VW A1/A2/A3 Shift Linkage Installation

Visitor # 66576 since 26.FEB.2003

Feel free to print a copy of these instructions for use during installation, or add a printed copy to your order for US$2.00

Or here is an Adobe PDF file of these instructions that you can download at no cost for reference.

A1/A2/A3 Transmission/Shift Linkage Kits:

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If you look closely at the water-cooled VW shift linkage, it is truly a marvel of mechanical design. It transmits the front-back and side-side motion of the shift lever on the floor of the vehicle into motion on selector shaft of the transmission, to allow shifting gears. Front-back motion of the gear shift is transferred as back-front motion of the shift rod which in turn is translated into left-right rotation of the relay shaft which in turn is translated into a rotation of the selector shaft. Side-side motion of the gear shift is converted to rotation of the shift rod, which is converted to a left-right motion of the rear selector rod then to a front-back motion of the front selector rod which pushes and pulls on the selector shaft of the transmission. Click on the image(s) below for a detailed view of a typical A1 or A2/A3 shift linkage:

A1 shift linkage diagram A2 Shift Linkage diagram
A1: Shift Linkage Diagram A2/A3: Shift Linkage Diagram

See the following sections for information on replacing/upgrading various parts of the shift linkage...

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Short Throw Arm Installation:

Assembled short throw arm
Short Throw Shift Arm Installed


  1. There is supposed to be some room around the stud welded into the U-shaped clamp and the hole in the relay shaft arm, the stud is 7/16" (11mm) and the hole is 9/16" (14mm).
  2. The U-shaped clamp may be a snug fit over the relay shaft arm. It may spread out a bit as you tighten down the nut on the bolt.
    1. The clamp around the sides of the relay shaft arm and the short throw extension that hold the two together, the bolt simply holds the clamp in place.
  3. If you removed the relay shaft to install the short throw arm, be sure to properly tighten the nut holding the relay shaft in place, perhaps even use some thread locking compound.

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Weighted Shift Rod Installation:

Shifter weight installed
Clamp-on Shift Weight Installed

For installation of the billet weighted shift rod, information, see the Missing LinkZ installation section.

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Missing LinkZ Shift Linkage Installation:

The shift linkage consists of one to three fully adjustable links which will replace the same length stock link. The links are not pre-adjusted to length. You will set each link to the length of the stock link it replaces. This is done so that you will feel comfortable with the length adjustment procedure so that if needed, you can fine tune the individual links as needed. The installation procedure is listed below: