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gear lever wont push down for reverse

11465 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  scarabY2k
Ive done extensive searching this morning and so far have no joy.

I have an 01 new beetle with 02j manual 5 speed transmission. Last night it worked as normal. This morning the car is stuck in the garage without being able to shift into reverse. The gear lever wont physically push down as it normally would.

All other gears are smooth and work as normal. I can move slightly forward in my garage, and push it back a few feet to try the next gear.

Linkage not broken. Ive messed with this before and am generally familiar with it. There are no broken pieces, and it moves freely. I don't have a 2nd person for a few days to work the lever while I observe the engine bay, so I haven't done that yet.

more question:
Theres some indication on older VW transmissions that theres a structure under the shift lever that allows it to move down. Is there such a thing I can check for in this one?

Other ideas I can check on until I get my shifting person in there?

Thanks all...
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There are a number of bushings; that are in the shifter system, that can fail... causing shifting problems. DieselGeek, makes many of these bushings and they really do help. Take a look at the bushings and the videos; that DG has posted, to see if they apply to your situation.

Dieselgeek Shifter Parts

I would check with the shifting cable ends and the shift gate on top of the transmission, see if anything is worn out (cable end bushings) and see if you can get the car into reverse by hand there.

The first thought; would be that something has broken or come undone. You can also; try adjusting the shifter linkage and see if that helps.

I concur with Billy. Especially with the DieselGeek YouTube vids. They really helped me understand the workings of the entire shifting system.
ok thanks for the reply, Ill go give it another look. Ive got someone to move the shifter coming back early now, so Ill know more soon. When I get it fixed Ill be sure to post my answer back here so its known in the future.
The folk at Dieselgeek are very helpful as well. You can send them an email with your question, in which they will reply. Not sure if they'll have the exact answer, but they are well versed with the shift box and just might have your solution. It's worth a shot anyway.

I had a few questions on my Dieselgeek retrofitted shift box project and they nursed me right. through.
ok here we go...

It appears that it is something in the shift lever assembly. (so many parts with just slight different names!)

My picture sucked so Im reusing one from another posting:

Within the circled part, between the spring and around the lever, is a plastic sleeve. This sleeve needs to push into the metal area when the lever is pushed down. This sleeve has cracked apart and jammed itself in there. Moving it around has allowed the lever to move like it should, with some help.

It would go underneath #9 in this diagram.

Simple enough.. but none of the diagrams I can find show this sleeve, not even the Dieselgeek ones. It appears this is not a common problem part.

So it looks like I can buy the end caps easy enough from various sources. Can I just remove the cap (#7 above) to remove all that hardware from the lever, or is this more involved then that?
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This thread might help? I have not taken my shifter; apart that far but I wonder, if you compress the spring, if the retaining clip/circlip will come off? I'm sure your local vw dealer; can order you the parts you need or go to a junkyard or check ebay, for a used one.

GUIDE: How to make your O2J shifter feel less sloppy and other information. - Page 2 - TDIClub Forums

Note: your non exploded view photo (first one); is not visible, broken link.. I assume.

replacement parts and exploded view: (use VIN# to order the correct parts):


Worst case scenario; they offer the whole shifter assembly for about $67: 1J0711112E


good pictures here:

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Thanks for your reply, your links were indeed useful. ..and Ill try to fix the pic above.

With my collective information I went about the task of taking apart the shift lever. Turns out my car isnt alwaysa freak.

It has the standard parts. One of the endcaps for the spring was just so badly broken that the flat part where the spring seats was totally broken off. The rest had broken and snaked itself up the lever making it look like a tube instead of the end cap.

So looks like I just need to order the caps and put it back together again.

Gotta love this place. we manage to cobble enough information together to make all these one off repairs doable when the manuals leave out the little nitty gritty details that come up.
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From what I can see; it looks like these two bushings: #8 and #10 (in the exploded view)

Volkswagen part #'s:



Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
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Yeah I agree.

$30 for such tiny pieces of plastic. Im now trying to think of some way I can just make them.

For the moment though it seems like the mystery is solved.
Thanks all!
Great news buddy! Glad you figured things. We always get by with a little help from our friends.
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