After rebuilding my toploader, I decided that this was the perfect time to freshening up the neglected Hurst Competition Plus shifter. Since the transmission was now top notch, it would have been a disservice to reinstall the 30 year old shifter without first giving it some needed “attention.”
Here is a pair of Hurst shifters that will be rebuilt. One is a Hurst Indy, and the other is a Competition Plus:
The first step is to carefully remove the bottom dust cover:
Next remove the side cover with a screwdriver:
Remove the nut and bracket from the front of the shifter unit:
Take note of the plastic washer:
Next remove the bolt and take notice of the location of the steel washer:
Carefully push the steel bushing through the shifter unit. It will only come out one way:
Sometimes there are small washers between the pin and the outer housing. This unit did not have them.
You can now slide all the guts out of the outer housing at one time:
Carefully unstack the guts one-by-one in order on a flat surface:
If you look closely at the plates and levers you will see that no 2 are alike.
I carefully washed all the parts in solvent, dried them, and made sure to lay them back in the order of disassembly.
It is not recommended that you disassemble the part that the handle attaches to, which I will call the spring assembly. It contains a couple of heavy springs that are pretty hard to put back together. If this unit is washed thoroughly and re-greased, it should work fine. With that caution firmly in place, I’ll show you what it looks like inside the spring assembly.
The spring assembly:
All the individual parts of a Hurst Shifter, including the disassembled spring assembly:
There is one trick that I will pass on that helps to reassemble the spring assembly—I collapsed the springs in a vice and used thin safety wire to keep them compressed enough to be put back in place. Then I cut the safety wire and pulled it out with a pair of needle nose. If you need this trick, I bet that you wished that you heeded my warning in the first place!!!
A few more pics of the spring assembly:
It is now time to reassemble the clean parts. First you will need the spring assembly and it should be placed with the round part facing up:
Apply a little grease to both sides of the first thin metal plate and lay it over the spring assembly:
Next put a light coating of grease on the reverse shift lever and place it on top:
This will be followed by the second thin metal plate which also gets a light coating of grease:
It is time to add the greased 1-2 shift lever followed by a greased 3-4 shift lever:
What our stack looks like so far:
Last but not least will be the thin end plate:
The outer housing also gets a light coat of grease where the plates an spring assembly sit:
If you found any of the afore mentioned small washers where the sleeve goes, grease them and install them in the groove below:
Carefully slide the stack into the outer housing:
A screwdriver in the hole where the sleeve goes can help get the assembly aligned in the housing:
Grease, and then carefully reinstall the sleeve into the outer housing and through the assembly. It should bottom out and be flush when installed properly:
Next, reinstall the bolt and remember to place its steel washer between the outer housing and the spring assembly. Of course the bolt should be lightly greased first:
Flip the assembly over and install the plastic washer, the bracket, and the lock nut. It will take some maneuvering with a screwdriver to get everything in place. The nut should be tightened, but not enough to bend the bracket:
The end bracket can now be reinstalled:
Finally, reinstall the dust cover in its notched grooves:
If your shifter has the stop bolts and nuts, you can now reinstall them. The shifter is now ready for reinstallation and adjustments on the transmission.
While you are at it, you should consider replacing the shifter rod bushings if they are the original nylon ones. Use nylon bushings on the street if you want silence or swap to metal ones for a more positive shift--with a possibility of a little rattle now and then:
For street and drag use, I use steel bushings and add a thin washer to take up some of the slack between the rod, the lever, and the bushing. Maybe I am lucky, but I do not have a rattle using this system:
A Hurst shifter is a very trouble free unit but over time dirt and dried grease can degrade its performance. With a little cleaning and lubrication, it can shift just as good as when it was first installed.