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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes from a stop I can't get into gear right away. If I go over between 3rd and 4th and waggle up and downn it will drop into 4th, then I can get into first fine. It's only from stand still. Once moving I have no problems. I never have had it pop out of gear on me. I rebuilt the clutch about a year ago, so it is all new.
If forced it will go into gear (but this doesn't feel healthy)
There is no grinding, just resistance.
Has anyone had similar problems or know the fix? I don't feel it is the syncro's since worn syncro's usually cause gear popping.
 

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Sounds like a bad pilot bearing, and maybe a worn 1st gear synchro ring. When you put it in 4th at a standstill, you are stopping the gear clusters from spinning, which seem like they are moving even with the clutch in. But you will start to wear out the 4th gear synchro if you have to do this all of the time.

So either the clutch is dragging (not fully releasing), or the pilot bearing is piling up. This is a needle bearing, in the recess of the crankshaft, that the tranny driven shaft rides in. It should ALWAYS be checked and at least re-greased when the clutch is replaced. Many folks replace it "just in case", but you need a puller to do that. So long as it is smooth and clean, re-greasing it should be OK.

And worn synchro rings don't usually cause popping out of gear. That is usually caused by worn teeth on the synchro "clutch sleeve" (among other reasons), which is the collar that slides over the synchro ring and the gear teeth. The brass synchro ring is what decelerates the main shaft to the new gear selected. If the ring is worn, there isn't enough friction to decelerate the main shaft and gear cluster, and the clutch sleeve won't slide on to the selected gear.

HTH
 

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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I replaced the pilot bearing when I rebuilt the clutch. But now the ring thing you speak of...hmm.
Sounds like I need a Getrag! Someone tell my wife?
 

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Are you sure the clutch is fully releasing? The synchro ring is making the dragging shaft (pilot bearing or dragging clutch) worse when it comes to engaging 1st gear, but the fundemental problem is the shaft is spinning when it shouldn't. That may have caused the synchro ring to wear out in the first place.

Have you checked the clutch adjustment? (Dumb question, but it has to be asked). Is the release fork in the proper location (4 1/4 inches between the release lever and the bell housing face)? Is the ball stud protruding 3/4 inch from the bell housing? Do you have approximately 3/4 to 1 inch pedal free play? Is the release fork moving it's full travel?

And when you find out how to get a Getrag past Management, please share the secret with me. Rebuilding my 4-speed was about $300 (all new synchros and seals), but a Getrag is $1200 USD plus shipping, so that's about $2200 CAD. Sheesh, expensive German parts for cars with no resale value!

HTH
 

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Opeler
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754 Posts
My money's on the clutch not releasing. When the car is stopped and the clutch released the transmission does not rotate (normally) so no synchronization actually occurs. However, a bad pilot bearing will cause the same problem. DON'T force it into first - you're damaging the synchro.

If you depress the clutch pedal (all the way to the floor), wait about 3 seconds or so, then try to shift into reverse does it grind? If it does, then the clutch isn't releasing or the pilot bearing is bad.

Of course adjustment is the first thing (and easiest) to check. Many years ago I experienced this problem on my Manta and came to find out that the lock nut on the clutch pivot had come loose, causing the clutch to go out of adjustment. Assuming the adjustment is OK, you'll have to pull it apart to check the rest.

When you replaced the clutch did you clean all the rust off the input shaft splines and then apply a LIGHT coat of grease to the splines? If not, rust and fretting corrrosion will form fairly quickly and cause the clutch disc to hang up on the splines.

Good Luck!
 

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Gads! Another Engineer! And I agree with his idea about trying reverse. No synchro there, so you will know right away if the shaft is still spinning. In fact, try shifting into 4th (at a standstill) , then into netral with the clutch still in for a few minutes, them back into reverse. If the gear grinds, then it is definitely either a bad pilot bearing or a dragging clutch.
 

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Driver
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987 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well thanks guys. I have a free day to work on my car today (if it's not to cold out there) I can do some checking and adjusting. I don't think I will be pulling my tranny today but I can at least isolate the problem down.
Then I have to pull my alternator.
It never ends.
 

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Driver
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987 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After adjusting the clutch with no fix. I tried your tricks and it did grind in reverse. If I hold in the clutch, go to any forward gear, back to neutral, then to reverse it won't grind if I never let up on the clutch. But if I let up on the clutch in neutral it starts spinning and then it will grind into reverse.
So I dropped the tranny. I haven't had a chance to check anything out yet.
About a year ago I replaced the clutch disk, pressure plate, pilot bearing, release bearing. (Is it a pilot bearing or bushing?)
how can I check to see if the pilot bearing is bad with out removing it? I have to admit when I rebuilt the clutch I assisted someone else and am a little fuzzy on the details.:eek:
Also I plan on checking the tranny for wear, what should I look for there?
Thanks,
George
 

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Bearing, usually

Origionally the Opels had small needle bearings for pilot bearings, but there are a couple of aftermarket replacement part #'s that end-up being bushings. You might find either. I like the bushings for installation, but I really think the bearings last longer.

Check you clutch disc for contamination, too, while the tranny is out. I've had a couple of Opels lose either the front seal on the transmission or the rear main, and when the oil starts to gum-up on the disc it will never release properly.
 

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Opeler
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754 Posts
If the disc can be stopped and stays stopped it's probably not the pilot bearing. If it were dragging the disc should start to spin again on its own.

Is your disc installed the right way? The flywheel side should be marked "flywheel side" (can't remember the german word for this though). But if this was your problem the disc should start spinning on its own too.

Look at the input shaft splines. Make sure they're clean/greased. Does the disc slide freely on the splines?

