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Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on this

 
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:31 AM
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Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on this

Okay guys.

First of all.

Today, I picked up a 93 Vtec Prelude... 5spd.

Car is in excellent shape as far as I can tell except for one big problem.

The car doesn't seem to like first gear. Sometimes.

Its VERY difficult to get into first gear sometimes, of course full clutch in. about 90% of the time you've gotta force it and I mean shove the **** out of it to get into first gear, and its very hard to pull out of first gear without it feeling like its going to die.

Other times and I can't figure out what triggers the 'other times' it works just fine, pulls out of 1st gear okay and shifts in and out of it okay.

The even weirder part is that sometimes first gear is as smooth as butter.

Thats what I dont get? sometimes its fine, sometimes its not. More often than not its not.

The weird part is every other gear is perfectly easy to get in and out of, and it doesn't seem to have any issues. Reverse gear is also flawless.

The previous owner mentioned something about the master cylinder having issues in the past. That it was low on fluid, he filled it up, and it never happened again.

This isn't the 1st gear lock out when the car is rolling. It does this from a dead stop.

Miraculously it happens today when I was ready to buy the car.

Anyway I bought it knowing it had the issue. I'm just hoping its not a HUGE issue to take care of.

Anyone know wehre I can start?

I topped off the fluid but that didn't help.

Also I opened up the reservoir and the fluid didn't look very clean at all and there was some kinda plastic piece just floating in it. I'm not sure if it is supposed to be that way or if it was broken.

Not sure what exactly it is. Heres a pic of it followed by a few of the car.

Thanks in advance for any advice as to where to start.





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Old 12-09-2009, 12:39 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

hmm, im thinking he either, destroyed/grinded the fuk outta first, or he messed upthe shifter thing if you know what im talking about. the guide lol.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:39 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

jesus dude, 2 4G's, an s2k, and an accord coupe?? whens the nsx coming???


but i hate to say it dude, it kinda sounds like your 1st gear syncro is shot.
also that float in the reservoir is normal. i'm not quite sure what the reason for it is, but don't take it out. i'm sure its there for a reason.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:46 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

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Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
jesus dude, 2 4G's, an s2k, and an accord coupe?? whens the nsx coming???


but i hate to say it dude, it kinda sounds like your 1st gear syncro is shot.
also that float in the reservoir is normal. i'm not quite sure what the reason for it is, but don't take it out. i'm sure its there for a reason.
The gold 4th gen will be in the for sale section soon. I'm going to take my 5 lug swap off of it and put it onto this one first.

Thanks for the tip.

I'm willing to do the work myself... is doing the syncro's hard to do at home with a good service manual and some patience or is that something better left to a shop?

NSX will come sometime after the Accord is paid off (other two well now 3 a paid for ) :)
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:04 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

bro, if you buy an nsx, i will love you forever and you will be my hero
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:10 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

Quick suggestion. Try putting the car in first, when it wont go in shift it to 2nd then back up to 1st. If that doesnt work try to shift to first and hold it where it wont go in, dont push on it too much and let the clutch out slowly.

This happens in my lude sometimes and has happened in my friends civic since he drove it off the lot. I always figured it was just some random issue. Unless what you have is different...
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:12 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

ya, i gotta do that for my reverse sometimes. try rolling forward a tiny bit and seeing if it will go into first then too
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:13 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

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bro, if you buy an nsx, i will love you forever and you will be my hero
LoL it likely wont be for at least another year or two, but i vow it to be my next car... whenever that happens...

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Quick suggestion. Try putting the car in first, when it wont go in shift it to 2nd then back up to 1st. If that doesnt work try to shift to first and hold it where it wont go in, dont push on it too much and let the clutch out slowly.

This happens in my lude sometimes and has happened in my friends civic since he drove it off the lot. I always figured it was just some random issue. Unless what you have is different...
I'll definitely try that but i really think its got to be a bigger problem than something that simple (just go to 2nd first) I mean we're not talking just hard to shift we're talking complete lock out. it simply WILL NOT go into first.

