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Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?
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furvedere
Posted 2016-01-15 12:10 PM (#501188)
Subject: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I've been looking at fixing the mechanical issues I have with my 58 Belvedere by "going backwards...to more original" because I have a 64 318 in there now with (probably) a 64 trans. as well. Push buttons still work (sort of...I lose reverse at operating temp.) but there's now no parking brake because there's no drum brake on the tailshaft of the trans. Some of you have heard this already so this is blah blah blah to you...so I'll get to the point.

Could I possibly get a later setup to work...like from a 65-69 C-body and transfer the whole drive train into my 58? Obviously, there would be an issue with getting the push buttons to shift the transmission. Here's the million dollar question. Does Lokar or any other specialty parts company out there make an interface subsystem that will allow the pushbuttons to work on a non-pushbutton (cable operated) transmission like the 65-69 727? Has anybody looked into this or better yet, done this?

I always see cob jobs with the trans. shift on these cars that have been "updated" so I tend to think there's nothing available for us. But perhaps its out there and few want to pay for it? I do not want to lose my pushbutton shift. That's the "crown jewel" of this car that's non-negotiable but it sure would be nice to get a more modern drive train.

Thanks, Bob

Edited by furvedere 2016-01-15 5:49 PM
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GaryS
Posted 2016-01-15 12:34 PM (#501191 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I did quite a bit of research a couple of years ago and came to the conclusion that there is no pushbutton setup available to do what I want, so I'm attempting to do it the hard way, by designing and fabricating a setup myself. I've combined parts from a modified '64 shifter assembly with homemade buttons to convert my '56 Plymouth from a PowerFlite to a Torqueflite, with a Park lever mounted below the shifter. The transmission is a '66 A-727 with the single external shifter arm and a park position.

I have all the prototype parts made and a mockup tested outside the car, and it functions, but I still need to make production parts and test them with everything is installed in the car. That is still some months off.

Edited by GaryS 2016-01-15 12:36 PM
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furvedere
Posted 2016-01-15 1:37 PM (#501197 - in reply to #501191)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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GaryS - 2016-01-15 12:34 PM

I did quite a bit of research a couple of years ago and came to the conclusion that there is no pushbutton setup available to do what I want, so I'm attempting to do it the hard way, by designing and fabricating a setup myself. I've combined parts from a modified '64 shifter assembly with homemade buttons to convert my '56 Plymouth from a PowerFlite to a Torqueflite, with a Park lever mounted below the shifter. The transmission is a '66 A-727 with the single external shifter arm and a park position.

I have all the prototype parts made and a mockup tested outside the car, and it functions, but I still need to make production parts and test them with everything is installed in the car. That is still some months off.


Wow...I'm extremely impressed just to hear this. Good for you Gary...to take the "bull by the horns." I hope you'll be patenting your invention so it can be marketed. If so, will there eventually be similar versions for the other variations of Mopar pushbuttons?

Thanks, Bob
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fast59desoto
Posted 2016-01-15 2:27 PM (#501203 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I put a 62 413/727 in my 58 belvedere works like a dream
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furvedere
Posted 2016-01-15 5:01 PM (#501221 - in reply to #501203)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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fast59desoto - 2016-01-15 2:27 PM

I put a 62 413/727 in my 58 belvedere works like a dream


That's good to know Jeff...thanks for the info. I'm leaning exactly that way right now. A couple of questions:

1. Was it a 318 car to begin with? A lot of modifications necessary?

2. Was the 62 727 shift cable long enough or did you have to come up with a longer cable?

Thanks, Bob
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-01-16 12:53 AM (#501281 - in reply to #501221)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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To answer your original question, yes you can shift the later transmissions with the push-button mechanism. You can purchase a cable and bracket system from Imperial Services that will enable you to do it. But you won't be able to access the Park function with it so you would need to replace the rear axle to get an emergency brake.

Gary, I would be very interested to see your design for making the Park function work. I have thought of ways of doing it, but it isn't easy because it seems that you would need to lock down the primary cable first before you pull on the park cable. Anyway if you could share your idea, please do. On my car, I really needed to access all the gears including 1st & park, so I ended up just shifting it with a cable mounted next to the steering column. Now the push buttons are non-functional.

Edited by Powerflite 2016-01-16 12:56 AM
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GaryS
Posted 2016-01-16 6:05 AM (#501284 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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If my design functions properly and reliably after installation, I'll gladly share it with anyone interested, but I have much to do before I reach that point.
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bad58mike
Posted 2016-01-16 11:31 AM (#501295 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I have a 440/727 setup push buttons work great!
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59 in Calif
Posted 2016-01-16 12:04 PM (#501299 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?


