Reverse issue <stuck in 5th, stuck in reverse> - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Reverse issue <stuck in 5th, stuck in reverse>

Ok, I've read PLENTY about this issue. I mean everything I could find. My issue is the same but not. Here

Story;

Parked the car on a hilly circle k parking lot and put it into 3rd gear (i think 3rd, maybe 5th) and e-braked it. Came back out and neutraled out of the spot i was in, and placed it into 1st. Car went no where. Engine dies and acts like it's in 5th. In neutral, it's in reverse. Never had this issue before, never heard about it, called brother and told me that I could fix it by shoving the shift lever into 5th and pulling it back out real fast. NOPE. Got it into 5th and I do believe that just screwed me. Now it's stuck firmly in 5th.

Now I'm under the car on jack stands in a circle k parking lot doing the reverse switch method. The little detent that I'm supposed to move backwards is jammed, not moving. Later found out I should try the other direction. Did not budge. I waited for my father to come around since he has tricks that I don't know about. He ended up using pry bars and bending screw drivers with torches and some other crazy McGiver tricks to get leverage to pull the detent one way or the other. Nothing.

The only thing I've heard* work was to tear apart the turret and do something with the rods, but post i found didn't really explain what he did. My father found that there's a kit to prevent this which is about $100, and I have a 97 transmission sourced right now for $150. I want this hinkydink trans to work in the mean time.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Look at Mike's Place on you tube. You need an upgraded reverse light switch and he shows you how to get it unstuck.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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^This

There is a video on how to fix it. Or you could just source a cheap 5 speed.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by danny2747 View Post
Look at Mike's Place on you tube. You need an upgraded reverse light switch and he shows you how to get it unstuck.
I'll look later, but have a link for the vid handy?
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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OBVIOUS TROLL IS OBVIOUS! NICE TRY MIATA "KING"!

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Originally Posted by Miata dude with the crown
...when your pulling out of your parking lot, or parking space, or the Circle K...
All joking aside, that's your video
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:14 PM   #6
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How apt that he mentions circle k...
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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I found that quite humorous as well. I think this is the second time this month I've posted one of his videos here at MT. He is a little goofy but his visuals are good. I've directed countless Miata people to his timing belt videos.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:26 AM   #8
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FML! So now my trans is getting stuck in 5th, and I can't even shift into reverse

GTRicky: What did you end up doing with your goofy trans? Ever find a solution?
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:44 AM   #9
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Maybe a stupid question, but, instead of dropping the 40 or so dollars for the upgraded switch could one just plug the hole with a bolt and wire up a manual switch off the two wires? I've had this problem twice with past transmissions and with my luck I'll be on the side of the road again with the car up trying to fuq that little switch hole hopelessly with a screwdriver.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccote View Post
Maybe a stupid question, but, instead of dropping the 40 or so dollars for the upgraded switch could one just plug the hole with a bolt and wire up a manual switch off the two wires? I've had this problem twice with past transmissions and with my luck I'll be on the side of the road again with the car up trying to fuq that little switch hole hopelessly with a screwdriver.
A manual reverse light switch won't pass inspection in most states.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:50 AM   #11
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You guys realize that the 94+ gearboxes don't have this issue, right? Just replace the gearbox so you never have to deal with this crap again.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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That's incorrect....

My '94 gearbox had that issue before I knew what that issue was - and when I was 110 miles from home

EO2K, sounds like a bent shift fork biased towards 5th.

The '94+ transmissions are simply less prone to the stuck in reverse issue.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:50 PM   #13
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Most states suck.

In that case, is there a visual indicator of a 94+ box? I'm on my third 5 speed and they've all looked the same to me so far. All I know is the difference is the number of synchros for 2nd changed but I'm not entirely sure how that translates to the exterior appearance. Further searching doesn't turn up much as to what's different mechanically to curb the issue in the 94+ boxes, unless it's the synchros. Or my search abilities. Upgraded reverse switch introduced then? idfk, I just hate this problem.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccote View Post
Maybe a stupid question, but, instead of dropping the 40 or so dollars for the upgraded switch could one just plug the hole with a bolt and wire up a manual switch off the two wires? I've had this problem twice with past transmissions and with my luck I'll be on the side of the road again with the car up trying to fuq that little switch hole hopelessly with a screwdriver.
I'm not getting stuck in reverse... I can't even get INTO reverse so not sure the $40 switch would help. Is this the same problem you were having?

