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Can't shift to 1st or 2nd - PLEASE HELP by Corvus
Started on: 10-03-2013 08:43 AM
Replies: 24 (461 views)
Last post by: Arns85GT on 10-08-2013 10:40 AM
Corvus
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Report this Post10-03-2013 08:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Details on car below.

In the past I've had a bit of trouble shifting into 1st gear but (in general) I could always give it a little extra oomph and it would pop into place. Yesterday, I had trouble shifting into 2nd as well. Again, though, a little extra attitude would get it into place.

This morning before I left for work, I noticed that the shifter didn't want to snap back to the middle in neutral as it normally does. I didn't think much of it and continued on my way, again having to provide more force than usual to get it into 1st and 2nd. Half way through my drive, though, it became increasingly difficult to get into 1st or 2nd to the point that sometimes after a stop I'd have to start going in 3rd gear. When I could get it into 1st or 2nd I had to use all my body weight to get it into gear. After I would get it into 1st, though, 2nd wasn't too bad.

I also noticed that when I was downshifting from 5th to 4th, it tended to want to grind the gear if I didn't get it in quickly. It is also becoming harder to pop it into 3rd and 4th.

Any thoughts on what could be wrong?

I'm hoping that it's something simple that I can fix on my own. This is my daily driver and I am way short on cash right now. I know I probably should've not forced it into gear but I had an early morning meeting that I had to be present for.

Also, would it be better to get it towed back home? I have AAA so it wouldn't be too big of a hassle.

----------------------------------

1988 Formula, Manual
Clutch replaced ~1,500 miles ago (installed this one)
Flywheel replaced ~1,500 miles ago with new stock part
Motor and transmission mounts replaced ~500 miles ago
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84fiero123
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Report this Post10-03-2013 08:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
clutch/throw out bearing is on its way out, I had a rivet pop out of the clutch matting material once on an old Ranger I had that did the same thing, how about with the engine shut off, can you shift gears with the engine off? could also be clutch slave is shot, lots of things could cause this to happen. bent cable holder, bad cylinder, bent clutch fork.

Steve

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Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

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Corvus
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Report this Post10-03-2013 08:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:

...can you shift gears with the engine off?

Steve



It's still crazy hard to shift with the engine off.

What would you start checking first? (Ideally from easiest and cheapest to hardest and bank breaking)

[This message has been edited by Corvus (edited 10-03-2013).]

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Corvus
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Report this Post10-03-2013 09:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have had problems with the horizontal shift linkage before. In winter a couple of years ago, water got into the line and would freeze. That would prevent me from moving the shifter from side to side until the car warmed up enough to melt the ice. Could a bad linkage cause this?
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84fiero123
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Report this Post10-03-2013 09:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Anything you can see would be cheapest and easiest, all cable mounts, bolts holding them and slave in place. just a lose bolt or bent hanger can cause problems, then on to bleeding the system, harder but still least expensive. I'm sure someone will post with more ideas and hints soon.

Good luck

Steve

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Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

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fierofool
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Report this Post10-03-2013 09:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm thinking you need to bleed the system. When the hydraulics start to malfunction, it's usually harder to get into the lower gears than the higher gears. The fact that the problem is now working its way up the gear chain indicates the system is disengaging even less. Check your fluid level. Have you had to replenish the clutch fluid? Pop the pushrod boots off the master cylinder and slave and look for signs of fluid. They can hold a considerable amount before you can detect it from just a visible inspection. If fluid is leaking out, air may be getting pulled in around the defective seal.

The select cable, the one that comes upward to the transmission, tends to collect water inside at the bottom of the curve upward. This can cause the wire cable to rust, eventually fraying and hanging on the inner sheath. This is especially likely if the rubber weather boot on the end of the cable is damaged or missing. That cable would only cause problems in the left to right movement.

Steve's advice is good to check the visible things first. If there is no squeaking or squealing when you depress the pedal in neutral, you may not have any problems internally.
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Corvus
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Report this Post10-03-2013 10:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I haven't noticed any leaks under the car but I'll definitely check the fluid levels and look into bleeding the system.
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Report this Post10-03-2013 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You may not see leaks underneath the car. The master cylinder is wholly contained within the car. When it leaks, it comes back into the passenger compartment and runs down behind the carpet. The only way to detect this is to look underneath the pedal assembly, locate the pushrod and either move the carpet for clear vision or pull the pushrod boot away from the back of the master cylinder.

