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Old 01-10-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
bicycleboy7
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Default Hard to change gears

i have a 1996 SL1, when ever i change gears, i have to really force the gear leaver into place. any ideas why? it has 147000 miles on it. thanks

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Old 01-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1997 SW2
Default Re: Hard to change gears

Is this a Manual or Automatic?

Manual: Change the Trans fluid. You only need 2.5 Qrts of fluid and YES..you CAN use ATF in your Manual Transmission. Check your shifter bushing underneath the center console, along with the cable ends. These can get worn out and can eventually break. The shifter bushing is a $32 replacement off of ebay and works great. Also, what is the condition of your clutch, etc. ?

Automatic: Change the ATF fluid and filter. This should be done RELIGIOUSLY every 30K miles on an automatic transmission. If it hasn't been done in a while or you can't remember the last time it was done, it may be a good time to do it now.

...
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92 SL1
05 VUE
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:09 PM   #3
hholbein
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Default Re: Hard to change gears

If yours in a Manual Transmission, you might want to also check the linkage on the transmission side of the cables (accessible from above or better still from the side after removing the wheel and driver's side inner splash shield).

These often get crudded up with gritty sand/dirt/old ATF etc. and causes the gear selector to get hung up or balky. Clean & degrease the transmission linkage with some Simple Green and an old toothbrush and see if that helps.

If not, I'd dig into the interior shift console and see if there's an issue with the bushing.

Swapping out my 12 y/o Dexron III ATF for Transynd ATF has also made shifts a bit smoother, but unless your ATF looks and smells awful, I'd make that 3rd on my list of to-dos.

Let us know what you find....

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Old 01-11-2010, 02:54 AM   #4
Dime333
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1994 SL1
Default Re: Hard to change gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicycleboy7 View Post
i have a 1996 SL1, when ever i change gears, i have to really force the gear leaver into place. any ideas why? it has 147000 miles on it. thanks
Damn the same is hapenning to my 94 sl1 146,000 i had changed the ATF fluid in december but i dont think i got it all out cuz its the new stuff is kinda dark. the old stuff was really dark like almost like the color of this face haha

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hard to change gears

look for the writeup by barnowl in The How To Library for testing the clutch hydraulic system.

I've been slowly changing out my clutch hydraulic fluid using a turkey baster (following richpin's video) and last time I must not have put enough brake fluid in. Noticed substantially harder shifting, esp to 1st gear.

Added more (I think just under 1/4 from the top), place a rag around the master reservoir to catch spills, and put the cap back on. Much improved shifting.

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Guess I now (12/2008) own a 1998 SL2, silver, 5 spd :p
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And now (7/2010), a Craigslist 1997 SC2, white, 5 spd

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Old 01-11-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hard to change gears

First thing I would check is the clutch. When sitting idle, with the clutch depressed shift into first gear and look for any drop in RPM. If you see an RPM drop you have a problem with your clutch (most likely external (master or slave cylinders).

-Robert


Quote:
Originally Posted by bicycleboy7 View Post
i have a 1996 SL1, when ever i change gears, i have to really force the gear leaver into place. any ideas why? it has 147000 miles on it. thanks

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Old 01-12-2010, 01:05 AM   #7
Dime333
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1994 SL1
Default Re: Hard to change gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
First thing I would check is the clutch. When sitting idle, with the clutch depressed shift into first gear and look for any drop in RPM. If you see an RPM drop you have a problem with your clutch (most likely external (master or slave cylinders).

-Robert
Wouldnt that just kill the engine?

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:30 AM   #8
mjoekingz28
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hard to change gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
look for the writeup by barnowl in The How To Library for testing the clutch hydraulic system.

I've been slowly changing out my clutch hydraulic fluid using a turkey baster (following richpin's video) and last time I must not have put enough brake fluid in. Noticed substantially harder shifting, esp to 1st gear.

Added more (I think just under 1/4 from the top), place a rag around the master reservoir to catch spills, and put the cap back on. Much improved shifting.
I thought it was all in my head when I suctioned out some clutch fluid then added some and I might have put in just a little too much since the rubber seal needs to be expanded when reinstalling, But afterwards the clutch pedal seemed to be a bit stiffer.


Dime, he never said he engaged the clutch.

A few months back I swapped out the 5yr old dexIII for redline d4 atf and got improved (smoorher) shifting in all but first gear,especially when coming from reverse. It really bugs me, so I bought some MTL and it feels pretty much the same. Besides having to continually stab first after backing up and sometimes having to press and release the clutch pedal a few times ( a technique often used in motorcycles to get the gears lined up at a stop) and it takes a few moments usually when shifting to second sometimes. Besides that, shifting is quite fluid and very nice.

I hear lubing the shift cables with powdered mica will help, but have yet to try this myself.

Last edited by mjoekingz28; 01-12-2010 at 03:37 AM..

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hard to change gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Is this a Manual or Automatic?

Manual: Change the Trans fluid. You only need 2.5 Qrts of fluid and YES..you CAN use ATF in your Manual Transmission. Check your shifter bushing underneath the center console, along with the cable ends. These can get worn out and can eventually break. The shifter bushing is a $32 replacement off of ebay and works great. Also, what is the condition of your clutch, etc. ?

Automatic: Change the ATF fluid and filter. This should be done RELIGIOUSLY every 30K miles on an automatic transmission. If it hasn't been done in a while or you can't remember the last time it was done, it may be a good time to do it now.
What i did I work for me real good not saying that you have to but i had the same issue on a 5 speed. i change the fluid but I mix 50% ATF and 50% 10-30 engine oil. I must say it shifted like butter reall smooth, and I had it for very long time.

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Old 01-12-2010, 09:10 AM   #10
DonP
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Hard to change gears

Clutch hydraulics problem is one possible issue that will results in difficulty shifting into 1st and 2nd gear when the engine is running, easy shifting when the engine is off. This can be a result of problem with the hydraulics system resulting in loss of fluid, or bad seals.

There is a diagnostic test for clutch fork travel that can help diagnose if this is your problem. A search should find it.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:20 PM   #11
RobertGary1
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Default Re: Hard to change gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dime333 View Post
Wouldnt that just kill the engine?
No because you have the clutch down the entire time. If it kills the engine you know you have a serious clutch problem.

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