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Tough to get into 1st gear

2327 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  fulman
Had the 2.0D for just over a year now and it's always been hard to get into first gear (the other four and reverse are fine). It hasn't got any worse so I'm not loosing sleep over it but it would be nice to get it it slotting in a bit smoother. The odd time it goes in very smoothly but more often than not I do have to persuade it somewhat, normally just a double press of the clutch and a little wiggle on the stick. So far I've lifted gator and given all the joints a spray of white grease (but not underneath), this hasn't helped. In the back of my mind it's a worn synchromesh ring but I'm an optimist and there's always a chance it's something simpler. I was thinking of changing the gearbox oil and with 110K on the clock with no record of it being done, It couldn't do any harm. But is there a drain plug on these things? Could it be worn linkage underneath maybe? Or am I on the wrong track altogether, could it be the clutch? As I say, it's just first so wouldn't have thought so. I'm just looking for advice right now.
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Hi Peteski,
Change the oil first its the cheapest option, my 6 speed was getting a bit fraught and I drained and refilled with the castrol recommended Castrol Syntrans Multi Vehicle 75W90 now it is lovely and smooth at all temps and feels like a new box, mine has done around 90K with no record of a change. On the 6 speed you access the fill through the front nearside wheel arch after removing the wheel. Its an 8mm allen, just above and to the right of the driveshaft output. I used a socket type as it was a bit tight. The drain is the same type of plug but lower and a bit more awkward to remove as their is not much room between the subframe. I cut an 8mm allen key down and used a spanner to get it out. Not sure if its in the same position on the 5 speed box
Got to be worth a try first before spending big.
Ever the pessimist....I reckon the clutch plates aren't seperating, which would be most noticeable when stationary
Mine does this a little, the odd time I reach for first, it doesn't slot right in first time, needs another shove to get it in there.

My clutch is only a couple of thou old and the gearbox has fresh oil.

It's never really bothered me as it does go in, I always thought the selector cable may have stretched a little.
If it were the clutch, I would have though it would be hard to get it into any gear stationary and not just 1st? Either way, it'll have to get a whole lot worse before I spend a grand on a new clutch. The link is cable operated? Interesting. Once summer finally comes I'll get underneath and see if I can locate the drain and filling plugs, £20 for new oil is sure worth a try. Will report back after.
Gearbox oil drained and replaced today. The old stuff was fairly black but with no sludging. Refilled with Castrol Driveline Syntrax 75W/90. Seems a little smoother on the test drive and getting it into first is somewhat better although I wouldn't say it has totally cured it. I'm happy anyhow as I now know it's got lovely slippery new oil whizzing around the box, and all for just over £20. The drain and refill plugs are very easy to get at once the under-tray has been removed. Look for the lowest point on the case and you'll find a hex bolt pointing to the drivers side, that's the drain. The refill is pointing towards the front of the car, both require a 8mm allen key. For some reason the oil bottles don't come with the squeezey type nozzles any more so I ended up refilling via a funnle and tube though the engine bay. 2L of oil will suffice. As with most gearboxes you just fill until it starts running out of the hole.

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Stephen.p This is it.
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