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Shifter shakes in 3rd gear - Reverse is hard to catch - bad clutch?

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  • Shifter shakes in 3rd gear - Reverse is hard to catch - bad clutch?

    Hi guys, I'm pretty sure I need to do a new clutch and bearings in my 5speed 85 300zx NA, but I wanted second opinions as to exactly what to rebuild/replace. For awhile now, the car either won't let you shift into reverse with the clutch pushed in, will shift into reverse while chipping the gear, or just shifts into reverse perfect if you go extra slow and gentle. 3rd gear can be hard to shift into, either it acts like it's "not in gear all the way" and the shift lever vibrates bad, or if you're lucky and slow you can find third gear perfectly and it won't shake. Slight gear chirp when shifting into 2nd. Car can have a hard time getting going in 1st, and will usually growl. Can also be heard growling while quickly accelerating in 5th gear. Bad bearing? Also failing clutch? Going on 184,000 and no idea when it had a fresh clutch thrown in last, lol

    I have a factory FSM coming in the mail. I know stuff is failing, just this is my first time rebuilding and I was looking for pointers as to what I need to rebuild replace, thanks for any input guys

  • #2
    Have you tried changing the transmission fluid, and are the shifter bushings worn (excessive play in the gear shift lever)?


    The growling while accelerating in 5th *could* be normal engine strain if the RPMs are too low for the gear. Most cars don't do well trying to quickly accelerate in 5th.

    Download the FSM for free if you don't want to wait on the mail.
    '88 300zx 2+2-- Under the knife
    '17 Altima SL
    '17 NV passenger-- The paddy wagon--

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    • #3
      I'm really starting to lean towards the clutch is just toasting out, driving the car yesterday it became increasingly hard to get the car going in 1st, I would let the clutch pedal up and the car would barely get going, engine RPMs not matching what's hitting the ground at all. I think the clutch has been slipping for awhile because, for awhile now, the engine RPMs wouldn't match what the tires should be putting out. I guess it's finally giving out for good. When I got home there was this new, noticeable constant "tick" that sounded like it was coming from the clutch / transmission bellhousing area under the car. I guess I'm do for a rebuild, hahahahaha

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      • mwolvinm
        mwolvinm commented
        Editing a comment
        If its slipping that bad, I'd stop driving immediately... unless you like tow bills. Sounds like it's time to take the tranny out and inspect the clutch. My bet's on the clutch.

    • #4
      From my experience, do a hard start. If clutch is burnt, it will slip. If it launches properly, you have a functional clutch.
      Your symptoms sound like internal issues to the tranny.

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      • #5
        I guess my next move is to tear out the clutch, but can anyone recommend a good replacement kit? As far as I know it's still a FS5W71C transmission in a NA 5-speed 1985 car. Just need to drive around, but everyone says stay away from Autozone...

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