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Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
A manual reverse light switch won't pass inspection in most states.
Good thing I'm here in CA where they only check to see if my car stinks or not. No brakes? No lights? No steering wheel? Who cares! As long as it falls within range of NOX and it has the right numbers stamped on the cat, nobody cares.

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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
EO2K, sounds like a bent shift fork biased towards 5th.
Dafaq? How in the hell could that have happened? Its not like I'm sitting here slamming it into 5th :( Is this "user serviceable" or am I better off looking for another 5 speed?

Sav, I'm local-ish... anywhere around you would recommend looking for a trans?
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
I'm not getting stuck in reverse... I can't even get INTO reverse so not sure the $40 switch would help. Is this the same problem you were having?
It's either been that I can't get into reverse or I'm stuck in reverse. Doing the field fix and messing with the shifter saved me both times. But I haven't had the issue with the current transmission. Yet.

I was under the impression the switch was causing the issue in a way where it can be removed, but seeing as the upgraded unit uses a stiffer spring it's not looking that way.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:46 PM   #16
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The real solution to not getting stuck in reverse is to never shift from fifth to neutral while stopped...or if you do, do it either slowly, or deliberately (deliberately = shift down from fifth, stop the shifter completely, then let the shifter center itself.)
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #17
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I don't know exactly how your shift fork would bend because I don't know what the internals of the transmission looks like; I've only ever rebuilt a motorcycle transmission - but if I were to hypothesize, I would say that the easiest way to bend the shift fork towards fifth gear would be to try and force the transmission into reverse pretty hardcore while neither the input shaft nor the output shaft were moving. I would almost think that there would be a shock absorbing spring or something between the rod and the fork that would prevent this from causing damage in the first place though, but I didn't engineer this transmission - probably because I'm not an ME
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
The real solution to not getting stuck in reverse is to never shift from fifth to neutral while stopped...or if you do, do it either slowly, or deliberately (deliberately = shift down from fifth, stop the shifter completely, then let the shifter center itself.)
And while I'm sure that works for the switch thing, I can't get out of 5th at all.

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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
- but if I were to hypothesize, I would say that the easiest way to bend the shift fork towards fifth gear would be to try and force the transmission into reverse pretty hardcore while neither the input shaft nor the output shaft were moving.
Interesting... I've never hammered on it, but it has always been tough to get into reverse. I just thought it was one of the idiosyncrasies of this particular transmission. In order to do what you described, I would need to have the car and the engine stopped, but the clutch out (engaged) and try to shift into reverse, correct? Or maybe with the clutch in, but without the synchros/teeth lined up? Either way, I appreciate the info, gives me something to think about.

The mongoloid tow truck driver that just flat-bedded my car home... would there be any reason to put my car IN REVERSE if it were strapped to a flat bed truck? Honestly, the first time this happened was the day after I got it running again...

I'm going to bleed the **** out of the clutch system this week and see if I can adjust the throw a bit on the pedal side and see if that helps at all. If no help, time for trans

Last edited by EO2K; 09-04-2012 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:14 PM   #19
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Well, it looks like you broke a 5 speed. It doesn't take much. IDK what your budget is, but I would probably move up to a 6 speed unless you have some reason to stick with another 5 speed.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Interesting... I've never hammered on it, but it has always been tough to get into reverse. I just thought it was one of the idiosyncrasies of this particular transmission. In order to do what you described, I would need to have the car and the engine stopped, but the clutch out (engaged) and try to shift into reverse, correct? Or maybe with the clutch in, but without the synchros/teeth lined up? Either way, I appreciate the info, gives me something to think about.
Engine could be stopped or running, doesn't matter. Clutch would be pressed if the engine is running because the input shaft on the trans would need to be stationary.

If you take your fingers and interleave them from each hand, they fit together like gears might fit. (Left middle finger between right middle finger and right index finger, etc.) This theory suggests that instead of pushing your hands together by interleaving the fingers, you're, instead, putting your middle fingers and ring fingers tip-to-tip with each other, and then trying as hard as you can to slide your hands together.

If the car is moving, the transmission effectively locks you out of reverse, but if the car is stationary and the input shaft is moving - either because you just pushed the clutch in, or because you're very lightly feathering the clutch, the gears get to change position, so as you're putting the teeth of the gears together, they eventually grab each other and pull themselves into place.

I'm still not a mechanical engineer, though. *grain-of-salt* recommended.
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