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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've finally gotten my c900 to the point of being my DD, but the first gear is still terribly difficult to get into or out of. It absolutely will not go in or come out unless the car is rolling, and even then it is difficult.

It isn't just a matter of force... it is a matter of finding the spot. I have to put it in at the very edge, right up against 3rd, and then push it up and left from there. If the car isn't moving, it will only go part way in most of the time, then hop out loudly when I drop the clutch.

It also won't come out easily. It is okay when driving (although you feel a jolt in the car, as if you yanked it out with the clutch still in) but when stopped, it simply won't come out of first. You have to nudge the car in motion to get it out. I literally think you would break the shift ball before managing to pull it out of first while stationary.

2nd through 4th and reverse are all fine, 5th is like first, and even harder to pull out while moving.


It gets better at first as the car warms up, then gets even worse. At operating temperature, 5th gear becomes so hard to select it basically disappears, and if you are in 5th, you really have to muscle your way out.


Does that sound like a synchro issue or something else? None of the gears grind or hop out when properly selected, it is just very hard to select them.
 

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It could just be misaligned shifter coupler.

There is a procedure you can follow to align the shifter. It requires the coupler to be loosened, the gearbox hand-shifted to 3rd & then the shifter moved so as to align an alignment hole on the shifter rod to a similar hole on the shifter body under the console bellows.

Then tighten the coupler. 15 minute job which could save you all the worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The shift coupler is the rubber piece right behind the transmission, right? I had tried adjusting that, but the bolt is stripped out, so it just spins, I think I'll have to cut it off with a dremel and replace it to adjust it.

I could see that making the gears hard to find, but would that explain getting stuck in gear?
 

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When I had my frontender I lost the ability to shift into 5th (I could find it when the car wasn't running but not while it was). I had to realign the shift rod. You can check the alignment by pulling the boot, putting the shifter in 3rd and using a drill bit as a guide, seeing if the holes in the rod line up. If the guide doesn't slip easily through both holes you are off.
 

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'Jumping' out of gear is usually (but not always) a sign of fatal damage.
Check the coupler and repair the adjustment sleeve (it's very suspicious that it's stripped). Except for the jumping out of gear, your symptoms could all be caused by a bad coupler. It appears someone already tried adjustments. Also formulate a plan B.
 

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Not sure that the o.p. was having a problem with it popping out of gear...just getting it into gear.
 

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I have a good auto in my vert, and two good ones in the garage... Thinking I'll keep it that way after all the recent manual trans carnage.

Just sayin'...
 

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'Twas ever thus.

I never had one go BANG! on me, but I knew exactly what to listen for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've finally gotten a chance to look at everything. The right (easy to access) engine mount looks fine, and the engine doesn't move around much when I try to force it, and no other signs of weak engine mounts, so I think those are okay.

The shift coupler is definitely misaligned and loose. I'll just have to cut the bolt off this one and replace it and align it right and see where I stand after that.

The transmission oil level is fine, although it looks very dirty and I doubt it has ever been changed. Perhaps new gear oil would help with shifting?

To clarify, it only hops out of gear when I don't get it in all the way, sometimes I just can't get it in, especially when shifting in from a dead stop. If I get it properly in gear, it doesn't come out.
 

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I've finally gotten a chance to look at everything. The right (easy to access) engine mount looks fine, and the engine doesn't move around much when I try to force it, and no other signs of weak engine mounts, so I think those are okay.

The shift coupler is definitely misaligned and loose. I'll just have to cut the bolt off this one and replace it and align it right and see where I stand after that.

The transmission oil level is fine, although it looks very dirty and I doubt it has ever been changed. Perhaps new gear oil would help with shifting?

To clarify, it only hops out of gear when I don't get it in all the way, sometimes I just can't get it in, especially when shifting in from a dead stop. If I get it properly in gear, it doesn't come out.
Change the oil in the gearbox for sure, but that alone isn't the issue. You need to go through the pain of aligning the shifter rod. Actually it's not that hard, but it is amazing how what looks like a small misalignment inside the car can really really affect the shift gates! I was very surprised (no one else was though ;) )
 

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The shift coupler really is a game changer. It took me a minute, but once you understand what's going on and what you're adjusting, it's a super easy fix to make.
 
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