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Unread 09-20-2009, 03:05 PM   #1
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Exclamation Normal for a stick shift trans?

Okay, so queue me tryna park in a back street this evening. I hit da clutch pedal and try to slam it in reverse. The gears grind. I think "okay, reverse sometimes doesn't go in first shot" so I try again after declutching. Same thing. I sit with my car at an angle in the road while traffic waits behind tryna get my ride into reverse and it doesn't budge so I admit defeat and slam it into first and go find another space.

I find a space and try out reverse again. This time it slides in no problemo. I reverse all the way up da street to go back to the original space. I reverse okay, then shift forward and it happens again, the gears just grind. So I try all the other gears and I dunno if I am imagining it or not but they go in with a slight hesitation. After several tries I get reverse again and manage to park.

After coming back to my car after about an hour I get in and reverse works just fine. When I drive home all the gears work just fine. I even reverse onto my driveway and reverse engages smoothly (perhaps even more smoothly than usual!).

Now the facts: my clutch is cable operated. I thought that possibly the cable might be deteriorating causing the clutch to not fully disengage making the gears not engage smoothly. But why mostly reverse gear? Could it be something to do with the fact that it is a straight cut cog instead of a slanted one?

I am gonna check my gearbox oil level as well. Maybe the oil needs renewing as it is losing it's effectiveness when it heats up, hence why it was okay after I had left it.

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Unread 09-20-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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1.Check the Gear oil level it might just be low
2.Check the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder
3.the clutch cable could need adjusting.
4.the throwout bearing might not be releasing all the way.
5.Could be the slave cylinder

Last edited by Bear; 09-20-2009 at 03:39 PM.

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Unread 09-20-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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I believe my Camaro has a similar problem. If it's parked in first sometimes I need to go forward a bit before I can go into reverse, the gears don't grind but it won't go in all the way to reverse.

If I leave it in Neutral though it's fine.

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Unread 09-20-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
1.Check the Gear oil level it might just be low
2.Check the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder
3.the clutch cable could need adjusting.
4.the throwout bearing might not be releasing all the way.
5.Could be the slave cylinder
That should pretty much cover the basics. Might want to start with these and check back with us.
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Unread 09-20-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
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Not know what kind of car, the suggestions are general.

As listed above, but specifically, the clutch is not releasing completely. Forward gears are synchronized, reverse is not. Synchronized gears have bevel edges that a slider slips over to engage, so they rotate a bit if not aligned perfectly helping them engage. Reverse gears are straight cut with a beveled edge when new, and sometimes when you stop the teeth don't line up perfectly. The beveled edge helps with engagement until the mileage goes up, or abuse, and the bevel gets worn so that it's virtually blunt. Now when you stop, and the teeth don't line up, the lever can't move the gears into mesh.

That's how it goes with simply a higher mileage vehicle.

What you first need to do is to determine if the problem is the clutch not releasing, or the reverse gears in the transmission are worn.

1) When the engine is running at idle and warmed up, depress the clutch for about 15 seconds, then try to engage reverse. Grinding means the clutch is not releasing. No grinding but the lever can't get the transmission into reverse means a worn/abused reverse gear.

If it grinds, your cable operated clutch is not releasing. Most likely the cable is breaking. Possibly some support for the cable is breaking (common on VW). Or one older air cooled VW's, the throwout bearing fork in the transmission could be breaking. You should have about a 1/2" of freeplay at the clutch pedal. That's the little bit of slack that you feel before the pedal feels like it's operating the clutch. If it's more than that you can try adjusting the clutch to reduce this. But if the cable is going, it's probably going to break soon. Normally clutch freeplay decreases as a clutch wears. Some cars have automatic adjusters that compensate for this.

If it simply won't go into gear, this indicates worn gears. Without rebuilding/replacing your transmission, the next time you need to use reverse try this. Stop, with the clutch in. While the clutch is in slap it into a forward gear and then immediately into revers. What this does is bump the gears causing them to spin a wee bit and the reverse gears will rotate to a new position making it easier to engage.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted you to know the why and how of your problem.
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Unread 09-21-2009, 12:29 AM   #6
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I second the normal for high mileage bit. My trans does that too, I usually pulse the pedal and it slips right in. Either that, or I reach up for third, then back down into reverse.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 03:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Car Guy View Post
Not know what kind of car, the suggestions are general.

As listed above, but specifically, the clutch is not releasing completely. Forward gears are synchronized, reverse is not. Synchronized gears have bevel edges that a slider slips over to engage, so they rotate a bit if not aligned perfectly helping them engage. Reverse gears are straight cut with a beveled edge when new, and sometimes when you stop the teeth don't line up perfectly. The beveled edge helps with engagement until the mileage goes up, or abuse, and the bevel gets worn so that it's virtually blunt. Now when you stop, and the teeth don't line up, the lever can't move the gears into mesh.

That's how it goes with simply a higher mileage vehicle.

What you first need to do is to determine if the problem is the clutch not releasing, or the reverse gears in the transmission are worn.

1) When the engine is running at idle and warmed up, depress the clutch for about 15 seconds, then try to engage reverse. Grinding means the clutch is not releasing. No grinding but the lever can't get the transmission into reverse means a worn/abused reverse gear.

If it grinds, your cable operated clutch is not releasing. Most likely the cable is breaking. Possibly some support for the cable is breaking (common on VW). Or one older air cooled VW's, the throwout bearing fork in the transmission could be breaking. You should have about a 1/2" of freeplay at the clutch pedal. That's the little bit of slack that you feel before the pedal feels like it's operating the clutch. If it's more than that you can try adjusting the clutch to reduce this. But if the cable is going, it's probably going to break soon. Normally clutch freeplay decreases as a clutch wears. Some cars have automatic adjusters that compensate for this.

If it simply won't go into gear, this indicates worn gears. Without rebuilding/replacing your transmission, the next time you need to use reverse try this. Stop, with the clutch in. While the clutch is in slap it into a forward gear and then immediately into revers. What this does is bump the gears causing them to spin a wee bit and the reverse gears will rotate to a new position making it easier to engage.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted you to know the why and how of your problem.
Damn I love you guys who have years of experience, lol The car had 128000 miles on it when I bought it, I have since done about 2500 miles so really I have hardly used it. I didn't mention the make since it's nothing that you guys get over there anyway.

I did the test with depressing the clutch pedal for 15 seconds, reverse went in no problem. I just remembered you said once the engine is walmed up though, I did it after it had been off for an hour. I do get what you say about it not lining up properly when you stop, maybe this was just a rare time when it didn't line up?

I do have half an inch of slack in the clutch pedal as you described, so everything is okay there then. It hasn't happened again at all since posting this thread.

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