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Shifting problem in SW Florida
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space
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:52 am    Post subject: Shifting problem in SW Florida Reply with quote

drove my westy from Illinois to fla everything worked great
stopped for the night in Ga. and noticed it was getting difficult to put in gear (especially 1st)
made it to fla let it sit for the night travelled down the coast and could no longer put it in 1st
second was now becoming difficult as well
Background
2.5 sub conversion jdm
recent drum to disc conversion (a week prior)
My thought was the slave cylinder wasnt fully engaging (possibly from incomplete bleed)
or
the shifter linkage has shifted out of alignment
I greased up the linkage near trans to no avail
the mechanic i brought it to said they " think its a cable but they arent that familiar w subarus"
so they think its an engine issue and said it might be a cable (Sounds odd to me)
Any ideas?
Anyone in the area?
Thanks
T
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

Please clarify if itís a vanagon transmission or a Subaru. Will it shift into 1st with the engine off? If it is the vanagon transaxle, there are a ton of threads describing how to adjust it, if following the Bentley manual is a bit confusing. The first time someone adjusts the shifter itís confusing as heck, until it clicks.

Normally it shouldnít get out of adjustment. Bushings wear and the shifting becomes more difficult, but usually not impossible.

The Subaru engine could add a degree of difficulty.

Edit: the vanagon transmission does not use cables.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

First of all, no cable involved.
Here's a few things to diagnose.

Does the clutch pedal still feel the same?

Are there any leaks coming down from the steering column?

Looking in from the engine hatch, left forward bellhousing side. Does the clutch slave still move the arm about 1.5 inches through the stroke?

Harder to see, but a failure point. On the passenger side of the transmission, can you tell it the "ball" on the end of the shift lever has slid up? This usually throws your shift gate off to the left. First and second are often hard to find.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
Please clarify if itís a vanagon transmission or a Subaru. Will it shift into 1st with the engine off? If it is the vanagon transaxle, there are a ton of threads describing how to adjust it, if following the Bentley manual is a bit confusing. The first time someone adjusts the shifter itís confusing as heck, until it clicks.

Normally it shouldnít get out of adjustment. Bushings wear and the shifting becomes more difficult, but usually not impossible.

The Subaru engine could add a degree of difficulty.

Edit: the vanagon transmission does not use cables.

vanagon trans
shifts into 1st and 2nd with engine off w/o issue
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

buspor63 wrote:
First of all, no cable involved.
Here's a few things to diagnose.

Does the clutch pedal still feel the same?

Are there any leaks coming down from the steering column?

Looking in from the engine hatch, left forward bellhousing side. Does the clutch slave still move the arm about 1.5 inches through the stroke?

Harder to see, but a failure point. On the passenger side of the transmission, can you tell it the "ball" on the end of the shift lever has slid up? This usually throws your shift gate off to the left. First and second are often hard to find.

clutch pedal seems spongy
i didnt see any leaks (master cylinder resevoir is full)
the ball did seem to get hung up once on the bracket i greased it up to reduce friction
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:53 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

The subaru engine should have nothing to do with the trans shifting issue. That mechanic that looked at it does not have a clue.

If it is a linkage issue..... If nothing looks amiss at the transmission end of the linkage I'd remove the spare tire and unbolt the shift box cover that is directly under where the shift lever goes thru the floor. Take a pic of the shift linkage there and post it. The shift tabs may be missing or something else is going on?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
The subaru engine should have nothing to do with the trans shifting issue. That mechanic that looked at it does not have a clue.

If it is a linkage issue..... If nothing looks amiss at the transmission end of the linkage I'd remove the spare tire and unbolt the shift box cover that is directly under where the shift lever goes thru the floor. Take a pic of the shift linkage there and post it. The shift tabs may be missing or something else is going on?

thanks for the response
Thats my thought about the sub/trans made no sense to me
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

If it shifts fine with the engine off, that points to a clutch/pilot bearing issue.

If not, the engine or trans mounts might allow the assembly to move out of alignment. But thatís a far out suggestion.

