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Shifter Cable Bushing at Shifter Failed, disintegrated, disappeared , gone !!!

10673 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  cinepuxon
2006 Sienna LE 2wd 3.3 135K or so.

Lol, just repaired rat nest knock sensor stuff a little bit ago. All running great!

Needed wiper blades from my favorite discount store Ollie's! Full set of blades Simonize brand all 3 for 10 bucks :)
And needed to go to Home Depot also ....
Pulled into Ollie's , put in park and still going forward :/ Wtf?
No gear changes no matter where I put shifter..... stuck in drive, killed it and no start obviously..
Pop hood and shifter cable still attached at trans, problem inside.....
I popped the center lower storage compartment door and gave it squeeze to clear pins so can lower it more.
You can barley feel the shift cable end reaching up that way, yep it was floppy.

All I had was my Leatherman Wave multi-tool on my belt.
Managed to get center console apart and drivers knee bolster off, 10mm bolts where not that tight thank goodness
Took me about 5 minutes to get enough stuff apart I could see and touch the cable at shifter easily.
And I did not break anything ;)

Well the shifter cable bushing was gone/ disintegrated on the shift cable end where it attaches to shifter mechanism stud.

Dilemma! Needed the Van today to run around. Manually shifted cable to park and started van, manually shifted cable to reverse, got out of spot, shifted cable to drive and off I went....
No dealer near me for parts.

Went to Autozone.
Grabbed a
Dorman 14041 Pedal/Shift Linkage Bushing kit
Dorman 784632 E-Clip Assortment

SYLVANIA - 2721 light bulbs 2 pack for shifter bezel light which burned out a couple months ago.

One of the smaller bushings in the kit fits very well and tight in the shift cable end.
I took that bushing back out of cable end and held it with pliers just tight enough and used a 5/16 drill to enlarge the hole in the bushing itself.

One pass with drill bit "screws" itself in and reverse drill on the way out and run drill long enough in reverse so it does not grab bushing anymore and drill spins slightly in one spot not trin to "unscrew" or spit out bushing, all this as not to make hole to large.....

Slip shift cable end over shifter stud and push the bushing on with a socket and handle.

Its tight, little tiny bit of lube on the outside of the bushing.
When all completely seated , the shifter cable end does not come off shifter stud by hand... I pulled on it and it was okay and did not come off.

I managed to use one of the e clips and get it on shifter stud butted up to bushing face, both sides of the e clip engaged the very subtle ridge/groove on the shifter stud.

Tested it 20 times and all good... Replaced burned out shifter bulb and reassembled.


Worked in pinch and got everything locally up the street at Autozone.
You can get the correct bushing from the dealer? $10,000 bucks plus tax :)
I see they have a kit on Amazon .

Bushing Fix BP1Kit - Transmission Shift Cable Bushing Repair Kit $29.99 Prime Shipped.

Looks easy but I could not wait....

If you really do not want the shifter cable end to come off shifter again I was thinking this,
probably get at Ace hardware so do not have to by a 50 pack ;)
M8 or 5/16 Starlock Internal Tooth Lock Washers.


Or axle 5/16 push nut from Home Depot for $1.18
Everbilt 5/16 in. Zinc Plated Axle Hat Nut (2-Pack)
Model # 811611 Store SKU #762079

Push this on shifter stud against shifter bushing and it is not coming off !

Might pick up at Home Depot and put it on for piece of mind.

I hope this helps someone in a pinch if they have a local auto parts store near and not wait for Amazon, or deal with the Dealer.

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It was a long time ago, but I believe this was covered by a Recall? I'd have to look back in the file.
:) I bet it was a recall, dealer been really bugging on the latest shifter recall for "appropriate amount" of grease and replace the shift lock solenoid. Sorry I really do not care for the "dealer", I worked for one for many years , if the wheels are gonna fall off, or the brakes fail or the gas tank going to explode I might consider taking it in and get ready for the upsell , Would you let your grandchildren ride in this vehicle without repairing . " or " Well I think it is good time to trade it in and get a new Toyota, let me introduce so and so"

Guess I am getting to old for the "game" anymore :) ..... 95% of the recall repairs I did I upsold something, after 30 years of wrenching for a living I took an early retirement because of the shenanigans I had to deal with, I am happier person now, broke but happy :geek: Guess me being on the other side for some time has me a little jaded.
Good post, thanks. Which way did the bushing face when installed, narrow end pointing to the left (toward steering wheel) or to the right? Also, do you know if there is a similar bushing at the other end of the shifter cable at the transmission?
Good post, thanks. Which way did the bushing face when installed, narrow end pointing to the left (toward steering wheel) or to the right? Also, do you know if there is a similar bushing at the other end of the shifter cable at the transmission?
Sorry for late reply!
Install drilled bushing in shift cable end first, narrow goes towards passenger side, and fat end towards steering wheel.