Its scary **** when you're trying to make a left turn with oncoming traffic, i mean you've gotta rev the hell outta it to get the car moving IF U can get it into 1st in the first place... but again I can't figure out why it does it sometimes and others. If it did it all the time I'd say something is definitely broken or just not right.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:18 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

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LoL it likely wont be for at least another year or two, but i vow it to be my next car... whenever that happens...



I'll definitely try that but i really think its got to be a bigger problem than something that simple (just go to 2nd first) I mean we're not talking just hard to shift we're talking complete lock out. it simply WILL NOT go into first.

Its scary **** when you're trying to make a left turn with oncoming traffic, i mean you've gotta rev the hell outta it to get the car moving IF U can get it into 1st in the first place... but again I can't figure out why it does it sometimes and others. If it did it all the time I'd say something is definitely broken or just not right.
When I say go to 2nd I mean like shift 2nd to first kinda fast and sometimes for whatever reason it cures my little lock out. But I've never FORCED it into 1st when its locked out from a stand still.So I don;t know if I'm really locked out (such as when above certain mph) or if it is just somewhat hesitant. I've done the 2 things i said.

And yea my reverse does it sometimes too. And was told it was the synchros but i dunno...

But again, it could be a different issue completely, I dont know. But from your description I think its the same issue I have... whiiiich means I'm officially watching this thread til its resolved lol.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:01 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

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Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
jesus dude, 2 4G's, an s2k, and an accord coupe?? whens the nsx coming???


but i hate to say it dude, it kinda sounds like your 1st gear syncro is shot.
also that float in the reservoir is normal. i'm not quite sure what the reason for it is, but don't take it out. i'm sure its there for a reason.
Yep it's prob the synro... my reverse was shot before... might be expensive for Honda to open up ur tranny.. probably more than a new tranny...hope u can do it urself or know a good shop that'll do it for a good price
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:52 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

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Yep it's prob the synro... my reverse was shot before... might be expensive for Honda to open up ur tranny.. probably more than a new tranny...hope u can do it urself or know a good shop that'll do it for a good price
I'm wondering if its worth it to just replace the transmission.. but then doing that is gonna be another used transmission and god knows what surprises i may be instore for with THAT one.

I've read before that getting the transmission out on a prelude isn't that difficult that it can be done with basic tools... but once its out... how difficult is it to rebuild?
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:11 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

Dude I have the same problem shifting into 3rd. And I just recently had all syncro's replaced cause my second gear syncro went out so we just decided to replace them all. Sometimes it will go in smooth, others it just refuses :( Haven't checked transmission fluid yet though, hoping that is it...
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:24 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

your not really supposed to be able to go into first while moving, there is a lock out mechanism which prevents you from doing that, at least there is on the 5th gens..u can maybe get into at like under 10mph in a 5th gen maybe..
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:28 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

I start off in 1st all time. I downshift into it sometimes too. especially today in the snow
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:34 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

I had the same issue w/my 93. Turned out puttin fluid in it helped for awhile but eventually (last week lol) the trans went out in it. The kid I sold it to drove it into the ground. I told him about the trans issue n told him I had a tranny for 300 n he waited til the cars inoperable to gimme the cash for it. Anyways...5th went out entirely in mine n then 1st was dam near impossible half the time to get into. Then 3rd went lol. Prolly cheaper to get a new trans. Nice pick up btw...car looks awesome. Blacked out family lol. Super sick
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:05 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

Make sure that the ball springs bolts on the under side of the trans have a washer on them. When I rebuild my CRX trans, I lost a washer and put the screw in any way. The first time I tested every thing, it was impossible to get 5th or reverse. The ball got jammed into the spring and bolt, this was holding the shift fork in place.