Look at the pilot journal at the end of the shaft and make sure it's not damaged. You should be able to look into the pilot bearing with a flashlight - are all the rollers there? Are they greased? If you try to roll them with your finger do they move freely? If not, replace it. Use a needle bearing, not a bushing.

NOTE: A needle bearing should only be installed with the "lettered" side facing the rear. Its the stronger side and can take the load from pressing it into the crank.

My guess is the splines are at fault.

There's probably nothing wrong inside your trans. if you haven't been driving around like this for long. Your shifting problem is strictly a result of the clutch not releasing.
 

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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"If the disc can be stopped and stays stopped it's probably not the pilot bearing. If it were dragging the disc should start to spin again on its own. "
When just in neutral it does start spinning again with clutch out

"Is your disc installed the right way? ....."
I haven't taken off the pressure plate and disk yet, but here is a pix of an old one, no markings on. Which way faces flywheel?


"Look at the input shaft......?"
I suck with technical words. I say things like "Thingy"
Is this the input shaft?
George
 

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Opeler
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"If the disc can be stopped and stays stopped it's probably not the pilot bearing. If it were dragging the disc should start to spin again on its own. "
When just in neutral it does start spinning again with clutch out

Right. But when you keep the pedal down it stays stopped? It'll always spin when you let the pedal up.

"Is your disc installed the right way? ....."
I haven't taken off the pressure plate and disk yet, but here is a pix of an old one, no markings on. Which way faces flywheel?

Hey watch that finger! Actually it's pointed right at the flywheel. See how the hub (what your finger is poked through) is longer on the flywheel side? If it was toward the trans. it might bottom out on the release bearing carrier. Also, the damper (metal part with the springs that's inside the facing ID) usually sticks out further on one side. If this side goes toward the flywheel it can bottom on the flywheel but should have plenty of room inside the pressure plate. Just lay your disc up against the flywheel and you should see what I mean.


"Look at the input shaft......?"
I suck with technical words. I say things like "Thingy"
Is this the input shaft?

That's your input shaft alright. Splines look rusty to me but the pilot journal (just ahead of the splines) looks OK from what I can tell. Splines in clutch hub are probably the same way. Clean them all down to the bare metal (the sides of the spline teeth are where they contact) and grease before reassembly. JUST A LITTLE GREASE, AND KEEP IT OFF THE FACINGS. Carefully wipe a light coat of grease on just the input shaft splines. Coat the sides of the splines completely but don't leave a buildup in the "valleys". If you do the clutch hub will push it all to the rear when you install the trans. where it'll fly off, contaminate your disc, and the clutch will slip. Also put a little coat of grease on the release bearing carrier where the bearing rides, on the clutch fork pivot, and in the pilot bearing if it's OK. Use a high temp. grease.

And don't forget that new trans. to bell housing gasket.

Don



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Driver
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987 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, the splines do have a slight surface rust on them. The journal had some old 30 year old hardened grease in there that I dug out. Everything else was greased up good.
I don't know when I will get to this. I will be out of town this weekend, maybe next.
I have to order a new trans. mount and a trans./bellhouseing gasket.
I'll let ya'll know when I get to it.
Thanks,
George
 

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Driver
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987 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know, I know, that's why I said "good". It wouldn't be good if I had too much.:)
George
 

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crazy opeler
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558 Posts
have you figured out what was going on? I had the exact opposite problem with my car, while I was rolling it was impossible to get it into first. It turned out to be the syncro. You should check the clutch adjustment to make sure that it isn't slipping, you using a hose clamp to hold it into place?
 

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I am getting a small amount of gear grinding between 1st and 2nd gears.
What is my baby tring to tell me? Can I adjust something to make it better??
 

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Best case scenario: You need to adjust the clutch, and perhaps it's time to change gear oil.

Next worst case scenario: 2nd gear syncro is going bad (requires tranny tear-down, new synchro, and gaskets and seals).

Worst-case scenario: Synchro is already worn, and 2nd gear splines (which synchro engages) are worn away. Requires new 2nd gear ($$$$). Easier to swap trannys at this point.

Try to adjust the clutch arm to factory specs first, then the clutch cable. Then try gear lube. (I prefer Redline MTL, very slick, but has additives to help synchros engage).

Bob
 

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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well to anyone who is following my SLOW problem solving...
I had dropped the tranny about 3.5 weeks ago and just now am getting things back together. The splines on the input shaft did have some slight surface rust as did the clutch disk. It seemed to slide OK. I cleaned and LIGHTLY lubricated them and it slides better. I purchased a new pan gasket, new tranny to bell housing gasket and tranny mount. Put on the tranny to bell housing gasket after cleaning up both surfaces. Made sure the pan wasn't dimpled around the screw holes and replaced the pan. Put the new mount on. As I was replacing the clutch disk and pressure plate with my new handy dandy impact driver I broke off one of the bolts. @#$%
OK, not a problem, the hole goes all the way through the flywheel. So I took off the flywheel and drilled out the broke bolt. Came out easy. I drilled a small pilot hole through the bolt. (I was surprised how soft they were) and used a bigger drill that grabbed the bolt and threaded it right out. Replaced the bolt with a spare I had and put everything back together. Filled the tranny, went to bed. Next morning pan is leaking all over the floor. @#$%
Dropped the pan and drained my brand new gear oil and replaced the pan using appropriate gasket sealer. Will refill tonight. Hopefully no leaking.
 

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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK that post wasn't long enough. The manual says to adjust the release arm to 4.25" from the bell housing face right? Is that done before the return spring is hooked up? Because the return spring pulls the release arm all the way to the back of the hole. The return spring is much stronger than the little spring steel job that hold the release arm on the pivot point.:confused:
 
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