Hard to Shift into Gears (manual Trans)/Trans Replace ???? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Hard to Shift into Gears (manual Trans)/Trans Replace ????

AFARR

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City, State
Clarion, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Sport
My 1994 Sport--2WD has had a chronic problem with it not going into gears. You have to struggle to get it into gear--been going on for years.

It has had a clutch replaced (about 40k miles ago when the car reached 120k miles), then had the master cylinder and Slave replaced in Jan. 2004 when it suddenly gave out in the middle of -10 degree weather (the repair shop had me exchange the clutch parts under warrantee, and they put new ones in then--so it would be about 135k miles).

The vehicle now has 160k miles. I need to keep it going for a while yet--however, on a trip back to Chicago this weekend, I got stuck in start-stop traffic, and it lost (hard to describe) 'Definition' in going into 1 and 3--instead of going straight up to 1st and up-right-up into 3rd, there is kind of a wierd "angle" path that the shifter takes.

It is still driveable, but difficult to get into gear.

Now, I will have a backup vehicle running shortly--so I can take a weekend to change out the trans on the Explorer (and take the clutch parts to Pep Boys under warrantee--that is about an hour and a half drive to the closest one now).

Short of a trans change, is there any adjustments possible?

I have checked the New master cylinder-seems to move fine, firmly attached to the firewall (doesn't flex on pushing the clutch pedal), there is no (at least visible to me) way to adjust the master. I did try to vacuum bleed the slave, and got no visible air--just fluid.

And, if a Trans change is warranted, what years will work to replace it? I believe it is the Mazda trans (I think my Haynes mentions a Mitsu trans in some of them)? I would prefer not to spend an arm and a leg on a rebuilt unit (best to keep it under $500)--so I am thinking a used unit might keep it running for another year or two.

Any suggestions, or things to watch out for on the change?

Thanks!!!

AFARR
 
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RangerX

Elite Ranger
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Welcome to the forum! :thumbsup:

I would be wary of the slave if it's from Pep Boys. I redid my clutch etc last winter after years of hard shifting. I found a slave that was OEM, after reading alot about aftermarket slaves. Search around a little if you want to read the same threads.
 
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AFARR

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Sport
Yeah, I'm fed up with Pep Boys (they were close when I lived in Chicago)--they changed the Clutch at the 120k miles (I was hoping a worn clutch was causing the problems)--and they didn't do the slave at the same time. The Master/Slave change was done by a different shop (guys that knew what they were doing)--but since the Clutch was from Pep Boys, they tried to get PB to deliver a new set under warrantee while the trans was out. PB wouldn't deliver as I had had the work done at their shop, so I picked up the Clutch components and had to hand exchange them myself.

The Slave is an OEM part (per the shop that did the work).

Still wondering if I can get a used trans (and what years are common) just to carry me through--Although, if I do get the trans out, I will exchange the clutch parts anyway (as they are right there, and covered under warrantee)--even though it will take a drive to get there.

Thanks!!

AFARR

PS--I realized after posting this that it is not truely an emergency (the Explorer does drive, and, even though my backup car needs inspected and leaks oil, I do have something else to drive). If a Mod wants to move this, please do so.
 
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Jason94sport

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FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 Sport 2WD 5 speed
I'd get a reman 5 speed from a shop or online. Any year Mazda trans will work.
 
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nak4af

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1993 Explorer Sport
I had the exact same problem. Replaced cutch and instaled a new slave cylinder. Slave cylinder was bad so had to get another one. You'll need to bleed it, bleed it again and then when your finished, bleed it one more time. I had to take mine to Ford so they could use their pressure bleeder to do the job right. Now after 6 or so months, i have to do it again to get the rest of the air from the line. The line is real bad for getting air trapped in it. That's just the nature of those type of clutch systems.

My Brother-in-law has a 97 Chevy S10 and his clutch just up and went out on him. Told him to bleed it and voila, his clutch was fine. The S10's have the same type hydraulic clutch systems that the X's do.
 
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AFARR

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Sport
Ok, then talk me through bleeding the clutch--I have done both the "loosen" the bleed valve at the trans and let it flow, and also hooked a vacuum pump up to the bleed valve and done it that way.

Come to think of it--it did shift a bit better right after it was bled.

Anyone can talk me through a good way to do it?

Thanks!!
 
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RangerX

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Seach search search.

One tip for you is to disconnect the clutch master cyl at the firewall, and tilt it so air can't be trapped in it, then bleed. By disconnect it, I mean take out the bolts that hold it to the firewall, not disconnect the hydraulic line. ;)
 
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Telford Weister

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City, State
Anchorage, Alaska
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 xlt 4-dr.manual trans,
Since the clutch bleeding has been covered pretty well, let me address the shifter acting funny. It sounds like what I recently had occur in my 94 XLT. The problem turned out to be the flimsy flat spring washers that are used to align the shifter itself. Mine became bent up (probably from trying to get it into gear at stoplights, especially when the weather was warm). The design in inherently pretty weak. For a proper fix, find yourself a Hurst Billet Plus shifter for your truck. Installation will be about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes, and is very easy with a few hand tools. You will need a set of Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and and a Torx driver (I don,t remember the size). I got mine from E-bay (they show up occasionally). The difference between stock and the Hurst is like night and day!Also, it looks like a real shifter, not a broomhandle, and shortens the shift throw by about 40%, so you can actually use your cupholders. You won't be sorry you made the change.
 
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