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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So...I'm driving home from work tonight. I accelerate away from a stop sign, turning onto the road. All of a sudden, my shifter gets all floppy on my (5 speed). WTF? ANOTHER problem? I haven't finished fixing the current batch of problems! I pull over, and tug gently on the floppy handle, to see if I can get the leather cover off. The shifter comes off in my hand. The shift lever itself BROKE. Good thing I had a pair of pliers in the car. It made improvised shifting a lot easier. Tomorrow, I'm going to try a pair of vise grips to see how they work. Anyway, my questions are: Where can I get a replacement lever, and how hard would it be to install it, along with directions on how to install it?

Thanks!

Car info.

1998 Beetle
2.0 5 speed.

What actually broke? The shaft coming out of the shifter. I will try to post pics later today.
Thanks!
 

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Hey, can you please; fill out your car info? What year, model, engine, trans etc.; that way, we can help you more intelligently.

What exactly broke? The shaft coming out of the shifter, etc.? Posting up some pics; would be helpful as well.
 

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Hey, looks like the shift lever, is available separately; as a replacement part direct from Volkswagen:

http://www.jimellisvwparts.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_product=5242937&ukey_assembly=740739


SHIFT LEVER .
1999 Volkswagen (VW) New Beetle.
GEARSHIFT LEVER.
Stock Code 1J0711112E ; 1J0-711-116-C; 1J0711112A; 1J0711112C; 1J0711116A; 1J0711116C; 1J0711437C; 1J0711437E
Manufacturer Volkswagen VW
Categories Pedals and Shifter
Assemblies Shift mechanism for vehicles with 5 speed manual transmission shift cable 5+6 speed manual transmission ;

List Price $ 89.43
Your Price $ 67.08
You Save $ 22.35 (25%)

I would confirm; this is the right part with your VIN #....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the information! How difficult is this to replace? Can I do it from inside the car, or crawl around underneath?
 

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Your shifter; looks to be the earlier version, compared to mine (2002)... so, I don't know for sure. I would assume; that you would need to access the lower connection to the cable, I would think that the shifter assembly would need to come out the bottom of the car. Once, you get the new parts; it might be more apparent, what it would take.

Meanwhile, you can look at the vw service manuals on this repair:

Volkswagen Workshop Manuals
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, I manged to get the shifter in my car (sort of) fixed. I bought a piece of galvanized 3/8 pipe, about six inches long, and jb welded it to the remainder of the shift lever. Reverse doesn't work anymore, but 1-5 work much better than they ever have. Unfortunately a six inch long piece of pipe was too long, and now I can't use the shift knob. That's ok though. It looks like a rat rod now.

P.S. Before the jbweld set, I shifted the car into reverse. But for some stupid reason, I moved it out of reverse, causing everything to shift slightly. Which is why the shifter will not press down anymore, and go into reverse.
 

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So, why not get the correct parts from the vw dealer or go to a auto junkyard, or just get the whole assembly? Basically, many of us; are experiencing shifter failures at this point, so it is probably a good idea to check out the whole system (bushings, end links and many other things are breaking, can leave you stranded). If you take things apart; you will need to adjust the linkage system, check out dieselgeek for more info:

Dieselgeek Shifter Parts

Somewhat involved; but some people, convert over to the newer style shifter, the feeling seems the early one is inferior and failure prone:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=301184

links about repair and parts for the early shifter 98-99:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=early volkswagen mark iv shifter repair

VW part #191798211A - Shifter Bushing Repair Kit -

https://www.google.com/search?q=191798211A&oq=191798211A&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61j69i60&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=119&ie=UTF-8

upgrades and repair parts (cable end and upgraded bracket):

http://www.gruvenparts.com/shop-by-part/transmission-parts

Factory VW manuals here; for repair and diagram info:

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswagen/
 

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I personally would not trust JB Weld in this case. You don't want to be merging onto the highway and have the thing suddenly break on you again. This could cause an accident and if the police on the scene look in your car and see iron pipe and JB Weld, guess who is going to be found "at fault".

I'd start saving for the right fix, which is to replace every part that is broken or worn as billymade suggests.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, this is a temporary fix. I'm saving to get the exhaust fixed (downpipe from the engine), so I'll have my mechanic replace the shifter at the same time..
 

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If you are sticking with the early system; I would just go to a junk yard and get the whole assembly or upgrade, take all the parts and you would come out with a functional shifter system in the end. It probably wouldn't cost that much and with a new bushing kit, replacement parts, etc.; be cheaper, then buying the shifter part or assembly at the VW dealer. Good luck and keep us informed; as your troubleshooting and repair process, progresses!
 

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Pick and Pull can be a life saver in your case. Any local ones in your area? Might be worth a call to see if they have any Beetles or VW's that you can scarf some parts off.

S-
 
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