DIY - Do It Yourself Within you will find how-to's on many aspects of modding and caring for your ride as told by your fellow members.
Old 08-28-2015, 11:11 AM
How-Tos on this Topic
Last edit by: IB Advertising
See related guides and technical advice from our community experts:

Browse all: Intake and Exhaust System
Print Wikipost

97 Trans Cable replacement

Old 08-27-2010, 08:17 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Default 97 Trans Cable replacement

I have a 97 Camry, 2.2, AT. I need to replace the transmission shift cable since it broke right where it attaches to the trans linkage. Does anyone have a DIY on this repair? Any advice would be appreciated. thanks
Old 09-09-2010, 09:41 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
Default 97 xle v6

Good luck, same thing happened to my 97 Camry XLE, some things I found out so far:

Dealer wants around $400+ to fix.
Shop wants $300+
Cable from the dealer is $240 alone
I have not found one on area junkyards yet (good thing though)
Cheapest aftermarket I found:

I started taking the cable off, it's a pain. The only hard part is where the cable assembly meets the wall separating engine from the inside cabin. Two bolts connect the inside cable plate to the firewall, but there's very little room to work in. I ended having to buy a 10 mm "guear wrench" ($14) since a socket wrench does not fit and a regular wrench only does about 1/4 of a turn at once (having to lay on the floor door frame, working with my left hand). After getting that inside plate off, I saw another plate (engine side) which means I'll have to raise the car and work from the engine side underneath the car.
I took a break, and reconsidered my plan. Why spend the sweat, frustration and $$$ for a cable that is perfectly fine, the only part that needs replacement is the plastic that connects the cable to the transmission? I saw a couple of postings elsewhere where a couple of people attempted a fix to this instead. So I'm putting the original cable back together and will instead attempt a fix to this part myself (first attempt was pretty crude, I used a wire hanger which half-worked as it would shift but would frequently prevent me from shifting into park).
In my trip to Farm & Fleet (store) to get a slow leak fixed I looked around and came with a plan: a small hose clamp and an electrical wire end loop. I can try to post a picture once I make the fix (hopefully today) if interested.
Old 11-01-2010, 07:40 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1

Would be interested to know what you found out. I hit a spare tire sitting in the middle of the interstate and it rammed into my radiator, condenser, and also broke this plastic piece. Been looking for fixes since I assumed, correctly from what it sounds, that this replacement would be a major pain.
Old 11-03-2010, 12:15 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3

Fix was much easier than I thought. I bought a couple of hose clamps (~$1), found a cable connector that came with a motorcycle battery maintainer and also some kind of plastic wheel that I used as a spacer, not sure where I got that from. The cable end connector is one of those that has an open end that you usually crimp around the bare end of a cable, other end is a loop that just happened to fit perfectly. Took some pictures of the parts and the finished product, but don't have the time right now to figure how to post them (they're too big, about 2Meg each). I could e-mail them to you if interested...
Old 11-03-2010, 12:23 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3

See if posting the pics works... forgot to mention that the fix itself would've taken me about 15 minutes total, at a price of about $1.... not bad!!!
Attached Thumbnails 97 Trans Cable replacement-dscn0460.jpg   97 Trans Cable replacement-dscn0466.jpg  
Old 06-15-2011, 08:39 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Default Shift cable repair

I simply purchased a battery cable clamp (side post style). The hole is is a perfect fit for this shifter pin. I also put a few larger washers in for spacing. Try go get one of the nicer zinc clamps (holds up better than lead). you simply clamp it onto the shift cable (above the ball at the end). Total cost $2.27 at O'Reilly's. Took less than 15 minutes (stronger than the original cable).
Old 06-16-2011, 01:02 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 965
Old 08-14-2011, 07:05 AM
guy is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1

I saved a few $$$ with your advice. I have a camry 98 and I was able to save a tow job plus able to fix it within an hour. I grinded the tip of the cable to get rid of the remaining plastic and I used a battery connector (side battery connector) to reconnect the cable. A perfect fit for less than $10.


