I am having issues with a VR6 5 speed manual reverse gear. It is very hard to select reverse gear in any case. When I manually select reverse at the transmission with the engine off, you really have to force down on the selector linkage HARD and then turn to find it. In the car, you have to shove left HARD after pushing down to get reverse, and 4 out of 5 times you get first gear.
So far I have:
Checked the dumb plastic shift cable retainer piece, it's good
Adjusted the cables
Replaced the shifter box/cables, original had worn bushings/play
Drained and filled with new synthetic 75W90 GL4
I am out of ideas here. I'm not sure what to do next. Have you heard of this issue before with the 02A?
Reverse gear selector fork issue? If so, how could this have happened?
If your having a hard time pushing down on the shift tower at the trans, that picture is more than likely NOT the problem. Try disconnecting the cables and see if the problem is still there. Check the cables if they are binding. Probably have something in the shifter box, or alignment issue. If it is in the trans, pull the tower. ( 2 bolts, and sealant, after the cables are disconnected.) You can inspect the lower cover too.( 2 bolts and sealant, and lots of gear oil.) Inspect the tower and look for a bad detent ball spring, or debris in the lower cover hole.
The part in the pic is only operated when the tower is twisted. So difficulty ,up and down, on the tower is just lining it up with selector forks for each gear set. And remember, a spinning gear train is easier to engage than when the motor is off. Unless it just happens to be lined up perfect. So it can be difficult to engage gears if the motor is off. sometimes it goes right in. Not a good diag tool.