Hellllllo Maserati Life, its been awhile......
Last night I discovered a little trick which I have yet to see posted on any M138 forum anywhere. As I am going into story time shortly I will summarize first:
If you own a 6MT and are having problems with your car going into gear, shifter not centering, going into reverse, or just generally poorer/slower shift than remembered, try removing the pivot arm for the gearshift lever and greasing it. I did so last night and it resolved a nearly two year battle with shifter issues. It took roughly 15 minutes to accomplish, and I now have buttery smooth shifting. Below a link to a picture below highlighting the part (drivers side of the transmission towards the rear for location reference): https://imgur.com/oQiZ8p7
Now for the story:
For the past two years or so my shifter has been getting progressively more difficult to shift. I had played around with adjusting shifter cables and whatnot, but no matter what efforts I did the shifter refused to auto-center, and I would have to use excessive force to pull it into reverse. I had reserved myself to the fact this was a problem in the shifter assembly and I would have to have the trans/torque tube dropped to replace.
Well, last night I went through a last ditch effort of adjusting the shift cables and turnbuckle again - a process that Maserati should have added the following disclaimer to their service manual: "Warning, this looks line on of the easiest service items you will ever tackle. Jokes on you - we put a crossmember right in the way and left midget hand levels of clearance"
After wresting around with this for the better part of an hour and a half (don't judge - I have no lift yet and working with 6-8" of clearance over your head is not efficient) I connected everything back up, aaaaaaand BAM, not a damn thing changed. Needless to say my level of content with my car was at a record low. As it was a damn nice night and I am still finding excuses to listen to my newly installed garage stereo, which is awesome, I thought I would reverse trace everything to come to the conclusion I knew was inevitably coming - my shifter or cables had some serious resistance and needed replacement.
I disconnected the cables from the ball/socket joints at the trans and proceeded to push/pull. Much to my surprise there was nearly zero drag on them. So I moved to the shift rail. The in/out motion worked a treat, but I could not rotate the rail on axis. So now I had a transmission problem.........just great.
Visions of flatbeds and multi thousand dollar repairs started swirling through my head but I figured I would take the turn buckle off the two balljoints for shits and giggles as I had come this far already.
Elated would be an understatement when I discovered that the rail, once totally isolated, rotated freely. However, the damn pivot bracket was (at this point) frozen solid its shaft. One 13mm wrench, a finger full of grease, and 15 minutes later the bracket was freely moving. Connected everything back up and voila - better shifting than I have had since purchasing the car 3 or 4 years ago.
I was quite surprised by this as I am the type of person to search all possible solutions via various forums when something goes amiss. In this case I have never seen this as a potential issue/solution anywhere, hence this post.
Total time spent on diagnosis/reassembly last night: 2.25hrs. Total time to fix: 12 minutes. Cost: free
For the first time in a loooong time, I am stupid excited to drive my car today!
EDIT: Its raining - go figure