How to Replace the Shift Cable in a Chevy

Written by tammy bronson
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How to Replace the Shift Cable in a Chevy
(Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

A broken shift cable isn't an expensive repair. The cable connects the gear shifter to the shifting arm of the engine. A sleeve houses the shift cable to keep it free of dirt and grim. The purpose of the shifting cable is to adjust the arm as it moves from first, second, third to fourth gear. The cable also adjusts for movement into reverse. The shifting cable breaks when there is too much pressure applied. Pressured is caused from overheating in the transmission. When a shift cable snaps, the gear shifter can no longer switch from gear to gear.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Socket wrench set
  • Open-end wrench set
  • New shift cable

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  1. 1

    Take the rubber boot off the gift lever inside the vehicle and lift it up, exposing the area where the gear lever and the transmission connect.

  2. 2

    Look for the shift cable and the shifting arm. A single bolt and nut connect the shift cable and shift arm.

  3. 3

    Twist the nut connecting the gear lever and the transmission. Use a socket wrench and remove the gear lever. Use an open-end wrench to loosen the nut holding the shift cable and the shift arm together.

  4. 4

    Slide off the sleeve on the shift cable and loosen the shift cable at the other end with an open-end wrench. Both ends of the shifting cable attach to the shifting arm in different locations.

  5. 5

    Hitch the new shift cable to the 2 anchor points on the shift arm using the same bolts and nuts. Reconnect the gear lever to the transmission and push the rubber boot back into place around the gear lever inside the car.

  6. 6

    Test the functionality of the shifting cable by moving the gear lever in and out of gear.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure that the damage is to the cable and is not a broken anchor arm. If it is a broken anchor, this is the problem, not the cable itself.
  • Do not drive the car until you have tested the ability of the shift cable to move the shift arm from gear to gear.

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