New knob: Painstaking repair of a broken shift knob

Story and Photos By “Rotten” Rodney Bauman

Granted, the restoration of a mid-’60s shift knob is a seemingly silly subject for in-depth tech. That I’ll not dispute. But a red-eyed, chrome-plated, aftermarket skull just wouldn’t fit the stick of this bone-stock and well-weathered International Scout. Furthermore, an authentic replacement would appear out of place.

After years of topless outdoor storage in all kinds of weather, and even surviving fire, our newly acquired ’65 Scout’s original shift knob sadly fell victim to a ham-fisted tow truck driver who just didn’t understand why he couldn’t find neutral while offloading.

 

His bed was already tilted and his cable had slack so the load was on the poor little stuck-motored Scout’s transmission as the inexperienced driver commenced to bangin’ on the stick. Now that brute force and ignorance have taken their toll, there’s only one way to make things right.

For restorers who cannot find an authentic replacement shift knob, the following information will be invaluable.

Seemingly silly or not, let’s go ahead and restore a shift knob.

 

Let’s just see if the ol’ bead blasting cabinet won’t help us accelerate the aging process. Knowing that the old knob’s material may be softer, or harder than J-B Weld, and the two materials might blast away at different rates of speed, we’ll take this step gingerly.

 

It’s only original once — perhaps twice in this case. The J-B Weld repair is substantially strong, and our patina match at this point is in the proverbial ballpark. For further fine-tuning, we’ll allow nature to take its course, as we pretend it never happened.

Resources

J-B Weld

3M Automotive Aftermarket Division

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