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Old 04-19-2010, 09:12 AM   #1
juslookin
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difficult to engage first gear

Anybody have this problem? I looked at the bulletin for this and before I bring it to the dealer I was gonna try one of the fixes. Is it a DIY to lube the input shaft taper splines? The diagnostic I did showed me the clutch problem. My clutch grabs fine and doesn't slip. Anyway here's the bulletin.



Service Information - Bulletin Number 23 01 99
SUBJECT: Manual Transmission Difficult to Shift -
Diagnostic Tips MODEL: All with Manual Transmission
SITUATION: Transmission may be difficult to shift especially first gear engagement and/or gear shift linkage is binding.
Note: Field observations have indicated that a transmission which is difficult to shift (especially into first gear) is primarily a clutch related problem and only in isolated cases a failure in the transmission itself.

PROCEDURE: Verify the customer complaint: Note: Engage the parking brake and assure that no people or objects are in the vehicle's path.
- Run the engine at idle speed
- Press the clutch pedal to the floor
- From the neutral stick shift position engage first gear If first gear is difficult to engage, hold the stick shift at the resistance point (approximately half of the total stick shift travel) with constant force. Then switch the ignition off with the other hand.

DIAGNOSIS 1: If first gear now engages completely, i.e. the stick shift moves to the end position without any additional pressure applied, there is a problem in the clutch system. Explanation: Because the clutch does not uncouple completely, a residual torque is transmitted to the transmission input shaft when the engine is running. This inhibits the release and meshing of the sliding sleeve, in the transmission, at the end of the synchronization process. Turning the engine off relieves the input shaft of this torque thus simulating a completely uncoupled clutch.

DIAGNOSIS 2: If the stick shift remains at the resistance point, there is a problem in the external gear shift linkage or in the transmission.

CAUSE: DIAGNOSIS 1: Possible causes for a clutch problem as per Diagnosis 1 above are:
- Input shaft taper splines not lubricated properly/grease dried out.
- Clutch disc difficult to move on transmission input shaft.
- Clutch disc wobble.
- Air in the hydraulic system of clutch mechanism.
- Release bearing defective or difficult to move on the guide sleeve.
- Clutch disc or pressure plate broken/worn out.

DIAGNOSIS 2: Possible causes for gear shift linkage binding and/or internal transmission problems as per Diagnosis 2 above:
- External gearshift linkage binding (shift rod joints stiff).
- Stick shift bellows boot incorrectly installed (positioned too high or too low on the stick shift lever).
- Sound deadening between the outer gear shift linkage and the body incorrectly installed and/or distorted.

Possible causes inside of the transmission:
- Faulty synchronization.
- Internal gear shift linkage binding.
- Water in the transmission fluid.

Last edited by juslookin; 04-19-2010 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:39 AM   #2
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uh...

... it's a good idea to do that maintenance, but how are you going to get to the splined shaft to lube it? You know where it's located, right?

How about starting with the easy stuff... new fluid and bleed the system and chech the bushing the pedal pivots on for wear/cracks/ etc.

To lube the splines, afaik, would require sliding the transmission waaay back and perhaps, completely out of the car. May as well replace the clutch/pp/bearing as well then...
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Oo I didn't know that. I still have CPO warranty so ill just take it there I guess. If I remember its only 50 bucks with CPO warranty.

Have you had this problem?
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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no

I haven't noticed anything like this. Also, draining and refilling with (is it, Red-Line oil?), might really help the transmission internals to move around more freely.

Sometimes, when its cool or cold, it's hard at first to get into first, but I go over to third or something.... just moving things around, and it slips right in. It's been somewhat this way with every manual vehicle I've owned....

With many miles, it's not impossible that some shift linkage bushings are old/worn/dried out...

