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The end of the shifter cable on my 1998 2.0 5 speed has broken in half. This is the lower cable end that attaches to the "golf club". It appears to be a cast metal piece. Is their a cable end replacement that can be fitted? or does the cable assembly have to be replaced...and if so, how difficult is this?
 

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If what my mechanic said is true, the bushings wear through and then the cable(s) gets chewed and eventually a cable breaks leaving your car stuck in whatever gear it was in when it happened. Thats how mine broke anyway. My car was stuck in 5th gear with a limp stick.

The shop stated it was all one big assembly that is ordered from VW. He advised it was that way and probably best because when one part of the cable system fails the other parts are not far from failing as well so best to change it all out at one time and be done with it.

Anyway, it cost me a few hundred in parts and few hundred in labor.

I hate the cable system myself. The gear shifter feels loose and sloppy even after having the cable system replaced. I'd rather have a firm shifter rod system over a 'fly by wire' system. Guess its the norm though with front wheel drive.

My car is a 2002 with only 80k miles when it happened so I can only assume a previous owner was a speed freak teenager yanking the shifter like a moron shortening the cables life. Considering the crap aftermarket stereo system wiring job it re-enforces my thoughts it was a fast and furious teenager. I can only think Buddy is extremely happy to live out his remaining years in the kind hands of me :)
 

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The end of the shifter cable on my 1998 2.0 5 speed has broken in half. This is the lower cable end that attaches to the "golf club". It appears to be a cast metal piece. Is their a cable end replacement that can be fitted? or does the cable assembly have to be replaced...and if so, how difficult is this?
I just changed my shifter including cable end to the TT shifter (Golf Club) and cable end. Comes in an assembly that swaps out in about 15 minutes.
Home Page > Search > Short Shift > ES#648 TT Short Shift Kit - With Shifter Cable End - 8N0711046

ECS tuning sells it for $39.95 but never has it in stock. VWOEMPARTSONLINE.COM sells it for $43.xx bucks and they always have it in stock. The TT unit also reduces shifter throw by about 20% which makes it an OEM short shifter. Feels great and shifts even better. Also those cable ends are about 23 bucks a piece in case you don't want to swap out the shifter itself.
http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Cable_End/ES7056/
So don't let a dealer rip you off and charge you hundreds of dollars to replace a fairly inexpensive part that you can do yourself in about 15-20 minutes.
 

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If what my mechanic said is true, the bushings wear through and then the cable(s) gets chewed and eventually a cable breaks leaving your car stuck in whatever gear it was in when it happened. Thats how mine broke anyway. My car was stuck in 5th gear with a limp stick.

The shop stated it was all one big assembly that is ordered from VW. He advised it was that way and probably best because when one part of the cable system fails the other parts are not far from failing as well so best to change it all out at one time and be done with it.

Anyway, it cost me a few hundred in parts and few hundred in labor.

I hate the cable system myself. The gear shifter feels loose and sloppy even after having the cable system replaced. I'd rather have a firm shifter rod system over a 'fly by wire' system. Guess its the norm though with front wheel drive.

My car is a 2002 with only 80k miles when it happened so I can only assume a previous owner was a speed freak teenager yanking the shifter like a moron shortening the cables life. Considering the crap aftermarket stereo system wiring job it re-enforces my thoughts it was a fast and furious teenager. I can only think Buddy is extremely happy to live out his remaining years in the kind hands of me :)
Even if the previous owner was a 80 year old Granny the older "Round tipped" shifter cable ends were rubber encased and that rubber gets old and wears out and will have your shifter feeling sloppy and eventually fail. You should upgrade the old round design Home Page > Search > Cable End > ES#263615 Shifter Cable End - 1J0711761A
with the newer and improved "Square tip" design
Home Page > Search > Cable End > ES#7056 Shifter Cable End - 1J0711761B
Those should last longer and give you a more positive shift feel. If you got charged hundreds of dollars to replace that shift linkage assembly you have been taken to the cleaners.
Even the dealer price for the shifter assy plus two new cable ends shouldn't been more than 85 bucks tops. Plus labor which I know they charge a lot but even with them working at snail speed they could have done that job in about 30 minutes.
So if you got charged more than $150.00 bucks total you paid too much.
 

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shift cable ends

Even if the previous owner was a 80 year old Granny the older "Round tipped" shifter cable ends were rubber encased and that rubber gets old and wears out and will have your shifter feeling sloppy and eventually fail. You should upgrade the old round design Home Page > Search > Cable End > ES#263615 Shifter Cable End - 1J0711761A
with the newer and improved "Square tip" design
Home Page > Search > Cable End > ES#7056 Shifter Cable End - 1J0711761B
Those should last longer and give you a more positive shift feel. If you got charged hundreds of dollars to replace that shift linkage assembly you have been taken to the cleaners.
Even the dealer price for the shifter assy plus two new cable ends shouldn't been more than 85 bucks tops. Plus labor which I know they charge a lot but even with them working at snail speed they could have done that job in about 30 minutes.
So if you got charged more than $150.00 bucks total you paid too much.
Is it common for these to break? and at what mileage or years of service do they usually malfunction?
 

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Are these the one's that hook up at the slave cylinder by the engine or the shift lever by the center console?
Not sure what you mean by slave cylinder but the cable ends hook to the transmission cable's and the shift linkage bolts in place of the original linkage. Here is a link to the ECS tuning installation video which might explain it a bit better.

Standard Definition Video: MKIV Short Shift Bracket Install
 

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Is it common for these to break? and at what mileage or years of service do they usually malfunction?
Mine really didn't break. I just thought it would be cool to get the TT short shift cable bracket. It does seem to reduce throw a bit. Quicker shifts and not notchy like some other short shift kits since this is OEM. Less agressive but it works.
 

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The end of the shifter cable on my 1998 2.0 5 speed has broken in half. This is the lower cable end that attaches to the "golf club". It appears to be a cast metal piece. Is their a cable end replacement that can be fitted? or does the cable assembly have to be replaced...and if so, how difficult is this?
Your shift carrier broke. On the 98 and 99's, the design is crappy and it is plastic and breaks. :mad: You get the part at the dealer because they stock it and it is under $50. Not too in depth for the repair. Here is the link. http://newbeetle.org/forums/technical-how/42614-shift-carrier-lever-diy.html :D
 
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