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95.5 Tacoma - Hard / notchy shifting solved

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by flatblack, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Mar 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    flatblack [OP] Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    95.5 Tacoma 3.4 Manual
    I wanted to post this in hopes that it might help someone out; and keep them from needlessly blowing all sorts of ridiculous money on a new transmission or something

    I recently bought a 1995.5 Tacoma 3.4 5-speed with 197k on it
    When I bought it, it was a little tough going into First gear; but, it was about 10 degrees out the day I test drove it, so, it didn't strike me as a red-flag
    Over a short period of time, it would completely lock me out, and, if from a stop, I could only get into 5th or Reverse - and once I did (keeping the clutch pedal down the whole time), it would then let me into First

    I replaced the shifter seat and socket with Marlin Crawler parts; this made absolutely no change
    I drained the existing transmission fluid (looked clean) and filled with Redline MT-90; absolutely no change
    Checked for Master and Slave cylinder leaks or air in the system, everything was fine there
    Also had a slight pedal adjustment done, despite the Pedal not being soft and engaging in the proper spot; all that... no change

    Finally had a mechanic look at it, who seemed very confident my synchros were shot
    I couldn't accept this, though; because, it seemed more like a clutch issue to me
    Also, First isn't a synchronised gear, and that's where most of my grief was coming from
    But, strangely, the clutch would absolutely never slip or give any other indications of being burnt;

    One day, I put it into Reverse; and with the clutch still disengaged and the E-Brake on, the truck lurched back and inch or two
    So, after the longest time, I finally decided it was most likely an issue of the clutch not fully disengaging - and dismissed the mechanic who told me it was the synchros
    I probably could have figured this out way quicker if I jacked the truck up and saw if the tires spun at all with the truck in gear and the Clutch Pedal pushed all the way down
    So, I ordered a 1,200 lbs Marlin Crawler Clutch Kit and Flywheel

    Just got the job done (I didn't personally do it)
    The Clutch Cover and Clutch Disc that were in there are so new, they still have machine marks on them; the Throw-out looked new, too
    HOWEVER! Whatever hack-job did the last clutch job put the Clutch Disc in backwards! (The engraving "T/M Side" (Transmission Side) was facing the engine)
    The Flywheel looked like absolute garbage; was blatantly not resurfaced when the last job was done
    And, the Pilot Bearing used was junk; and no longer spun properly, but was real gritty and such

    Been driving for about a day with the 1,200 lbs Marlin Crawler Clutch Kit and Flywheel;
    No more problems! Am very happy with it

    I know this is a pretty unique situation; but, hopefully someone finds something useful in it and saves them some money
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  2. Nov 16, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Olafson Member

    Nov 16, 2014
    97 Tacoma SR5 4wd
    I just bought a 97 that does similar clutch misbehavior. I have to push the clutch HARD to the floor or it grinds going into some gears or is otherwise difficult to get into gear. The other thing I do not like about my new truck is that the clutch seems to engage about a 1/2 inch from the floor. Makes it tricky shifting with boots on! Maybe I'm just used to my old Ranger and Subaru... Is there an adjustment I can make to the hydraulic clutch or did a previous clutch replacement get botched like on yours? B
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