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Old 07-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
GBPackFan
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Location: Kalama, WA
What I Drive: 2004 Sonic Blue SVT

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Shifting issues.

Ok, I had posted a thread earlier about some difficult shifting out of 1st gear while driving, but have yet been able to track down the real reason the shifting is difficult. Fast forward to yesterday, the difficulty shifting out of 1st gear has now progressed to after starting the car when the engine/tranny are cold has become an issue of even being able to select reverse, 1st, or second. I have to push the stick all over before it wants to take a gear. If I feel like it is wanting to go in I have to push HARD to get it in to the gear. No crunching sounds at all like a synchro would make it if you were trying to force it in with out using the clutch.

So yesterday I had to go to town for some appointments when this particular issue popped up; it was the first time I ever noticed it. I was driving around town and had left a stop light. By that time the motor was up to temp and my 1st gear, 2nd gear shifting difficulty had become significantly less noticeable (only seems to be a problem now when the motor is still cool); when while I was in 2nd gear accelerating towards 3rd gear I shifted around 28-30mph and expecting to end up in third I ended up in 5th. 25 mph in 5th in a SVT is not fun, to say the least. I immediately noticed it because I had never had such an issue with a stick shift. All the sticks I've ever driven have a very natural tendency to go towards the next gear up, 2nd slides right into 3rd, 3rd pulls straight down into 4th, 4th requires some angle to get 5th, and straight down to 6th. So I continue on with that particular drive and I found myself in 3rd looking to go towards 4th. How simple is this one, pull straight back, right? Well not yesterday or earlier today. A steady yank on the knobs from 3rd to 4th found 6th instead. If you thought 25 mph in 5th sucks, imagine 32-35 in 6th. SO I immediately tried to correct the shift thinking there's no way that the problem is in the nerves of my head, neck, arm, or hand in the issue, I tried to get into neutral and the amount of slop in the gears was HORRIBLE!!!! It was moving in circles between 3-4 and 5-6, but not able to get over to the 1-2 area. I couldn't find a gate at all on the right side until I let the stick fall to "a natural" position, then I could get a gear.

This happened again today when I went to our local community (Kalama is podunk small, population only 2300) to drop off some prescriptions and pay a bill the issue happened again when I was coming back up my hill. While I was navigating to car up the twisties I knew I was coming up on a tight right hairpin that I NEED to be in 2nd for. It is a TIGHT uphill right hairpin and it is way hairy at anything above 20 mph. I was in 3rd and shifted towards 2nd, but found nothing, just SLOP. I clutched in, allowed the shifter to find a natural spot, clutched out, then proceeded to properly shift to 2nd.

I got home and asked my step-dad to help me look at it, hoping he had some insight and the only things I noticed was horrible slop on the cable that connects OUTSIDE the shift base and a dusty, greasy washer on the shifter base. I had previously installed a STS, but when I did I do not remember there being a washer behind the clip. So I tried the washer on the stud that takes the clip and it slid right on, so I left it on there; because it looked like it had too much play with out it and less after it. I had yet had a chance to drive the car, I am waiting for the motor to cool down completely since the problems become apparent only when the motor is 100% cold and are eased significantly when the motor is at temp. I don't think a washer is my whole problem, but I will slap myself and call me a monkey if it is.

Some one tried to suggest earlier to "reset" the shift linkages, but I couldn't understand the procedure the way the described it versus what I saw under the hood. The only pictures that were provided to me were of a zetec/MTX 75 and they didn't really help. So if someone can seriously elaborate to me the resetting of the linkage that would be AWESOME!!

Sorry for the winded post, but I am really not trying to spend $500 fixing my car right now.


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Current love affair: 2004 SVTF #953 (Josephina - pronounced hoe-se-fin-a)
RIP: 2002 SVTF #2358, Sent to graveyard on June 11, 2013. I will always remember the good times we had!!
This car made my hair go gray, and did not care.
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