Help request (No 5th gear)

Herm TDI

Nov 21, 2001
Richmond, Maine...The far side of Witsend
2002 Golf GLS Malone Stage 3, P+520 nozzles, 11MM Inj pump, Sachs VR6 clutch, Stelth Race Pipe, Immo Deleat, EGR Deleat
Car Info: 2002 Jetta GLS 5 Sp
Problem: During normal driving the owner experieanced a loss of 5 th gear. Would engage 5th for a few moments then pop out of gear. This continued for a day then total loss of 5th where it would not engage at all.

I ordered the 5th gear upgrade plus a new 5th gear synro ring.

Upon starting the gear swap I drained the tranny gear lube and what came pouring out was a deep reddish brown (rust colored) oil with a foul smell.

I pulled the tranny end cover and the first thing I saw was the "dish" washer on the synchro hub was split !

I started to dissemble the 5th gear selector assembly and then removed the synchro hub. Using heat and the gear puller the synchro hub came off.
This is when I found another interesting "tid-bit" the brass synchro was bound onto the selector gear.
This I was able to seperate after cleaning & soaking and then gently tapping the brass synchro free from the race on the selector gear.

Once I got everything removed I installed the new gears and assembled the selector ring and then pressed the 5th gear synchro -hub back onto the shaft.

Assembled the selector-fork linkage and then checked the operation of the new gear.

This is where I got worried:
I can not get 5th gear to engage!
Does any one have any ideas?

Could this tranny have something "internal" that has failed? The owner commented that the loss of 5th gear was sudden and no symptoms untill it sudddenly "popped" out of gear while driving and then at some point shortly there after no 5th gear at all.

By watching the selector-fork, it tries to engage the synchro hub but it doesn't seen to move as it should.

Does any one have any ideas???
Help me Mr. wizzard!


Top Post Dawg
Jan 10, 2001
Balmer, Hon
Golf, 2000, Black
I'm not very knowledgeable here Herm, but is it possible it could be a linkage adjustment problem or even something broken in the shift linkage?... I mean external to the tranny?



Got Soot Vendor
Nov 24, 2003
Millersport, Ohio
Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
are you sure the selector assembly is together correctly? the circlips in the right places etc? does the selector assembly work properly when the shift arm is not attached? can you move it in and out of gear with your hand?

if you can, it is most likely something internal to the tranny not allowing it to move the selector properly.

if you cannot get the selector to seat properly over the big 5th gear past the synchro, (you have a new brass synchro right?) you might be looking at a new selector assembly ($300+ from a dealer) and dished wahser and bolt to hold it all together.

good luck!