them out to remove.
    2008 SRT-10 Coupe - Venom Red Metallic w/ White Stripes - 1/4 Mile Passes (YouTube)
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  8. #8
    Enthusiast Vipervin's Avatar
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    I pulled the shifter out and the transmission shaft does not move freely back and forth, but it's a bit more difficult to tell compared to the Ram SRT10 since it seems to be more offset.

    I'll have to do more research on possible fixes. I'm assuming this is the stock shifterPXL_20210514_224203226.jpg

  9. #9
    Enthusiast Vipervin's Avatar
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    I was afraid of that on the boot. I just got done drilling out the side panel rivets, too

  10. #10
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    Yup, stock shifter. Internal trans issue with the shift shaft and maybe the detent locator inside.
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  11. #11
    Just bought an 05 and has this exact same problem

    This us the only thread I can find that says unanimously that it's a transmission issue

    Many others say it's a spring issue , torn/crumpled inner boot , alignment fluid issue

    Has anyone had luck fixing this without a full teardown of the tranny?

    In one thread the issue was fixed by adding an mgw shirt shift and adding high strength springs

  12. #12
    Enthusiast Vipervin's Avatar
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    I decided to try the Ipsco shifter since it has stronger springs to return to center. It made it slightly better, but it still sticks somewhat. At least my cabin should be cooler now with the new boot.

    Based on my research and info above from SNKEBIT and others, it's common on the T56. There are a ton of threads on other GM/Ford forums with people who have the same issue. It seems like some have luck changing out the shifter and adding the strongest springs possible, but there's something internal to the T56 that's causing the issue.

  13. #13
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    That's no bueno, but at least you know what needs to be done.
    2008 SRT-10 Coupe - Venom Red Metallic w/ White Stripes - 1/4 Mile Passes (YouTube)
    High Flow Cats | Gen 5 Intake Manifold | UDP | HPTuners | 3.55s | MCS | DSS Axles | McLeod RST | 11.027 @ 130.06 (Vid), 1.78 60' (+1,622 ft DA, w/ 3.55s & Hoosier Drag Radials)

  14. #14
    I checked the vette forums, they used a t56 from 97 to 07 iirc

    And yes this is an internal spring issue apparently

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vipervin View Post
    I decided to try the Ipsco shifter since it has stronger springs to return to center. It made it slightly better, but it still sticks somewhat. At least my cabin should be cooler now with the new boot.

    Based on my research and info above from SNKEBIT and others, it's common on the T56. There are a ton of threads on other GM/Ford forums with people who have the same issue. It seems like some have luck changing out the shifter and adding the strongest springs possible, but there's something internal to the T56 that's causing the issue.
    Bout sums it up. Common internal T56 issue. The IPSCO in mine with heaver springs made it better, and there is no issues with driving the car, it's really just a nuisance. Would be frustrating if I was tracking the car though since it's easier to get lost between gears if moving fast. Not to the point where it's worth $$$ to resolve for me.
    01' Sapphire Blue GTS

  16. #16
    Enthusiast Vipervin's Avatar
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    I've had the car apart recently since the shifter swap turned into a huge interior refurbishment project, so I was mostly basing the Ipsco shifter on how it still didn't return to center when moving it from left to right in neutral.

    I drove the car today for a bit and the Ipsco shifter actually makes it noticeably better to drive and provides some confidence in gear changes. Doesn't fix the root cause, but it's probably worth it for the improvement. With the stock shifter, I'd often have the clutch in for 2-3 seconds between gear changes trying to figure out where the gate was.


 

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