'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…
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?
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.
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?