I have a 5 speed 99 Jeep Wrangler and when the car is running, it’s extremely hard to put the car into first gear from a standstill. However, once it’s in gear, shifting is fairly normal but still offers a little resistance. I feel like I have to wiggle it into gear. When putting the car in reverse from a standstill, the gears grind terribly.
Once the car is off, shifting is still difficult until I put it in reverse. Somehow, this “fixes” the problem and everything shifts smooth as a dream until I start the engine and then it’s a 50/50 shot until it eventually fails later on.
On different forums people have talked about synchonizers or pilot ball bearings or a pressure leak, but there is no definitive answer.