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Bad clutch or bad synchros?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas' started by cmm275, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Dec 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM
    #1
    cmm275

    cmm275 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My truck: 2002 Tacoma 4X4 SR5 TRD 5speed

    I just purchased this truck with 153,000 miles on it. It is in really good shape, but there is just one thing that is bugging me...

    Simple explanation: hard to get it into gear.

    Detailed explanation: All gears are hard to get into unless the clutch is fully depressed. However, fourth gear is the worst. I will go to put it in gear and the stick will wait til the revs almost match up to pop in. Like there is a wall blocking it. The other gears do it a little bit but not as bad.

    I have no records of maintenance from previous owners.

    My troubleshooting so far:
    -having to fully depress clutch makes me think its clutch or clutch hydraulics
    -all gears having the problem to a different degree makes me think its synchros
    -truck does not roll forward with clutch depressed in first gear
    -gears do not grind going in
    -pushing on each gear without clutch in makes revs drop about 100
    -double clutching does not seem to help

    So... what does everyone else think it could be????
    Bad clutch? or bad synchros?
    Should I start by bleeding clutch master?
    Or replacing the tranny oil? (have not checked it yet)

    Please help. Thank you.

    Chris
     
  2. Dec 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM
    #2
    BMOC

    BMOC Well-Known Member

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    my friends ranger is in the shop for the same problem... they said it's the clutch master
     
  3. Dec 14, 2011 at 9:41 AM
    #3
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

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    Subbed to hear some replies. Mine is starting to do something similar... Difficult to get in 1st unless stopped completely, and when doing the 1-2 shift theres always a clunk unless its a slow shift where the RPMs are about matching the gear. 131xxx miles
     
  4. Dec 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM
    #4
    Rucas

    Rucas 1st gen > 2nd gen

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    I have that same 1st - 2nd thing.
    everything else is clean.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM
    #5
    michaelw

    michaelw New Member

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    I just bought my first Tacoma; 1996 with 94K on it. It has the same 1st-2nd problem. It is particularly bad when cold. I'm thinking of replacing the gear oil with a full synthetic to see if it helps. My clutch disengages at the very bottom and so I'm going to try a pedal adjustment - I like the clutch at the top anyway.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    #6
    Rucas

    Rucas 1st gen > 2nd gen

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    It didnt. I replaced mine with redline synthetic mt90 and it still happens.

    for the OP- just start with the cheapest methods of trying to fix it, or get it to a point where you can deal with it. sounds like it might be a little different from this 1-2 problem.
     
  7. Dec 14, 2011 at 2:27 PM
    #7
    facemob

    facemob Well-Known Member

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    Same on getting into 1st, have to almost give it a little wiggle and a lot of push to try and ease it in like a gentleman. Also experience the "clunk" between 1st and 2nd, but that seems to only happen above 2,000 rpm, which i try to shift out of 1st under anyway.
    Oddly enough it seems like this happens more after switching to amsoil synthetic. Truck has 65,000 on it and put synthetic in about 7,000 ago.
    Subed in for info.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM
    #8
    MightyMouse-SCT

    MightyMouse-SCT Well-Known Member

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    Probably synchros . Clutch usually slips . When it grinds especially after warm up it's probably the synchros . I had it happen on my old 98 with 160k. I just sold the truck on CL for 3k because they wanted nearly 2k to fix .
     
  9. Dec 15, 2011 at 9:46 AM
    #9
    cmm275

    cmm275 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Okay. For now I might start by bleeding the clutch master and adjusting the clutch pedal play because it does engage low. And maybe change the tranny fluid. And cross my fingers in the meantime that it's not the synchros.

    I will let you guys know if any of it helps.

    Anyone else feel free to keep posting if you know anything more about this.

    Thanks.
     
  10. Dec 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM
    #10
    MightyMouse-SCT

    MightyMouse-SCT Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried to replace the white cap that goes on the end of the stick . I know when mine happened I did some research and some people had success with just replacing that cap . What happeneds is it breaks into small pieces or even desinigrates
     
  11. Dec 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM
    #11
    Rucas

    Rucas 1st gen > 2nd gen

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    heh?
    where? what?
     
