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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 1995 900s. It's difficult getting it into 5th gear, and it likes to stay in reverse if I hold it there. I've driven a 1994 900s for years, so I know how it should feel. Difficult into 5th = when in neutral, there isn't much travel of the shift lever at the point when you start to feel resistance in neutral pushing the lever to the right (not forward yet, just to the right). I'd say it's about half the distance I get with my '94. If i push forward, it feels more like i'm going into 4th, then at the near top of 4th, the shifter finds a way to move to the right about 2 inches. At that point, it's in 5th. Very weird and disconcerting.

Questions are: Generally, opinions on what the problem is? Is there a way to diagnose the linkage vs the transmission? I was thinking of disconnecting the shift linkage at the pinch bolt, reaching down into the engine bay and manually shifting through the gears with my hand to test the transmission. Is that a bad idea? Is there a better way to diagnose?
Could the guide plates under the shift lever be part of the problem?

I could remove the linkage (or transmission) from the 1994 and put it into the 1995, but I'd love to hear from a couple of transmission whisperers before I take on that project. It'd be my first linkage or transmission job,
 

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Have you done the linkage realignment thing? Pinning the gearbox and gearstick in the car in 4th etc etc.? I assume its similar for the GM 900 as the 9-3.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes - I should have said that I've put a pin into the transmission while the shifter was in 4th. Disconnected the pinch bolt, pinned the shifter through the hole in front of the shifter, and retightened the pinch bolt. Should I be jostling anything during this process to make sure the alignment is good? I've also thought of trying to cheat the shifter a bit left during this process. Not sure if that's a terrible idea.

I should have noted that this has been a problem in the records since 1995. The transmission was replaced a few years later, but I get the sense that the problem didn't go away - it's not completely clear from the records.
 

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Pull up the shift boot and see if there's anything like the shift lockout that's preventing the move over to the fifth gear "slot". What you are describing sounds suspiciously like a problem with the 5th gear guide.

I wouldn't try to shift the transmission from the shaft, in case you lose which gear you're in (some people have done that).

I don't understand the statement about reverse.

Yes, you can bias the linkage adjustment. However, I'd start with a proper adjustment. Did you use a pin/drill/allen key that fit each of the adjustment holes as closely as possible? I swap them around, looking for the biggest one that will possibly fit. There are specs in WIS for the diameters, but when I'm faced with fractional-inch drill bits, it's trial and error. Obviously the looser the fit, the less exact the alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks EDT. I’ll look for tighter fitting pins to start. And picks coming next of the system ifthat doesn’t work!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
conclusion from a day trying to get this to work:
1) my clutch cable probably needs replacing - will do that tomorrow.
however,
2) when I disconnect the linkage clamp between the transmission and shifter, pinning both the transmission and shifter, i could, by hand move the shift linkage in the engine compartment both left, right, and front/back by about ?1/4 inch? in those directions - maybe a bit more. If i put the linkage in different positions, then tightened the clamp, I could lose 1st and 2nd, gain it back again, etc.,
- - - question is...is there a place the transmission linkage should be before tightening the connection?

There doesn't seem to be much or any play in the shifter linkage in the cabin..

thoughts?
 

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Disconnected the pinch bolt, pinned the shifter through the hole in front of the shifter, and retightened the pinch bolt.
This should be all you need to locate the shift linkage assembly. Maybe try a thicker screwdriver or whatever to pin the shifter down. Maybe this will reduce your play.

Edit: reread previous responses that already covered a thicker pin. I don't have any other ideas atm. Good luck!
 
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