Shifter stuck in gear after your new transmission shows up? Here is the cure…

American Powertrain TKO Shift Assembly Re-alignment Procedure.

Background: Your brand new TREMEC TKO shows up in at your shop or house…You rush out to open it up get it in the shop and it will not shift through the gears! Sometimes your new transmission may get jostled during shipping, causing a misalignment of the shift mechanism. You should shift your transmission through all the gears before putting it in the car and rotate the input shaft to make sure it moves freely.

Note that reverse must be engaged from the neutral position. The transmission has a mechanical reverse lock-out that will not allow a straight shift from 5th to reverse.

If your transmission shifts into all gear positions and the input rotates freely you may proceed with installation.

Should you have a transmission that is locked up due to misalignment you can easily correct the problem with a few simple tools in about fifteen minutes.

Correction Procedure:

Step 1: If you have a clutch disc handy, place it on the input shaft and attempt to turn the disc like a steering wheel. If the alignment issue is minor this will often correct the problem.

If that fails, move on to step 2

Step 2: Remove the four bolts that secure the mid-plate on top of the transmission. This is the flat five-sided plate in the center of the gearbox. See image:


Step 3:  Gently pry the cover off with a flat blade screwdriver or small pry bar.  Work slowly around the periphery of the plate and do not bend the cover.  A chisel punch can be used with a small hammer if used carefully.

Step 4: Under the cover you will find three shift lugs. These lugs should be aligned in neutral position as shown in the image.

Step 5: If they are not aligned use a large screwdriver or small pry bar to move the lugs back to neutral

Note the arrow pointing to the right lug in an incorrect forward position. You may need to move more than one lug. There will be an audible click when each lug is in neutral and you will feel the neutral detent.

Once the lugs are re-aligned the shifter should move freely through the gears and the input shaft should rotate freely. You can test this with the cover off.

Step 5: Now that the transmission is operating properly, remove the gasket sealer from the case and cover plate using solvent and a rag. You may use a razor blade on the case, but do not use a razor on the cover. The sealant will rub away with a rag and solvent. Run a continuous 1/8” bead of grey gasket sealer on the top of the case and around the bolt holes. Then reaffix the cover.

NOTE: Don’t go crazy with the gasket sealer. You don’t want chunks of it dropping off and gumming up the linkage.

If these steps do not correct your problem you will need to contact us for help at 931.646.4836. If your transmission was damaged in shipping we will need images of the transmission and the original shipping carton inside and out. This will allow us to make a claim with the shipping company. Our tech support folks can walk you through this procedure.

Thank you for working through this simple issue. Enjoy your TREMEC TKO.


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