5spd manual shift problems when sitting still

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Always thought that I could figure these things out, but for some reason my brain is struggling with this one...


Recently my car, 2000 ALH w/5spd manual, became almost impossible to shift into gear when sitting still. First discovery was just after starting up and backing out of my garage; popping into neutral and then trying to get into ANY gear was pretty much impossible. If I turn off the engine I'm able to shift, though not effortlessly.



Once I'm running down the road there are ZERO issues. Clutch pedal feels exactly as it always has. Shifting is exactly as it always has been.


The clutch was replaced some 60k+ miles ago.


This popped up all of a sudden. Weather has been mild. Not a cold weather issue.



I had planned to refresh the trans fluid and adjust the shift linkages (Sigma 5 short shifter) at the next service interval (about 6k miles out). Don't expect any of that to have any significant bearing seeing that while moving it all works perfectly well (as well as it always has).



I don't think that this is how a failing slave or master cylinder acts.


I might have jinxed myself in spouting off how I can't wait to replace the clutch in the wife's car (stiff and starting to show signs of slipping) with the same that I have in my car (DC stage 1).
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
My wife had been driving it, and was running in a bunch of slow-moving traffic.


I read a thread somewhere where these symptoms mapped to a bad pilot bearing. In that case the grease on the bearing had become very over-heated (dried up/out?).


If this were happening on the wife's car I'd be OK with it (as noted, I want to replace that clutch), but my car has been totally issue-free for a long time and the clutch has been excellent.
 

williambill

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2013
Location
Dry Prong, LA
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI
I might be wrong, just going from memory from when I changed a clutch in another ‘02 TDI (not mine), I don’t recall there being a pilot bearing. I remember looking for one, and being surprised at the lack of one. If I’m right, I know that doesn’t help your diagnosis, but it rules that out. Apologies if I’m wrong. Will.

P.S. I changed that clutch because of a bad throw out bearing. It had similar symptoms as yours, but would grind going into reverse. Engine off shifting was fine. Because of the damaged throw out, the fork wasn’t pushing the pressure plate fingers in enough, thus not completely disengaging the clutch.
 
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UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
William, yes, NO "bearing." I carried over the description from what I'd been reading. These have "bushings."
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
I’m sure you’re aware that dieselgeek has an excellent set of bushings, I’d start there and put some Penzoil synchromesh in the gearbox.
 

zslnk

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Location
ON, CANADA
TDI
2006 Jetta Wagon-TDI (635k-km), 2003 Jetta Sedan ALH (Project)
I had a similar issue. At a stop light I couldn't get the car from neutral into 1st. If I shut the car off if would slip easily into 1st and then I could restart. Rolling shifts were fine.

My throw-out bearing had a groove (~1/8") worn in it from the clutch fingers which reduced my clutch throw, it would not fully release the clutch. Clutch and throw-out bearing replacement was required.

I wouldn't expect a throw-out bearing to wear that quickly (60k-miles?)
 

bizzle

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Location
Southern California
TDI
2015 GSW SEL (totaled), 2013 Touareg Executive
Does it become easier when you clutch in > shift into N > clutch out > 1 second > clutch in > shift into gear?

If so, that's your synchros. If you don't shift like I described normally all the time you'll wear your synchros faster. You won't have trouble upshifting, but feel it when you downshift and not necessarily in all of the gears (just the most worn synchros).

Throwout bearings tend to rattle when the clutch is pressed in at a stop and then the rattling goes away when driving. The gears would become harder to change over time. Hopefully that was replaced when the clutch was done because it's the same labor and usually comes as a kit with the clutch.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Not ready to start throwing parts at this yet. Going to take my time diagnosing this.


So, again, back out of the garage -car is "cold" (though it's only about 50 F outside), shift into neutral, go to shift into ANY gear and it's like the linkage is WAY out of adjustment, not able to hit any gate. Turn off engine and then shift into first. The engine-off shift isn't necessarily butter smooth, which has me thinking that this DOES match up with the notion of a cooked-up pilot bearing. Because... once I get going, and for the duration of any kind of driving, shifting is basically the same as it's always been (OK, I DO have a mashed 2nd gear synchro, but the car came to me this way [at 113k miles]). So, bizzle, to answer your question, no, double-clutching does nothing: doesn't matter how long I wait between (I've racked up a lot of time trying to get into the various gears once I'm in neutral, and when this happens the ONLY recourse is to shut down the engine and shift into gear).



I don't slam-shift this thing. I've got WAY too many things to maintain to go looking to break something!;)


Spoke some more with the wife about what her recent driving adventure was with this car. She'd run into a ton of traffic on the freeway, creeping at 5mph UP HILL. Lots of clutching.



I sense NO changes in the clutch travel for dis/engagement. No noises. Things feel soft-ish, though it might be because I'd been driving her car (old, hard clutch) and my truck (dual disk Southbend). There is also no shaking, stuttering, no un-eveness of any sort. This thing is a joy (to me) to drive.