If that is not your problem, then your syncro is bad.
I would suggest opening it up and taking a look at it, and if it is bad, get a different trans or repair the current one.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:10 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

Have had the same issue with the 1st gear. The only thing that helped is to fully release the clutch pedal then push it back then the 1st kicks in. Changed the oil to mineral 10w40.
That helped in general. Almost no problems with 1st gear since then. Maybe the honda's MTF will do even better.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:55 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

yea it sounds like your sync row problem. Im going to school right now for this and getting the trans in and out is the hardest part but after its out its cake you just have to remember where every thing goes but there is books and stuff for that. If you arnt going to fix it and you just want to replace it i herd that the b series trans will work and they are stronger than the h trans
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:59 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

y ya get so many car bai
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:26 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

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y ya get so many car bai
I like toys lol.


-----

On another note... just a quick update and looking for a bit of advice.

From all my research and asking around... the consenus seems to be to replace the master and slave cylinders and put some new fluid in there/bleed it.... as well as do a fluid change on the transmission full empty/refill.

I picked up the car on Tuesday evening. My first seat in it when taking "delivery" the car wouldn't go into first gear for ****. I've never experienced this so i didn't know what to think/try.

It was late at night... just wanted to get it home so I could get to other **** for my evening...

It got home giving a little trouble on the way but not dying... forcing etc... got it into first figured I'd deal with it later.

I haven't been home till this evening. My license plate is in the mail (another story) so I didn't wanna take the car out very far but aroudn my block a few times.

It seems that 1st is real rough. And especially the 1st to 2nd shift is rough-est...

But it seems that if I just go into second and row the gears around a bit as suggested before, that it WILL go into 1st with a little coaxing.

Now this was just me dicking around with it for about 20 minutes around my neighborhood.

What I'm getting at, is I'm not sure if this should be accepted as "normal' behavior since it seems so many other lude owners online are describing similar things.

I bought the master and slave cylinders today as well as a some brake fluid and some Honda MTF....

I dont mind spending the $$ on these parts/fluid if its going to help the situation, but if I'm likely going to be right where I started beacuse the way its behaving is "normal"-- I'd rather take my unopened parts back to the store and "live with it"

Again if my plan of attack, replacing slave/master cylinder... bleeding clutch, and changing out transmission fluid (complete drain/refill) can offer a benefit I will be willing to do it.

What do you guys think?

I mean the car sat for pretty much at least 3 years--- (1500 miles in 3 years, only 200 in the last year supposedly) and god knows how long before that it was changed... at 157k miles on it, I figure it couldn't hurt...
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:11 AM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

Hey bro just like the info threads you read were correct ,if the car was sitting for while and the mileage is high most of time its fluids are done because ,like antifreeze, gas, brake fluids,trans fluids ,that includes atf fluids,they loose there volume and viscosity witch intern become kind of water down due to hummidity and condensation witch come from different tempertures,if you live in hot weather, the hydrolic brake fluid and rubber hose lines, used in the clutch system will collapse inside causing clutch failure, and leaks around master cylinder under dash pedal connection ,and also leaks on the slave cylinder around the rubber boots.Try looking for does signs ,then take it from there. Hope this gives you better feeling about the ride ,have done this many times .If you buy after market parts they wont last . it depend on you .Later j
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:30 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

well... i already bought the parts so i figure i may as well do it.

I'll be taking the 5 lug conversion parts off my 92 and swapping them with whats on the 93... so in doing that i'll have to bleed the brakes and re do that...

Oil change was done last week.

I'll be changing the transmission fluid

Brake fluid will be brand new.

Clutch fluid will be done

All belts were recently done.

I've got some slop in the steering wheel a little play... -I'm hoping the new tie rod ends that I bought will fix that... I'll be doing those the while I do the 5 lug conversion.

What about power steering fluid... is that something I should look at ? Car steers fine lol... except for this slop/play at the center... again I was hoping the new tie rod ends would fix that.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:51 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

If it does it in all gears then yea replace your slave and master but if its only first and first to second your hydrolics are fine and its the gears in the trans. dont just throw parts at it till it fixes it cause then you will buying stuff that you wont need.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:17 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

So guys... I got the slave cylinder in last night.

I'm doing the master tonight.

