This common shifter problem has already been discussed at length, so I thought I would add some photos to make the explanation clearer. The ball and socket joint usually fails by the lower ball breaking away from the lever. The first step is to clean the parts so the work is more pleasant. In order to do so, the parts must be separated. Here's one method that works for me. A pry bar prying against a small wrench inserted into the guide slots in alternating places will pull the guide out. The guide is a snug fit inside the tower and there is nothing holding it except friction due to the tight fit.
At this point, the parts are cleaned in the parts washer and the external surfaces have the paint and rust removed in the blasting cabinet. Surprise! Someone has already been here and brazed the ball back in place. I prefer to fusion weld the parts together, but the brass contamination makes welding impossible. I'll leave this repair as is. The lever has also been broken and welded about 2 1/2" above the ball. I'll touch this area up, straighten the lever, and add an extension. I prefer the feel of them when the lever is about 2 1/2" longer than stock. The correct police don't seem to notice.
The retainers were missing and someone had substituted a big washer and a huge cotter pin for one of them. I decided to make new retainers and add an extra O-ring to make the assembly waterproof. The only way to get water into the transmission would be to submerge the tractor. The drawing of the shifter in the parts manual is poor and doesn't label the parts as they really are. Left to right, the parts are: 1. Knob, 2. Retainer pin, 3. Upper retainer, 4. Spring, 5. Lower retainer, 6. O-ring 1/2 x 11/16 x 3/32", 7 lower retainer, 8, O-ring 11/16 x 7/8 x 3/32, 9 shield, 10 shift tower, 11 lever (repaired and extended), 12 guide.
Item 7 is an offset washer with a recess on one side and a boss on the other. The recess holds the lower O-ring which fits over the lip on the shield. The boss fits the recess on the bottom of the lower retainer. The lower side is shown. There was no such part originally, but maybe there should have been. Item 5 is also an offset washer. The recess on the bottom is sized to fit the O-ring which also provides a seal on the lever. The recess is deep enough to also fit the boss on item 7. The top surface is a boss that fits the inside of the spring. The O-rings and the lips on the washers will provide effective seal against the entry of water. The lower side is shown/ Item 3 is the upper retainer. It is exactly like item 5, but serves a different purpose. The recess holds the pin that holds the entire lever assembly together. The boss on the other side fits the inside of the spring. The upper side is shown.
The next photo shows the lower retainer (item 5) with its' O-ring upside down on the lever to show how it fits.
Next is the spring with the retainers showing how the bosses keep the spring centered. Note that the diameter of the bosses fits the inside of the spring, and the O.D. is the same as the O.D. of the spring. These retainers closely match the originals and are made from memory. Although the originals were steel, the brass should do the job just fine and was more fun to work with.
Here's the guide tapped back in place to finish the job. It should be a sweet shifter!
Here's the finished job ready to go back on the tractor. I hope these photos make the shifter easier to understand.
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