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  View original topic: Discovering my transmission.
-Zodiac- Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:07 pm

So I've gotten pretty familiar with my car, but it doesn't like to go into first. for example - there's a stop light. I put it in neutral to stop, and then the light turns green, if I were to try to put it into first it won't allow me. My normal procedure would be to rev the engine while in neutral and slip it into first.Also I have found that if I put it into second and then first it will go right in, it seems to like this treatment.

My question is, am I doing any damage to my transmission with either one of these methods? And what's up with first? Synchro?

Glenn Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:08 pm

How's the pedal?

I suspect the cable needs to be tightened.

-Zodiac- Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:14 pm

It bites closer the the end.

I do need to tighten it. I just didn't suspect this was the problem because it will go easily when at a dead stop.

ernstben Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:57 am

I'd tighten up the clutch cable and see how it works at that point.

If it's still being hard to get along with, loosen up the two 13mm bolts that hold the shifter down and move the base until 1st is easier to find.

CiderGuy Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:33 am

ernstben wrote: I'd tighten up the clutch cable and see how it works at that point.

If it's still being hard to get along with, loosen up the two 13mm bolts that hold the shifter down and move the base until 1st is easier to find.

I agree, often it is the shifter and not the transmission.

-Zodiac- Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:52 am

Gotcha, I shall do this today. Another thing to add is that this is my first manual so I'm not sure how to adjust the clutch. I understand there is a wing nut that is used for adjustment, and I assume that it's located on the outside of the assembly? But I'm not sure what to do with it when I find it. I've tried afew searches here, and didn't find anything for a Ghia( is it the same as any other vw).

c21darrel Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:01 pm

Its the wingnut at the end of the Bowden tube/clutch cable.
Twist it. 8)

-Zodiac- Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:06 pm

And I put vice grips on the cable so it doesn't twist right? And this might be a dumb question, but do I turn the nut righty tighty to adjust it properly, or loosen it?

c21darrel Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:19 pm

Yes, vice grips to hold cable, you want to end up with about an inch or so of freeplay at the pedal. Make sure your Bowden tube has a nice bend in it. The more you thread the nut onto the cable, the less freeplay there will be. What you want is to put a ruler or tape measure between the floor of the car and the clutch pedal. Make it so that it is in the line of travel that the pedal moves. Look at the tape/ruler and push on the clutch pedal with your hand. You should feel easy movement with little to no resistance and then it hits the harder part where you are starting to push on the clutch. That measurement is your freeplay. Turn the wingnut onto the cable more to make that measurement smaller or unscrew the wingnut like you are taking it off to increase it. If for any reason you can't feel any freeplay when the nut is almost all the way off, then something is wrong with your installation. In this example above if you took the wingnut off by completely unscrewing it, the pedal would have so much freeplay (100%) that it would travel all the way to the floor and never allow you to shift. If you did the oppisite and screwed the wingnut in until the clutch started to slip like you were stepping on the pedal, you would have zero freeplay.

-Zodiac- Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:21 pm

So I loosen the wing nut correct? This for some reason makes sense to me.

swavananda Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:24 pm

-Zodiac- wrote: And I put vice grips on the cable so it doesn't twist right? And this might be a dumb question, but do I turn the nut righty tighty to adjust it properly, or loosen it?

I put needle nose vis grips on the base of the threaded rod, not on the cable itself per say.

One of these makes the chore real easy:


http://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ACC%2DC10%2D7080

YOU want to tighten it ,

c21darrel Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:26 pm

I added to my earlier post for you. ^^^/Look :D

-Zodiac- Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:39 pm

Yes I have less than an inch of free play. I'm going to adjust it accordingly, then take it for a spin to see how it goes.

Hopefully it doesn't decide to rain!

-Zodiac- Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:59 pm

Alright, I've got it to about an inch or so of play, but now it's raining! Should stop it alittle bit. That clutch adjustment is kind of a pain to get to :wink: I hope this is the solution to my problem.

Awesome! Just drove it once around the block, tried the neutral to first and it went right in! Only tried it twice but I know that it wouldn't have done it previously. Clutch feels Much better!

Thanks for the replys, and deep explanation - turn out to be a very simple task.

helowrench Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:41 pm

One thing to be aware of is that due to a couple of factors, an aircooled VW will not shift into first gear unless at a complete stop, and from what I have seen over the last 30 years of driving them, going from neutral to first is usually easier if you go to second. so neutral, back to second, then up to first.

I believe that aged/worn syncros exacerbate this problem a bit.

-Zodiac- Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:44 am

helowrench wrote: One thing to be aware of is that due to a couple of factors, an aircooled VW will not shift into first gear unless at a complete stop.

Can you explain?

c21darrel Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:54 am

Its a vw thing.
And when you cant find your vice grips next week...check the clutch cable, there still there. :oops:

-Zodiac- Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:30 am

I more than likely would have done that Aswell :roll: lol. But it started to rain, and I had my flashlight wedged underneath pointed at the adjustment.so I had to grab the light really quick, and noticed the vice grips still dangling there.

helowrench Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:27 pm

-Zodiac- wrote: helowrench wrote: One thing to be aware of is that due to a couple of factors, an aircooled VW will not shift into first gear unless at a complete stop.

Can you explain?
Has to do with how numerically high first gear is, along with the type of syncros used.
Mainly the gear ratio though, IMHO.
Unfortunately it is pretty much a fact of life with an aircooled VW AFAICT



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