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Old 01-10-2011, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 87 5spd problem

I have an '87 Samurai 4WD. It has a 1.3l/5spd. The problem I am having is that it won't go into any gear while the engine is running(well, I CAN jam it into reverse). With the engine stopped, I can freely move the shifter into any gear. I can put it in gear with the engine off, start it, then release the clutch pedal and it will move. The clutch is fairly new(about 6 mos. old), the cable is free and not binding. The shift lever has quite a bit of play, but it's been like that for awhile now. If the synchros were bad, I think it would at least grind against the gear when I try to put it in gear. I pulled the shift lever out, but didn't see anything obviously wrong. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Two things to look at.
1 -Is the bushing still there?
The bushing (or 'shifter sheet') should be there to keep the ball floating in the center. If it is gone, or there is only chunks left then it needs to be replaced.



2 -Is the alignment bolt still there?
There should be a bolt coming into the tower at the 6:00 position that extends into the long cut on the shifter ball. This keeps the ball in the right position when you apply pressure. Without it, the shifter will be all over the place. It could be broken off. The bolt headwould still be there but the endthat extends into the ball could be broken off.

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Old 01-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah,the alignment bolt on mine KEEPS shearing off!I have went thru 3 now?Im not that rough on it so not sure whats going on?I just hope that one day while im doing the replacment the broken part doesnt fall in to my tranny!!Ive been lucky so far.Solmoshun,if you look and Bill is right dont let the broken part fall down into your transmisson or you'll have other problems!!
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Okay, I checked the sheet plate and the bolt. The bolt is fine, the sheet plate is all there, though a bit worn. With the engine stopped it will shift into any gear. When the engine is running, it won't go into any gear regardless of whether or not the clutch pedal is pressed. Normally, if one tried to put it into gear with the engine running and the clutch pedal released it would grind against the gear...this seems as if it doesn't even push the gears together. Again, if the engine is stopped, I can put it into gear, then start the engine and when i let the clutch pedal up it will move the vehicle. Any other ideas? Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With the clutch and shifter verified, then that leaves the guts of the tranny. I would have thought you would hear a grinding sound (like you were looking for) when trying to jam it into gear if the synchros were shot. But since the tranny is so easy to work on, I would pull it out and strip it down. You may find something else broken inside.

One last thing to verify before you drop it though. With the shifter removed, are the shifting rods lined up in the center of the tower? If not you may have the tip going into a void when you put it back together. And with the motor off, can you shift through the whole pattern?
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just looked and the shift rods are lined up. I can go through the whole shift pattern with the engine stopped. If I put it in any gear with the engine stopped, then start the engine and release the clutch pedal, it will move the vehicle(forward or reverse).
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok. Then it's time to strip it downand check the parts.

As i said though, this tranny isn't really thatcomplicated once you look at the parts involved. If you want a preview (or even something to go by as you dive in) check out this article on rebuilding it.

Tranny rebuild
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm wondering if you don't have either a clutch disc dragging, or, a pilot bearing that is dragging. Something is keeping the input shaft and counter shaft rotating when you depress the clutch. Try adjusting the clutch pedal free travel to as little as possible and see if that helps. That will allow the pressure plate to lift off the clutch disc a little farther. If, it's a pilot bearing that's screwed up, they sometimes squeal when the transmission is in gear, clutch in and you're not moving.

Another thing I would try is to put your transfer case in neutral and try shifting the tranny into gear. If, it is the clutch not releasing, the tranny synchros should bring the main shaft up to speed and let it drop into gear.

Last edited by Azelgin; 01-10-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Billjohn. I guess I know what I'll be doing next weekend. Maybe I'll look around for a used tranny to use as a rebuilder if I can find one cheap enough. I see the kits online for a little over $100 with the bearings and synchros. The link you sent looks useful and I have the transmision manual. Again, thanks for your replies. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Azelgin, thanks for the idea. Here's the problem though, even if the clutch was dragging and allowing the input shaft to continue to turn, then I think it would at least grind when I tried to put in gear(with the engine running). This acts like it doesn't even try to mesh the gears. With engine stopped, it slips right into any gear.
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