The slave cylinder can leak but any fluid coming out while the car is moving (the time you are using the clutch) could be blown around by the airflow in the engine bay and wouldn't be concentrated. That's why you need to pop the pushrod boot off the slave to see if it's filled with fluid.

Some master cylinder and slave boots have a small weep hole in them that will allow quicker detection of leaks, but if the installer fails to orient that hole to the bottom, fluid can build up to an appreciable level before it is visible to the outside surfaces.
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BillS
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Report this Post10-04-2013 01:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BillSClick Here to Email BillSSend a Private Message to BillSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sounds like it could be a shift cable seizing up. Had to replace one of mine once.
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Report this Post10-04-2013 01:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by BillS:

Sounds like it could be a shift cable seizing up. Had to replace one of mine once.


Possibility.

Easy way to test is to unhook the shift and select cables at the transmission.
If the shifter is still hard to move, it's the cables.

Shift cable is for the forward and back movement. The select cable is for side to side.
I replaced both on my Formula and it made a world of difference.
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85sliverGT
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Report this Post10-04-2013 01:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85sliverGTClick Here to Email 85sliverGTSend a Private Message to 85sliverGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by BillS:

Sounds like it could be a shift cable seizing up. Had to replace one of mine once.


X2. Start with the simple stuff like the cables before jumping into the complicated stuff
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Corvus
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Report this Post10-04-2013 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by BillS:

Sounds like it could be a shift cable seizing up. Had to replace one of mine once.


Side to side is not hard to move. It doesn't spring back to center like normal, though.
It's only difficult to get into 1st and 2nd and tends to grind when downshifting.
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84fiero123
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Report this Post10-04-2013 03:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Corvus:
Side to side is not hard to move. It doesn't spring back to center like normal, though.
It's only difficult to get into 1st and 2nd and tends to grind when downshifting.


side to side is just neutral, you are really not moving the cable just the lever, check the above and make sure the cable moves freely, then go on from there. as said check the easiest things first then move on to the next before you start replacing parts.

it can also be the synchros in the trany but that is the worst case scenario and don't even think about that until you have eliminated everything else. I really don't think that's your problem.

Steve

------------------
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 10-04-2013).]

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Report this Post10-05-2013 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for uhlanstanClick Here to Email uhlanstanSend a Private Message to uhlanstanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is a common Fiero problem because people do not add the double seal clutch slave piston,any time the fiero becomes hard/difficult to shift do not drive it untill the clutch slave has been properly bled,better yet is to order the clutch slave double seal piston from rodney dickman & immediately install this much needed improved part. THIS IS A MUST DO ON ALL FIERO,S
if the shift levers do not work properly with the cable discconected & the fluid is at a proper or close level ,you are going to need a transmission,,fortunately used fiero transmissions are still available at reasonable prices
better to use the Rodney double seal piston than the Toyota Mr 2 doulble seal piston.
90 % of Fiero shift problems originate at the clutch slave .
IF YOU ARE LUCKY ,install double seal piston,,you can ajust the cables clean the area around the shifters & make sure the cables operate smooth & freely & follow V8 archie clutch slave bleed procedure & it may work.

any problem with Fiero shifting require,s the install of clutch slave double seal piston & proper bleed procedure every advisor on this forum read & remember this ,,even if you buy a new slave cylinder replace the seal with a double seal piston.
I have honed out a really bad clutch slave 3 years ago, installed a MR 2 double seal piston & it still works great ,I was surprised it worked at all .. I drive mostly in city traffic lotsa shifts
a cable that has had water in it can be lubed with a dry spray lube,,you may want to slit the cable sheath & lube the cable at the center or lowest position where water accumulated
the Fiero shift cables do not require lubrication unless there is a problem requiring lubrication !
both cables should move with out binding,,only lube the cable that froze or lube cables that bind
the nail or drill used during cable ajustment need not fit tightly
you can also remove the console cover & spray lube the working moving parts when you ajust the cables
it is a good idea to clean & lube the shift lever at the fulcrum

[This message has been edited by uhlanstan (edited 10-05-2013).]

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trotterlg
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Report this Post10-05-2013 10:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
WOW, guess you really like the double seal pistons, but remember there are tens of thousands of Fiero's out there that run and shift flawlessly using the stock parts. Good sales pitch however. Larry
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Corvus
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Report this Post10-06-2013 12:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So am I hearing that most people think my transmission is screwed? If so I'm probably going to have to get out of Fieros considering I have an extreme lack of money, time, and facilities to work on them to. I am really, really hoping that is not the case.
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Report this Post10-06-2013 03:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaybug56Click Here to Email jaybug56Send a Private Message to jaybug56Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I put my money on cable adjustment or bad cables.

