My 88 GT had developed difficulty in its shifting a few years back - it was difficult shifting side-to-side to find the gears. It was probably about 3 years back that I had purchased a set of Rodney Dickman shifter cables, including the shifter select cable, but back then I never replaced the shifter select cable as I had called around a few shops and friends to see if they could do the job for me, but it seemed shops were reluctant to use customer-sourced replacement parts, and my go-to local Fiero guru friend was busy on other projects. Since I rarely drove the car, I just continued to drive the car from time-to-time with its notchy shifting - I just had to use more effort as I shifted the shifter sideways.
That was until this past Friday night - after having read Avengador's archived write-up on how to replace the shifter select cable, I figured I could do it on my own. I did not unplug the ECM and therefore did not have to disconnect the battery. I also did not have to remove the plastic skeleton of the center console - I did, however, remove the two screws closest to the firewall (and unclip the 4 carpet clips (two on each side) holding the carpet to the skeleton) so that I could fish/pull the shift select cable through/underneath the skeleton as I lifted the skeleton.
The most challenging part for me was figuring out how to release each single c-clip that respectively secures each end of the shifter cable. I used the head part of a hammer wedged against some other metal part near each c-clip to pry each c-clip loose. I was also successful in re-installing each c-clip by hammering down each c-clip as I held each end of the shifter cable in place as far as I could within its retaining structure. There is also a rubber grommet in the firewall through which the cable goes through at the firewall. When inside of the car (after having removed the center console/glove box, unbolting the ECM and laying it aside while still connected, and removing the plastic frame holding the ECM), you can pull on the rubber grommet and it will pop off the firewall but it will still be connected to the old shifter cable. To remove the grommet for reuse on the new cable, I used a razor blade knife to cut a slit in the grommet from an inner edge closest to the cable to the outer edge - once doing so, you can pull the grommet off the old cable and then place it on the new cable.
I routed my shifter cable underneath the cross-over tube (rather than over as the original had been routed). The cable is close to the exhaust down pipe (e.g., 2 inches), but it's not touching it and the Rodney cable includes a double-sleeved heat shield to protect the cable so it should be ok, but I did buy some large zipties to ziptie the cable so that it does not come into direct contact with the exhaust down pipe.
The 5-speed shifter now shifts flawlessly with ease side-to-side, there's no need to hunt for gears. If I can do this job, anyone can do this job - it just takes patience and a good write-up to follow. Avengador's write-up gave me the confidence that I could attempt this job myself, and I also first tested to see if I could figure out how to pry loose the c-clip holding the rear part of the shifter cable to its retaining structure in the engine bay - once I loosened that c-clip loose with the head end of a hammer I was off to the races... and two hours later, the job was done!!! I'll post pics of the completed job soon.
If you need to replace your shifter select cable, go with Rodney's well engineered cables - they can withstand the temps reached within the confines of our engine bays - the heat shield is a MUST HAVE given that the cable routes near the exhaust down pipe. Happy Fiero-ing. - Kelvin
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