I’m going to take a stab and say that not a great deal of people would have tried this one! Let’s point out what’s actually going on here! I noticed my gear selection was terrible in my AE82, it was sloppy, all of the place and sometimes felt different each shift… I couldn’t deal with it.. I decided, after trying a multitude of things to remedy my issue that I’d inspect the linkages. The eyelets on the selector side of the cables were fine, I changed bushes but to no avail. Next was to swap in a stock gear shifter as I have a short shifter as seen in a previous post, once again, to no avail. I then noticed that I had split the tubing away from the cables right up near the gear shifter and could note that it had stretched and weakened.
From here I thought I’d just visit the wreckers and source some AE82 Linkages and replace my current items – Nope! for 4 weeks there was only two examples, both automatic. Frustrated I looked at all the other Corolla models in the yard and saw an AE112r liftback with manual linkages sticking out of a bare stripped engine-less bay – why not! they were $8, no issue if they don’t work.. a calculated risk.
Upon laying them on the floor next to my current, worn linkages I noticed a very minute difference in length but also that the late model 112 cables were exceptionally smoother, lighter and far better made. It is also notable that you will need the small cup that clips onto the ball at the base of the shifter from the 112 as the AE82 doesn’t use this as the linkage cup doesn’t require it. The side mounted linkage fits fine from both models!
This is quite a process as the console and shifter requires removal but then inside there is a rubber grommet with metal shroud on each side of the firewall. to gain access to the engine bay side you will need to unbolt the 4 fasteners that secure the steering rack for clearance.
Feeding them through into the engine bay is the best way to remove and reinstall the new items. The shift is far tighter – it feels much more modern, refined but it does loose that raw feel, that said it removed the slop so for me , that was the important part. Some bearings might make their way into the linkage eyelets to increase definition at some point but for now I’m running the factory bushings with good results. There aren’t many photos of this project but I thought it was more than worthy of posting up!
Smooth Shifting Friends!