  12. Dec 15, 2011 at 2:15 PM
    #12
    MightyMouse-SCT

    MightyMouse-SCT Well-Known Member

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  13. Dec 15, 2011 at 2:26 PM
    #13
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Does it grind going into reverse also? If it does is the clutch not fully releasing any thing from hyd's to a bad pressure plate, the chance of having 5 bad syncros all at once is pretty slim. The little bushing is easy to knock off if you have had the shifter out but you would feel the slop in the shifter.
     
  14. Dec 15, 2011 at 2:34 PM
    #14
    Tacos Por Vida

    Tacos Por Vida Well-Known Member

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    My 1st gen was having a similar problem, it was hard to get into 1st and reverse. All the other gears were fine. I replaced the master cylinder it's not that hard and only cost like $25 plus the fluid. For the most part it shifts a lot smoother but once in awhile it still has trouble getting into 1st. If you're gonna bleed the master cylinder you might as well just replace it. It should only take a few hours and the hardest part is getting to the bolts. There isn't much room where it is located so you might have to unbolt and move the vacuum box that is in front of it. But other than that its a pretty straight forward installation. Although on mine (i drive a 97) the end piece on the rod of the replacement master cylinder was too fat to fit in the hole(that's what she said :D, ha beat all you guys to it), so i had to unscrew the old one and put it on the new one. Not sure if you'll have the same problem. Just make sure you have a buddy for bleeding the cylinder.
     
  15. Dec 15, 2011 at 2:42 PM
    #15
    newertoy

    newertoy Well-Known Member

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    Possibly three problems,
    Clutch master and slave units.
    Heavy fluid in the transmission--is it more difficult w/cold weather. May need to have it changed.
    Syncros-Possible -not likely-IMO-
    Not familiar w/ the plastic thing they are refering to==at the shifter.
    CHECK THE EASY stuff first--
    If you replace the clutch master cyl--do the slave TOO--just a matter of time for the slave..Save you some time later.
    Rebuild kits may be available from NAPA or Toyota--you can check.
     
  16. Dec 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM
    #16
    4WD

    4WD cRaZy oLdmAn

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    Other than hydraulics being suspect some more aspects are worn friction disk(can probably rule out if no slipping is occuring) weak pressure plate springs (even if no slipping, can cause dificulty engaging) & the throw out bearing (prolly the first part to start failing) dont know if this helps or not but its some other things to consider


    I'd rule out bad synchros
     
  17. Dec 15, 2011 at 2:56 PM
    #17
    jflan

    jflan Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that would be the first place that I would look.
    Then the slave.
    First make sure that there is no air in the system.
    When they are failing, they usually leak. The level drops and they suck in air.


    These often wear at similar rates. If you replace one the other will soon follow.
     
  18. Dec 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM
    #18
    michaelw

    michaelw New Member

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    So I adjusted my pedal, and while I'm sure it helped smooth out my clutch engagements due to preference, I can't objectively determine if it really changed anything.

    The temperature was somewhat warmer, so it wasn't as bad. But 1st pretty much always feels like I'm pushing against an immovable object until it just suddenly pops into gear. While second feels mostly normal, but only after warmup. Not much grinding, though I occasionally have minor grinding in other gears, even with the clutch fully depressed.

    It doesn't seem like the clutch is dragging at all with the pedal fully depressed, so I'm skeptical as to if any of this is a master/slave cylinder issue. It might be as simple as changing the fluid, which I'm sure needs to be changed anyway - I haven't yet completed the obligatory new used vehicle fluid change routine. I'll start simple and go from there. If anything works I'll post it.
     
  19. Dec 15, 2011 at 7:07 PM
    #19
    cmm275

    cmm275 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for responding. Definitely a lot of helpful information that I can use as a starting point.

    That bushing actually could be a possibility as the stick does have a lot of play and vibrates around a lot when in gear...

    Glad that everyone seems to be ruling out the synchros because I would much rather replace the whole clutch than the tranny.

    Now its time to get to work and see what helps.
     
  20. Dec 15, 2011 at 9:05 PM
    #20
    Tacomadude89

    Tacomadude89 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the second to first gear selection. Give it a very slight bit of gas while you are making the transition and it should be a lot smoother of a shift and not feel like you are having to force it in as much.
     
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