Any linkage issues would be displayed whether running down the road or standing still (and or with the engine off). No indication of this at all.


Hydraulics also don't seem to be the issue as the pedal has a nice even feel to it and the dis/engagement is consistent (warm or cold).


zslnk presents a possibility, though I'm not sure that a problem with the throwout bearing wouldn't be detectable at most times.


I'm running AC Delco Synchromesh. As noted I was planning on changing it fairly soon. Will be going with Pennzoil Synchromesh more for comparison reasons than there being anything wrong with the AC Delco stuff (which I have to order from online [might be at a GM dealer, but haven't checked that out). Not wanting to engage in a debate on trans fluids here, but just noting that I'm perfectly happy with the AC Delco stuff: to-date I have NEVER heard of a single person dumping it in order to run something else. I just figure if the Pennzoil performs as well that I'll change to it because it's more readily available.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
I’m sure you’re aware that dieselgeek has an excellent set of bushings, I’d start there and put some Penzoil synchromesh in the gearbox.

Yes, quite aware of DieselGeek: as noted, I'm running a Sigma 5 short shifter from them (had one in the wife's old car; also installed the first-gear-getter in it). And, Pennzoil Synchromesh will be going in at a later date, but only as part of a long-running study/comparison with AC Delco Synchromesh (that I currently am running). At this point my money's on this being related to the pilot bushing.


Here's a link to a thread that tipped me off to the pilot bushing being the likely culprit. Seems that in my case the bushing might be frozen as no amount of waiting seems to help: I'll try and prove this out some more.
 

zslnk

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Location
ON, CANADA
TDI
2006 Jetta Wagon-TDI (635k-km), 2003 Jetta Sedan ALH (Project)
Does it grind shifting into reverse?

FYI, my bearing was smooth and quiet but had face wear that was deep. I can assume that the clutch fingers had similar wear too but had nothing relative to compare. This was a high mileage car at the time. ~ 520km, original Sachs.
 
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UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Well, something I'd omitted, and that's that it has, since I can remember, kind of gotten stuck in reverse. It took a bit of force to get it to pop out. Grinding? I'll have to do some checking on that. I rarely have to use reverse, and when I do the car is "cold" (been parked for hours).
 

zslnk

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Location
ON, CANADA
TDI
2006 Jetta Wagon-TDI (635k-km), 2003 Jetta Sedan ALH (Project)
My opinion is that if it grinds into reverse, your input shaft is spinning. If not, really go over the shift linkage system.


I had a weird problem where the swaged on pin on the triangular steel plate got loose, I tig welded it in place. It slipped and caused strange behaviour.
 
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UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
My opinion is that if it grinds into reverse, your input shaft is spinning. If not, really go over the shift linkage system.

I'll have to try that when it's warmed up, since when it's "cold" I can't seem to even get close to being able to test for any grinding: it really is like the linkage just flat out isn't working (but of course it is as once I'm running down the road/and or warmed up a bit it shifts fine).
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Drove a little over 25 miles in roughly 30 minutes. Pulled in to the garage, pushed in the clutch and went to catch reverse. GRIND. Several shifts produced a grind. Seems clear that the input shaft was still spinning.



I had another chance to similarly test and didn't get a grind. Likely things were lined up sufficiently and the input shaft wasn't locked on to the pilot bushing.



I didn't have any issue when I set out first thing this morning. But, I am now tending to try to keep it in gear as much as I can (keep in gear when I am stopped).



And NOW, out of nowhere, just after starting the car I heard this sound like the cabin fan was running on high speed. NEVER have heard this before. Take off driving and the sound goes away after a short while. I could only think that it was the clutch starting to tell me it was going to puke! I'm dealing with a near-life-and-death situation and I don't really need this at this time. It's hard to diagnose with this going on. Probably going to have to employ my wife to help: have my head in the engine bay when the car is started. Anyway, I don't hear ANY changes in sounds when operating the clutch.


I've had, sadly, a noise from the starter I recently swapped into the car. I'd rebuilt it (not my first rodeo). Am getting some continued screech from it (solenoid not retracting fast enough): spins over like crazy though, almost too fast. I didn't replace bushings on it. Lubed everything. Starter was from a 2003 (wife's "new" Golf), but I'm not aware that this ought to matter.


Pretty sure that this is ALL the information that could possibly factor into the issues of shifting.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Before you dive in deep, be sure the shift lever or shift actuator are not broken (both on top of transmission). I managed to break both those bits on my first TDI, years ago. I've also read the bush/bearing on that thing can get real bad.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Hi, Bob!


All seems fine there. Once I seem to get past an initial cold point, once I start driving, it all seems to shift and act just as it has in the past. I can sense zero play. And..


Today it made NO odd noise (or any noise not standard on one of these things!). Not a single issue with hitting any desired gear, at any time I wanted it.


Not a great feeling, having a sense of looking over one's shoulder. But, I shouldn't be worried about driving it. Worry less, drive more! This car has never let me down. The added heat is off a bit as I'm no longer in a critical/emergency (personal) situation.
 
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