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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old October 6th, 2010, 22:18   #1
AZ98TDI
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Fuel Economy: 44mpg
Default Problems shifting.....Please help.

1998 Jetta Tdi with 295k

Ok, so I've recently started to notice shifting to be more difficult lately. Everything appears to look ok but still hard to up/down shift while driving. I've been checking out other posts and have seen several suggestions but I don't know where to begin. I don't want to just start wrenching and break something to be left without my commute car so any help would be appreciated.

Some of the posts talk about low oil level? If that's the case where do I check the level? Is it like the 80's vw's where you pull out a plug on the side of the trans and fill it till it come out or what?

Then other posts talk about cracked or broken VW part 1J0-711-256 plastic shift cable holder Is this a dealer only Item and how much am I in for? I found the stainless one from gruvenparts but I don't want to gamble $90 if that's not my problem.

I drive this car 100 miles daily so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Josh
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Old October 6th, 2010, 22:36   #2
bikeprof
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Location: Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
Fuel Economy: 47 @ 65 & getting better...
Default

First check shifter arm location...

You know where the shifter weight is? Then close to it. there is a vertical rod that has the cables adjustment bolt/screw to adjust for fore/aft play.
A good place to start would be on the notch of the plate/middle, loosen and reasjust to middle, then move as needed.

Low oil/fluid will also keep from shifting easy, bent cables(don't know how but...?)
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Old October 6th, 2010, 23:40   #3
sfierz
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Location: Rockford, Illinois
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You may need a shift cable L bracket like you mentioned in your post. It is a known wear item and is easy to replace. Yes, transmission fluid is the second place to look and it is a 17mm hex wrench for fill and drain. If this has not been done, I would check the level, or better yet fill and drain with G50 or whatever GL-4 fluid you deem appropriate. I myself have had good luck with Redline Mt-90/MTL 50/50 fill, but your mileage may vary. Look up the numerous threads here on transmission oil. Make sure the L bracket it healthy and then make sure you have the appropriate oil and enough of it--mine was low when I changed it. Good luck.

P.S. Yes with the car level, fill it till fluid comes out and then screw the plug back in. It's very simple. Search the threads for procedure.

Last edited by sfierz; October 6th, 2010 at 23:43.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 21:09   #4
AZ98TDI
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Location: Mesa, Arizona
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Default problems still

So today I went to the dealer and bought the plastic shift arm. Comparing the one removed from the car to the new one, I saw no signs of wear or breakage. I did notice on the relay lever 1H0711202A the plastic guide that spins seems worn out. It appears to be riveted on. Is this a crucial piece for smooth shifting? Do I need to replace the entire part?

So I put everything back together greased up and going to return the part I didn't need.

I still have the problem though

Let me try to explain it again, Im having trouble shifting into gear. It gets hard and wont go up or down all the way. Sometimes if I depress the clutch again it works but still feels notchy. I notice it more at slower speeds or at a stand still.

I don't think it's my clutch because it engages/disengages fine

I haven't checked my trans fluid yet, could it be something that simple?

If anyone wants to call me for further explanation please PM me.

Thanks for all your help.
Josh
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Old October 7th, 2010, 23:29   #5
bikeprof
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Is there a grinding noise while stopped but car is running and you are in neutral?
The throw out bearing may be at fault, if it is dry or turns(wore out), while shifting..., gears do not go in well.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 19:36   #6
sfierz
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You may still need that L-bracket. I have replaced one or two on my car that were not exactly broken but the one round part gets twisted up pretty good from use and causes bad shifting--yes, this is a critical part in that shift mechanism. Cheap enough to just replace and be done with it. Once installed, it also has to be aligned correctly with the little nut that holds it on. Do a search here for that process.

I would also suspect trans oil. Have you checked the level? There is a 17mm plug/hole on the front side (facing the radiator) and the underside (facing the ground) of the transmission. You can remove the front side one to check oil level. It should just barely be below the level of the threads of the plug--any more and it is low. It can be drained from the bottom plug and then filled from this side plug. Again, search is your friend here as there are many writeups on this.

Good luck. I still think you need that bracket. Are the gears that are hard to shift 1st, 2nd and reverse? They were on my car until I replaced this part.
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