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Old 07-19-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Very difficult to shift into gear!

For some reason today my car started acting up and is extremely difficult to get into gear. When it is in gear then it drives fine but shifting between the gears is very difficult. When I go to 1st from a stop i have to force it in, double clutching or whatever you want to call it doesnt help. I have to force it in. Sometimes I have to start moving from 2nd gear cause 1st is too difficult to get into. Once the car is moving its difficult to get into 2nd and 3rd as well. This happened all of a sudden today. I added a bit more tranny fluid since I didnt have the proper equipment to change the fluid and that didnt really help at all. Maybe a tiny bit but not very much at all.

I have a 96 accord with a 98 jdm h22a that I have had for years. I put in an action clutch that I got from here over 5+ years ago. Everything was fine til today. Any thoughts? It feels like something is mechanically preventing it from shifting smoothly. When the car is off it goes into gear just fine.
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Did you check your clutch fluid level?
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

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Did you check your clutch fluid level?

Yeah all my fluids are fine. Ill buy a bottle and check it again tomorrow but its hard to shift man. Happened today out of nowhere too.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

If your fluid level is fine, your clutch is toast. If it's 5+ years old, it's about time to change it anyway.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Well 5+ years is a bit misleading cause I went to school for 4 years and only drove the car for the few weeks out of the year while I was back. The clutch doesnt slip at all either--grabs like it did day 1. Besides that could it be anything else?
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

i had this same problem and come to find out my pressure plate straight up broke into 3 pieces and got lodged against the flywheel, messed up some ****
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

you said tranny fluid, I hope by that you mean gear oil from Honda... if you put auto tranny fluid in your car, thats your problem. Not trying to talk down to you but just want to make sure you put the right stuff in.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Tranny fluid = 2 types, ATF & MTF.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Yeah, definitely put in Honda MTF; I can tell you first hand (as of a couple days ago) that Syncromesh (and most others like it) are not meant for your tranny. I went for about a 50 mile drive (all freeway, around 70mph) on Friday and I could literally smell the tranny fluid burning. On the way home, after getting off the freeway, I could not get it back into gear at all for a minute until I jammed it in (sitting at a green light with the guy behind me honking). Next day I drained all the crap out and put in fresh Honda MTF and it's been great. Just something to think about if you haven't changed the fluid in a while (doubt it's your problem though if it started happening all of a sudden).
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Yes by tranny fluid i mean MTF. and yes it is synchromesh which was recommended by many here on h-t and I have had it in my car for a long time (10,000+ miles)

After rechecking the clutch fluid and after filling up the tranny fluid yesterday the car seems about 10% better but not what I want. Still very difficult to shift and i hear some grinding at times when i try to go from 2nd to 3rd year if i shift quickly. I have to step on the clutch and guide it into 3rd so it wont grind.

A few weeks ago I noticed that when I stepped on the clutch i would hear/feel a sort of clicking. Never heard it before but then it went away the next day and never came back. Not sure if that has anything to do with it but I thought id throw it out there.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

From what I have been reading it sounds like my pressure plate/springs. Problem is that I dont have a garage and wont have one til about Sept 1st so I cant really fix anything. Im only driving a few miles a day right now so hope it will be fine for another 5-6 weeks. arg
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

I had the same problem. In addition to that, my clutch engagement point (in the pedal) moved all over the place, sometimes it would be just off the floor, sometimes it would be way up high... but the pedal pressure never changed (shouldn't have been master or slave cylinder, but I replaced those anyway with no results). getting it into gear was tough. It happened during a track day I was at. Seeing as how my car had 230k on it, I went for a tranny rebuild. During the teardown, we found that 2 of the springs on the clutch disc were damaged, and the flanges that held them in place had shattered.

GL man, sounds like you gotta pull the tranny.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

chek 4 bad shifter cable?
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

fluid/cables/shift fork.

My trans started doing this, my shift fork bent slightly and my cables were shot.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

want to get to the bottle of this??? open up your clutch/pressure plate and take a look. according to my knowledge, it's either fluids, clutch/pp, or tranny that is the cause of the problem
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Try Amsoil GM Syncromesh for Tranny fluid. I heard it helps alot for some ppl.

My car wouldn't go in gears at all then later I found out that there's water mixed inside and causing it not to go in gears. I washed my tranny and water got inside it, so thats why.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

OMFG MY CAR IS DRIVING LIKE SHIT TODAY!

I was coming home from the store then my car started to act up more than normal. It wouldnt get into gear at all and when I step on the clutch it doesnt disengage properly! When in gear it drives fine but its so ****ing hard to shift now.

I was hoping it would last til sept 1st when I close on a house and will finally have a garage so I can open up the tranny again but I dont know if it will make it that long.

How much does it cost to get a clutch put in these days? Ill probably buy one online and bring it to a shop if I do have to ask someone to do it for me.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

OMG MY CAR IS SO MUCH BETTER! I went out and adjusted the pedal so that it fully disengages earlier and I can get into gear much easier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSss

Ill probably still need a new clutch but hopefully this can last a month.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

I had the same problem before so there a few things i need u to check. First with the car off does it go into gear with no problem? If so, start the car with it in gear and hold down clutch( make sure nothing is in front of u). Does the car move while holding clutch down? If so, your clutch pedal adjustment need to be readjust(clutch not fully disengaged). And on how much it would cost really depends on where u go. If u bring your own clutch which would VOID any warranty on the job probally cost 150 to 250 is average.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

o you got to post first before i did.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:13 PM   #21
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Yeah it goes into gear perfectly fine without the car on. I also noticed the past couple days that when I start my car in gear with the clutch depressed the car does move forward a bit. Reason I did that was because if I go into neutral to start the car then going into 1st is hard as hell so I make it easier by going into 1st then starting.

So you saying its the pedal only and not the clutch? Its literally 10000% better after adjusting. But its maxed out now. I dont think I can adjust it so it engages earlier anymore. I also only adjusted it by 1/4 inch max
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

I drove my car again and honestly it seems like its 95% of normal again. Getting into 1st is a bit shaky but it goes in without forcing it. Then shifting all the way up to 5th and reverse are perfectly smooth. So how do I know if I need to change my clutch or not?
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:53 AM   #23
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Yes you are fine for now. The reason that happen is the clutch is worn down. So every so often you'll have to go in and adjust again later when it happens again. But, you can only do that so far. The clutch will start slipping where the rpm will rev up and car seems to not move at all or when u run into this problem next time. Thats when u know the clutch is bad and time to change it out.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:04 AM   #24
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

O and make sure u change the flywheel or resurface it also. i recommend changing it out rather than resurface.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #25
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Default Re: Very difficult to shift into gear!

Well my car basically drives like normal. How do I know at this point whether the spring are popping out or if it is my clutch that is just worn down? I understand the symptoms of a worn down clutch in terms of slipping cause I changed my clutch but what about the springs? If the clutch is actually screwed up in terms of the springs then I would like to change it out sooner rather than later. However, if this means that my clutch is simply wearing down and the springs are ok then I will drive it until it beings to slip and will swap in a new clutch then.
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