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Hey Guys, To answer all your guestions,,,,,,,,,,,, I have also been working out this conversion. I tried contacting Imperial Services for 3 days,,,,,,,,no answer and no return call. This was a waste of time!!!!!! I made a conversion but decided the linkage I made was too heavy and didn't like the end results. I contacted Calif Push-Pull Inc. in Chico, Cal. 530-893-4060. My cable was too short. I sent him my cable with instructions what to do with it. When I talked to David and explained the situation we are in he said he could duplicate and make a longer cable 60" for me. He is keeping the production measurements on file for the rest of you guys. I told him to put a bulk head type cable end on trans end of the cable. I will have to fab a mount for that cable end. This will allow smooth cable operation from the push buttons to the trans. I should have this cable here by Wed. so will post pics when it gets here. Cost about $80 + shipping. I got a detent spring, it's supposed to be for a 65 Chry T/F, but don't think it's the right spring. Will check it out today. When you call David, mention Jerry Becker.
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57chizler
Posted 2016-01-16 4:52 PM (#501320 - in reply to #501299)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I'd be interested to see the bracket and the external shift lever you use with the original PB shifter.

I did this mod many years ago but used the factory cable. The "bullet" at the trans end of the shift cable can be threaded #12-24 and can then easily be mated to the shift lever....the trick is finding the correct place on the lever to attack the cable to match the lever/shifter throw. Trial-and-error for me but I never wrote anything down or took pics.

I've installed a couple of Imperial Services shifters for others but never had the wits to measure and write down the dimensions.
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51coronet
Posted 2016-06-25 2:40 PM (#515105 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?


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Most of us generally do not use the 1 and 2 positions of our automatic transmissions. I would think one of those positions could be repurposed for a park position. It could turn into a can of worms or could work out great. Some letter/number changes and possibly moving some push buttons around may need to happen. I would be willing to go down this road in order to retain functionality of the pushbuttons and gain a park feature off the transmission.

There are several solutions out there for a parking break some can get complicated. Actuating the brakes via parking brake pedal which involves tapping it into the brake system. Rear disc conversion with parking brake calipers. Swapping out the axle for one equipped with a parking brake. Using a trans that is equipped with a parking brake.


Has anyone used the cable from imperial services? What problems were encountered? What year 727 was used etc?
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NicksGarage
Posted 2016-06-25 3:20 PM (#515107 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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Could you use a choke cable and knob mounted under the dash to work the park position in a later push button trans? I've seen an earlier car that they put a park lever under the shifter to use a later trans but not all of the dashes would accommodate that very well.
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57chizler
Posted 2016-06-25 4:55 PM (#515112 - in reply to #515107)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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The park mechanism in the pushbutton trans really needs a definitive cable travel limiter that will keep the mechanism engaged/disengaged at the limits of its travel. The factory dash mechanism incorporates an over-center spring that keeps the mechanism in the intended position.

A choke cable could be used but it would need a means of locking the knob in the out position.
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ttotired
Posted 2016-06-25 7:18 PM (#515124 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I have never really looked into this, but I remember someone saying that the park position is operated by a separate cable than the gear select one, so, why couldnt you rig up a way for the park brake pedal or handle to put the trans in park when you apply it

Not so good for the trans if you need to use it as an emergency brake or you want to use it to make the back slide out, but it should be do able

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GaryS
Posted 2016-06-25 8:29 PM (#515132 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I went down all those roads and have temporarily put it on the shelf.

I was able to shift it with the buttons and a Park lever that I added below the button housing. The shifter mechanism is from a '64 Valiant and I made custom-shaped buttons from clear Lexan so they would operate inside the '56 Plymouth housing.

The Park lever uses the over-center spring from the '64 shifter in a custom designed mechanism.

The detent spring inside the transmission is much lighter than the stock '66 version that came from the donor car, and that reduced the pressure required to operate the buttons. The linkage at the transmission end is all custom designed.

The mockup design worked okay with light metal, but when I made the final version from heavier material, the pressure required to operate the buttons was too much for a daily driver. I quit working on it because it was taking too much of my time and I want to get the car on the road by next spring.

If I go back to it, I'll be looking at a way to use some type of electronic controlled actuators.

I'll post a couple of pictures, but bear in mind that they are of the mockup parts cobbled together out of light metal and plastic, and reworked many times. The last design I tried was substantially changed to make everything rugged enough to survive daily use, and with closer tolerances to assure proper operation.

Edited by GaryS 2016-06-25 8:35 PM




(TF shifter panel.JPG)



(Transmission linkage mockup.jpg)



(Park lever released.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments TF shifter panel.JPG (100KB - 90 downloads)
Attachments Transmission linkage mockup.jpg (235KB - 86 downloads)
Attachments Park lever released.jpg (159KB - 88 downloads)
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51coronet
Posted 2016-06-26 1:57 PM (#515176 - in reply to #515132)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?