One thing I noticed while looking at the stuff last night to make sure I know what I'm doing today is the feeder tube going from my master cylinder reservoir to the master cylinder... I've never seen this kinda tube used here before, pic below, can someone tell me if this is normal or if somewhere down the line someone used something they weren't supposed to?

I kinda bled the system last night just to flush the **** out when i did the slave cylinder just to see what would happen, and let me tell you guys the clutch fluid in there was literally BLACK i mean no where near what brake fluid is supposed to look like.

I'm not sure what caused it, if it was sitting there, if it was the bad slave cylinder, or potentially bad master cylinder.

I plan on replacing the master either way since i'm in here doing this may as well just get it all done.


But yea I'm curious if this tube for some reason is the reason my liquid is turning black.

When you touch the tube its like soaked with brake fluid. This could have been cuz i spilled a bit when i was refilling the reservoir to bleed the system, but I'm not 100% positive its not the tube itself leaking...

If this is the wrong kinda tube and I need to replace it, is this something I should order from Honda? or is it something I can find at any store like auto zone? What characteristics in tubing should I look for? other than size it looks like any old tube could work, beacuse the pressure isn't built up until AFTER it passes through the master cylinder right? If you guys think I should replace the tube please help me determine what to replace it with!

Thanks again for your help! Looking forward to resolving this problem asap?


Here's pic of the tube I've got now:
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:12 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

i was having the same problem after i replaced my master cylinder and the slave clyinder. I thought maybe i didnt tighten the bolt on the master cylinder enough and it was slipping further and further down. So i checked and everything was fine and the fluid was were it was supposed to be. (well actually a little over). I couldnt get the car in first or reverse without shooving it. But then everyonce in a while it would be all right. Finally it got worse so i took it to an import repair shop and they checked it out and they thought it was the clutch.... well i know how much that cost so i just told them "hey try bleeding it. the new slave cylinder yall installed probably just has an air bubble." well they bleed it out and ever since its been good. except I have been noticing variations in pressure on the clutch. Im not sure why that is happening. but try bleeding it and checking the master cylinder.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

No that hose looks like it came from a hardware store. I'm not sure why that would be on there though. this is what mine looks like...

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Old 12-21-2009, 05:52 PM
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Re: Shifting into first gear difficult or impossible.. anyone know where to start on

Fogle thanks for the tips/etc...

I didn't end up replacing that tube just cleaned it well and replaced the clamps.

Car is finally back on the ground.

I have to say the shifting is about 75% smoother.

Shifting into 1st is butter 90% of the time.

But theres a 10% of the time when it just doesn't want to cooperate.... gotta go to 2nd or play with it a bit to go into 1st.

1-2 shift is a little rough but beyond that its fine.

The slave cylinder was CLEARLY **** once I had it out of the car... The master I'm not so sure but since i already bought it decided to just do it.

Having a chance to finally drive the car around a bit, I notice its puffing white smoke a little here and there. Mostly at start up and revving it up a little in the driveway. I dont really notice it as much once the motor has warmed up.

I checked underneath the oil cap and no milky/water in it that I can tell...

So I'm not sure what thats about.

Smells like gas, not sweet like antifreeze either.

So I dunno

I'm about just start ripping the motor/tranny apart to start building the dream instead of just trying to get it to run right for now.

I dont want to spend a lot of money at a shop fixing seals/gaskets when all that will be exposed/out anyway when i rebuild the head and re-sleeve the block for turbo.

I dont know whats causing the smoke or the smell for now, but I figure if I've gotta take stuff apart to replace a head gasket for example, I may as well REALLY start taking **** apart and start rebuilding it and the stock M2F4.

The problem is i'm learning everything as I go with the help of my helms and google and these forums.

I dont know how to weld nor do I know anyone that can teach me.

I dont have a truck or access to one to take my block/head places when I need to get them worked on by a shop. (I guess they will fit in the accord's trunk if I have to)

So I have no problem trying to learn and do myself as I go, I just dont want to end up with a car in the garage that can go no where without being towed and can't get put together by me and me alone.

Just got a lot of reading to do.
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