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Trans won't go into gear correctly, Absolutely at the end of ideas. Please help.

gtluke

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Sep 16, 2001
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dirty jersey
Okay I'm out of ideas.
Back-background:
A few months ago a sprint popped out of my centerforce clutch disk, or rather one of those rubber things disintegrated and the metal ends of it fell into the clutch.
I changed the clutch for a brand new pressure plate and disk. The flywheel is a Fidanza aluminum flywheel with the steel friction surface.
After the clutch change everything was perfect for a few months and a few thousand miles.

New problem:
One day on the way home from work I got off the highway and I was practically locked out of every gear. It would go halfway into most gears but 3rd i just couldn't get it in really at all without really forcing it.
Initial diagnosis:
Clutch feels perfectly fine, engagement is at least 2" off the floor, engagement is smooth. Revving in 1st gear I felt no drag at all, car did not want to move forward. With the clutch down and pushing the shifter towards a gear you can not feel the car pressure forward. With the clutch up pushing the shifter towards a gear you can feel the idle bog slightly and pressure applied to the drivetrain, normal as this is the synchros working and providing friction. So I'm sold on the fact that it's something internal to the transmission. Even with the car off and the shifter cables disconnected by hand it doesn't want to go into gear much.
With the clutch down, and pressure being put towards 1st gear but "locked out" of it, it won't go in. If you start raising your foot, the moment the clutch begins to engage and the trans starts to want to turn you get a nice clunk grind and the trans falls int gear, like a no clutch rev match.

So, I have a spare complete trans that is like brand spankin new. It seriously looks like it has like 30k miles on it. Got it from a friend who bought a JDM front clip. Nobody can use these WQNK Evo/RS transmissions because you need the matching rear end, I have that. FYI they use the same shifter setups as our cars, not like a 1990 with the shorter arm.
I put my spare 4 spider center diff in the spare trans, but had to pop the x-case shaft out of the old trans because it's a 28 spline, and put it in the new trans. (Made sure I had both alignment dowels)
Put the new trans in the car, all is well on the quick test drive that night and all felt fine.
Drove it to work the next day and it started feeling like sh*t on the way there. Out to lunch I drove it further and back to the same sh*t, locked out of all gears. WTF?
It's not bad when it's all cold, once it warms up it gets bad. Same with the old trans.
Got pissed off, drove it to my friends house about 20 minutes away, it's dog sh*t still. On the way home it's sh*t until I got on the highway and blasted off to pass some retard, and after getting off 3rd and 4th gear are perfect, NO kind of binding at all, not blockage, no noise, mint shifting. WTF?
Over the next week I adjust the clutch, adjust the shifter cables, make sure the trans is securely bolted to the engine.
I should note that if I'm stopped, it binds into 1st and 2nd but once I force it in, I can freely rock it back and forth between all gears, once I start moving again it "resets" and I'm locked out of 1st and 2nd again until I mash it in. Also, when I'm in "locked out" mode, even if I turn the car off, it's the same exact feeling of hard to put into gear, and after forcing it it's fine to rock back and forth.

Then I drive the car till it starts shifting like crap, pull it quickly in my garage and jack all 4 wheels off the ground, 1st and 2nd gear still sh*t, get it into 1st, rev the piss out of the motor to 7 grand. At about 6500 you can see a tiny bit of shutter in the wheels wanting to drive forward, never really rotating but a tiny jerk. Make my wife get in and repeat, checking all the wheel, same crap. Have her operate the clutch while I disconnect the shifter linkage and manually put the trans in gear from under the hood, same deal. Wants to go in half way and then stuck. Forcing it pops it hard pops it in.

Also, when I swapped transmission I put the old oil in a clean container and reused it in the new trans, it's the BG synchroshift stuff. I didn't want to drop $50 on new oil to find out the trans is crap, which maybe it is?
I was under the impression that the shifting performance of oil was mainly at high RPM and being locked out at idle wouldn't be the fluid.
High RPM spirited shifting the trans shifts fine. I can rev out 1st gear and it goes into 2nd fine. I have NEVER heard a grind out of either transmission. Forcing it into gear makes an ugly sound but not that brass clash sounding grind you are used to hearing on sh*t transmissions.