If it was a clutch issue it would grind gears when trying to put in 1st or 2nd gear while running and would easily go into 1st or 2nd gear with the engine not running.

If you're really thinking about getting rid of your car let me know. I'm looking for another project car.

[This message has been edited by jaybug56 (edited 10-06-2013).]

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Corvus
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Report this Post10-06-2013 05:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaybug56:

If you're really thinking about getting rid of your car let me know. I'm looking for another project car.



I am truly hoping to keep it as it is the first car I ever bought and I love it. I'll keep you posted, though.
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85sliverGT
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Report this Post10-07-2013 06:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85sliverGTClick Here to Email 85sliverGTSend a Private Message to 85sliverGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Corvus:

So am I hearing that most people think my transmission is screwed? If so I'm probably going to have to get out of Fieros considering I have an extreme lack of money, time, and facilities to work on them to. I am really, really hoping that is not the case.


I dont think anyone said your transmission is screwed? Stop the assumptions and start diagnosing the problem. There have been many good suggestions posted on what to check so far.

If you dont know what to start on, start with the easiest. Take the bolts off the shift cables where they attach to the trans, un-hook the cables, then try to move the shifter. Report back.

[This message has been edited by 85sliverGT (edited 10-07-2013).]

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Corvus
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Report this Post10-07-2013 07:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CorvusClick Here to Email CorvusSend a Private Message to CorvusEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by uhlanstan:

...you are going to need a transmission,,fortunately used fiero transmissions are still available at reasonable prices...



Not trying to assume. Just want to be sure.
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Report this Post10-07-2013 07:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think needing a new transmission is probably about the least likely thing that is needed. It could be that you just need to adjust the selector cable, the one that moves when you morve the shifter left to right. If it is not adjusted properly the selector lever will be in the wrong position and will not let the shift lever go into gear. I would say that it is not getting quite enough travel towards the 1st/2nd position. I would adjust that cable at the transmission end to give you a little more movement on the selector in the direction of 1st/2nd. Larry
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Report this Post10-07-2013 11:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The select cable that operates off the left to right movement doesn't have provisions for adjustment. To synchronize it with the front to back shift cable, the shifter must be placed into 1st gear and a pin or drill bit of the appropriate size is inserted into the shifter mechanism to hold it in place. Then the nut on the transmission end of the shift cable has to be loosened to allow the transmission shift lever to settle into the 1st gear position. Tighten the nut on the end of the cable, remove the pin and check for ease of gear selection.
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Report this Post10-08-2013 07:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NiotaFieroClick Here to Email NiotaFieroSend a Private Message to NiotaFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I first got my Fiero-87GT- î had problems getting into 1st and 2nd gear, but found out that î wasn't pushing the clutch in far enough, short legs. Fieros also have a problem, I am told, that has something to do with the clutch pedal adjustment,, something about it bending or something. Maybe someone will know what I'm referring to and can comment.
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post10-08-2013 10:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here is the short list to check

1. Does your clutch pedal have play? Wiggle it with your hand. If it has slop your banjo eye hole is worn and you need the Rodney adjustable banjo for a proper repair

2. Your shift cables are the next thing. Like what was mentioned, disconnect them one at a time and check them for binding
Remember the cables have to be adjusted and moving correctly or you'll get the problem. In my case I have the Muncie and the bolt holes do adjust

3. Try using a broom handle to actuate your clutch. When you start to depress it, the slave should move immediately. If it doesn't you have air in the slave

The likelyhood that you have an internal tranny problem is low.

Good luck with it
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post10-08-2013 10:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Arns85GT

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Member since Jul 2003
Here is the short list to check

1. Does your clutch pedal have play? Wiggle it with your hand. If it has slop your banjo eye hole is worn and you need the Rodney adjustable banjo for a proper repair

2. Your shift cables are the next thing. Like what was mentioned, disconnect them one at a time and check them for binding
Remember the cables have to be adjusted and moving correctly or you'll get the problem. In my case I have the Muncie and the bolt holes do adjust

3. Try using a broom handle to actuate your clutch. When you start to depress it, the slave should move immediately. If it doesn't you have air in the slave

The likelyhood that you have an internal tranny problem is low.

Good luck with it
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