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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm having a bit of an issue with the lower shift linkage boot (directly under the shift lever, but underneath the car in the drive shaft tunnel) and I'm wondering if anyone might have some insight or suggestions. I have a 1986 GTV6, so it does have the isostatic shift linkage. I bought Centerline's part number RB207, which is for the isostatic linkages. The problem I have is that it's nowhere near large enough to fit around either the shift linkage shaft (roughly 20 mm or 3/4" diameter) nor the shift linkage housing where the lever comes through the floor (roughly 58 mm or 2.25" diameter).
At the suggestion of tech support at Centerline I used Sil-Glyde to get the boot on the shaft. It didn't even come close to going on before it tore the back section off, but left just enough (one accordion section) that I can still get a zip-tie around it to secure it. I figured I would just live with it, since I'm not driving the car in the rain anyway. However, when I tried to get the larger end around the linkage housing where the lever comes through the floor, it also wouldn't come close to fitting. My wife and I used some hooks to try to stretch it around the housing but it just kept coming right back off. The rubber was so weak that the hooks eventually started tearing the edges, so we gave up. It seems like the part is intended to stretch a lot to form a tight seal, but the rubber used to make the part isn't nearly stretchy enough.
I've been looking online for some right-angle rubber tubing that is 2.25" in diameter, hoping I can squeeze it around the larger end and then cut a section out to make it fit around the smaller end. That is a pretty poor way to do it, though, so I was wondering if anyone knows tips or tricks for getting that boot on (I'm willing to buy another if someone has a good tip), knows of a better supplier of that particular boot, or if anyone might have other suggestions on how I might fix this problem. Thanks in advance, this community has been a tremendous help!

- Mark
 

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Very unfortunate happenings you've had there. You could've received a poorly made or defective boot. I have a '76 GT, so no isostatic stuff, but I found that WD-40 or PB Blaster works excellent for getting the boot both on and off (I changed shift rods a bit ago for a slightly nicer one). You should let the rubber warm up before working with it if you have issues with stretching, it should help quite a bit. It's like cold taffy vs warm taffy; the cold stuff breaks apart rather easy, while the warm stuff stretches for ages. You can set it in front of a fireplace or carefully use a heat gun. As for fitting around the bottom of the shifter turret, it should be at least a little bit smaller so it can sit a little tight in the groove cut out for it at the bottom of the turret. I put my boot on the backside, closest to the driveshaft/transmission tunnel first then worked it around the rest of the turret because trying to stretch it in an area as tight as the one closest to the tunnel can be quite annoying. Probably should've said it earlier, but I also purchased my boot from Centerline.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! If the openings on the isostatic boots are the same, then it could well be that I received a defective one. I didn't warm up the rubber beforehand, which could have helped. I didn't think of it at the time because it was 90 degrees when I was installing it, so heat just didn't occur to me. My wife did point that out after the fact, though I was a bit skeptical about how much it would actually help. I will experiment with a heat gun on this boot since it's already a lost cause. You would think Centerline's tech would have suggested a heat gun. The way you described getting the boot on the shifter turret is exactly how I was trying to get it on there, but with no success. I'm fairly certain that fitting is the same on both our cars, which does tell me that either there was something different about my boot or it really did need heat to get stretched around there. It was simply too small to hook around the whole thing at once. In any case, I shall try applying heat and see if it will slip around the fitting. Thanks again, I appreciate your help!
 

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I would suggest warming it in hot water.
 

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There are two different size boots the isoststic boot has deeper bulb. you were probably sent the wrong one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There are two different size boots the isoststic boot has deeper bulb. you were probably sent the wrong one.
That thought had crossed my mind, but I believe the diameter of the turret that comes out of the bottom of the car, and maybe even the thickness of the linkage rod, are the same size for both. However the bulb is definitely deep enough when I hold the boot up where it's supposed to mount. It's a close fit, but the bottom of the lever rod isn't touching the bulb.
 

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for what it's worth, I could never get my replacement one on either despite every effort and ended up tearing it at the accordion. end. I glued the torn bit and it seems ok but I will have another go at some point. I didn't think to heat the rubber so will try that option as well....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well everyone, after fighting with the boot just on the top fitting for a good half-hour the other day, plus my wife trying as well, we just tried the heat gun trick and it was on in about five seconds. So thank you, thank you, thank you to AlfaTasteless for the suggestion, as well as all the rest of you for offering helpful ideas. That made such a difference that I suspect heat would have made the accordion end go on as well. We did manage to get a metal zip-tie around the last accordion piece so it is sealed up pretty well, but I'm not too pleased with myself about this whole saga. Thank goodness for a helpful Alfa community!
 

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Well everyone, after fighting with the boot just on the top fitting for a good half-hour the other day, plus my wife trying as well, we just tried the heat gun trick and it was on in about five seconds. So thank you, thank you, thank you to AlfaTasteless for the suggestion, as well as all the rest of you for offering helpful ideas
No problem, happy to help. Best of luck with the GTV6.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just for a little more detail if anyone else is having this issue, we did use a heat gun and it heated up enough with about 5 to 10 seconds of heat. It doesn't take much. If you don't have a heat gun you could easily do this with a normal hair dryer. It will no doubt take longer to get it warmed up enough, but just get it good and warm and keep trying until it slips on without too much of a struggle. Hopefully other people with the same issue will find this thread.
 
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