Repairing leaking shifter shaft with pics sleeve installed over shaft sealing surface


Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
So I keep having issues with the shift shaft leaking on the TTA. I've replaced the seal once already but still leaks.. Looking through all the documents that came with the car and I find a repair invoice for what else..the shaft leaking, so I think the shaft must be scratched or something.
Looking on the parts listing to compare seal prices before I try to fix it again, I find that Rock-Auto has a shift shaft repair kit that sleeves the shaft...Has anyone used this to any success?
I have sleeved a harmonic balancer on my '79 that worked fine so I assume this should work fine.



Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
I guess I will be the first to try them, 50+ views and no one has used them. I should have them by this weekend.


Texas, Where are you from
Do you have the tool to install the new seal. When I looked at it from Napa, the tool seemed reasonably priced.


Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
Do you have the tool to install the new seal. When I looked at it from Napa, the tool seemed reasonably priced.
Yes, same tool is used to extract old seal and install new one.

I have the sleeve kit now, it comes with an install tool as well, basically a piece of steel tubing.
I really have no idea why this would need to be resleeved, but it seems to have a leak problem that can't be fixed since I found paper work for it being repaired in the past...maybe the shaft was marred in the first place as the car only has 28k miles on it.

I'll take some pics as I do the install this week least that's the plan right now.


Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
Ok, got it done yesterday, it was a qt low on fluid, that's how bad it was leaking, at least a 1ft in diameter puddle under it in the drip pan.
Got the new seal in, added a qt of fluid, drove it got it hot, put it up, and still is bone dry today.
Here pics of the extract and install.

Seal remover tool:

Seal removed:

Here's the sleeve kit with sleeve installer tool (short piece of tubing) and new seal:

New sleeve pushed partly onto the shaft, flange end first, needs to be slid all the way on the shaft till it is touching the casing. Instructions also said to smear a little sealant on the inside in order to prevent any leakage between the sleeve and shaft, so I used a dab of Ultra-Black.

There is no room to tap the end of the sleeve install tool, so I had to place a wrench up to it, then tap the wrench handle with a hammer. The sleeve is super tight to get on, it took at least 150+ taps of the hammer on the wrench to get it all the way on.

Sleeve installed fully:

Next comes the seal install, the installer tool that I had that came with the extractor tool would not fit on the shaft with the sleeve installed, that's how tight the installer tool fit, so I had to improvise and use a 14mm extended socket. Again had to use the wrench technique and hammer with light taps to get the seal in due to the limited space to get a hammer end up there. Also, seal instructions said to lubricate the end of the shaft but did not say to lubricate the seal at all, the seal is super tight to get on over the sleeve so I can see it could easily get tore up trying to get it on. I used a little white lithium grease.

Sleeve and seal all installed, connect the shifter cable lever and cable and all done:


Texas, Where are you from
Nice write up and pix!

I see why you would want to do this when it is out for an overhaul instead of in the car.


Staff member
Just re-titled and stuck it. I've seen enough threads and posts around the Internet and shaft repair and seal replacement is often overlooked or misdiagnosed. I also like to add some anaerobic sealant to the o.d. ff the seal body just in case there are score marks in the bore from others prying the seal out. A lot of the seals are bare steel on the o.d. and won't seal any small voids.

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Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
Thx Bison! Yeah, I have once up on a time removed the seal in the GN without the remover tool, took a long time and had to be very careful...Best advise is spend the $20 or so and buy the tool, can find them by searching for 'Shift Shaft seal remover 2004R'.
I think what happens is rust creeps under the seal and pits the shaft surface so it no longer seals.
Similar to how rust creeps under good paint.
I replaced the seal on a th400 and I still have leaks when it sits. Makes me wonder if my shaft is rusted,
I may need a kit for my th400.


Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
I would think there would be rust all over the outer part of the shaft, and the trans fluid would prevent rust. It looks to me like the shaft is a stainless material because every other piece of non-coated steel under the car rusted a long time ago.
In your second picture, it looks like the shaft has something on it. Maybe just grease?
I had an AC compressor that leaked from the shaft rust creeping under the seal surface
so I thought maybe that could be the cause of why yours leaked, since it wasn't obvious.
I don't think the shaft is stainless but maybe that is why they make the bushing stainless.
The fact that they make these kits indicates it must be a common problem.


Turbo Milk Jug displacmnt
Yeah that was just dirt , grime, and grease on it, but there were some marks on the shaft, looked like it had been grabbed with some vice grips or something at some point, not super rough, but definitely some marring. And, yes, I don't see how there could possibly be enough wear on the shaft to have worn any kind of indention in it from the seal given how little it moves and only when the gears are shifted with the gear shifter inside the car. I suppose they just make a sleeve for any type of sealed surface such as this. It sure was handy on the '79 harmonic balancer....could have used one on the water pump drive shaft of the LT1's I used to have!