Car won't go into gear after startup

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Tom_Ingram
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Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Tom_Ingram » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:02 pm

I started up my car this morning after sitting for a while, and noticed that it was very hard to get into gear 3, 4, 5 and reverse, and impossible to get into gears 2 and 1. When i start the car with the clutch depressed, it goes into any of the gears fine, but after I release it for the first time since startup, the problem comes back and occasionally makes grinding noises when going into gears. Does anyone know what this could be? I installed a short throw shifter a few weeks ago, could this be part of the issue somehow? (It's a 2.0 laser btw)

Bug
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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Bug » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:10 pm

Unlikely to be the gear lever, all that does is change the leverage angle/length.
Start by checking the clutch cable isn't snagged. Not unheard of for them to melt on the exhaust.
Then check the clutch pedal is correctly adjusted.
Sounds like the clutch isn't quite disengaging properly to me.
If all that fails then possibly it's new clutch time, but a bit odd for it to fail like that with no warning.

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mr B » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:23 pm

Hi Tom,

When you say the car was sitting for a while do you mean weeks or months or just a few days?

If you was to start the car in 1st gear with the handbrake off and with the clutch pedal to the floor does she try to move forward at all?

Wayne

Tom_Ingram
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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Tom_Ingram » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:07 pm

Hi Wayne,

It was only sitting for a few weeks, maybe 3 or so.

It's a bit hard for me to explain, so I'll try to lay it out as clear as I can:
When I start the car, I press the clutch down all the way and crank it over. As long as I keep the clutch down and don't let go after starting it up, it'll go into whatever gear I select with no problem. However, as soon as I put it in neutral, lift up the clutch pedal, and immediately press it again, it struggles to go into 2nd and 1st the most, but also struggles with 3rd, 4th and 5tn.

And yes, if I either start it in first, or in neutral, it'll move forward with handbrake off.
Tom

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mr B » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:57 pm

I had trouble with one of my cars last year I think it was, I had left her standing unused in the garage for around 5 months, when I adventually got round to using her I couldn't get any gears at all unless the engine was off and even with the clutch pedal to the floor she still lurched forward if in gear when I tried to start her, her clutch had seized and all the symptoms added up, in your case I don't understand how your car is still trying to move forward with the gearbox in neutral, even with a seized clutch neutral is neutral and no power should be going from the gearbox to the axle, makes me wonder if a selector has broken in the box and even though you're gear lever is in the neutral position the actual box is still in gear - I have seen it only once before in 30 odd year's and that was on a type 5 box, not saying I'm correct by any means just strange that the car is still trying to move whilst in neutral.

Wayne

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mc Tool » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:59 pm

Spigot bearing ?
you gotta make the most :cheers: :cigar: :burnout: out of your 20's, 30's, and 40's coz when you hit 50 the "engine check" light comes on. :?

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mr B » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:02 pm

Mc Tool wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:59 pm
Spigot bearing ?
That's a good call as well, in my younger days I put a gearbox back in a car with no spigot bearing and thought fuck it that'll be alright.....it wasn't

Wayne

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mc Tool » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:27 pm

Yeah :roll: couldnt figure out where the extra bearing came from :doh: .
Anyhow , just a thought ( beats doing the dishes ) with a quick shifter you shorten the throw but you also increase the required effort .......so any reluctance to go into gear ,specially when cold ,would feel stiffer or crunchier at your hand . Do you have a good breakfast Tom ? :lol:
you gotta make the most :cheers: :cigar: :burnout: out of your 20's, 30's, and 40's coz when you hit 50 the "engine check" light comes on. :?

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by 340truck » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:25 pm

When you do the start up with the clutch down and then put it into first, how is the power take up as you release the clutch to drive away? Smooth like normal or does it lurch then move? Can you stop without stalling if you put the clutch down and/or can you change into 2nd?
Image

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Tom_Ingram » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:45 am

Yeah it's smooth power when I lift up on the clutch in first, no problems, and it'l go into second when moving, but again with a great deal of force. I can also stop without stalling by putting the clutch down tok. Also update I've lost reverse it just grinds and won't engage at all now even tho It engaged yesterday

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mk3 Mags » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:43 pm

Tom_Ingram wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:02 pm
I started up my car this morning after sitting for a while, and noticed that it was very hard to get into gear 3, 4, 5 and reverse, and impossible to get into gears 2 and 1. When i start the car with the clutch depressed, it goes into any of the gears fine, but after I release it for the first time since startup, the problem comes back and occasionally makes grinding noises when going into gears. Does anyone know what this could be? I installed a short throw shifter a few weeks ago, could this be part of the issue somehow? (It's a 2.0 laser btw)
If you ever get to the bottom of this, Tom, I would be interested to hear the outcome. You describe exactly what my car does and it’s been doing it for at least 15 years. It is totally random and doesn’t appear to be related to the length of time the car stands unused. I can leave it for three weeks whilst we go away on holiday and there is no problem when we get back; other times I leave it for only a day or two and it happens again.

It must be a year or more since I last had the problem and I was beginning to think it had gone away when the gearbox jammed again this morning. I started the car in the garage (clutch depressed), reversed out, put it in neutral and left it whilst I went to close the garage door. Got back in, depressed the clutch, gear lever refused to shift in any direction. With clutch still depressed I gave the throttle a blip and everything was fine again and I reversed out onto the road. After that I drove for 20+ miles with no trouble whatsoever.

On past occasions it has sometimes been all gears that are affected, sometimes only certain gears and on the very odd occasion the gears have momentarily jammed whilst on the move. Nobody I’ve asked seems to have any ideas so I’ve just got used to it.

Car is a 2-litre Laser same as yours.

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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by STEVEW » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:47 pm

I agree with what McTool has said above.
The spigot bearing has started to fail.

I had an Escort and during a rally I had similar problems to you .
Fortunately, I was able to drive the car home by using any gear I could get!
I pulled the gearbox and discovered the bearing in the back of the crankshaft was shot.
Once replaced it cured the problem.

There are basically two ways to extract the bearing.
1. The "You Tube" method: Lots of toilet paper and grease.
2. Buy an appropriate puller to remove the bearing.

All the best.

Mk3 Mags
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Re: Car won't go into gear after startup

Post by Mk3 Mags » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:42 pm

Thanks for the opinions and info STEVEW and Mc Tool. Much appreciated.

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