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Lost 2 gears and a throwout bearing/bolt

'91 Civic hatchback, 5 speed

Here’s the background: I lost 4th gear months ago, and have been going from 3rd to 5th no problem. 5th slipped occasionally into neutral, and it was getting more frequent recently. Yesterday on a road trip, as I reached a stop sign and went into 1st or 2nd, my car started making a noise, I guess like someone swinging a bag of spoons under my hood. I stopped and an old gentleman who turned out to be a Vietnam air force mechanic hopped in and offered to diagnose it for me.

(Side note: he said that in Vietnam, he and the boys sometimes had to use Duct Tape on helicopter rotor blades during hard times. That’s just crazy.)

He drove it up and down the road and told me he thought it was my throwout bearing/bolt (can’t remember which) and that I should ignore the horrible noise, shift as little as possible, and drive it home, which I did, in 3rd gear, for two hours on the hard shoulder of the highway, often close to redlining RPMs (no tachometer, but I could feel it at 45-50mph).

Below are my questions. I need to do repairs, but I am leaving the country soon and don’t want to spend a fortune on an old car that I’m going to be selling soon. But in the meantime I kind of need 5th gear back in my life lol so I can go places faster than 45mph. So…

  1. If I replace the throwout bearing/bolt, will I get 5th gear back? I have a hard time believing it is coincidence that 5th gear AND my throwout bearing/bolt both died in the same 5-minute timespan. This confuses me, because as far as I understand, the throwout mechanism is not located within the transmission. Why then did these events happen almost simultaneously?

  2. Can I do some redneck ingenuity trick? My friend told me about his buddy who has a ‘5th gear stick’ in his truck which he can engage, and I guess it must connect from his cabin to his transmission to keep it (the clutch?) from slipping.

  3. Any other tricks I can try? Should I get a mallet and whale on my transmission? (this is intended somewhat ironically) Can I replace my transmission fluid?

What’s the cheapest way to get 5th gear back?


P.S. I’m thinking of looking for a used transmission?

Not sure the answers to the questions I can provide, probably time for a mechanic to look at it, too bad you can only get up to 45mph, at this point redlining it with good oil will probably be ok.

There’s no such thing as a throw-out bearing bolt.

The thing at the upper left is the throw-out bearing, which is located in the bell housing that pushes against the pressure plate.

It sounds like the transmission is shot. Not the clutch assembly.

But if you have to replace the transmission, you also replace the clutch assembly.


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Yep, your transmission has been eating itself ever since you started having the first problem. Now it’s toast.

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I can do 80 on a good hill lol.

Now I don’t know anything about your transmission but from a value point of view, its worth scrap right now. You wouldn’t be able to sell it for much. If you put a used one in, you’d get the service until you leave and still be able to sell it. Otherwise scrap it and rent a car depending how long you have to go.

And a sign at 3d Battalion, 4th Marines Headquarters at Camp Carrol, I Corps RVN 1968 read;

We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

Of course that was an exageration, don’t you think.

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Good post =)

What sort of costs are we talking? I’m thinking something like $100 for a used transmission and $150-250 for the labor? It’s a pretty big job, right?

And does it make sense to other stuff while the transmission is being replaced? Should I get the clutch replaced too? Will that be much more expensive if I do that?

If you are thinking of getting rid of this car soon as I read previously, skip it, thinking all said and done unless you do the replacements yourself it is not worth the money. I am thinking $600 to $1000 min

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If a working replacement is available in a salvage yard it would cost considerably more than $100 to you at a local shop. @Barkydog’s estimate is likely on the low end. A working used transmission, new clutch and labor for proper installation might exceed $1,500. But then the CV axles might be found to be need replacement when they are removed at $150 each.

What @Rod_Knox said. Big job, more than the car’s worth, unfortunately.

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You couldn’t get a good mechanic to even put it on the lift for $100 to see what needed to be replaced.
I’d go with @Rod_Knox price of $1500 + .

It’s 25 years old and not worth the money.


We used an expanded version of this at my former place of work,

We, the suffering, working for the unknowing, have done so much with so little in so short a time, for so long that we can now do anything with nothing, overnight, at a cost savings. :grinning:

We had a few vets from a few wars to help craft this…

Somewhere in my past I recall a sign proclaiming “We the unwilling, lead by the cincompetent to do the unnecessary at the most inopportune time.” Maybe that was in the Marines also. But that was long ago and so far away that it’s fading from memory. Funny though, I can still recite the ‘General Orders.’

I remember the early 2000s during Donny the bean counter Rumsfeld’s second time around. The Army’s catchy slogan was “Do more with less”. Like that’s going to work. Almost like trying to defeat a law of physics.

Taking a vehicle to a mechanic is a lot like going to a dentist . They won’t even look in your mouth to see if you have cavities until they soak you for a set of x-rays .

@Sloepoke - Probably not the best way to make friends on a forum site that has quite a few really good mechanics.

My post was stimulated by Yosemite’s post . By the way , I meant no disrespect to the knowledgeable people on this site . What came to mind when I made that post was the three times I had to go to a dealership to get the pcv hose properly replaced .