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Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

 
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Old 30 Aug 2012, 05:18 pm
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Default Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

We have 2008 with 18,000 miles on her, and a Manual Trans. Sometimes it appears to be stiff to shift. Took to my mechanic and he checked fluid level and cable connections, and did not find any problems. This problem seems to be more noticeable when it is hot out and the car has been driven awhile (We live in the Phoenix area). I notice it more shifting from 1st to 2nd, and down shifting for 3rd to 2nd. Has anyone with a Manual Shifting PT had any similar problems?
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Old 30 Aug 2012, 05:45 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

There's multiple posts on adjusting the clutch pedal- Don't know if it's been put in helpful links yet, but is simple-

used 5/16 or 8mm wrench/socket, loosen underdash bolt, pull pedal back, push rod in, tighten

or

go to chrysler and have them estimate every single part in clutch system ...
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Old 30 Aug 2012, 06:12 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

Far and away the most problem prone thing on the manual shifters is the bushings on the cable end links wearing out. I hope that is something the mechanic checked out at both ends of the cables. At the trans end it only takes a few minutes to inspect but inside the cab the console needs to be removed which is a bigger deal. You should be able to pop the shift boot out of the floor console and maaaaaaybe get a peek at the condition of the bushings, slip the shifter into a few gears while looking close at what's happening and even dribble a drop or two of oil on the pivot.

Now if it's clutch related, you want to determine that the pedal has an inch or so of free play before it starts to lift the clutch, be fully released somewhere in the middle of the pedal travel (not way down on the floor or right at the very beginning) so one gear can be vacated and another selected cleanly. If there is a leak in the hydraulic system you may notice a difference if you press and release the pedal quickly compared to slowly. It's rare but I have seen a few reports of the master cylinder bolts being loose so the whole master cylinder flexes off the firewall instead of just the plunger moving in the master like it should.

Half the time shifter problems are simple fixes but it takes the knowing what to look for to have a happy ending. For example, you can't just buy bushings from Chrysler. They want to sell you the whole cable assembly for hundreds. But you can get the bushings for almost nothing at a junk yard or from someone who has upgraded to solid bushings and has the OEM ones laying around.

Last edited by 2step; 30 Aug 2012 at 06:19 pm. Reason: more info
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Old 30 Aug 2012, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

In my 'hunts' for neon cables (used to do the 'kyle mod' and sell them) only found ONE good large bushing!!!!

2 step is right- Get some 'booger bushings' even if yours aren't bad, you'll think you're driving a ferrari (well, the shifter, at least)

there's a new product that replaces the clutch linkage, too- More later
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Old 31 Aug 2012, 01:59 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

I have the same issue--difficult to shift into first or second when the car warms up. I tried the suggestion of adjusting the rod connecting the clutch pedal: no change in symptoms....
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Old 31 Aug 2012, 05:35 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartlesville View Post
I have the same issue--difficult to shift into first or second when the car warms up. I tried the suggestion of adjusting the rod connecting the clutch pedal: no change in symptoms....
Without being there to "feel" it for myself, I'd say if the shifter is sort of loose feeling, if you can move it around more than an inch side to side, back and forth easily when it's in gear and parked, it's the cable end link bushings. All you have to do to find out is look at them.

The only reason the clutch has been mentioned is, though rare, it's possible in certain situations that if the pressure plate diaphragm isn't fully pressed, the gear selecter has a hard time changing gears. Check out this link, scroll to the second illistration and click the little square in the lower right to see what should happen with the pressure plate......
HowStuffWorks "Fly Wheels, Clutch Plates and Friction"

I'm really leaning toward the cable bushings being the guilty party, leaning away from any pedal adjustment being the cause and crossing the county line of it being an internal transmisssion problem.
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Old 31 Aug 2012, 05:43 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
Without being there to "feel" it for myself, I'd say if the shifter is sort of loose feeling, if you can move it around more than an inch side to side, back and forth easily when it's in gear and parked, it's the cable end link bushings. All you have to do to find out is look at them.

The only reason the clutch has been mentioned is, though rare, it's possible in certain situations that if the pressure plate diaphragm isn't fully pressed, the gear selecter has a hard time changing gears. Check out this link, scroll to the second illistration and click the little square in the lower right to see what should happen with the pressure plate......
HowStuffWorks "Fly Wheels, Clutch Plates and Friction"

I'm really leaning toward the cable bushings being the guilty party, leaning away from any pedal adjustment being the cause and crossing the county line of it being an internal transmisssion problem.
i don't know man, when i got my car it had no shifter bushings at all(on the transmission end of the cables). just eyelets flopping around on pegs. i drove it like that for a month and it always shifted fine, just felt sloppy.
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Old 31 Aug 2012, 06:29 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

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Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
i don't know man, when i got my car it had no shifter bushings at all(on the transmission end of the cables). just eyelets flopping around on pegs. i drove it like that for a month and it always shifted fine, just felt sloppy.
Oh, it can happen just like that if you're lucky. But each car is slightly different and all it takes is fraction of an inch more one way or the other and the gears "stick" or don't change at all.

So my question to you is..... Since you weren't having a problem did you think you should leave it that way? Look everybody. All I'm trying to do is help you and give you my best guess without being there. I've been on many Cruiser forums for 8 years and I've seen hundreds of posts about shifting issues caused by bad bushings. It's like a f'ing flow chart. Inspect the bushings. Do not worry about anything else until you do that. If they are good, check the cables for rust or other problems. If the cables are fine, turn the levers on the outside of the trans to see if they are free. Why does anyone have to argue about it? Take it to the dealer and pay through the nose if that's going to make you happy.
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Old 01 Sep 2012, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

Obviously there are lots of components involved in shifting ...

Everyone knows the bushings fail- I hope.
If not you can buy boogers for $20 and sooner or later that puke Jeff will have enough money to build biggest house in Wisconsin- Like a 3-bedroom?

Most on the forum know about adjusting clutch, if not search

There's also the 'Yellow Spring' cover that seems to have had problems

Super-high mileage shifters (No, not 180,000 miles) will wear a little busing bore

Super, super high mileage transmissions (not 200,000 miles) will wear the shift arm bushing

But bottom line is difficult shift into R and 1st to 2d is classic dragging clutch
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Old 02 Sep 2012, 01:26 pm
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Default Re: Manual Trans Stiff Shift?

Ok, I appricate all of the comments and suggestions. I can see some of these problem happening if the car had allot of miles. But the car only has 18,000 miles, we live in Arizona so rust is pretty much not an issue. I suppose it is possible that a bushing was bad or fell out so I will check with the mechanic to see if he checked that out.
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