I have yet to install the axle nut push cap for my piece of mind, but all seems well and nothing has popped apart yet...

I ran across a youtube video someone went as far to drill the shifter shaft nub the cable attaches to and install a cotter pin and washer instead of a push nut... If you have the time and tools, drilling and cotter pin/washer is a really good idea like some of the past old school cable linkages attachments I have run across....

I still think the axle push nut or Starlock Internal Tooth Lock Washers with no drilling would be more for me :)
Thank you Fett! That's great info as I have ordered the same bushing kit you used and will follow the same procedure. I saw that same video on YT
and also thought that was a great idea but I doubt my ability to drill the shifter shaft in place. If I could bring that part into my shop and vice mount it, then no problem. I also like your idea of using a starlock tooth washer and plan to try that as well.

Will report back after my parts arrive and I finish the job. Thanks again! (y)
You are welcome :)
Back in the day I used to drive a Neon and other Chrysler/Jeep vehicles , since I worked for Chrysler for a bizzlion years it made sense and easy to keep running since I worked on them for a living.
I put 500,000 miles + on my 1995 Neon , even OEM parts suck and overpriced even for me.
This place was where I got custom tough as nails replacement bushings for my old Neon and they never wore out.
Booger Bushings .
I see places do make bushing kits for the Sienna, I would have ordered a set, but time was pressing for me that day. Sienna Shift Cable Bushing Kit
Thanks Fett. +500K miles on a Neon?!? Wow, you must have rebuilt that puppy a few times, wow. I've seen that product before but to buy it in Canada, I have to go to and the price is $69 CDN ($51 USD) if you can believe it. That is firmly in "ah hell nah" territory!
Some good info and a helpful video can be found in this thread: 2004 Sienna only drives in reverse

Also, although Toyota used to only sell the whole cable linkage assembly, you can now buy just the bushing from them!
Toyota part # 33835-08010 -- only $3 at my local Toyota dealership.
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I followed Fett's suggestion and hammered on an axle nut push cap on to the end of the shifter shaft. Don't think I'll have to worry about this issue any more! :cool:
Some good info and a helpful video can be found in this thread: 2004 Sienna only drives in reverse

Also, although Toyota used to only sell the whole cable linkage assembly, you can now buy just the bushing from them!
Toyota part # 33835-08010 -- only $3 at my local Toyota dealership.
Awesome !! 3 bucks from the dealer for anything is unbelievable!
Thank you for the Toyota part number for the bushing @Skeet33
I followed Fett's suggestion and hammered on an axle nut push cap on to the end of the shifter shaft. Don't think I'll have to worry about this issue any more! :cool:
So did you use the axle push nut I suggested from Home Depot? Do you have Home Depot in your area?
I was wondering if that would work myself... I need to go back in and install the push nut for piece of mind .
Thank you for letting us know the axle push nut works!!
I will put it on my long list of things to do :)
Thanks @kottmeier
Yes, sourced from a local HD here in Canada. I banged it on with a smaller hammer I use for hobby work as I didn't want to bash the whole linkage assembly too hard.
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Hey all this is my first post, I just got done replacing the shift cable bushing in my 2006 Sienna LE. Worked a treat.
This comment is a brief guide on how I did it with Dorman part 14797. I've posted this elsewhere on the web in the hopes of making the DIY replacement easier for someone in the future. If anyone has any suggestions on edits for this guide I would appreciate them.

Here goes:

If you're looking for a quick fix for your Toyota Sienna shifter cable bushing but no Toyota dealership near you carries the replacement bushing, but an auto parts store near you DOES carry the Dorman BUSHING REPLACEMENT PART 14797 (several near me carry this part), this comment is a brief guide detailing how it works as a replacement for the 2006 Toyota Sienna shifter cable bushing.

This fix is very very beginner friendly. Takes a few hours.

At my local Advance Auto Parts, this part was labeled by Dorman for a Jeep transfer case. But it does work for the 06 era Siennas as confirmed not only by me but many other people on YouTube, forums and elsewhere. Dorman bushing 14797 cost me $16 before tax from Advance auto parts. AutoZone also had it for $18.

Toyota dealerships/parts shops carry the OEM bushing (part #33835-08010) for only around $3-5 but locally they didn't have it in stock we couldn't wait, the car was needed next morning, so I went to Advance and got this Dorman bushing after seeing it suggested on various websites.

