Big Crayons

Like most children, I began my art career using giant crayons that were easy for my bear cub paws to manipulate. Likewise with this 1950 Plymouth convertible that would not shift correctly, I began my diagnostic with easy, obvious things that didn't require me to R&R a heavy cast-iron transmission!

Let's start with the shift mechanism itself:

Ah ha! There's the problem staring this bear right in the face: The clamp at the base of the column was incorrectly installed, causing the whole assembly to rotate and rub on the upper dash support clamp. This was the cause of the hard shifting. You can see in the picture the missing paint on the shift rod due to rubbing. I loosened the clamps, clocked everything right and snugged it all up- Smooth as butter..

Rarely is it ever this easy.....