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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, My wife's 2000 1.8T manual 5 speed won't go into reverse gear. First through 5th seem fine and the shifter feels fine otherwise. Push the shifter down as usual, and it won't move to the left at all, let alone up into the R position. It's like the shifter is hitting a hard wall. We've never had a problem with it before and as I said all the other gear positions feel perfectly normal.

I'm thinking something with the reverse position lock-out mechanism or something. Before I posted this all I could find was auto tranny problems or broken cable problems. Anyone else have this issue? What are some possible solutions?

I've only gotten as far as taking off the center console, and everything at the top of the shifter looks normal.

Thanks in advance.

Paul
 

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I would start with the basics; check the shifter assembly inside the car and see if everything is ok. Dieselgeek; makes a number of replacement bushings for parts of the shifter that wear out, break and could cause problems.

Dieselgeek Shifter Parts

Inside the engine compartment; I would check the linkage, on top of the transmission. There are a number of parts that can wear out or break as well.

Cable shift upgrades (02A, 02J, 02M: Mk3+) : USRT, Usually Sideways Rally Team

You might check and see if this applies to your car; this maybe for earlier models but worth a check.

http://newbeetle.org/forums/technical-how/42614-shift-carrier-lever-diy.html

metal replacement part for the above problem:

02A Cable Transmission Short Shift Kit - Gruven Parts

They went to a different cable shifter style; later on.

Some people; have had problems with the mounting area, around the shifter... ended up cracking! This could cause shifting problems as well:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/transmission-talk/87977-holy-shift-sloppy-99-cracked-mech.html

IF everything seems ok; you might consider, adjusting your shifter linkage and see if that will help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sheTKD03hmo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback billymade. I've got a bunch of errands to run tonight and tomorrow. I'll give the car a good going-over on Sunday and take a look at the links you so kindly posted. I'll post back here once I find out what the actual problem is, and the fix if I can do it myself. I'm pretty handy with cars, but I have no experience with shifters / linkages. If it looks beyond my abilities, I'll probably just take it to the shop, but I won't know until I try, right? :)

Thanks again,
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi billymade. Well, I looked at dieselgeek's video, took out the MAF / air cleaner, and have easy access to the transmission. I was thinking the cable ends need adjustment, or the bushings under the shift lever are worn / broken. While under the hood, I was manually manipulating the counterweight, and got it into reverse. Tried again with the lever inside the car and presto... it goes into reverse. I don't have a 5 mm pin or drill bit to home the shift lever, so I'm going to pick one up tomorrow, and try doing the under the hood cable adjustment. If worse comes to worst, I'll need to replace the 2 nylon bushings under the shifter itself. Not too complex, just a pain to get to.

I have to say thank you once more for pointing me in the right direction.

Cheers! :)
 

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Cool, I replaced the bushings in the shifter linkage up on top of the trans, in shifter tunnel and below the shifter, it really tightened things up! I bought the DG shift lock tool but a equivalent 5mm drill bit would be fine.

Shifter Alignment Pin for VW

Each new bushing; progressively, brought a more precise and shifting performance to my car. These bushings; on my car, were plastic and rubber, were literally falling apart! I installed these brass/aluminium ones and they really made a big difference! :) They are actually cheaper; than buying new cable ends

http://www.42draftdesigns.com/VW-Shifter-Bushing-Set--Mk4-56S-MY02-05_p_279.html

I was trying a number of times; to adjust my shifter, after I replaced a bunch of the worn out bushings... I had more success. There can be a certain amount of trial and error, so don't get discouraged! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I saw the nylon bushing dieselgeek was talking about for the shifter end of the cable, so if reverse jams again after the cable adjustment I'll replace those. The transmission end of the cables aren't hard to get to, so I can replace those bushings too if needs be. Thanks for the links. I think I too will go for the metal ones if it comes to that. I've no experience with anything to do with the shift cable system, but in taking that air filter box out and seeing the video, it looks pretty simple. It is an old car ( 2000 1.8 T ) but it's still in really good shape considering it has over 300K on the odometer. It really runs like a dream and the body has no rust what-so-ever. It's worth doing these little repairs to keep it going. The only thing major done to the car was a clutch replacement just before we bought it. I'll certainly let you know the results of this shifter tuning / rebuild what ever the case is...lol. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi billymade,