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I was thinking along the same lines as an electronic actuator a few days ago. Whether it be cable operated or mount on the trans and directly operate the shifter arm.

It would need to be strong enough to release park when there is weight on the park lever inside the trans....For example on a hill if you park first and let the weight of the vehicle rest on park it is harder to shift out of park. This is where correctly working parking brakes come in handy.

Each button would be assigned the correct throw amount to actuate the proper gear with some tuning adjustments available.


Why doesn't one of these exist????
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57chizler
Posted 2016-06-26 1:58 PM (#515177 - in reply to #515124)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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ttotired - 2016-06-25 4:18 PM
I have never really looked into this, but I remember someone saying that the park position is operated by a separate cable than the gear select one, so, why couldnt you rig up a way for the park brake pedal or handle to put the trans in park when you apply it


The separate park cable was only used on '65 and earlier; it can be operated by a hand knob with the caveat I mentioned in my previous post. On the '66 and later lever-shifted trans, Park is just another position on the external shift lever....no separate cable or mechanism, it's all inside the trans.

Edited by 57chizler 2016-06-26 2:11 PM
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57chizler
Posted 2016-06-26 2:08 PM (#515179 - in reply to #515132)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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GaryS - 2016-06-25 5:29 PM

I went down all those roads and have temporarily put it on the shelf.

I was able to shift it with the buttons and a Park lever that I added below the button housing. The shifter mechanism is from a '64 Valiant and I made custom-shaped buttons from clear Lexan so they would operate inside the '56 Plymouth housing.

The Park lever uses the over-center spring from the '64 shifter in a custom designed mechanism.


I fail to see how you intend to engage Park with a separate park lever. When the pushbutton mechanism reaches its limit at Reverse, how do you intend to move the shift lever that additional notch into Park with the shift cable still attached and limiting the shift lever travel?

On the adapter mechanism that Imperial Services developed for the '62-'64 PB shifter, the entire bracket on the transmission end moves to engage Park when the dash Park lever is actuated. IOW, the shifter stops at Reverse and the Park lever moves the bracket, shift cable and all, into the Park position.

Edited by 57chizler 2016-06-26 2:09 PM
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GaryS
Posted 2016-06-26 2:45 PM (#515183 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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Not seen in the picture is...for lack of a better word... a "pawl"...attached to the park lever that moves the mechanism arm beyond the reverse position and is held in place by the over-center spring. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures before I tore everything apart.

The only difference in operation is that engaging the park position does not move the neutral button into the depressed position. Also note that the N and R button location had to be reversed so the '66 mechanism would fit in the '56 housing.

In my opinion, it would take a major redesign of the shifter mechanism to create a single-cable shifter that looks and functions like the OEM design and fits behind the dash. Something I have neither the skill nor the time to attempt. I only intended to show a prototype that was built and functioned, but proved impractical when made more robust.

Edited by GaryS 2016-06-26 2:46 PM
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-06-26 8:05 PM (#515211 - in reply to #515183)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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That is an awesome bezel for the '56 Plymouth. Care to make another one for me? How did you do it?
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GaryS
Posted 2016-06-26 9:06 PM (#515215 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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It's a one-off prototype where everything was hand made. It would take special tooling to make precise shapes for the buttons. These were cut from 1/2" clear Lexan with a jig saw and the grooves that mate with the mechanism were machined with a Dremel cutter. To make the compound angles, some Lexan parts had to be glued with a special adhesive.

The square brass tubing was very pricey, but I couldn't find aluminum or stainless steel in that size. The Lexan was filed so that the tubing is wedged in place as the brass is too brittle to deform to hold it in place. The lighting is stock, but the Lexan is clear, while the original buttons have a green tint. The only green material I could find came in huge sheets, along with a huge price.

The lettering was done by heating some cheap steel stamps to melt the Lexan. To make them sharper and more even you would need to make a jig to hold the stamps and devise some way to control the heat. I checked with a couple of engraving shops and they wouldn't even try engraving the buttons. One shop did agree to make the brass plates, but they too were pricey for as small as they are.

The embossed aluminum is not quite the same pattern as the OEM parts, but l have some extra material you can have if you can figure out how to combine your parts.

There's a little more info on my blog starting about here: http://56plymouth.blogspot.com/2014/08/pushbutton-shifter-mods.html


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hecksheads
Posted 2016-07-01 1:54 AM (#515626 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?


