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Old 03-24-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
svitak33
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1998 SL2
Default transmission errorn

I've had my saturn for many years. I bought it used with 75,000+ miles and the main problem I've always had is shifting gears. When I go from neutral to any gear or shifting gear to gear there is always a bit of resistance, kind of like it is hanging on something. Some days its extremely hard to change others no problem. Does any one have any idea what the problem could be?

Last edited by svitak33; 03-24-2012 at 05:15 PM.. Reason: stuff in wrong place

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Old 03-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
magtec
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Default Re: transmission errorn

manual or automatic?

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Old 03-24-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Year, make, model, mileage, maintenance done? We can play twenty questions all day........................putting cars stats into your personal profile helps.

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
Tofutti
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Default Re: transmission errorn

If he/she is "shifting gear to gear" I would ASSUME a manual tranny, and it's probably the notorious bushing acting up.

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
svitak33
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Default Re: transmission errorn

98 SL2 1.9L DOHC with 175,000 manual. nothing as far as the transmission. I checked the clutch fluid and it was rather low added some and that help but for only a second. I have yet to find some similarities when it acts up. nothing it just happens when it happens and then goes away then back. Sometimes it's so hard i have to skip 1st gear because it just won't go. other times just slips right in. fluid level in the transmission is good and pink.

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Your xmission most likely has a worn out clutch and clutch hydraulics. Topping off clutch fluid is one hint of a possible leak as clutch hydraulics never needs topping off. Clutch master/slave units don't use fluid as a clutch wears down and shouldn't be compared to brake systems that lower fluid level as caliper pads wear. The clutch master/slave unit throws out the slave pin in one set length throughout the life of this unit and never changes unless damage or leaks occur - then this set length shortens, making clutch release/gear shifts difficult. The high mileage you have makes clutch wear likely in combination with difficulty in shifting into gear; any time a clutch is worn down the clutch hydraulics only has so much throw to separate the clutch from the flywheel so with a worn clutch and pressure plate (and low fluid) means the clutch sometimes never releases from the flywheel and makes shifting into 1st difficult. Another hint of a worn clutch and hydraulics is free shifting with the engine off - the synchro gears aren't spinning at speed to ensure gear engagement when the clutch is released and prevent gear engagement with clutch still engaged (in a worn out setting) but with no engine running the synchros aren't needed so shifting is easy.

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
svitak33
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Default Re: transmission errorn

would a clutch kit be sufficient to fix this?

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Old 03-29-2012, 04:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: transmission errorn

I don't think so but you can try this unless someone else has a better idea; Replace the clutch hydraulics, the master/slave unit first. The way I see it, a new clutch master/slave unit will work with a worn out clutch or good one. If a worn out clutch still gives you trouble shifting into first gear then the clutch is worn out and needs to be replaced. By trying a new clutch master/slave unit, its cheaper and easier to replace while checking whether or not the clutch is worn out. If it was the master/slave then you save a clutch job but if the clutch still won't allow 1st gear shifts then a new clutch is needed and you already have a new clutch master/slave.

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Old 03-29-2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Go to your local pick & pull yard and find an s-series of similar year with manual transmission.. find the pedal feel of your choice and pull it.. it'll be like $14. Put it in your car (pretty easy job, just remove airbox and maybe battery tray). If it fixes the problem.. invest in a new set.

...
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:08 AM   #10
svitak33
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Your xmission most likely has a worn out clutch and clutch hydraulics. Topping off clutch fluid is one hint of a possible leak as clutch hydraulics never needs topping off. Clutch master/slave units don't use fluid as a clutch wears down and shouldn't be compared to brake systems that lower fluid level as caliper pads wear. The clutch master/slave unit throws out the slave pin in one set length throughout the life of this unit and never changes unless damage or leaks occur - then this set length shortens, making clutch release/gear shifts difficult. The high mileage you have makes clutch wear likely in combination with difficulty in shifting into gear; any time a clutch is worn down the clutch hydraulics only has so much throw to separate the clutch from the flywheel so with a worn clutch and pressure plate (and low fluid) means the clutch sometimes never releases from the flywheel and makes shifting into 1st difficult. Another hint of a worn clutch and hydraulics is free shifting with the engine off - the synchro gears aren't spinning at speed to ensure gear engagement when the clutch is released and prevent gear engagement with clutch still engaged (in a worn out setting) but with no engine running the synchros aren't needed so shifting is easy.
tried shifting with the car turned off and it was much easier. Still hung up a little bit but no where near where it usually does

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Old 03-30-2012, 12:10 AM   #11
svitak33
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC2Sick View Post
Go to your local pick & pull yard and find an s-series of similar year with manual transmission.. find the pedal feel of your choice and pull it.. it'll be like $14. Put it in your car (pretty easy job, just remove airbox and maybe battery tray). If it fixes the problem.. invest in a new set.
how would replacing the pedal fix it? couldn't i just adjust the tension?

