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Old 02-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
Knell
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1999 SL2
Sad 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Was driving along and all of a sudden my car would not shift - shifter moves freely back and forth between 3rd and 4th gear - will not move in any other direction. It does start up and I can drive it - seems to be stuck in 3rd gear. Checked the linkage and it wasn't the plastic bushing - I have had that break on me - about a year ago, and did replace it with the $20 NAPA part. I had been noticing for a long time that sometimes when I shifted my car it would go into gear really easy and smooth, and other times it would be hard to shift and I would almost have to force it into gear. My boyfriend was driving and I did hear it grind into gear right before he said um, something wrong with your car... sooooo not sure if it would be a cable - not really too mechanical, but we did not hear a snap or any other noises... So super irritated because I just spent a bunch of money yesterday to have the exhaust system replaced since that was all rusted away. Anyone know what this problem could be? It is being looked at Monday but I'd really like to have an idea of what I'm in for!

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Mileage?

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Old 02-11-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

hmm... I know it's around 162,000

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Old 02-11-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Worn out clutch and/or clutch master/slave unit. One of the tests to isolate a worn out clutch is shifting through gears with the engine OFF. If shifts go easily with little difficulty and then very difficult with the engine running, its usually a worn out clutch. Another test is when driving in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gear, floor the accelerator pedal; if the tach revs freely up to redlne without the car going any faster then the clutch is worn out - a worn out clutch will slip.

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Old 02-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

I've floored and it's definitely picked up speed fairly quickly..... but yeah one day it would be easy to shift, and then the next day hard. This went on for months before this happened. It worried me a little, but no one else seemed to think I should be worried about it so I sort of just thought eh, it's old and just the way it is.

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Old 02-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

You don't think it could be anything with a cable or with a linkage on the trans? I really don't know what I'm talking about but someone mentioned that to me - and it sounds better to me than a clutch...

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Old 02-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

I did have a clutch go out on me before, on my first manual car - and the car did not want to drive, and it smelled like something burning. I experienced none of this today. Does that always happen?

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Old 02-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Open the hood and look at the cables at the transmission while someone moves the shifter back and forth. You can not select 5/R or 1/2 as ling as you are stuck in 3rd or 4th. The lever at the trans will sometimes break so watch the shafts also after checking that the cables are moving the only lever that you can move in this condition.

It is the top lever at the trans that selects the 1/2, 3/4, 5/R and the bottom one that selects a single gear from the 3 groups. When shifting 3->4 and back make sure that the rod the lever is attached to actually moves.

Last edited by OldNuc; 02-11-2012 at 09:01 PM..

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Old 02-11-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Thanks for the info and advice.
When I said a cable or linkage sounded better than a clutch, I meant cheaper... Right?
So I will cross my fingers. Wish my car was HERE and not at the shop so I could check this stuff out!!! But I do work at the shop it's currently sitting at, so at least I have a bit of a hook up...

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Old 02-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knell View Post
Thanks for the info and advice.
When I said a cable or linkage sounded better than a clutch, I meant cheaper... Right?
So I will cross my fingers. Wish my car was HERE and not at the shop so I could check this stuff out!!! But I do work at the shop it's currently sitting at, so at least I have a bit of a hook up...
What usually happens is the staked connection between the lever and the rod fails and the lever moved but the rod does not. The transmission shift tower is pretty much generic so a J/Y part will fix it if that is what broke. A cable clip failure does not usually leave you in one group but it is possible also. Either way a set of OEM cables from the JY or a shift selector tower should fix it and both are reasonable, usually. This is what all the clips look like out at the trans. http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=49087

The long lever hanging straight down that is operated by the lower cable in the drawing is the 1/2 or 3/4 or 5/R selector as it is either pushed or pulled. The upper cable operates the horizontal lever that selects one of the 3 gear pairs, this is the left -right motion in the car. If you are locked in any gear then the horizontal lever will not move.

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Old 02-11-2012, 10:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Base on what I read and my experience working on Saturn's for 10 yrs at a retailer. I would lean towards one of the shift cable clips ,broke ,rusted or worked it's way out. the default would be to only have 2nd and third gear if the cross shift clip is gone. I have seen this several times. or the cables have stretched or have broken in casing which I have seen too. A great web sight to get OEM parts at is GMParts4u.com They are a Saturn authorize Chevy dealer in Texas that sell at wholesale prices. best prices on the net.

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Old 02-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Base on what I read and my experience working on Saturn's for 10 yrs at a retailer. I would lean towards one of the shift cable clips ,broke ,rusted or worked it's way out. the default would be to only have third gear and fourth if the cross shift clip is gone. I have seen this several times. or the cables have stretched or have broken in casing which I have seen too. A great web sight to get OEM parts at is GMParts4u.com They are a Saturn authorize Chevy dealer in Texas that sell at wholesale prices. best prices on the net.

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

turns out it was the cable clip...

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: 99 manual trans stuck in gear

Just had this happen to my girlfriend's car, 99 SW1. Hoping to look at it tonight and see that a clip broke or something. She's stuck in reverse and we were even contemplating driving it all the way home at around 2-3 am.

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