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Discussion Starter #1
My wife was pulling into a parking lot and said she couldn't shift into first. Finally got it into second to pull into a stall. Now we can't shift. Forward-back motion just flops. Also the lever on the transmission has no detents when moved. Did it jam something? Break something? And no, it is NOT the bushings. I have done my research before posting this.

Thanks in advance,
JB
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A little more info. She says it shifted normally into second. When she went out and started it after shopping, nothing. The shift lever flops forward and back, but will not move side to side.

JB
 

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Time to crawl under and trace the shift cables. Not shifting could be a broken bracket, a pin out of the shifter itself, so the console around it may help locate the problem, or, check the condition of the clutch slave cylinder, it may be wet from leaking brake fluid, and when air gets into them from leaking, they are pretty difficult if not impossible to shift. See if it shifts with the engine off, and the pedal feels like it only works about an inch from the floor. These are the two possibilities. Back to the cables, if something came loose or apart with the cables, the transmission can simply be in gear, like second, and once the cable tension is loosened as in broken bracket or cable inside the sheathing, the shifter won't move around because the cable tension won't allow the transmission to come out of the one gear. Trans is more than likely fine internally, just stuck in gear until the cable is fixed, or clutch slave cylinder replaced (check the small round cap reservoir with white opaque four ounce container with one black hose running down about where the clutch pedal is, under the hood against the firewall). If this reservoir is low, when air gets into the system it takes about 45 minutes to bleed the thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I'm going to pull the console today. Hoping it's not the slave. Will update this afternoon.

JB
 

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Aren't there bushings in addition to a bracket in there as well? If I recall correctly, they frequently go bad.
 

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Not necessarily frequently, but they are kind of designed as a wear part instead of the brackets wearing, so a replacement part vice bracket part, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, the reason I can't move the shift lever side-to-side is because it is in reverse. Nothing wrong under the console, so I must assume a problem with the shift forks, or other assorted, related pieces inside the transmission. Anybody know of a PT Cruiser in central Minnesota I can just drop my engine into? Last summer we did timing belt, water pump, idler and tension pulleys, valve replacement, and tires. The bolt holding the idler pulley broke at highway speed when my wife was driving it. She's afraid to go more than 30 miles from home now!

Sigh

JB
 

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Does that mean the cable itself has broken thus won't come out of reverse? If so you should be able to manually under the hood pop the reverse bar out of reverse and the other gears should work properly, just not back into reverse until the cable is replaced. The cable could be broken inside and you would not know it.
 

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You may need to push the clutch in to relieve the pressure against the gear and whatever pressure the tires are resting against the gears. Be sure to set the emergency brake. If by yourself, use a board or stick that can compress the clutch, brace the other end against the seat edge. I have bled brakes myself this way. Get it popped out of reverse and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cable is fine ,,dana44, I can swing the bar on the tranny quite freely with no detent or resistance. That's why I believe it is an internal problem.

Fortunately, it looks like I can reach the shift forks without pulling the guts out. At 133k miles I'm going to price a rebuild at a transmission shop.

JB
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@ImperialCrown, I owe you a sixpack or something. You are a lifesaver. I had spun the lever back and forth, but never thought to lift on it. Turns out the pin had rotted away and indeed sheared. My local parts store didn't have metric pins, so the one I used is a little loose. I just wired it in place. replace the bolt on the negative battery cable while I was in there. Less than two dollars of parts, and no pulling the tranny required. While I was checking out the problem initially, a bushing did disintegrate, so we got the Booger 3 +1 set. Works great now. Thanks all.

JB
 

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Nice work and I'm glad it was something simple. The factory actually uses a double-roll pin (inner/outer) as shown in the supplied link which may be a more secure repair.
 
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