Hard to shift into gear


bigalpha

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Clutch pedal feels firm with no slop.

Sometimes I cannot get her to change into gear while driving. If I'm at a stoplight, she won't go into 1st/2nd very easily. I tried pumping the clutch pedal, but it didn't improve the situation at all.

I can kind of jam it into gear, but it is difficult. It feels like I am trying to push it through a wall. It's much easier to shift into 1st when I am coasting to a stop.

Also, sometimes she'll grind going into 3rd gear, even if the clutch pedal is all the way to the floor.

While the truck is off, I can shift into gears easily and smoothly.

Summary:
1. Very hard shift into 1st or 2nd; pumping pedal did not help.
2. 3rd gear grinds sometimes, even if clutch pedal is completely depressed.
3. Truck shifts into gear easily and smoothly when off.

I've read a lot of stuff saying that the MC and SC are the likely culprits. I haven't noticed any leaks, and all the fluids seem to be at correct levels and fluids are good.

Is there a linkage to adjust with these trannys, or is there a direct connect between shifter and tranny? I'm not exactly sure how this particular system works.

I read some stuff about brake fluid is what's used in the hydraulics. Does this mean it's fed from the brake reservoir, and I may just need a fluid change?

I've also read that bleeding the hydraulics on these models is a PITA. I've never, ever done any tranny work/maintenance besides drain and filling the tranny fluid. Is this something that can be done with basic tools and a basic understanding of the system?

TIA for the help!!
 


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tbirdsps

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95, 2.3L, 5 spd

Clutch pedal feels firm with no slop.

Sometimes I cannot get her to change into gear while driving. If I'm at a stoplight, she won't go into 1st/2nd very easily. I tried pumping the clutch pedal, but it didn't improve the situation at all.

I can kind of jam it into gear, but it is difficult. It feels like I am trying to push it through a wall. It's much easier to shift into 1st when I am coasting to a stop.

Also, sometimes she'll grind going into 3rd gear, even if the clutch pedal is all the way to the floor.

While the truck is off, I can shift into gears easily and smoothly.

Summary:
1. Very hard shift into 1st or 2nd; pumping pedal did not help.
2. 3rd gear grinds sometimes, even if clutch pedal is completely depressed.
3. Truck shifts into gear easily and smoothly when off.

I've read a lot of stuff saying that the MC and SC are the likely culprits. I haven't noticed any leaks, and all the fluids seem to be at correct levels and fluids are good.

Is there a linkage to adjust with these trannys, or is there a direct connect between shifter and tranny? I'm not exactly sure how this particular system works.

I read some stuff about brake fluid is what's used in the hydraulics. Does this mean it's fed from the brake reservoir, and I may just need a fluid change?

I've also read that bleeding the hydraulics on these models is a PITA. I've never, ever done any tranny work/maintenance besides drain and filling the tranny fluid. Is this something that can be done with basic tools and a basic understanding of the system?

TIA for the help!!
It's time for a new slave cylinder, possible clutch master cylinder but most likely the slave. Tranny has to come out to replace it.
 

4x4junkie

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The truck isn't trying to creep forward with the clutch in does it?

Try this:
Hold light pressure on the stick while trying to put it in gear. If it easily drops right in after a few seconds, it's NOT the clutch/slave.

It could be the fluid type that's in it, or possibly the synchros are bad.
Try changing the fluid and make sure to use the older "Mercon" spec fluid, and NOT "Mercon V", as the V may be too slippery for the synchros to work right.
 

bigalpha

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No, the truck does not creep forward while in any gear.

I also tried lightly putting pressure on the stick, and it did not fall into gear. I also crawled under the truck, and it's bone dry. There's not even an oil leak. Which is new to me, since my Jeep leaks like a sieve.

If it was a bad MC or SC, would it go into gear after a few seconds? I'm not exactly sure how the entire system works.

If the synchros were bad, would it not go into 1st gear, even while I were completely stopped?
 

4x4junkie

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If it doesn't drop in even if you hold pressure on the stick for a bit, then I would definitely turn my attention toward the clutch area.
Since you stated the fluid levels are OK and there are no leaks, my guess is it could be the pilot bearing.
 

bigalpha

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That sounds like it would be fairly easy to change. I'll do a search around here and see what I come up with.
 

bigalpha

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If the truck tries to creep forward while the clutch is depressed, is that a hydraulic issue like the SC?
 

4x4junkie

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It can be...

Creeping forward in most cases means the clutch disc isn't fully releasing when you push the pedal down (air in the hydraulics being the most common cause).

Fluid loss from a leaky slave cyl will eventually cause air to be drawn into the system at the clutch reservoir.
 

bigalpha

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Hum. Well, I sat on level ground and re-tested just to be sure and there's no forward creeping. I guess it's been narrowed down to a clutch issue.
 

bigalpha

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Thanks for the link. After reading some other stuff, that's the conclusion I've come to; my pilot bearing is FUBAR.
 

ati190

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My pilot bearing failed just recently, and the caused me to have to force it in gear, ultimately destroying two shift forks, i'd think it be best not to continue driving it like I did. If your slave isn't bad, just replace it while you have the trans out (hard lesson to learn).
 

bigalpha

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From what I've seen, replacing a Pilot Bearing seems to be pretty straight-forward.

Can you inspect a pilot bearing w/o removing the tranny?
 

4x4RangerGuy

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From what I've seen, replacing a Pilot Bearing seems to be pretty straight-forward.

Can you inspect a pilot bearing w/o removing the tranny?
No, you'll need the remove the transmission. You can really only check to make sure the slave is functioning.
 

bigalpha

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I've never done any tranny work (except drain and fill fluid).

Is dropping the tranny and replacing the pilot bearing a gravel driveway project?
 


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