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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1992 non-turbo front wheel drive DOHC manual 5 speed stealth. Recently it started having a problem when going into 5th gear and reverse. There is no grinding noise at all, it's just really hard to slide the gear in.

The problem started after removing the fill plug for the transmission fluid. Since I was planning on changing the fluid to synchromesh, I removed the fill plug, but didn't have everything I needed so I put it back on, not having made any changes to anything. Driving after that was when I found the problem. I went ahead with the synchromesh change and afterwards, when the car was off it felt smooth, but once I started it, it was back to a very hard shift.

1st and 2nd gear were unaffected, 3rd and 4th seemed to get a little bit harder to shift, but 5th and reverse seem the worst. Does anybody have any ideas as to what might be causing the really tight feeling in 5th and reverse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyone?

Anyone out there have any ideas on this? What would make it hard to shift...as if there was a counter weight pushing against you as you try to shift into 5th and reverse? It doesnt grind the gears... just feels tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Look it's my very own little thread. :D

Just to give anyone interested an update:

I checked the shifter mechanism, all the linkage and brackets and everything looked fine. I removed the transmission fluid fill plug and moved the shifter and the problem seemed to go away. When I put the plug back on it was tight as ever. I backed off the fill plug a little and the shifter feels like it's back to normal :).

With the fill plug not quite snug it seems to leak a little now so I still have some fixing to do, but at least I figured out the root of the problem.
 

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Why didnt you use the power of the 3si network?

I told ya, all you have to do is start the ball rolling and we'll get answers.

I don't have an immediate answer for you right now, but Im putting the wheels in gear now.

Bob.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:) a newcomer to the thread.

So in about an hour I should be expecting an official 3si.org trained proffesional to be arriving on my doorstep? ;)

too kind of you - If you have any info...or "the network" can provide me with any, I'll gladly listen to any advice.
 

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instg8r said:
Look it's my very own little thread. :D

Just to give anyone interested an update:

I checked the shifter mechanism, all the linkage and brackets and everything looked fine. I removed the transmission fluid fill plug and moved the shifter and the problem seemed to go away. When I put the plug back on it was tight as ever. I backed off the fill plug a little and the shifter feels like it's back to normal :).

With the fill plug not quite snug it seems to leak a little now so I still have some fixing to do, but at least I figured out the root of the problem.
Are you sure that was the fill plug?, it sounds like what happens when you overtighten ether one of the detent ball bolts (in this case I'd assume the 5th/reverse), a similar thing would also happen if you overtigtened the reverse light swithc bolt. The fill plug should not be touching anything that could cause that. Ether way, you can get a copper crush gasket and put it on the bolt so it will be extended away from the trans slightly, but will not leak.
 

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The only thing the "network" came up with so far...

...is that maybe you bent some linkage when you removed the fill cap the first time...but I like *GT's explanation as well.

Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
*GT said:

Are you sure that was the fill plug?, it sounds like what happens when you overtighten ether one of the detent ball bolts (in this case I'd assume the 5th/reverse), a similar thing would also happen if you overtigtened the reverse light swithc bolt. The fill plug should not be touching anything that could cause that. Ether way, you can get a copper crush gasket and put it on the bolt so it will be extended away from the trans slightly, but will not leak.
I can't be sure since I don't have a diagram of the area....but I only touched one bolt in that general region and I am pretty sure it was the fill plug. It was the largest bolt on top of the transaxle (17mm I believe) and there were no other bolts along side it. I don't know if it helps to describe where it is specifically, but the bolt I used was directly below the linkage that responds to the forward and backward movement of the shifter (as opposed to the other linkage which seems to respond to left and right movement of the shifter when in neutral). I wish I had a digital camera so I could show you, not describe to you!

There were also 3 bolts in a vertical line on the front of the transaxle, but they were smaller (i would guess 1/2 inch socket ??) and I didn't tighten or loosen them at all. Not sure if those are the detent ball bolts you're talking about.

