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Popping out of 5th (Dr Bill warning)

Metro Mighty Mouse
09-10-2010, 05:55 PM
Had an odd situation recently with an unexpected solution. This also includes a warning that we can't go old school on new cars.

A few months ago the mouse gear shift would slip out of the 5th gear slot if my hand was resting on it. The car would still be in gear but the shifter was free to move into all the other gear slots. The only solution was to but it back in 5th and then it would shift as normal.

Fast forward a month or so and the transmission starts popping out of 5th gear when transitioning from power to coasting. Holding it in by hand worked but got annoying as the problem worsened. When holding the gearshift I could feel the shift linkage moving back and forth when power was applied and removed and it only happened in 5th, all other gears were stable. As the problem continued to worsen I decided an old school solution would make things easier. I wrapped a bungee cord around the center console and used that to hold it in gear. It felt overly tight so I changed the way I had it set up to ease the pressure. End result? it started jumping out of gear under power and I could feel that the gear wasn't engaging completely.

Since I was no longer able to drive in 5th gear I went to a back up car and planned to take the cover off and see if I could figure out what the problem was. When taking the shift fork apart, the allen head plug that holds the check ball in was loose and I was able to take it out with just my finger. I purchased this trans from a junk yard in Texas 4 some odd years ago and it was clear that someone had taken the trans apart previously. Apparently, they did not locktite the plug and after 4+ years it vibrated loose and the ball was no longer able to hold the shift linkage in place.

The old school solution of using a bungee cord to hold it in gear had the effect of grinding the soft aluminum shift fork down until it was no longer able to move the sleeve far enough to engage the gear. Fortunately I have been hauling the bad transmission I replaced in Texas around with me and was able to pull all the parts that I needed to replace from it. I was able to do the entire repair on the car and it only took a few hours to complete. The process was made much easier thanks to Dr Bill's trans rebuild photos.

So here are the warnings; Dr Bill, and anyone rebuilding one of these transmissions, be absolutely sure to locktite that plug. Secondly, modern transmissions, with their softer materials for weight savings, will not stand up to giant rubberbands.

Hope this helps someone somewhere down the line.


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