OK. First off, apologies if I have missed the answer somewhere but everything I have read has lead me to a different issue. This is a different grinding issue that what I have read so far. The car is at school with my son but he is babying it for the next month due to lack of options.
The car shifts normally in all gears but either 3rd or 4th. Actually there is no grind in any gear going in. But when you let the clutch out it will come out of gear most times. Depending on how we adjust the shifter we can get it to either work in 3rd or 4th, but not both at the same time. If you "slam" it into the suspect gear it will hold fine. Once it is in gear it stays.
My conclusion is that the transmission is simply not fully engaging the gear and depending on how the cable is adjusted we can choose which gear is not fully engaged. There is a grinding if you are resting your hand against the selected gear but not really pushing on it. The recommended shifter adjustment does not work at all but by shortening the 3/4 cable we can get it to work in 3rd. This lead me to the loose rivet issue, but that doesn't seem totally correct when comparing to the symptoms I read. Another thread pointed to the shifter itself, but the other gaits work fine, sooo....????
What I am looking for is a reasonable suggestion as to what to look for next. From past experience it sounds like something in the shifter forks inside the transmission but it would be nice not to take the transmission out of the car only to find that the problem was somewhere else. In reality it seems like the problem is more play than I would have expected only from a shift fork, but not that familiar with this gearbox.
I hope I have described the issue well enough to answer many questions in advance, but please ask questions and make suggestions. If you have had this exact issue, I would love to know more.
I would look at the detent on the selector shaft housing, or the selector shaft itself first. Sometimes the bearings in the housing wear out and cause alot of play, which lead to same issues you mentioned.
Slamming into gear will worsen the problem.
Mark the position of the cables on the selector shaft before you remove them, so you know where they were originally.
Car is back at home now so I need to get on with it. Would I find the bearing wear by checking the movement at the shaft at the counter balance end without dissassembly (other than the cables)? Or do I need to take something apart?
If worn, does the entire trans have to come out or can the assembly be removed for repair?
So, it was a late night tonight but just went out and grabbed the counter balance and tried to move it. I did not disconnect the shifter cables since I only wanted a quick check. It moves back and forth more than I would have expected but not sure how much is too much.
Now the magic question, how loose is loose? Is there a rule of thumb? I want to assume that if it is a mechanism to select which gear is engaged it should be relatively snug. I am mostly familiar with rear drive transmissions and the whole cable shifting mechanism seems like a design nightmare from an engineering standpoint. I'll try it with the cables disconnected tomorrow evening.
OK, I think I have decided that I will need to pull the transmission to be comfortable with the repair, but the selector shaft is definitively loose. It's hard to say exactly how loose but it clearly moves front to back without rotating the shaft. Best guess is around .015 clearance on the shaft to make about .030 at the counterbalance weight. Even thought this seems excessive, it is hardly what I would expect it to take to make the shifting problems we are seeing.
OK. We got it apart and everything seems to look fine. I can see some signs of wear, but nothing that would be a sure sign of needing replacement to me as compared to lots of durability testing on other devices.
Sorry for the picture quality but this is about as good as it wanted to turn out. The quality may have been reduced somewhere along the way.
I am thinking that the problem is with the shift forks, or something equivalent and will require removal and disassembly. Guess we start that next. Any further hints as to what to look for anyone?
Last edited by SRB94; 05-18-2012 at 10:47 PM.
Reason: Larger photo's
Pull the selector shaft out of the trans, it has to be in neutral to pull it out.
Then line it up in the housing, run it up and down, feel for any kind of roughness.
The lower support with the vw emblem, pull that out, drain the gear oil first.
Check if there is a clip on it, put the selector in it, note how it move, if it has a clip it will feel notchy. But it should not be hard to move it up and down. You can pull the clip off, put the lower support back on the trans with silicone, assemble the upper support housing with the selector shaft in neutral. Add gear oil and hook everything back up...see what happens.
If not, and that clutch is working as is should, then pull the trans, take it apart to inspec the parts.
I' assuming that the Bentley outlines the process but it sounds like you are saying to leave the clip off and if things work fine your done? I know that problems dont always show up during development but parts usually are there for reasons. Leaving on out makes me a little nervous unless I understand what it is supposed to do.
The 02As and some 02Js trans do not have that clip nor the issues its causes. If it works fine without it, you found the problem, put in a new one or leave it out. Only one way to verify, try it.
As far as its purpose, similar to rivets securing a diff ring gear.
Have been out of town but finally got a chance to check things out. No problems with the lower support and no clip either. We did find some small balls when draining the oil about the size of the balls in the upper shifter support tower. Maybe someone has had a problem with the upper bearing on the shifter before we bought the car. My son changed the oil a year ago and didn't get anything then so maybe the pieces (bearing balls) came from something else. Guess we will find out when we get it apart.
Hoping it isn't too expensive, but may just find a used transmission to put in if we need to. Unfortunately then there is the risk of the same problem with the replacement.
Found the problem. The tabs on the 3/4 fork that slide in the selector hub were worn, but the real problem was that one of the ball bearings was completely missing on the fork pivots, plastic and all. didn't see any damaged gears or anything other than some general shifter wear. I suspect the previous owner was a bit hard on it.
Parts have been ordered from ebay and awaiting reassembly. The groove on the selector hub was worn some, but going to try not replacing it and see how things shift. I considered building up the surface some with weld but thought I would wait and try this first to see how it works.