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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm thinking of taking a look at a 900 that's up for sale near me that apparently won't go into fifth or reverse gear.

Is there any way of telling if it's more likely to be the linkage or the 'box itself?

My Haynes manual suggests the following problems:-

1) Clutch - Wouldn't this affect all gears equally?

2) Selector - Is more likely to affect 5 and R together , 1 & 2 together, single gears or all five? Is the special tool(s) to adjust this easy (and cheap) to get hold of?

3) Spigot Bearing On Flywheel - Again would this affect just some gears? Is it easy to fix (Compared to other transmission problems)?

If it doesn't go into gear when moving the stick with the clutch down (or engine off) would that be more likely to suggest linkage?

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I suppose it could be the linkage, or the plastic bit underneath the stick that guides it into place.
I'd go and look at the car first and feel it myself.

When my old gearbox died i lost 5th and later reverse. With my box you could still move the lever over towards them, but there was resistance when you tried to push it up or down to actually engage the gear. It would go part way and then stop - like trying to select reverse without the little pull thing.
Ask the current owner if the gearbox used to whine atall or if it was silent.

If it were the selector being at fault I would expect you to not be able to move the lever across far enough - so 5th and reverse are unobtainable because you cant get the lever across far enough to the side - not because it wont go up or down into them.

The selector doesnt need any special tools. There are some special triangular nuts to remove the lever assembly but you can do these with pliers/chisel or a customised socket if you like.

I would agree that the clutch would affect all gears.

I suppose that the reverse lock may also be affecting things if it has become stuck in the wrong position, but this only usually locks you in or out of reverse. not 5th too. You could ask the current owner if the reverse lock worked or not before they lost the gears.
In my experience if the reverse lock has worked flawlessly then it is not a problem, but once they get broken and no longer work atall or only some of the time wierd things do occasionally happen (and you end up stripping the ignition down in car-parks to get the car home!)
 

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There was also a recent post about a similar issue that I believe affected 1,3, and 5th that was related to a motor mount failure. Engine and transmission were simply out of position which meant that the linkage was't properly aligned. Worth a look, and easy to fix.
 

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The latch stud is the small metal protrusion in the end of the gear lever below the plastic ball. If this is too long it will block the gate to either 5th or reverse, or sometimes both.

Engage neutral. Peel back the gear lever gaiter. Undo the three torx screws. Pull the gear lever out. Measure the metal latch stud - it should protrude 22mm +/- 0.5mm. If necessary, remove split pin and rotate stud to lengthen or shorten.
 
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