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Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

 
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Old 19 Jul 2016, 11:42 am
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Default Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

About a month ago I got in my car (2001 Cruiser ltd ed) to run some errands, put it in neutral, started it, then when I tried to shift into first (manual trans) it wouldn't go. Tried all the other gears and shifter was locked out. I turned off the engine and could easily shift in and out of all gears.
Googled it and didn't find much. Went back later and it was fine but I took it to a mechanic anyway and he drove it and looked everything over and couldn't find anything wrong.
Today (a month later) I got in the car and same thing. I figured I'd have to turn off the car, put it in reverse, back out of drive, turn off the car, shift into 2cd and drive to the mechanic in 2cd.
Backed the car out and just for kicks tried shifting into first and again it worked fine.
Transmission not making any noises and it shifts like melted butter now. Any ideas? I believe I have a hydraulic clutch if that matters. Don't really want to have to shell out money on this.
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Old 19 Jul 2016, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

The first thing I'd do is check the clutch master cylinder and make sure it's got plenty of fluid in it. It takes regular DOT3 brake fluid. If the fluid is okay, I'd pull the battery and battery tray and take a look at the shift bushings. But, I'm not a mechanic. Just an old man trying to keep his own stuff going.
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Old 19 Jul 2016, 02:45 pm
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

Thanks for the suggestion Chuzz. I checked both of the brake fluid levels and they were full. Pulling the battery will be a bit more of a project.
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Old 19 Jul 2016, 07:37 pm
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

I has similar issue were it would not go in to reverse. Come to find out it was the bushing under the air cleaner box
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Old 20 Jul 2016, 02:51 am
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

I just replaced that shifter bushing. It was really pretty easy. 15 minutes. It made a difference though. Goes into first and reverse easily.
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Old 20 Jul 2016, 05:39 am
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

Were the shifter bushings causing a problem that happened every time you tried to shift into reverse or just every now and then?
When I told the mechanics what was happening first time a took it in they just looked at me like I was making it up, they'd never heard of my problem before.
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Old 20 Jul 2016, 07:24 am
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

Unfortunately, mechanics aren't really mechanics anymore. They're parts changers. Don't trust anyone to do something you can do yourself. That's my motto.
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Old 23 Jul 2016, 06:56 am
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Default Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

New symptom this morning. Gear shift locked out again but with the engine off I put it in first and started the car and clutch was engaged even though I had it to the floor and the car was rolling forward. Clutch seemed a little floppy. It straightened itself out shortly and drove as normal.
Does that suggest anything?
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Old 24 Jul 2016, 01:25 am
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Smile Re: Strange Intermittent Shift Problem

Just tossing out a couple of possibilities...

It may be your modular clutch slave cylinder leaking fluid/ pressure off. After a few pumps etc, some pressure comes back and the clutch is released normally again, if not necessarily completely disengaging. It doesn't take much of a leak and you may not even see it dripping until you pull it apart. Alternatively, if the clutch hydraulics have ever been drained/ refilled, you could have an air bubble trapped in the slave cylinder assembly, if it wasn't done right. On this type of system the slave cylinder needs to be reverse bled
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