Manual transmission problem



I just had the clutch on my 1999 Toyota Tacoma (5-spd, 2WD, 190000 miles) replaced for the first time. Now, it’s hard to place the transmission into 4th gear; it doesn’t completely drop in when I shift. I have to hold it in as I release the clutch. All suggestions welcome.



This is an odd situation, it is hard to imagine how it is related to the clutch installation unless they were pretty brutal when reinstalling the transmission. Is there any abnormal niose from the transmission, and do all of the other gears, including reverse shift mnormally? Possibly the input shaft or bearing were damaged. Are you certain it changed at the time the clutch was replaced? 190 thousand is a lot of miles for anything, could it be from wear and tear?


There’s no unusual noise–never been any noise at all when shifting gears. The shop (not a Toyota dealer–too pricey and too little quality) replaced the clutch, flywheel, throwout bearing; whatever came with the clutch kit. I’ve never had any problem with their service, either. Although, I didn’t know that they don’t do “full” transmission service, either. As for the 190K…with things like a clutch, I replace them when first noting they need replacement. I change the transmission fluid with every oil change, too. Never been any significant debris from those changes, that anyone noticed.
If it’s wear and tear, what could be worn and torn? I’m not mechanically inclined; I’m an idiot with these things. Thanks!


This may or may not be related, but I once owned a 92 Toyota Pickup that had a similar problem. It ended up being a rubber bushing in the shifter mechanism on the floor had worn out, and was causing the shifter to not be aligned correctly.


This sound like wear of the 4th gear synchronizer blocker ring. I have seen this on other manual transmissions, if the slots in the blocker ring get worn it does not properly align the synchrnozer with the teeth on the gear, when you release the clutch the parts move, and then can engage.


Thanks very much! If this is the case, it sounds like a pretty serious investment. But, what has to be done has to be done…


Thank you very much, too! This seems to be far less expensive than replacing the 4th gear synchronizer blocker ring. However, I’ll have to have a qualified mech check it out. (Of all things, now’s the time I’d like to be closer to Boston…)


The gear shift on the Tacoma box is direct and has no bushes to wear.

This sounds like a worn 4th gear selector fork, it may have been marginal before the clutch work and removal & reinstallation could be the straw that broke the camels, though I doubt otherwise that they are directly related.

4th gear is a common victim of drivers resting their hand on the gear shift for extended periods.

I’m not sure how much wiggle room you might have with installing the gear shift but it might be worth while re-installing to ensure it’s installed correctly.