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Old 06-18-2021, 09:34 PM   #1
dakota1820
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Default Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

I just bought a 3rd gen sl1 and the shift cables are new but are very stiff. So stiff that the shifter bushing under the console will pop off of you wiggle the shifter in neutral to much. What would cause this very stiff shifter situation? What should I look for?
Another issue is the clutch pedal can freely swing about and the rod falls out of the clutch master cylinder. Does this mean I need a new master/slave assembly? Or is it something else?

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Old 06-18-2021, 11:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

"New" as in "bought from the Saturn/Chevy/GM dealer" or as in "aftermarket cables that come broken from the factory"?

Usually aftermarket cables have to be reinforced just after they leave the interior shift tower and have to have graphite lube worked into the cables before they almost work like legit cables.
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

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Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
"New" as in "bought from the Saturn/Chevy/GM dealer" or as in "aftermarket cables that come broken from the factory"?

Usually aftermarket cables have to be reinforced just after they leave the interior shift tower and have to have graphite lube worked into the cables before they almost work like legit cables.
Not 💯 sure I am assuming aftermarket. I did notice tonight that where the linkage hooks to the bottom of the shifter is really stiff. Pretty sure that should move back and forth freely (where the linkage meets the shifter) that piece I think should move freely it is very stiff the plastic sleeve around the shaft looks like it has seen better days as well
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

Which cable, of the two there, are you talking about? By "shaft", do you mean a ball-stud on the shift lever?

Yeah, there is a a plastic bushing, connecting one of those cables to the "hinged" shift lever, that is a common failure point. If some aftermarket cable or bushing is there now, then it would help so see what your have; post a picture.
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

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Which cable, of the two there, are you talking about? By "shaft", do you mean a ball-stud on the shift lever?

Yeah, there is a a plastic bushing, connecting one of those cables to the "hinged" shift lever, that is a common failure point. If some aftermarket cable or bushing is there now, then it would help so see what your have; post a picture.
Where the cable that operates gear changes. Where that cable attaches to the shift lever assembly the ball socket is on a piece that should pivot freely and it doesn't . It's incredibly stiff
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Old 06-19-2021, 01:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

The 5-speed (manual) trans has two cables, which one is it???

I think your are saying the cable end will not "roll" (rock left-to-right) on the lever ball; so the cable has to twist. Is that correct?
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

It's not the cable it is the shifter knob assembly itself where the cable attaches . If you follow the shifter knob straight down it is the end of the shifter knob there is a pin that allows the end of the shifter assembly to wiggle back and forth. That part is seized up and very stiff. It is the part at the bottom of the shift knob where the gear changing cable goes to. (The one the bushing commonly fails on).
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Old 06-19-2021, 03:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

OK, I understand now. I have not heard before of that hinge binding, but maybe somebody else here is more familiar with that shift assembly. My recollection is that the lever/hinge is pretty simple; should be easy to fix. I expect you can disconnect the cables and remove the whole assembly for further inspection/fixing/lubrication.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Very stiff shifter (5speed Manual)

There is a plastic spacer around the pin and the plastic looks to be done. I pulled the plastic out and it feels better but I am going to go ahead and swap it anyway. In fairness the shifter has 292,000 miles on it. 😂
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