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Discussion Starter #1
Last night, on my way home, I couldn't get the car into reverse when leaving the store. I also found I could only get 3,4,5th gears. When I have it in gear, there is a ton of left-right play in the shift knob. Pushing down to engage reverse does nothing.

I've read some of the threads here about various issues, and the plastic shift carrier lever keeps coming up. It was late and I didnt have time to look at it last night, so I'm wondering where I should start with trying to troubleshoot this.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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It happened to my car too. I had just 3rd and 4th. There is a plastic lever on the transmission that operates the gate selector that broke. Mine was broken by a technician during an annual inspection. The shop replaced it for free.
 

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My car developed a lot of side to side slop recently. What I found is that there is a white plastic lever that goes off to the left from the shift pivot ball under the driver's hand that has a cap that cracks and falls off. This makes getting 1-2 gears difficult. Readjustment won't really help if your cap breaks up and falls off but we are making a easy fix for this issue and should have something in the next couple of weeks.

I will post a picture of the broken ball on Monday.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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The plastic shift carrier is only an issue on the early NBs. I think that was all changed around 2000, as the early cars had a sort of mk3/mk4 setup for the shifter. They made it a lot nicer later on. I had that failure on my 99 but as posted before, I only had 3rd and 4th.

I would look into your shift linkage. Make sure things are nice and secure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

I've checked the engine and the airbox, mechanically everything is connected. Came across this yesterday. AS you can see from the little black line on the right side of the white plastic ball, its cracked. Watched the movement as I moved the shifter and it definitely is preventing me from getting any force towards 1 and 2nd gear. Looks like this is my culprit.
 
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