I'll try to borrow a camera tonight and get some pics to make it easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: The only thing the "network" came up with so far...

OhioSpyderman said:
...is that maybe you bent some linkage when you removed the fill cap the first time...but I like *GT's explanation as well.

Bob.
I was really sold on that idea for a while (seemed like all indications pointed toward that) so I reaaaaally checked everything carefully but linkage and brackets seemed to be fine.

To further rule out that theory: it was nice and smooth once the fill plug was out. I would imagine that the linkage wouldn't feel any different if any pressure was added or released from within the transaxle.

is it logical to assume that?
 

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Re: Re: The only thing the "network" came up with so far...

instg8r said:
I would imagine that the linkage wouldn't feel any different if any pressure was added or released from within the transaxle.

is it logical to assume that?
When I first read your post it almost sounded like you were "trapping" air in the case and that was somehow effecting the shifting, but it made no sense. It IS strange that removing the cap resolves the problem.
You've created a "good one", thats for sure.

Bob.:)
 

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I'm thinking you're either tightening the shift rail bolt by accident(there are 3 in a row, 14mm), or you're tightening the fill plug(17mm) WAY to much and it's causing the tranny case to flex and bind the shift rail. Take it easy on those bolts, and make sure you're messing with the correct one. Try what I suggested in my PM's and get back to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Re: Re: The only thing the "network" came up with so far...

OhioSpyderman said:


When I first read your post it almost sounded like you were "trapping" air in the case and that was somehow effecting the shifting, but it made no sense. It IS strange that removing the cap resolves the problem.
You've created a "good one", thats for sure.

Bob.:)
Ha...great minds think alike. Since the problem showed up after simply removing and then reinserting the bolt, that was my first thought too - got air into the transaxle that shouldn't be there.

I was so hopeful that after doing the fluid change, the extra air would get out of the system and it might go back to being properly pressurized or sealed, etc. Then I added my 2.4 ish quarts of synchromesh and was waiting for it to start coming out the fill hole but it never did...I added the full third quart (and there was no idication it was getting full) but stopped there.

Everything I had read seemed to say that they shouldn't take more than 2 1/2 quarts, so I figured maybe it's just not supposed to be filled up all the way.

I have since confirmed that which is good...but that also ruled out my "trapped air" theory. :(
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: The only thing the "network" came up with so far...

instg8r said:


Ha...great minds think alike. Since the problem showed up after simply removing and then reinserting the bolt, that was my first thought too - got air into the transaxle that shouldn't be there.

I was so hopeful that after doing the fluid change, the extra air would get out of the system and it might go back to being properly pressurized or sealed, etc. Then I added my 2.4 ish quarts of synchromesh and was waiting for it to start coming out the fill hole but it never did...I added the full third quart (and there was no idication it was getting full) but stopped there.

Everything I had read seemed to say that they shouldn't take more than 2 1/2 quarts, so I figured maybe it's just not supposed to be filled up all the way.

. :(
The fill plut Is not on the top of the transmission, its on the front, about halfway up, to the right of the 3, 14mm detent bolts. The trans is not supposed to be full of trans fluid at all, only about half full if that. The fill plug is located at the correct height on the tranny so that when you reach that level it will pour out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
WICKEDDREW said:
I'm thinking you're either tightening the shift rail bolt by accident(there are 3 in a row, 14mm), or you're tightening the fill plug(17mm) WAY to much and it's causing the tranny case to flex and bind the shift rail. Take it easy on those bolts, and make sure you're messing with the correct one. Try what I suggested in my PM's and get back to me.
I have a strong feeling it's the second option you suggested WICKED cuz I know the 3 bolts you're describing and I haven't touched them. I haven't really cranked it down, but maybe just enough to interfere. ??

So the gameplan - Since I used the full 3rd quart of Synchro-juice, my first course of action is to go ahead and drain out about 1/2 a quart like you had suggested. After that I'll tighten (what I believe to be) the fill plug juuuust enough and I'll keep an eye on it for leaks. I think the leaking around the bolt might be becuase it is a little extra full. If it still leaks a little but I can't tighten without compromising ease-of-shifting I'll probably move on and try the suggested copper crush gasket to raise the bolt up a little without creating a leak. Maybe when I initially undid the bolt it broke a seal that had been there forever (the car does have 119K miles on it).

