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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03 Dec 2012, 02:16 am
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Default Tranny Issues

Hey guys, newbie here with a question that I hope you guys can answer.
Recently I picked up a 2002 Cruiser for the wife. Non-Turbo, with a 5 speed. She loves it except for an annoying transmission problem; the dreaded popping out of 5th gear (has done 3rd a couple of times too).
It was doing it when we bought it, so we got it for a really good price. It's got less that 120XXX miles on it and it's got a brand new head on it. When we bought it the guy told us about the problem and said it had just started so he had just driven with his hand resting on the shifter. Back then (about 2 months ago) it was not nearly as bad as it is now. You could rest your hand on it and it wouldn't pop out. I did some research and read about the shifter bushings issue. I bought a set of Bugger Bushings thinking it would fix the problem. When I got everything apart to do the install I noticed that the bushings didn't seem to be that bad; it looked like they had been replaced in the not-so-distant past. I went ahead and did the swap, bolted everything back down and took it for a test drive. The bushings did tighten up 1-4, but it immediately kicked 5th out, almost forcefully. I checked the bushings again and they are extremely tight, no slack and fully seated. Thing is that now it doesn't just pop out of gear, it kicks. If you ride with your hand on it you can feel it trying to kick it out.
I've been trying to figure this out for some time now and I'm stumped. I've read that the cables wear out, but they seemed fine. I didn't pay that much attention to them, but are they adjustable? Is there anything else that causes this problem that I should check? I'm mechanical, but I've never come across something like this before. All the shifts are smooth, including 5th. What gives?
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Old 03 Dec 2012, 02:18 pm
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Default Re: Tranny Issues

Theres an adjustment (If you replaced the bushings on shift end you'd 've seen it) on cable, shifter end.



basically you 'center' everything in neutral, then tighten adjuster.

Things it likely isn't:

Shift arms thru trans:

www.neons.org Shift Arm Bushings. Pic and PN's

Arm on shifter itself:

www.neons.org - Fixing Play in the Shifter w/ Oilite Bushing

My buddy (Super smart, not like us Neon guys) had to replace the dog and gear in one of his transmissions, also the nylon loves to rub off on the shift forks, although usually 1-2 or 3-4 forks



You can 'braze' the fork back up:


My suggestion is to eliminate everything outside (There's not much, you've made a good start) then disassemble transmission and see what you can see-
You can take bellhousing off yourself- mildly difficult.

I have seen extreme wear destroy transmissions; the dog is allowed to travel too far and it allows detents to 'pop' out, detent ball gets caught between ring and pinion and massive failure.
So you shouldn't just live with it.

Also install differential saver tabs ($6) when you're in there
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Old 03 Dec 2012, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Tranny Issues

Thanks. I wondered if that might have had something to do with it.
I'll give it a tweak and report back.
If I follow you, I need to set it tight with the stick completely in neutral?
Man, I hope it's that simple.
I really don't want to take the tranny apart.
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Old 10 Dec 2012, 10:26 am
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Default Re: Tranny Issues

No such luck Iím afraid.
I tightened up the adjuster and it did take quite a bit of slop out of the shifter, and it doesnít kick it out of gear anymore, but even tightened all the way down it still pops out.
I also came to the realization that it doesnít have to be moving to do it either. With the car off you can switch through all 5 gears with the shifter and all lock in place as they should except for 5th. If you put it in 5th it will still pop out like it doesnít ďcatchĒ.
I removed the air box under the hood and looked at the linkage. Thereís no discernible difference when all the gears are shifter, except that every one except 5th if firm. If you push the shifter arm on the transmission back towards the firewall then 5th locks in place. Release it and it pops back out.
This leads me to wonder if the culprit isnít a stretched out shifter cable. If it was shorter it would hold the shifter arm closer to the firewall which would keep 5th engaged.
I assume that they arenít adjustable in any other way right?
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Old 10 Dec 2012, 06:34 pm
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Default Re: Tranny Issues

I explained that ... Obviously not very well.
Remove cable end and see if trans still 'pops' out.
Here's from Neon manual, same except they deleted the drill hole, IIRC

Here's a Neon pic, same:


All gears have a very positive detent; it shouldn't 'pop' out of gear while static.
In early Neons there was a limit for left right (crossover) gate on shifter
on 2d gen Neon it was only 5th reverse gate, again on shifter:
I assume, you can see it on lower right, has a rubber bumper:
PT is same as (new) PL
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Dodge-Neon-Us...6pw~~60_57.JPG
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Old 14 May 2013, 08:58 am
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Default Re: Tranny Issues

Sorry I let this all drop, but with the holidays and whatnot things got a little crazy.
The problem is still there. I havenít yet tried the adjustment that you sent me in that link, but I will try that tonight.
The only real update that I have is that just like after I switched the bushings it gets progressively worse. Right after I did that adjustment it was just bad enough that you had to hold a hand behind it to keep it from popping. As time wears on it gets to the point where you have to apply pressure to keep it in, which is physically trying on long trips.
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Old 14 May 2013, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: Tranny Issues

Be interesting to hear what you find
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