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Tranny locked in 1999 Ranger

My low miles (under 50k) 1999 Ranger has a 5-speed manual transmission. One morning, I could not move it. The shift lever shifted, but the gears were locked. No forward, no reverse, and it wouldn’t roll in neutral. Eventually, I popped the clutch, and, with a loud BANG! restored itself.

Background: I had rolled the car up tot the curbing in my driveway, so the wheels touched, then shut it off (in gear) and finally set the emergency brake. I’m guessing that this caught the gears in a way that caused the problem.

Yes, it’s running just fine now. Any ideas on what happened?

Sounds to me like the emergency brake was stuck.

The transmission had 2 speeds engaged at the same time and that locks up the transmission. The shift linkage has detent interlocks to prevent that but when the lever is moved to disengage a gear while a great deal of load is on the drive train the detents can fail. If your transmission is shifting properly now there may be no damage but the stress involved with the jamming and un-jamming can sometimes break various pieces in the shifters or even the gears. I would guess that you used a great deal of effort to pull the transmission out of gear without using the clutch while it was jammed against the curb.

Rod, yes. Definitely not the emergency brake. So far, so good. No sign of trouble at all. Scary experience.

Rod is correct as usual. I used to drive 4-speeds years ago and this “lockup” was a common occurrence especially if the shifter bushings were worn out or the shifter was out of adjustment. I just crawled under the vehicle with my little hammer and realigned the shifter rods with a tap or two. Make sure the parking/emergency brake is on if you do this.

Rod Knox hit it on the head. Old geezers like me remember this problem well when we had three speed manual transmissions with the shift on the column. My 1955 Pontiac shift linkage would occasionally allow two speeds to engage at the same time. As missileman suggests, realigning the shift rods would take care of the problem. I thought that this problem would have been cured by 1999, but apparently not.
Incidentally, the best shifting 3 speed transmission cars I ever owned were on my 1947 Pontiac and 1948 Dodge. My later cars, the 1955 Pontiac and my 1965 Rambler had poor shift linkages. I often wonder if manufacturers installed cheap linkages to steer people to automatic transmissions.