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Discussion Starter #1
The shifting between gears on my 08 manual Element has suddenly gotten very stiff when shifting between gears. Car has about 36,000 miles on it.

Any ideas on what could be causing it before I take it into the shop?


Thanks in advance,
Matt
 

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All gears? Up and down and side-to-side? Or just up and down?

Does it go away if you, say, pump the clutch pedal two or three times?

Lots of possible causes... let's narrow it down by what you're perceiving as "stiff".
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All gears? Up and down and side-to-side? Or just up and down?

Does it go away if you, say, pump the clutch pedal two or three times?

Lots of possible causes... let's narrow it down by what you're perceiving as "stiff".


Seems to be stiff going into and coming out of all gears but especially stiff going into and coming out of 3-5. If I take it out of 3rd and put it back in again it goes in smoothly but then is very stiff going into 4th and vice versa. Going side to side seems to be a lot stiffer as well and it seems to almost get stuck when you move it to the left (doesn't get stuck going to the right).

Pumping the clutch pedal makes no difference.
 

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This sounds like a selector issue, which (thank goodness!) won't require a complete teardown. It could even be something as simple as an air intake tube out of position interfering with the levers where they connect with the cables going to the shifter.

As long as you aren't hearing a lot of racket between gears we have some assurance that the clutch is fully disengaging, especially if there's no grinding going into reverse. I've learned the hard way that a partial clutch will still allow noise-free changes by loading the synchros, quickly wearing them out. The non-synchro reverse is a tell-tale for that problem.
 

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OP:
Read through the "Clutch?" thread if you havent already.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=846296#post846296

These are some of the symptoms I felt before the complete loss of clutch function which has rendered my car undriveable.
4th and 5th gear was especially hard to get into sometimes, and 2nd was nearly impossible to downshift into. My hydraullic system is in good order, with no leaky seals and a full cup of fluid.

One morning last week I went to start the car up and i couldn't get it into gear, I noticed that if I pushed forcibly toward 1st gear that the car would start to move forward, and if I pushed toward reverse that it would move very slowly in reverse. Then I turned the Engine off, put the car in first and started it up, it moved forward quite quickly, and stalled when I applied the brake. I haven't had time to mess with it since.

I hope yours is a simpler problem(master or slave cylinder), but your clutch may be headed where Ronsutt's (OP of the "Clutch?" thread) clutch went, and where I presume mine is.
 

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OP:

One morning last week I went to start the car up and i couldn't get it into gear, I noticed that if I pushed forcibly toward 1st gear that the car would start to move forward, and if I pushed toward reverse that it would move very slowly in reverse. Then I turned the Engine off, put the car in first and started it up, it moved forward quite quickly, and stalled when I applied the brake. I haven't had time to mess with it since.
I am on six different automotive forums (all of which have dealt with this problem) and have experienced it myself. What you describe above is a classic failure of the hydraulic clutch linkage. My guess would be a failed master cylinder.
 

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^GaryS^

I've had hydraulic problems in other cars, the clutch's function in that case seems to degrade in a linear fashion, and pumping the clutch seems to help.
also the master or slave cylinder will appear oily or actually be leaking.
bleeding the system will usually temporarilly revive it.

In the case of my Element, the hydraulic system appears normal, no leaks, pumping never really helped, and the clutch seemed to have had its good and bad moments, now it seems to have failed altogether. I think like Ronsutt's car, something is getting stuck in between the disc and pressure plate/flywheel, and not allowing the clutch to disengage.

I'll keep the Forum informed of my findings, and of course I'm gonna thuroughly check every bit of the hydraulic system before I pull the tranny:)

My first month of Element ownership has really been a blast! I think the Goat has every ailment on this board.
squeaky front shocks, clunk in the back, stalling spectre, needed valve adjustment, uneven rear pad wear(stuck caliper piston?)
and now this clutch FAIL. lol.
 

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stiff shifting

I experienced a similar issue at about 25 K on my 2004 EX. It turned out to be a sliding nylon bushing on the shaft of the shift arm that had stopped sliding. I never saw the part, but as explained to me this bushing adds to the shift feeling in entering each gear. This bushing became stuck and so snagged the detentes when entering each gear, and as well prevented the shifter from fully engaging 3rd? gear maybe. It would pop out of gear if I loaded and unloaded the driveline (gas, off, then gas again) Fixed under warranty, but was not too difficult to fix I think. The dealer recommended using some silicon spray lube at each oil change. I was not driving the E much at that time and it often sat for a couple weeks without moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well my car is finally back in working order. It took the mechanic (and foreman) two days to figure out what the problem was. Apparently there is a brass fitting that connects the shifter to the cables. The brass fitting had become corroded and was causing the cables to become stuck when trying to shift gears. They originally were going to order new cables because they couldn't get the brass fitting off but when I went in to speak with them they had my car ready to go. They were able to remove the brass fitting and replace it. They said this isn't something they have seen on Elements before but I can't imagine there are too many manuals driving around town.

It must have been slowly going bad because I can't believe how nice it is shifting now.
 

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Thank you for the update. Yes, this is the first we've heard of this, too, and as you know there is a large (and vocal!) contingent of MT owners here on EOC.

Definitely an odd and unexpected problem. However, on looking in the service manual there are two points where the cable ends attach to the base of the shift lever, and the manual notes "grease" for these ends. It may be possible that the brass fitting mentioned are where these cables goes, and there was no grease (or whatever), causing your problem.

Something to keep an eye on, and thanks for adding this knowledge to our mutual bag o' tricks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Sure, I'll bring in the diagram and speak with the mechanic that worked on it the next time I'm in.

Not that this helps to clear up exactly what section they worked on but the mechanic notes are as follows:

"The bushings on the tranny are corroded and are binding. Needs to be taken apart and cleaned. Took apart bushings and cleaned off all the rust and corrosion. Applied lubricant and reinstalled shift mechanism."

Maberi, could you find out exactly which parts they replaced? The info could be helpful to others.



Adrian, can you tell where to find the parts marked in section M6? None of the vendors I checked list anything past #14.
 
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