5-speed, car won't shift

Posted by '89beretta, Apr 19, 2007
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  1. '89beretta

    '89beretta Proven Member

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    , Eau-Town_WI
    Hey all,

    I did a quick search on this, and I'm thinking the tranny is gone. Going to work today, I started my car and tried to shift to reverse. Nothing. stuck. Motor starts and idles if the clutch is in, but the shifter won't budge at all, even with some serious pushing and pulling.

    Please tell me I'm overlooking something and it's not the tranny. I'm pretty much done spending money on this thing.

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. Rippinstock

    Rippinstock Proven Member

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    Tinton Falls, New_Jersey
    First, is the stick not moving at all? Or is just not going into gear? Trying dropping it in second before putting it in reverse.

    Second, when driving it, did you notice any grinding of any kind? I would have trouble believing the trans going bad from sitting.

    Well pushing the clutch in to start the car doesn't mean ## clutch is good. I do believe that there is just a switch on the back of the pedal that when dissengaged allows you to start the car. So in that light it could be your clutch. But to move forward from here i would check out your shifter cables. First spot to look would be under the hood and see if u can get those moving alittle. If not you would need to pull your center console to take a look at whats going on in there.
    #2
  3. '89beretta

    '89beretta Proven Member

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    , Eau-Town_WI
    Yeah, I was quite surprised too that it got locked just from sitting.

    Stick won't move at all, so I can't get it into 2nd. There was not grinding other than 1-2 on cold winter days, but that went away as the car warmed up.

    How much play would I look for in the shifter cables under the hood? What am I looking for under the center console?
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  4. Mikelb

    Mikelb Proven Member

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    Rocky Mount, North_Carolina
    Another question for ya, when you rev the car (clutch pushed in), does it roll forward any?

    If so, try bleeding the clutch. I don't think you'll be this lucky, but try it. It might just be low on fluid and unable to (completely) disengage. If the car parks funny/on an incline/decline, you might have just enough pressure on the gears to not be able to get the shifter to budge.

    ^Like Rippinstock said, check those cables first.

    Now, onto some other possibilities:
    Your clutch may have rusted. In this scenario, water gets onto the clutch and rusts the pressure plate to the clutch disk. Pushing in the clutch receives a lot of resistance, but no movement. This will require you to remove the transmission, clean/replace the clutch.

    Another possibility is, there is a bent shift fork. This is usually from driving hard and/or downshifting. Happened to my '90 Rolla, it wouldn't come out of third.

    Once again, the possibility that the cables, if not properly bolted into place, can bind. If they bind, they will move sideways instead of forward/backward. This will keep the car from going in and out of gear. Make sure both bolts are there.


    Afterthought, I guess internal transmission problems also count. Though this kind of goes along with the bent shift fork. I assume that something like a synchronizer could have splintered and jammed in between a slider hub assembly. I guess, if all else fails, replace the trans.
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  5. vinnybean

    vinnybean Proven Member

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    Does the car shift into gears with the engine off? When you say the shifter doesn't move at all do you mean you can't move it to the left or right when in neutral, or do you mean 1st to 2nd?
    #5
  6. Apeximprt2nr

    Apeximprt2nr Proven Member

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    Northern, New_Jersey
    Make sure nothing is blocking the shifter cables underneath the hood.
    Try adjusting the clutch on the master cylinder underneath the dash on the pedal.
    When you go to put it into reverse, does it seem to only go in about 1/2 way then stop as if there's a wall there? Try putting it into reverse, and slowly letting the clutch out, it should just drop into gear.

    Did you replace the tranny fluid recently?
    Bleed the clutch.
    #6
  7. '89beretta

    '89beretta Proven Member

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    , Eau-Town_WI
    What the hell. I rechecked shift cables. Good. No blockage. Bled clutch. Tried to shift. Nothing.

    Then, out of frustration, I revved pretty high and eased out out the clutch. POP! Back in gear. I do park on an incline, but this has never happened to me before.

    Thanks for all your suggestions guys. Definitely have to troubleshoot this, as I don't want to miss work again because my car won't budge.
    #7
  8. Mikelb

    Mikelb Proven Member

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    Rocky Mount, North_Carolina
    I had a similar problem in my Stealth (F5M33 transmission, same as FWD Turbos). My car would go in all but reverse, I eventually slammed it in reverse, and it worked after that...

    I don't really suggest doing that though. I think your problem might be related to the notorious "5th gear pop-out". I did some searching on the forums and came across this

    Edit: If you remove the end cap on the transmission (sits over 5th gear, says F5M33). You should see two shafts, each with the 36MM nuts described above. Make sure they are tight, and the wave spring is in the end cap. These are two problems that I think could potentially be related to yours.
    #8
  9. 2G-beast

    2G-beast Probationary Member

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    lake elmo, Minnesota
    do a tranny flush that might help.
    #9
  10. SnowBird

    SnowBird Proven Member

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    Cleveland, Ohio/Tampa, Florida
    Does the tranny shift fine with the car off?
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