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How to shim pivot ball w trans in the car

This article is to illustrate how to shim the pivot ball on a 4g dsm transmission without removing the transmission (transmission still in car).

You will only need a few tool.
14mm open wrench (modified)
Washer with 9.9mm opening
Telescoping magnet
Long fat head screw driver

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The 14mm wrench I used was 5.4mm wide as space is limited, and 9.5mm where it was trimmed so you can flip the open end back and forth to unbolt and tighten the pivot ball.

Now remove the slave and the boot off the transmission.

Use the wrench to loosen the pivot ball. I’d say half was out should suffice. This will take some time obviously since you’re limited to how much you can turn it given the limited space.

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Now put the washer on the magnet. I like the magnet I used because the collar keeps the washer from moving much.

You have to be careful here not to drop the washer for obvious reasons. I think drilling a small hole in the washer and tying a fishing line will help fish it out in case it falls. Tacking a welding wire is also a possibility.

Now get the washer over the threads.

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Then use the flat head to push the magnet off.

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Tighten the pivot ball and you’re all set.

Credit to @1990TSIAWDTALON & @m_0ney_pit for informing me about this method.
 
Last edited:

jdxnc

Proven Member
299
187
Sep 15, 2009
Stanstead, Vermont
My suggestion to anyone installing a transmission and BOTH the fork and ball are used, always shim it before hand. It just saves a lot of hassle and I've never encountered a case where shimming cause an issue.
 

TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
5,775
2,895
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
Not a bad idea, but I think it all depends how much the flywheel is worn/machined. Most importantly, where the fork sits in the window. I’ve had my fork sit dead center, and it was grabbing 1/4” from the floor so I think it should sit just right of center.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,275
2,195
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
For the sake of anyone trying this what about the fork in the way? You can't remove the fork with the trans installed. If you can get the Jesus clip back on without trans removal I would like to see that.
 

Mech Addict

Supporting Member
833
332
Jun 9, 2019
Jackson, Wyoming
You've got surgical skills with that magnet and screwdriver! If you've had success with this, you have my respect. Now that I have my own transmission removed, I can better understand what all is involved. At least one can visually check the position of the slave-end of the fork after "only" bolting the trans back to the block. Of course you won't know how the clutch pedal feels until you put the slave back, bled, and pedal adjust. Still, there's a bunch more stuff to actually get it driving, and even just saving time on that is better than not. I'm planning (ha!) to take the re-assembly in these steps so hopefully if it needs undone to shim, it won't be as bad as starting from actual scratch. I might consider this method if I find it fits my situation. How tight can you get that pivot ball vs. what the torque spec would be? Is it therefore also difficult to loosen? Any thoughts on using thread locker or concerns of the pivot coming loose? There is repeated loading and unloading on it, so has anyone found that to be a problem? Why put velvet on your wrench?
Thanks for the write up. great demonstration photos.
 

TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
5,775
2,895
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
You've got surgical skills with that magnet and screwdriver! If you've had success with this, you have my respect. Now that I have my own transmission removed, I can better understand what all is involved. At least one can visually check the position of the slave-end of the fork after "only" bolting the trans back to the block. Of course you won't know how the clutch pedal feels until you put the slave back, bled, and pedal adjust. Still, there's a bunch more stuff to actually get it driving, and even just saving time on that is better than not. I'm planning (ha!) to take the re-assembly in these steps so hopefully if it needs undone to shim, it won't be as bad as starting from actual scratch. I might consider this method if I find it fits my situation. How tight can you get that pivot ball vs. what the torque spec would be? Is it therefore also difficult to loosen? Any thoughts on using thread locker or concerns of the pivot coming loose? There is repeated loading and unloading on it, so has anyone found that to be a problem? Why put velvet on your wrench?
Thanks for the write up. great demonstration photos.
I didn’t want to cut up my other 14mm so I used the felt tape to take up space. That didn’t work so I used a cut off wheel to open the other end. It should come loose since it’s threaded into aluminum so I can’t imagine someone went to town tightening it. It won’t come loose under driving conditions as long as you’ve tighten it down snug plus you have the pressure from the fork always pushing it down.
 
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