Gear shifter linkage rattles!

This was an ongoing problem that was with the blue monster for approximately 2 years! It used to drive me crazy until one day I simply cracked and promised myself I would pull the whole car to bits until it was fixed.

A rattling/vibrating gear shifter is a common problem on many k11 micras. Don't let it drive you crazy!

Here's the steps that I followed to completely rid my car of the dreaded k11 gear shifter rattle:

  1. Inserted some thin copper washes in between the shifter's pivot bush and the shifter linkage/cup thing that surrounds it. This stops the surround clamp thing from clamping the bearing tight against everything else. So you need the tiny washers in there to allow it to move freely while still being done up tight.
  2. At the front of the linkage where it bolts up to the gearbox, there's a 4-way cross type linkage. I.e. two pins that allow the linkage to move in both directions. One of them was very loose and you can't tighten it at all. That was the main culprate on my car. The noise was actually this pin buzzing around and being transmitted right up through the shifter. So you never suspect it, because its so far away from the actual rattling shifter.
    So.. I belted that out of there with a big mallet and a big metal chisel/punch type thing until it broke. Then I replaced it with a long bolt and nut setup. But I deliberately bent the bolt so it was more like a slight gradual bend/arc. Once inserted, this made it fit much tighter and reduce its ability to slap because there were no gaps any more. Also used a spring washer so it would remain tight once done up.
  3. I also removed my aftermarket gear knob. This is also a key culpurate. Nissan know about the high levels of noise and vibration transmission up the linkage shaft, hence they make the gear knob solid heavy rubber. Totally for a reason to dampen and reduce vibrations. By putting this back on, it halved the loudness of the vibrations even before I fixed the other things (above points).
  4. After doing all 3 of the above, it would still very quietly and very occasionally rattle a bit. Just a bit annoying after it was almost totally fixed! So I got some of the rubber anti-slip mat (like I have sitting on the top of my dash) and I wound it around the top of the shifter (inside the rubber gaitor) tightly, and then re-installed the gaitor back over the top of it so the gaitor held it in firmly. This acted as a last resort smaller-scale shock absorber and completely removed every last trace of the rattle.