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Old 03-01-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
mgordon1100
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Default Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

Actually, I just need an excuse to type to someone. There's only so much I can say to the cats.

OK, so the problem really did happen. Go figure. I take a 3 - 4 month hiatus from this board, the car is running tip top shape, then I come back here for fun and my car wont go into gear this morning. As normal, I started the car and tried to put it in reverse. The stick just stopped, like I was hitting a brick wall with it. So, I tried all other gears with no luck. I turned off the car, and it still wouldn't go into any gear. I could feel the resistance, so I knew the linkage was fine. I finally gave it a nice firm shove into reverse, and they all broke free.

1. Anyone have this problem before?
2. Is it a matter of the cold weather and not driving it for a couple of days?
(I know I have a leak to fix, so there's moisture in the car.)
3. If it happens again, will I cause some kind of damage getting it to work like I did?

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Old 03-01-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
jambra1
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

Others will certainly have some good questions to help you diagnose but the first that come to mind for me are:

Have you checked your clutch hydraulics to assure that you are getting full depth on the piston that will disengage the clutch?

Were you actually having trouble going into any of the gears with the car turned off as well as with it running?

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Old 03-01-2009, 07:25 PM   #3
dorisSL
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

when it got really cold in my neck of the woods, my clutch hydraulics froze up, and it was pretty simmilar to what you seem to have.
turned out to be water in the hydraulics. the solution was change the fluid with a turkey baster a couple squirts at a time (OldNuc recommended once a week, i did every time i drove, up to once a day. probably cost me more in brake fluid, but sped up the change out process)

...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisSL View Post
when it got really cold in my neck of the woods, my clutch hydraulics froze up, and it was pretty simmilar to what you seem to have.
turned out to be water in the hydraulics. the solution was change the fluid with a turkey baster a couple squirts at a time (OldNuc recommended once a week, i did every time i drove, up to once a day. probably cost me more in brake fluid, but sped up the change out process)
Doris, with your hydraulics frozen up, were you able to press on the pedal all the way to the floor? Plus, I'm not quite sure how you would change the fluid like this. Pull out a little bit and replace, then it mixes down in the system while driving? By the way, how many miles is she up to now?

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgordon1100 View Post
Doris, with your hydraulics frozen up, were you able to press on the pedal all the way to the floor? Plus, I'm not quite sure how you would change the fluid like this. Pull out a little bit and replace, then it mixes down in the system while driving? By the way, how many miles is she up to now?
yes, the pedal went to the floor, but it would not fully disengage. so, clutch in, it would still creep (kinda like an autotragic), and changing gears was varying degrees of difficult and impossible.

and, yes, that is exactly how you change the fluid. use a turkey baster and suck out fluid from the reservoir, then replace with clean fluid.

doris was at 155,023 at last fill-up.

edit -
went out and checked, as she sits, 155,151 (and very wet and sad looking ).
if you're curious, these hydraulic issues were at about 152k

...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast

Last edited by dorisSL; 03-01-2009 at 09:24 PM..

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisSL View Post
went out and checked, as she sits, 155,151 (and very wet and sad looking ).
if you're curious, these hydraulic issues were at about 152k
Actually, I'm more curious how our race to 200k is going. I'm pretty sure we're running nose to nose, but you had a head start. You probably don't remember that. It was the afternoon I called you doris day.

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgordon1100 View Post
Actually, I'm more curious how our race to 200k is going. I'm pretty sure we're running nose to nose, but you had a head start. You probably don't remember that. It was the afternoon I called you doris day.
well, you've got a chance to take the lead right now, because my license is currently suspended.

...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

back on topic, i forgot to mention that when my clutch issues came about, the water in the clutch fluid was visible. it made it look kinda milky.
it loosened up after only 2-3 turkeybasters, and was unnoticeable after about 5. i kept going until i had gone thru roughly half a (l1 qt) bottle of fluid, just for good measure

...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast

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Old 03-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Couldn't put manual in gear this morning.

The secret to that little trick is that the water in brake fluid is distributed throughout all of the fluid evenly. So if you remove a quantity of contaminated fluid the new fluid will be contaminated by the residual and will rapidly reach equilibrium contamination. You can then repeat the removal of all of the contaminated fluid that you can and repeat.

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