Seems to have just been a cable adjustment so all is well. Again, thanks for the links you provided. If I run into this problem again, or another relating to the shifter system, I now know what to do. I love this forum because of people like you. Cheers! :)

Paul
 

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Cool, glad you got it handled! :) Did you check the cable end bushings; how did they look? Are the other; bushings, in good shape too? My cable end bushings; were falling apart! I do live in the dry New Mexico desert and everything rubber, is just falling apart... so, yours maybe in much better shape! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
On the tranny end, they looked ok, but they could probably do with replacing. I didn't get the shifter end lifted as I wanted to go with the easiest fix ( cable adjustment)so I don't know what they're like. However, dieselgeek's video on replacing them made if look fairly simple. If I do end-up with a jammed reverse gear again, then I think I'll look at replacing the bushing on both ends of the cables. I'll tell you though, I thought changing the gears felt fine before, but since I tightened the cables, It feels like brand new.
 

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Anyone have the same issues but on a 98 2.0? Watched diesel geeks videos but they are for 2000 and up....any ides for older??
 

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The earlier shifter assemblies; use a different design. One of the primary weak points is a plastic piece that breaks. These guys make a metal version:

http://www.gruvenparts.com/02a-cable-transmission-short-shift-kit/

I would inspect both the area under the shifter nob/cover, inside the car and the end of the linkage, on top of the transmission.

The bushings can fail and the cable ends can break. As noted above; sometimes, the frame around the shifter bracket will crack, so check that as well.

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Well, the main thing; is to get your eyeballs on everything and inspect for wear, breakage and component failures (looking at the whole linkage/shifter assembly). Let us know; what you find! :)
 

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Check out these three pages of parts; for upgraded parts and bushing replacement parts, to rebuild the shifter assembly.

Volkswagen Golf III 2.0 Drivetrain Shifter - ECS Tuning

more here:

Volkswagen > Mk3 Golf/Jetta > 2.0L > Drivetrain/Trans > Bushings, Mounts etc.

more parts and upgraded improved bushings and parts:

MissingLinkZ - VW Shift Linkage Upgrades

nice short shift kit with all the bushings you need to complete a rebuild:

http://www.techtonicstuning.com/main/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_13_395&products_id=895&zenid=5ae563a9bd35f8042d382175980d7872

nice kit; if you just want upgraded bushings;

HARD Bushing only kit - MK2/3 : USRT, Usually Sideways Rally Team

good video on replacing the shifter carrier and housing; if that is a problem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skdeN-f8bHU

diy on a shifter rebuild:

VWVortex.com - DIY: VR6 02A shifter rebuild

impressive rebuild with USRT upgrade kit:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2312069

USRT upgrade kit:

http://www.usrallyteam.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1763
 

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You might consider a upgraded metal version; so it doesn't happen again:

02A Cable Transmission Short Shift Kit $86.95

http://www.gruvenparts.com/02a-cable-transmission-short-shift-kit/

The original part is plastic and will break again! If you're willing to spend the extra money; I think the metal one is the way to go and you will never have to replace it again.



http://www.idparts.com/shift-carrier-early-a4a3b4-p-741.html

$48.48
Shift Carrier (Early A4)(A3)(B4)
OEM VW

OEM Part Number: 1J0711256
Manufacturer Number: 1J0711260

Shift carrier for the shift linkage on '99.5 Golf and Jetta, and '98 and '99 New Beetle. This carrier can become brittle and break with age. If broken, the transmission will only shift between 3rd and 4th gears.

Video above should help you with the install



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