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I've been working on this same problem. How to shift the 518 I'm putting behind my 341 Desoto and still use the push buttons. I came to the conclusion you must have a separate park cable and lever assembly. I'm using the one I have from my '61 Valiant that I converted to a 4 speed.
So getting the shift lever on the trans to work with the push buttons was not too hard. Low thru reverse shifts fine with the buttons. But getting park to work took me about 2 weeks of scratching my head. I wanted to be able to have a lever to engage park from any gear then be able to disengage park and have it return to neutral and then swing out of the way so the shift cable would work normally.
Well what I came up with was a bit of a compromise, it must be in N to engage park but it does return to N when you disengage park. Kinda hard to describe. Here's some pics.

 photo 1ff04898-21bb-43c4-884f-284f97e268ef_zps4pgwq96c.jpg
park

 photo a45a3b61-0028-45fe-a15b-625b68b352c9_zpssjgskwg6.jpg
neutral
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-07-01 4:20 AM (#515631 - in reply to #515626)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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Looks like a well executed implementation. But what bothered me about doing this is how do you take up the slack in the primary cable when you go from park to neutral? Or equivalently, how do you let more cable release when you go from neutral to park? Because your cable is fixed at the end of the shifter mechanism, I don't know where the extra cable would come from and disappear to. It seems like the primary cable mount would have to move with it too.

Edited by Powerflite 2016-07-01 4:22 AM
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57chizler
Posted 2016-07-01 1:25 PM (#515666 - in reply to #515631)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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That's my question on both the setups shown, how is the shift cable disconnected to allow the lever to move into the final Park position and then reeconnected?
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hecksheads
Posted 2016-07-01 8:11 PM (#515693 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?


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The shift cable does not disconnect. As soon as you move the lever the buttons pop out and disengage. If you have a push button assembly out of the car you'll see what I mean. If you push on the cable the buttons disengage.
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57chizler
Posted 2016-07-02 5:06 PM (#515767 - in reply to #515693)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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OK, never tried that.
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57windycoupe
Posted 2016-07-04 12:17 AM (#515847 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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http://www.ebay.com/itm/221162139828
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Rmc1946
Posted 2017-02-11 2:07 PM (#533763 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: RE: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?



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I just saw your post from last year on the push button problem. This is how I solved it.


I have a 1956 dodge with a 1970 Dodge 383 engine. The transmission is a A518 (46RH) out of a 1992
Dodge pickup. Rear member is a sure grip out of a 69 charger.
The 56 Dodge has only four push buttons. Neutral, Reverse, Drive and Low. I very much wanted to keep the original push button look in the car. Frist I tried to use the cable from the original two speed and hooked it up to the shift lever on the A518 but had little success. I wanted to be able to use Park in the new transmission and the conversion offered from Chrysler Imperial would not accomplish that. Also quite expensive.
I remembered from when I was a teenager my dad had a 1958 Edsel with an electric shift using pushbuttons in the middle of the steering wheel. I did some research and found a used shift motor on Craigslist that I purchased . The Edsel shifting assembly is call Teletouch The motor has 19 wires in the wiring harness. They control the shifting, the neutral switch , a lockout feature that won’t allow Park or Reverse to be selected when moving forward and controls for the backup up lights. ( I have a wiring diagram) The motor takes a special relay that has two contacts to allow the motor to run forwards and backwards. I found one in a local salvage yard

Also from the salvage yard I purchased transmission linkage from a dodge pickup that you would use on a column shift. I ran the linkage from the transmission to the firewall of the Dodge. I had to drill one hole in the frame to mount part of the linkage. I made a bracket for the shift motor and mounted the shift motor on the firewall. I then attached the shift linkage to the arm of the shift motor. To get the throw correct between the shift motor arm and the arm on the transmission I added a short extension to the motor arm. You can see it in the picture included.
The Edsel shift motor has the capability for five positions but the 56 Dodge only has four push buttons so I did not use the one for low. I modified the back of the pushbutton assembly by making a bracket to hold four micro switches. I mounted the switches so that when a push button is pressed the micro switch is actuated and sends a signal to the shift motor to shift the transmission to the correct position. ( Picture included)
The original pushbuttons as I have stated were Neutral , Reverse , Drive and Low. I am changing the buttons to read Park ,Neutral ,Reverse and Drive. (Switched Low for Park). I went to a trophy shop and they are making new letters on plastic. I will grind off the letters on the original pushbuttons and glued the new letters in place.
Anyone that is interested in making this conversion can e-mail me at rmccombs46@bellsouth.net
Rmc1946
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Handygun
Posted 2017-02-11 6:50 PM (#533781 - in reply to #501188)
Subject: Re: Can a later 727 still be shifted with push buttons?


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Impressive stuff guys, I was with John and Nathan on the cable which is why my 518 has the dreaded floor shift. Did you do the bellhousing yourself?
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