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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I did some searching but couldn't seem to find a thread to my exact issue - probably because I don't know much about manual transmissions. I've had this car for about 8 months and this is my first manual...

Anyways, the car refuses to shift into gear when it's turned on. I can easily shift into any gear while it's off, I can start the car in first gear, but once the car starts that's it - it's locked into place.

From what I gathered from other threads, this is probably a clutch cable issue, correct? If so, where do I start as far as getting this fixed? How much could I expect to pay if I have someone else do it?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After playing around with it for a bit, I was able to shift into 4th gear while the car was on. That seemed to of freed up the other gears and I was able to shift into reverse, 1st, etc...but it's not super smooth and I'm afraid it's a sign of something to come. Any ideas?
 

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How many miles do you have on it and when was the last time the fluid was changed? Problems shifting into gear from a complete stop is not necessarily a clutch problem. If you're on any sort of an incline, it's easier to shift into gear with the clutch in while rolling slowly. If you can get it into first or reverse while it's off, is it a problem shifting gears while you are moving?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The car has around 92k miles on it. I bought it around 84k and was told it had a new clutch installed. I don't have a problem shifting was the car gets going, it's not super smooth but never really was. As far as fluid, how can I check that if it's low or not? Searching google hasn't helped me much...
 

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If you don't know when it was last changed, change it now. A simple Dex/Merc blend will work as long as it meets the Merc specs in your manual. Raise it up so the front is level, then remove the lower plug and upper plug with a 3/8" socket and drain it. Once drained, replace the lower plug and, using a manual pump, put in up to 3 quarts of fluid through the upper plug until it runs out the top. It should be just shy of 3 quarts. Let it run out until it stops, then replace the upper plug.
 

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Your car doesn't have a clutch cable, it has a hydraulic throw out bearing. It probably has some air in the system. You need to bleed the air out of it so that the clutch will release completely. You can't put the transmission in gear when the car is sitting still if the input shaft is turning because the clutch will not release completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Was finally able to get time to take my car in to get the fluid changed, but it didn't help. They claim it's a pressure plate issue and I need a new clutch. They quoted me a package that includes a flywheel and slave cylinder but didn't say who makes it. What do you guys recommend as a good alternative?

side question: since I'll have the tranny dropped, is there an aftermarket shifter I can install on this car? Only able to find ones for GTs.
 

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I have a Hurst Pro Competition Shifter on my 2005 V6, it rattles a little (I wrapped the linkage in a long tube sock and it stopped) and the throw is good, and it goes into gear as smooth as these T5's will allow. got it second hand off ebay for around $70. and you don't have to drop the trans to install a short shifter, just be prepared to wrestle it a little when it comes to dropping it in from above.
 

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LUK is known to be a good clutch.

Have you tried to get air out of the hydraulic system yet? That might be all that is wrong with it. Also might just be one of the hydraulic cylinders. There might not be anything wrong with the actual clutch. If you replace the slave cylinder you might as well put a clutch in it because you have to remove the transmisson anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had the shop bleed out the clutch fluid, put new in...that would also bleed the air out at the same time right? If not, you'll have to forgive my ignorance...first manual I've owned and only had it for 7 or 8 months.
 

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Yea, if they did it right that would have got the air out.
 

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It could be a lot of things. Possibly the clutch master cylinder not moving enough fluid, synchros could be wearing out in the transmission, maybe the shop didn't bleed the clutch well enough (takes A LOT of pumping, just did it the other day), could be transmission fluid as well as stated before. If you can't find a pump, I used a nozzle off a gear oil bottle. Washed it, and used a short length of hose from a torch (3/8" I believe). Just held the bottle upside down as well as I could and squeezed. Depending on the bottle size, you should be able to finagle it around under there to empty it.

Best of luck and congrats on your purchase! Might double check your build date as well, if I remember right, something changed clutch wise in 07. Don't know if it's mide-year, or if it just changed. Either way, make sure you don't get the wrong parts!
 
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