I understand what you are saying, sadly we bought this used and the splines on the gear shift lever were already wonky. Yesterday I tried tightening the bolt to get more clamping pressure and snapped the bolt! That is where the tapping the lever off bit above came from.
Thankfully they designed the lever softer than the shaft. Bolt piece was removed successfully. Found a jewelry file and gingerly cleaned up the spline grooves in the lever, it fits well until you get it centered where the bolt relief cut is on the shaft and even after clamping it tight there is play. Put a longer bolt in, in case this one snaps extraction should be easier. Also went one ‘tooth’ up from the alignment mark which seems to make getting in reverse functional.
Was kicking around the idea of putting a relief cut on the ‘inboard’ (towards the front of the vehicle) side of the spline so the bolt could squeeze the lever tighter... worried if I over torque things that the lever will snap at/around the spline and then it would truly be fubar.
Going to start the quest for a compatible shift lever, the Outer Diameter on the shaft splines is .44”, guessing it may be referenced as a 7/16” spline?
2000 Xpedition 325
bare bone stock