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Problems Shifting

This is a discussion on Problems Shifting within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; I have an odd problem that I'm having trouble diagnosing. I noticed last week that it was becoming very difficult ...

  1. #1
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    Problems Shifting

    I have an odd problem that I'm having trouble diagnosing. I noticed last week that it was becoming very difficult to get in and out of gear, i.e. it's very difficult to move the shifter in gear. When I let the car sit for the night, I took it out the next morning and the problem was gone. Later that night, I took it out for about a half hour drive. When I went to return home, I could not move the shifter into gear. If I shut the car off, I could move it in and out of gear just fine. However with the car running, it would not shift into any gear, and if I tried to force it, it would start grinding. If I shut the car off, put it in gear, and then started it, it would stay in gear, but it would be very hard to get it back out of gear and then it wouldn't go back in gear. However after sitting for about 5 minutes, the problem went away completely and I drove it back home with no problems. The problem seems to keep going and going, it will get very difficult, almost impossible to shift at times, and then the problem will go away completely. Any ideas what this could be? The clutch was replaced about to years ago (LS-6 clutch) and only has about 6000 miles on it. My only idea is that there could be a bad spot in the hydraulic fluid. If it is the hydraulic fluid, is there an easy way to change / bleed it?

  2. #2
    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Definitely sounds like a clutch problem. It could be a couple of things though.

    First thing I would do is flush the system with new fluid. Do this by bleeding all the old fluid out as you're adding in new fluid. Basically you hold the clutch to the floor, up the bleeder valve on the transmission (located about 2.5" above the hydraulic quick connect fitting, you can't see it but you will need a 7/16 socket to open it) and open the bleeder until fluid comes out. Then close the valve, pump the clutch up, and repeat the process. And as you're doing it, you need to make sure to keep the master cylinder topped off with fluid so it doesn't suck air in. When the fluid comes out clean from the bleeder, you know its flushed of the old fluid and it shouldn't have any air in it.

    Try driving it around for a couple days and see if the problem is fixed. If it is, great, you found the problem. If not, you probably have a bad master or slave cylinder that is leaking fluid past the seals as the fluid warms up as the car is driven. In which case you would need to replace the hydraulics, the slave requires dropping the transmission in order to replace.

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    Thanks Wesman. I'm REALLY hoping it isn't a clutch problem. The clutch fluid has a lot of black in it, so I believe there is a good chance that flushing it will solve the problem. The inconsistency of the problem is a bit puzzling. Thanks for your description of bleeding the clutch, it sounds easier than I originally thought.

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    Junior Member Acceleration Junky's Avatar
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    It's not that easy to reach the bleeder valve. There is barely any room plus you cant see it. I just want to prepare you for it. I didnt even want to try to mess with it. So I cut a whole in my trans tunnel to be able to access it from inside the car. Bleeding is now a one man job for me. Plus I dont have to jack up my car or crawl underneath it.

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    I know it won't be easy; but last night when I was looking at it I thought I may have to drop the back of the transmission just to get to it. After reading on here, it looks like you can get to it without the hassle of dropping the trans, that's why I said "easier than I thought". I'm still not looking forward to it though.....

  6. #6
    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERICV82GO View Post
    I know it won't be easy; but last night when I was looking at it I thought I may have to drop the back of the transmission just to get to it. After reading on here, it looks like you can get to it without the hassle of dropping the trans, that's why I said "easier than I thought". I'm still not looking forward to it though.....
    You can definitely get to it without dropping the transmission, because to drop the trans you would need to remove the quick disconnect from the slave, and you would have to bleed it again after reinstalling the trans

    All you really need is a 1/4 drive ratched and 7/16 short socket. Once you have it on the bleeder, you can hold it on there and just flip the ratchet switch to loosen/tighten as the other person works the pedal.

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