I'm willing to try anything at this point.
I have a set of fresh WQNK gear stacks I got from Doug that i can put in my 1st trans and put that in I guess. I can't believe I would have the same problem with 2 transmissions. And it's an odd problem.
After you get into 3rd and 4th and 5th gear the car drives awesome, no noises, nothing abnormal, but once you slow down and try to use 1st and 2nd it's just "stuck"

Any suggestions entertained, thanks for reading.
-Luke
 

With all you've done id say there’s only a couple things left. Flywheel, clutch or Shifter cables.

My first question would be when the new clutch was installed did you replace the flywheel or is the old one. slight chance there could be a problem there.


But to be completely honest it sounds like a shifter cable issue to me. Same thing just happened to my Mirage, and the shifter cable is bent at the bottom of the shifter plate, (however that happened). I know you said you adjusted them but with all the other work done id try another set just to be sure.



my .02
Jesse
 
Last edited by a moderator:

gtluke

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Same flywheel, fidanza, probably 100k on it but I changed the friction surface about 30-40k ago.
I'll try anything at this point.
I'm leaning towards buying another new clutch and flywheel
 

gtluke

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Found the problem,
I have never, ever, ever heard of this before. Add it to some kind of list!
1187833536_9HEqK-X2.jpg


15841299_Qfs64
 

gtluke

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Sep 16, 2001
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Quoting BarnesMobile:
I feel stupid. What is wrong?



That shot of the clutch on the trans is shot from dead center, look at the bore and the splines. But look how off the fingers are. The throw out bearing hardly even hits the one side of the clutch!
 

Barnes

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Feb 9, 2003
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Richland, WA
WTF?!?! That is a MAJOR manufacture defect. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif That is messed up.
 

gtluke

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G is going to have a field day. The PP is made my Seco, some ching chong crap. Disk is exedy core though.
 

Barnes

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I wonder if this happened when you got the new friction surface installed? I.E., is it error of assembly when it was put back together?
 

1badgvr4

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georgia
Not saying you did it, but I have seen that exact same problem when the PP bolts are not TQ'ed correctly.
 

gtluke

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I didn't use a torque wrench, but all the bolts were still tight when I took them off.
So far Centerforce has been good with responding with an RMA and it's on their way to them right now.
We'll see I guess.
 

iceman69510

Turn Right Racing
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Mar 5, 2001
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Michigan
I think he may mean they were not torqued down in proper sequence or evenly all the way around, but rather tightened down fully one at a time.

Not an accusation, just suggesting an interpretation.
 

gtluke

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After having an entire heart attack and explosion on the phone, centerforce is sending a new clutch my way today.
He was trying to tell me that it's only 2 thousands off center. I just about exploded.
He kept telling me that the cause of the non-release was that I over extended the clutch travel and you can see marks on the back of the springs from where the spring bent too far and hit the disk. I explained to him like 900 times that during my diagnostic attempts I adjusted the clutch in and out to their max to see if anything made a difference. He wouldn't listen, I resorted to yelling.
I guess we'll find out who was right soon enough.
I have since bought a new friction plate for my flywheel and installed it. Stopping by Nate's on Thursday for a new starter shield thingy since mine has a crack in it.
This is the longest my galant has ever been JSB, because I'm waiting on stupid centerforce for the part.
 

PreskitVR4

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Jun 28, 2008
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272
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Prescott, Northern AZ
Sorry Roger was so difficult to deal with. He really is a nice guy if you get to know him without a clutch problem. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
I am very good buds with the guys @ CF, I'm on first name basis with everyone in the building. They think that every DSM guy either pre-loads, or overstrokes their clutch. I have spent alot of time in their factory and that is pretty badly off center.
 

gtluke

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I did apologize to him the next day. And I did mention that it's not a DSM with the faulty clutch pedal.
I'm sure he's used to dealing with DSM idiots, but I also did try to convey to him that I personally put almost 200,000 miles on this car and I know a thing or two about it.
 
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