Our five-speed Porsche decided to become a four-speed

This was going to be expensive, right?

First gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, third gear.

Um, how about fifth gear?

Nope, back to third.

Let’s try that again.

First, second, third, fourth, third.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Sliding the lever over to the right and then up again delivered third gear in our 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera.

So we did the only logical thing: cried.

Okay, not really.

Something in the shifter didn’t feel right, either, as we got a little click–that wasn’t there before–when shifting into first.

Some quick online detective work revealed that the likely, hopeful culprit was a problem with a shifter bushing. Figure about $16 for the entire set of shifter bushings from FCP Euro.

The car was due for some other work, so we made an appointment at Autobahn Daytona, our local independent Porsche shop. We figured that if we got things apart and found a bigger issue, it would be better to have the car somewhere it can get professional help.

Our diagnosis was close: Instead of a simple bushing issue, we had actually split one. (A tip from the shop: Lube the shifter ball socket bushing with Wurth HHS Plus.)

So for the price of lunch–plus labor–our Porsche again had a five-speed transmission.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/9/23 4:00 p.m.

When this happened, for a minute I was like, Did I just forget how to drive stick? 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/9/23 4:07 p.m.

At least you didn't end up with 5 neutrals.

Mr_Asa UltimaDork
11/9/23 4:28 p.m.

Didn't GRM already do this?  It'll be fine, just drive it cross country.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/13/23 9:57 a.m.

Yes, true, but I wasn’t sure if first through fourth were getting ready to split town as well. :) 

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