Difficulty shifting my 92 Mazda Protege LX 5 speed


#1

I own a 92 Mazda Protege LX. 134,000 original miles. Purchased car new in Dec 92. This is the original clutch. Never had any clutch or tranny work problems or repairs up to this point. I don’t and never have driven the car hard. I have been the only owner. Within the last few months I have intermittently had difficulty getting the shifter into gear. Slowly has been getting worse. Took it to a shop who recommended changing tranny fluid first. Did that about two weeks ago. He put in a product call Red Line synthetic. Problem getting worse. Never have problem - yet - when driving at normal city / hwy speeds. Mostly after coming to a stop such as after pulling into a parking space, slowing down to turn into a parking space and more recently right after starting car. Go to put it into first or rev and have to really struggle. Will put it in N step on clutch pedal several times but this doesn’t seem to make a consistant difference. With clutch depressed I will fight it throug the various gears but that in and of itself does not seem to help anything. Sometimes I just fight it into gear and then as I start driving down the road then no problem shifting. Taken it to several shops and made calls and the diagnosis is all over the board with repair suggestions ranging from a few hundred to almost $1500 from one dealer. That ain’t gonna happen!! Got laid off 4 months ago. Been told it was the clutch, tranny, (I keep saying ‘tranny’ because I just watche My Cousin Vinny the other day.) pilot something or other, linkage needs grease etc, etc, etc. I really can’t afford to be led astray on this one. Just can’t afford it. Any really good suggestions or ideas out there?