CPO is a handy thing to have... if they agree there is a problem.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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There definatley is a problem. I did what the test said in the first post so ill have to show a tech that. But I can see it already there gonna say "yea that's normal they all do that". I also just did a tranny fluid change using MTF-LT2. I noticed the problem awhile before I changed the fluid.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:14 PM   #6
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bump
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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Helped when I put it back into neutral, clutch in, and give it a little rev with the gas pedal and now put into first with no hitch. Always worked on my old 01
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:27 AM   #8
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I had the same till I changed the oil (Redline).
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
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I just put in fresh MTF LT2 I don't think fluid is the culprit here. What kind of mileage were you at? I'm at 52k and I've noticed it for awhile.

Also if the car starts rolling a little it slips rite into first.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by juslookin View Post
I just put in fresh MTF LT2 I don't think fluid is the culprit here. What kind of mileage were you at? I'm at 52k and I've noticed it for awhile.

Also if the car starts rolling a little it slips rite into first.
This sounds like a clutch problem to me. A really good test would be to run the car on a lift. Put the car in first gear, and keep the clutch completely depressed. If the rear wheels spin, then the clutch is sticking in an engaged state which is why you cannot shift into first when its on the ground. If you don't get it fixed soon, you will probably damage your transmission.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:18 AM   #11
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MTF LT2 isn't a particularly high spec oil compared to Redline and my indy agrees. Clients are amazed how much better the Redline is and it's cheap to try it out.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:51 AM   #12
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MTF LT2 isn't a particularly high spec oil compared to Redline and my indy agrees. Clients are amazed how much better the Redline is and it's cheap to try it out.
I tried a 50/50 blend of D4 and MTL and was highly impressed at first; however, the feeling didn't last too long. After only 10k on the Redline, the shifting was rougher than that of my factory fill of MTF-LT2 with ~60k on it. I took the Redline out and put LT2 back in. I kept a sample of the D4/MTL blend to send in for analysis but I haven't had the chance to do so yet.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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while rolling

goes right in while rolling...

Well, it should, because the diff is turning the d'shaft and the tailshaft and on into the transmission internals playing hide and seek. I think that if the clutch wasn't releasing while rolling and slipping it into gear, due to the rpms coming in thru the clutch, etc. one would most likely get some small grinding noises due to the definate mis-match.

But, it's a black-box mystery, more or less.

I would try a different lube in the box before coughing up $1200 or whatever it would be. Even if it doesn't help, at least a fresh change won't hurt and will be retained even if you have the trans. pulled out.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:06 AM   #14
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I just tried something this morning. I came up to a stop with my foot on the clutch in neutral. Then went to put it in gear and it went rite in.

I have a may 6 date with the dealer and its only 50 bux if they decide it can be covered since I have CPO. And if they don't cover it ill know what's wrong afterwards.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:25 AM   #15
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I get the resistance every now and then... how I get past it is to let off/release the clutch JUST A BIT and it goes right in.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:05 AM   #16
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have u tryed doing the procedures in the bulletin to determine what's wrong?
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:50 AM   #17
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Change fluid first!
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:55 AM   #18
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I did change the fluid I stated it about 3 times I just put MTF LT2. I truly don't think its fluid related.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:45 PM   #19
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I did change the fluid I stated it about 3 times I just put MTF LT2. I truly don't think its fluid related.
As you have stated, it's not fluid related. I too have this issue occasional and it happened on my factory fill of MTF-LT2, Redline D4/MTL blend and it happens on my new fill of MTF-LT2.

When you're rolling to a stop, there's a certain point where it will go into first like butter. If you put minimal pressure on the shifter, you can feel where that point (speed) is. I do this when I coming to a stop at a stop sign or at a light if I know I'm next to go. When ever you are having an issue going into first while sitting still, just put it in second then go into first. It makes it much easier.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #20
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Sometimes there's resistance in all gears. so 2nd to 1st doesn't always work. Let's say I'm in gear coming to a stop. Foot on clutch I put it in neutral and leave my foot on clutch now I'm completely stopped with my foot on the clutch still. It will go straight in no problem. Now if I came to the stop in neutral with my foot off the clutch there's resistance. I'm hoping the dealer will fix this. They don't cover worn clutches but my clutch isn't worn. It doesn't slip or catch high at all. So there's gotta be a defect. Right?
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