I'll keep you guys posted and will still try to get some pics so we can all be on the same page as far as bolts.

On a side note - Is it bad that the existence of something called a "reverse light switch bolt" makes me think that blinker fluid might also actually exist? ;)
 

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instg8r said:
On a side note - Is it bad that the existence of something called a "reverse light switch bolt" makes me think that blinker fluid might also actually exist? ;)
You didnt change THAT fluid when you did the tranny fluid??? Its in the manual!!;)

Seriously, did you do the fill on a level surface? Any upward angle would skew the fill point.

Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The only thing the "network" came up with so far...

*GT said:


The fill plut Is not on the top of the transmission, its on the front, about halfway up, to the right of the 3, 14mm detent bolts. The trans is not supposed to be full of trans fluid at all, only about half full if that. The fill plug is located at the correct height on the tranny so that when you reach that level it will pour out.
Oh, that's a pretty cool design then. Wish I had taken advantage of it ;) doh. :( In any case that'll make it much easier than trying to measure a 1/2 quart drained out the bottom plug.

Actually that clears up what Drew told me in one fo the PMs "You need to undo the fill plug and let the extra fluid drain out until it stops." I misread and was thinking undo the DRAIN plug. Tthat didn't make sense cuz when it stops coming out that plug, it's empty. and I KNOW that's not good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So with all this said, it begs the question -

what is the bolt that I undid and used as the fill hole?

Is that the reverse light swicth bolt that *GT mentioned?

I hope it gets the fluid to the same spot that the actual fill hole would. :eek:
 

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instg8r said:

On a side note - Is it bad that the existence of something called a "reverse light switch bolt" makes me think that blinker fluid might also actually exist? ;)
:D Yea, , I'm not sure thats the "tecnical term" for it, more the "I can't think of anything better to call it term". Ayway its the switch that turns on/off the reverse lights. I'm assuming thats not what you removed anyway since it has 2 wires attached to it. There was A thead a while ago where someone used the bolt in the top of the tranny as a fill hole, and removed the fill plug so it would reach the correct level, couldn't find it now though. I cant think of off hand what the plug on the top is for.
 

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ok guys there is no way AIR can be trapped in there cause there are vents on transmissions to prevent this, and there is no way tightening the fill plug could make it shift different because its a dead hole in the side of the case. and as for flexing the case by tightening it, BS, you would strip the bolt first.
if you are messing with the detent bolts i dont htink you could tighten them too tight to amount to a whole hell of a lot of anything different.
that being said, i cant figure out what youve done here, there seems to be some missing info or maybe you're forgetting something thats happened possibly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
yup...I think we all quickly ruled out the trapped air theory. I am also 100% certain that it is not one of the detent bolts that I loosened/tightened. I am clear as to which those bolts are and I know I didn't touch them. I know I didn't flex the case either - I REALLY didn't tighten anything all that hard - especially hard enough to bent the housing out of shape.

I think the main problem is that I used the wrong hole to fill the transmission with fluid. I removed a bolt on top of the transmission and when I tightened it back down (not overly tight) shifting became very stiff.

I did some more prodding tonight and I think I found the correct bolt that I was supposed to remove to add the fluid. So the one question I have left is: what is the bolt on the top of the transmission that I tightened and why is it that when it is all the way in (but not cranked on) that it has effected my shifting?

I think I have the whooooole thing written out in PMs I'll see if there's any details I left out here that might shed some more light.

In the mean time I did take some pics and will try to post them...I want to make sure I have the CORRECT fill plug this time so I didn't drain any fluid out of the system yet... I'll post the pics and show you guys the one I used and the one I think I'm supposed to use. We'll compare notes and see how I should go about fixing this little problem. :)
 
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