Pops out of third Gear

Hey all,

I drive a 2001 Toyota Tacoma 5 Speed manual and as recently as last Friday it seems to have developed a problem with third gear. Occasionally the gearshift will actually pop out of third gear back into neutral. It has happened randomly, but also it has happened at least once when I hit a rather large bump, it seemed to have literally knocked it loose from third gear. On one occasion I tested to see if I could pull it out of third gear without stepping on the clutch, and it worked once, but I have tried it again and it doesn’t always let me.

To counter this problem I have been just pushing on the stick all the while in third gear to prevent it from popping out and that seems to work, but I’d like to find a real fix for it, and as usual, if possible, a cheap one.

Thanks for any and all advice guys, cheers!

First thing is to check if the external shifter linkage is damaged, worn, or out of adjustment. If it all checks out OK, then there may be something wrong with the transmission internals.

In most cases this is caused by wear of the 3/4 shift fork and/or wear of the 3/4 synchronizer assembly; most notably the synchronizer sleeve. The only fix is to go inside the transmission.

Oftentimes, this problem is caused by riding with the hand resting on the gearshift lever so you might think back as to whether or not you have this habit; especially in city driving with a lot of 3/4 shifting.

I would say that I definitely do rest my hand on the shifter, and I do nothing but city driving so that’s probably the problem. Happen to know how much a fix for that would run?

EDIT: also is holding it in third gear to prevent it popping out doing more damage? I would assume so…

If the holding is short (not staying in 3rd for a long time), then I would think that’s better than the damage that happens when it pops out. But the parts that @ok4450 mentioned are already needing replacement, anyway…

I usually am only in third for about 5 seconds at a time, maybe a little longer when I downshift, but I spend most of my time in fourth…So I’m not damaging anything that doesn’t already need to be replaced by holding it in?

I wouldn’t think so, but I’ve not taken one of these apart. However, the damage (wear) has resulted in metal particles in the oil, so fixing it sooner rather than later will keep the other parts from being worn more than they are.

Check this out

. http://www.instructables.com/id/Toyota-Tacoma-manual-transmission-pop-out-of-gear/step2/removing-the-shifter-lever-retainer-cap/

Hope that helps.

Nice post Rod, I was going to say 3rd gear is overrated, we don’t need no stinkin 3rd gear, unless you live in the mountains, but your post looks like a winner!

They put lots of gears in those transmissions just so we have extras, @Barkydog. As long as any 3 work it’s good to go, right. My first car was a Ford Falcon that jumped out of 2nd if I lifted my foot off the accelerator to slow down. It became second nature to accelerate hard in second and quickly shift to 3rd. Of course hard acceleration in a Falcon wasn’t too exhilarating so no one paid any attention.

Those plastic shift sockets and balls have been somewhat of a problem for quite some time. I hope the link solves the OP’s problem.

So there you go. $20 and 30 minutes time.