Old 08-31-2011, 10:49 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Default Thanks a zillion!

My wifeís 1998 4 cylinder Camry suddenly suffered an unresponsive shifter in our driveway (luckily for me it wasnít located elsewhere that would necessitate a tow). I did not know the exact cause at the time until I Googled the symptoms and came up with the diagnosis of a broken transmission shift cable. Having minimal experience fixing cars it took about 10 minutes of looking under the hood to locate the cable and figure out where it connects to the engine. I found the cable severed just above the lever attached to the engine (for those of you like me - looking from the front of the car it is below and to the left of the battery). It seems this is a common area for it to break. I discovered I could manipulate the lever in order to put the car in neutral so I could push it to a more manageable spot in my driveway. [I suppose if you were stuck in traffic with a buddy (or at your mistressís house) you could have him (or her) move the lever to the appropriate position while you have your foot on the brake so you could put it in drive and get it home to avoid tow charges (or an awkward and potentially more costly situation).]

I investigated the fix to determine if I could handle it myself or suffer another $500 bill at the mechanic (since the car has 135k miles it has been visiting the mechanic frequently). From this forum and others I was confident I could fix it myself. But I didnít like the fact that an OEM replacement cable costs about $250 locally and $180 (shipped) if bought online. NAPA sold an aftermarket cable for $90 but I learned the following day they were completely sold out nationwide. So I ordered an $80 aftermarket cable on eBay from a seller in Montreal that had a 100% rating. But it would not arrive until four days later so my wife was not too pleased about being without a car until then.

While searching the forums to determine if a V6 cable available from NAPA would be compatible (I never found out for sure but it likely isnít as evidenced from my further tinkering) I learned the ingenious solution from this thread that got the car running OK within a day and completely fixed within two days (since I have a day job I could only work on it after I came home from work). I learned a little bit more from this situation that might be helpful to others. Unfortunately I didnít find this thread until the day after I spent a couple hours figuring out how to remove the broken cable and purchasing the replacement online. I suffered through removing the center console, radio panel, two metal and rubber plates affixing the cable to the firewall, and the tough metal brackets fixing the thick parts of the cable to the carís frame. It was tedious, dirty, and painful since some of the bolts are located in very tight quarters.

I visited OíReilly Auto Parts to find the more substantial terminal post that screws the cable in place with a bracket. Unfortunately the counter person could not locate the one I wanted and I had to go back home to find it online. When I returned the guy was able to find the Super Start Battery Terminal, part #SK7401 ( 5) for $2.99. I installed it along with a washer in order for the bolt on which it swivels to fit snug.

The terminal post fit quite nicely and it still had clearance to maneuver even with the bulky bolts end. However I learned Iíd need to alter the terminal post because it ended up lengthening the cable beyond the normal operating range. Before the alteration my new cable ended up being about 7mm longer than if the original was still attached. This resulted in it being very difficult to put the car into park and being unable to shift to the lowest gear. Not a huge problem because I was still planning on installing the replacement cable when it arrived. But it kind of bugged my wife despite her having her car back within 24 hours. So the next day I disconnected the cable bracket nearest the engine in order to remove my quick fix. The terminal post only allowed the cable end to fit to the edge of the bracket. So Iíd need to grind out a groove in order to move the cable closer to hole on the end. Since the terminal post is made of a soft metal (likely a lead alloy) it was very easy to grind the groove with a drill and a file. With that done the cable could now be moved the critical 7mm closer to the business end of the terminal post. Once that was done, I popped it back on the cable and fitted it back to the engine. The Camry now runs better than before (it was previously having problems shifting into drive likely because of the weakening plastic on the cable end) such that I wont even bother putting in the replacement cable when it arrives. Hopefully I can find a buyer for it on Craigslist and cut my losses.

Thanks again for posting! Perhaps others can learn this solution and save big bucks, time and trouble.
Old 03-30-2015, 09:52 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,738

Great post, thanks. I am sure it will help others. Post back as to how the fix is holding up.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: 97 Trans Cable replacement

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.