The whole repair process took me 2-3 hours working very slowly and carefully and watching Youtube videos (of which there are several really good ones) while completing the repair. It could take an experienced mechanic an hour or probably less, and could take a complete novice up to 4 or more hours. This is a simple replacement even for a beginner as long as you have basic tools listed below.
-----DIY'ing this will potentially save you hundreds, like $5-600 at dealerships and other places that would charge you an arm and a leg for this simple fix. Local honest shop may charge less, DIY is obviously always cheapest.

To go on with the rest of this guide you'll want to open two videos on youtube, one by Kate Chism and one by Usman the Mechanic. Search "Toyota sienna shifter cable replacement" into youtube and these two vids should be near the top. The rest of this guide will reference those two videos several times so for clarity you should have them ready to go.


Different Methods of fixing this problem:
: use the cotter pin method shown by Usman the Mechanic which seems to be a super solid fix, may require disassembling more panels than other methods as he explained, and requires you to have a drill and cotter pin (common stuff)
2)BUSHING REPLACEMENT METHOD: Probably not as sturdy of a fix as the cotter pin method. But you can get away with only disassembling drive side panels if you're in a hurry.

In both methods the repair is pretty simple, all the methods I've seen are done entirely from the interior of the car and you don't need any expensive or uncommon tools. I chose the second method, replacing the bushing, which is why my comment starts off talking about the bushings. You won't need to buy a replacement bushing if you use the cotter pin method shown in this video.

-- You'll need some sort of pry tool, a phillips head screwdriver, and a 10mm socket wrench to remove and reinstall door panels.
-- To make the bushing install easier, you'll want needle nose pliers and some sort of lubricant to help snap the bushing into place, i just used motor oil but white lithium grease would work better.

Okay, now for some brief details about the repair. Very helpful to watch the video on Youtube by Kate Chism. Her method is the exact method I used to disassemble the dash panels and access the shifter cable. There's also other methods shown on Youtube such as the one by Usman the Mechanic and other good ones. Many of them are good references and worth watching even if you go with the Kate Chism method, the method used here. As said earlier it's useful to watch the Usman video if you want to consider the cotter pin fix.

Again, Youtube search "toyota sienna shifter cable replacement" and you'll find them near the top.

And again, If you follow the Kate Chism method here, all of the work will be done from the drivers seat area and you won't have to remove the passenger side/ glovebox stuff like is demonstrated in Usman the Mechanic's video and others.

I will not detail how to undo the lower dash panels because it's WAY better explained in the videos. So you gotta have a video or manual open unless you already know how to take apart the lower dash.

As long as you have proper tools getting the panels out of the way should probably take you less than an hour. Easy peasy.

Once you get the dash panels out of the way and confirm the problem (broken bushing leading to unattached shifter cable), you can begin getting the your new bushing into position. This will take some fiddling and some awkward positions but it is not too difficult using the method below.

First clear out the loose panels and anything else in the way of you manipulating the shifter cable. The bushing will be VERY tight so the best way to get it into the proper position is TO PUSH THE BUSHING THROUGH THE SHIFTER CABLE FIRST. As opposed to pushing the bushing onto the rectangular gear selector shaft first.

Now push the new bushing, loop-end first, into the circular opening of the shifter cable loop. Insert it loop-end first right to left, or console-side to door-side, and push it as centered and as snug as you can get it. It will probably be too difficult to push through all the way with your hands -- here's where needle nose pliers come in handy.

Grab the looped end of the bushing from the other side (driver door side) with the needle nose pliers. Pull it through by slowly increasing your force with the pliers, and it should snap through super snug.

Now get the shifter cable with your new bushing in it out of the way because we're about to lube the rectangular metal shaft that it will snap around. we don't want to get much lube on the shifter cable and bushing itself because it will make it harder to manipulate over the metal shaft into the proper position. So move the shifter cable of the way of the rectangular metal gear selector shaft.

Then Apply a little lube all over the rectangular metal shaft. I used motor oil, you can use lithium grease or whatever you got really. Now push your shifter cable with the new bushing over the lubed rectangular shaft. Make sure you snap it snug all the way in place. Now check to make sure it's on there properly, pull back on the shifter cable and see if you can yank it off. If you can't easily pull it off it should be good to go. Before you start assembling panels back together you should test your work, see if moving the gear knob now moves the gears like it should. If it does, congratulations.

Feedback is appreciated
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It finally happened to me. Pulled into a parking spot and went to shift into Park......unh oh...still moving..?? Shifter moved OK through the range but tranny stayed in D. Turned off engine and then could not restart as tranny knew it was really in D and not P no matter what the gear shift said. Searching here turned up bushing problem... Normally, in the old (younger days) I'd fix it myself for a $5 part but these days, off to the dealer and $400 later, it's fixed.... 130K miles in 16 years...runs like new...original spark plugs..
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