RCR40 Shifter w/ZF 5D-25-2

Rod Dittmar

I'm having a little trouble understanding exactly how this shifter works. Namely how to get it in reverse gear. I was assuming that, because the shifter shaft seems to be spring loaded, it would need to be pushed down and then pulled back so that the pin on the shaft would clear the boss on the shifter housing (see pics attached). However, that doesn't appear to be the case with mine because the shaft isn't able to be pushed down. I either have 1st through 5th gears with no reverse, or I can adjust the cable at the ZF and get reverse along with 1st through 3rd, but no 4th or 5th. Hoping for some help from someone who has a functional one of these. I'm going to post this also on the RCR forum with the hope that Fran might see it and respond.
TIA, Rod


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Chris Kouba

Hey Rod,

Your assumption is correct. The lever should be able to be pushed down. There should be a tab on the side of the shift lever, right about where the upper arrow in the 2 arrow pic. When you push down on the lever, this tab (more of a pin actually) will pass under the portion of the shifter which it hits when not compressed. This is your reverse lock out.

The gear map you have on the shift box itself is accurate if your bellcrank is properly installed on the selector shaft of the trans (should be pointed up).

The lever may be sticky for some reason, but it should push down as you are thinking.

I will PM you my number if you'd like to chat about any of it. There are also a few other tricks I've used to get mine optimized (also a ZF/2). The shifters are a little finicky to set up, but once they are, you're in great shape.

Rod Dittmar

Thanks for the feedback and verifying my assumption about the shifter shaft. I can now investigate to see why it isn't compressing. Afterwards, I'll call to discuss your 'tricks'.

Rod Dittmar

Update: After a bit of sleuthing, I discovered the problem was with the aftermarket shift knob I had installed. Not understanding initially how the up/down movement of the shifter shaft functioned, and in order to orient the knob in the proper position, I had put some spacers inside the knob.
Those spacers blocked the movement of the shaft. I put the original RCR knob back on, and with a little more adjustment at the transaxle, problem solved. I now have ALL the gears including reverse. Yet another chapter closed in "Fun with the 40"
To continue on this subject, I am moving the stick shift from center to right. My car initially was built to be driven by an english person in England. I am transforming the car for race track, keeping the driver seat on the right and moving the stick shift on right too.
I have trouble with the cables. My gear box is a ZF25. I reinstalled the cable that goes on the back of the gear box and because it has to make a large loop, there is no problem. But for the other cable that arrive on side of the gear box, it seems now too long. May be I may try to make waves in the right back box, or the other option is to buy a new one.
Does somebody may explain me where is the normal pass for the cable with the right mounting shift ?

I have a right hand drive RCR. Its possible that you need different length cables moving the shifter to the right hand side. I will attach a few pics to show how mine is set up.

Hopefully the pics load in correct order. I have named them numerically though to help.
1) View of my shifter box and cables in the cockpit
2) Shows both cables going into the bulkhead pass through just left of where the the driver's seatback would be.
3) You can see both cables coming out of the access/opening in the chassis. The one you are asking about that moves when you move the shifter fore and aft and mounts to the side of the gearbox is the top cable coming out of the access hole. You see it snaking towards the engine and it then snakes left and has a straight shot to the gearbox. The cable that actuates when you move the gear shift left and right and mounts to the back of the box is at the bottom of the picture - appears to go just past the coil over spring.
4) Shows both a bit closer
5) Shows the cable that mounts to the back of the box going under the chassis to the other side of the engine.
6) Shows the fore and aft cable heading under the CV joint straight back to the side gearbox mount
7) View of same cable from rear of the car coming under the CV joint
8) Shows the cable that mounts to the back of the box coming out on the other side of the engine and its looping to the back of the gear box
9) View of back of box

Hoping these views may help.



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How would you describe the quality of the shifting? The one we are playing with is extremely difficult to shift however the car is not running and we don't know how much influence that would have over being able to go in and out of gear.

We notice some 'slop' in the small 'L' lever inside the shifter housing. When L-R cable is released back at the transmission, it shifts in and out of gears, depending which gate you're in pretty smoothly.
Alan, I thank you a lot taking the time to make photos of the installation on your car. I was planning to do exactly the same path, but to have your confirmation is nice. And now, the conclusion is clear, I need to buy a new shorter cable. Fran told me to contact directly Cable Shifter in Arizona.
About the difficulty to shift Paul, I had the same feeling with the shifter in the central position, but when the car move it seems easier.
Paul. My set up shifts very well - once it was adjusted correctly. I had issues with adjustment at first but Chris Kouba (who has posted on this thread before) was able to help. Now that I understand the concept, it’s is quite easy to adjust. I do remember however that I needed to remove some material on the aluminum under tray because their was interference with the ball socket on the “left right” cable and the tray when you moved far right to grab fourth or fifth. For what it’s worth, I have been told that right hand drive with right mounted shifter offers the freest travel for the cables. - Alan