Edit. It would be helpful to know whoís conversion kit you are running and if the bell housing is stock using an adapter or a small car type bellhousing.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
If it shifts fine with the engine off, that points to a clutch/pilot bearing issue.

If not, the engine or trans mounts might allow the assembly to move out of alignment. But thatís a far out suggestion.

Edit. It would be helpful to know whoís conversion kit you are running and if the bell housing is stock using an adapter or a small car type bellhousing.

KEP conversion
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

Then adjustment should be the same as described in the manual. But since you can shift into 1st with the engine off, still sounds like a clutch type issue. The catch is, reverse should also have the same problem and you havenít mentioned that.

Also, it may not be that the shop doesnít know whatís wrong. Often something is lost in translation when an owner attempts to post what the shop said. Sometimes when trying to describe a problem to an owner, I need to dumb it down a bit.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

Just for testing you could remove the shifter gate box under the van to get a few more degrees. If it shifts into 1 and 2 with the gate removed, then you know it needs adjustment.

I also think it's more likely clutch related since it shifts fine with the engine off.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

update:
shop says clutch etc is fine (they specialized in German vehicles)
They think its hanging up on the forward linkage
As a temp fix I will drop the shifter box and grease up the linkage
Their wait time for parts is 2 weeks
Any thoughts?
T


edit: clutch has less than 7k miles on it 90% highway
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

What parts do they say it needs?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

4Gears4Tires wrote:
What parts do they say it needs?

Bushings was their term
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

I occasionally have this problem when the two screws that hold the shifting mechanism inside the cab come loose. I don't know the technical jargon so bear with me: pull up the rubber shift boot on the bottom of the shifter (inside the cab). You'll notice an oval plate held to the floor of the vehicle (above the shifter box under the van) screwed to the floor with two screws forward and back. If either of those has loosened up, that shift plate that holds this mechanism all together can move around just a bit, which changes the angle of your overall shifting linkage. Just a little play will hinder my shifting into 1st gear, then later 2nd gear if enough movement play is found.

You'll need to find the sweet spot to tighten that plate back down. It is supposed to align with a couple of holes in the plate and match the floor, but mine is slightly offset for best shifting performance.

Might not be your issue, but it is mine about 1x a year.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: Shifting problem in SW Florida Reply with quote

You mentioned the clutch pedal felt spongy. Did the shop bleed it? Did they check for dampness around the clutch master and slave. If the shop has not specifically worked on vanagons, they could be a bit lost. Iíve not come across any vanagons I couldnít shift even with all the bushings tabs etc gone.

Dropping the spare gives you easy access to grease the base of the shift lever from below.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Shifting problem in SW Florida Reply with quote

Watching these videos may better help you understand what is going on down there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djxbIa23_40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0_Jyn1Yrv8
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Shifting problem in SW Florida Reply with quote

Its at the shop at the moment (about 40miles away)
Will check these suggestions out
Want to thank everyone for their input
T

Will verify that they bled the system
However I was told the slave "piston" extended 1.5"?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

space wrote:
update:
shop says clutch etc is fine (they specialized in German vehicles)
They think its hanging up on the forward linkage
As a temp fix I will drop the shifter box and grease up the linkage
Their wait time for parts is 2 weeks
Any thoughts?
T


edit: clutch has less than 7k miles on it 90% highway


Before you disconnect any linkage mark it's mating positions so you put it back exactly as it came off. The gearbox is a long way from the front shift lever and exact alignment of the linkage is crucial to it working! Do not re-align it from original positions to make it work.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: shifting problem in sw/florida Reply with quote

buspor63 wrote:
First of all, no cable involved.
Here's a few things to diagnose.

Does the clutch pedal still feel the same?

Are there any leaks coming down from the steering column?

Looking in from the engine hatch, left forward bellhousing side. Does the clutch slave still move the arm about 1.5 inches through the stroke?

Harder to see, but a failure point. On the passenger side of the transmission, can you tell it the "ball" on the end of the shift lever has slid up? This usually throws your shift gate off to the left. First and second are often hard to find.

imo SC doesnt move a full 1.5" more like 1"
ball doesnt appear to have moved up
pic upload taking awhile
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