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Old 03-30-2012, 01:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: transmission errorn

What SC2Sick was attempting to describe is trying a junk yard set of clutch hydraulics. While a nice idea, you have no idea how good the hydraulics are unless you find one with low mileage. Even then its no guarantee that it won't fail, making you do this again when it may be better to buy new clutch hydraulics. You eliminate the hydraulics first. If the new hydraulics doesn't make shifting perfect then its a worn out clutch.

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Old 04-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: transmission errorn

.. Just so that I may learn something as well..

Fdryer: You seem to bring a wealth of knowledge here, and make a very intelligent point/diagnosis for the OP's issue. As this thread progressed, and after performing your tests, it certainly seems you're on the right track here.

For my own knowledge, if you were to go back and read the very first post in this thread, and with this information alone, how would one rule out the shifter bushing (under the stick/in the center console) like you did?

I ask because I'm *almost* having the same issue but it's not really bad at all *yet* and am just curious about what else I might be looking for to pinpoint a future issue as well.

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Old 04-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Lose a shifter bushing and the shift lever flops over as if something let go - the shifter bushing/pivot holding a shift cable in mechanical alignment. Since no mention was made of one or two lost gears or a sloppy shift lever, worn out clutch hydraulics along with a worn out clutch is more likely. Its all a matter of mechanics and hydraulics. Understanding how things work and separating mechanics, hydraulics, and electronics is no more difficult than juggling. I don't know how to juggle........................

Mileage, past history and any/all maintenance draws a picture.

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Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 PM   #15
Tofutti
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Default Re: transmission errorn

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Lose a shifter bushing and the shift lever flops over as if something let go - the shifter bushing/pivot holding a shift cable in mechanical alignment. Since no mention was made of one or two lost gears or a sloppy shift lever, worn out clutch hydraulics along with a worn out clutch is more likely. Its all a matter of mechanics and hydraulics. Understanding how things work and separating mechanics, hydraulics, and electronics is no more difficult than juggling. I don't know how to juggle........................

Mileage, past history and any/all maintenance draws a picture.
Thank you Sir for the reply (Sorry for the delay in mine.).
I understand the differences between mechanical and hydraulics, etc.
I was just thinking that if the bushing wasn't lost yet, but worn, it would allow extra play in the cables, thus making shifting possible, yet difficult, as one would be wearing the cable against the cable's sheathing, or things just not lining up as they should, etc. This would also make a shifter feel "sloppy" (as is the case with mine); The gears are definable in feeling, but there is a fair amount of "play" in the stick, and sometimes, it's hard to get into first gear (running or not) as well as fifth sometimes being hard to hit (need to kind-of feel for it/make sure you slam ALL the way to the right of the stick's travel before you go up).

Again, not trying to hijack a thread, just curious as to the train of thought so I may have my own train on the right track if I need to head down this path.

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Old 04-21-2012, 12:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: transmission errorn

1-Pull the console apart.

2- LOOK at the shifter assembly.

3-Move shifter through all gears with engine OFF, clutch released.

4-Move shifter through all gears with engine ON, clutch released.

5-Observe any perceived 'slop' in shifter/cable assembly. Any perceived wear in bushings is minimal - if worn then shift feel will feel sloppy.

6-Shift cables do not stretch, period. No one exceeds cable designed tension where the cable stretches. Long before this can occur the linkages/bushings, levers are already bent/damaged/broken while the cable lays mute to the abuse.

Mileage has a direct bearing on wear and tear of clutch and hydraulics. The most significant reason for premature wear and tear on clutch/hydraulics is the person using the car and his/her abilities to operate a manual xmission. This can be from the previous owner if a car is bought used. Some have the 'feel' for correct shifting and learned early - having the longest lasting clutch system lasting well over 150k miles, often because of more highway driving with less shifting involved. Few retain their clutch/hydraulics in city/town traffic due to higher number of shifts in less mileage - under 150k miles. The average car owner may replace a clutch and hydraulics after less than 100k miles depending on the number of drivers since no two drivers have the same ability to slip a clutch as smoothly without incurring more wear and tear that shortens clutch/hydraulic life.

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