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> stuck in reverse, Transmission is stuck in reverse
PCH
post Jun 9 2024, 04:55 AM
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Hi Everyone!

I took my ‘71 1.7 to the car wash yesterday. When I picked it up, they told me it was stuck in reverse.
Sure enough, the gearbox is stuck in reverse. It seems like you can shift back and forth between 4 and 5, but in those positions the gearbox is just locked up; feeling like “park” in an automatic transmission. Shifting back and forth in neutral only left the gearbox in reverse.
On my initial search of the internet, I came across mentions of a car being shift ed between first and reverse while still moving and this could cause this. Also there was a mention of doing something with the reverse light pin to get it out of reverse.
Is there an emergency fix for this problem and what is the long term repair?
Thanks everyone,
Peter

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emerygt350
post Jun 9 2024, 05:59 AM
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So the car will not shift out of reverse but the stick moves freely? Is there a particular direction the stick moves freely in?

This could be as simple as one of the cone screws coming loose but I can't tell from your description. I assume this is a tail shift?
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PCH
post Jun 9 2024, 08:14 AM
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'emerygt350': thank you for your reply.

Yes, it is a tail shifter.

Th stick moves freely from right to left in the neutral position. And it moves freely in front wards and backwards it what appears to be the 4th and 5th gear positions.
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emerygt350
post Jun 9 2024, 08:28 AM
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But it is really just sitting in reverse?

I wish I were more familiar with a tail shifter, but first thing I would do is pull the plastic cover (I think it has one) off the knuckle where it heads into the transmission and see if movement of the stick is translated into movement of the actuator at the transmission.
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Shivers
post Jun 9 2024, 01:49 PM
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Hi. Did you check at the tail to see if that bracket that holds the shift rod moved? There is a ball at the firewall and the cup under the shifter that the ball fits into. I'm just wondering if you may have a whole mess of slack from a failure at one of those and can't get it out of reverse.

@PCH
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rhodyguy
post Jun 9 2024, 02:47 PM
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Did the shifting seem vague at all prior to the problem? On the bottom of the rear of the trans there is an access plate below where the linkage enters the trans. A triple rolled pin that lives above the plate on the linkage. When that pin gives up the ghost you can’t adjust away the shifting issue. As mentioned, check all of the bushings related to the shift linkage.
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r_towle
post Jun 9 2024, 03:41 PM
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Tail shifter has a bushing underneath the shifter...when those types disintegrate...you get no movement.
Alternately...look at the back of the trans while someone of shifting the car.
It should move logically...up/down and back/forth
You can see this from the read of the car.

If you have never redone the bushings, it could simply be time after 50 years.

Rich
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r_towle
post Jun 9 2024, 03:43 PM
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I took my ‘71 1.7 to the car wash yesterday. When I picked it up, they told me it was stuck in reverse.
Never let an amateur drive a 914...the shifting cannot be forced by a brute...its all gentle.
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Spoke
post Jun 9 2024, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE(r_towle @ Jun 9 2024, 05:43 PM) *

I took my ‘71 1.7 to the car wash yesterday. When I picked it up, they told me it was stuck in reverse.
Never let an amateur drive a 914...the shifting cannot be forced by a brute...its all gentle.


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/agree.gif) 100%

Makes me cringe to think of someone jamming the shifter to get into gear. What if they moved it in first then hit reverse while moving forward? Hopefully something came loose in the shifter linkage and not inside the transmission.

Calling @Dr_Evil
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930cabman
post Jun 10 2024, 07:47 AM
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Unfortunate

Many years ago I purchased a nice 356 from the opposite coast and had a "reputable" transport bring it across. Sure enough when she arrived the trans was a mess. I had Vic take care of it, but lesson learned.

Nobody will get the keys to any of my sporting machines, valet NO WAY

These gearboxes are easy to mess up if you don't have the feel, especially when they are 50+ years old

Hope it's an easy fix
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dr914@autoatlanta.com
post Jun 10 2024, 09:51 AM
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I would look at the back of the shift linkage to see if you can shift it into the gears there. If so maybe the tunnel bar has come apart
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ejm
post Jun 10 2024, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE(PCH @ Jun 9 2024, 06:55 AM) *

Sure enough, the gearbox is stuck in reverse. It seems like you can shift back and forth between 4 and 5, but in those positions the gearbox is just locked up; feeling like “park” in an automatic transmission.


Happens when side pressure is put on the shifter when moving to neutral. Drain the box and remove the cover where a side shift console would bolt up. Move the 1st/reverse shift rod into the neutral position and reassemble.


QUOTE(PCH @ Jun 9 2024, 06:55 AM) *

Also there was a mention of doing something with the reverse light pin to get it out of reverse.


This works on a 911 where the reverse switch contacts the end of the shift rod rather than the side. You'd remove the switch and push the rod to the neutral position.
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Shivers
post Jun 10 2024, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE(ejm @ Jun 10 2024, 09:40 AM) *

QUOTE(PCH @ Jun 9 2024, 06:55 AM) *

Sure enough, the gearbox is stuck in reverse. It seems like you can shift back and forth between 4 and 5, but in those positions the gearbox is just locked up; feeling like “park” in an automatic transmission.


Happens when side pressure is put on the shifter when moving to neutral. Drain the box and remove the cover when a side shift console would bolt up. Move the 1st/reverse shift rod into the neutral position and reassemble.


QUOTE(PCH @ Jun 9 2024, 06:55 AM) *

Also there was a mention of doing something with the reverse light pin to get it out of reverse.


This works on a 911 where the reverse switch contacts the end of the shift rod rather than the side. You'd remove the switch and push the rod to the neutral position.


Cool. That's easy enough. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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technicalninja
post Jun 10 2024, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE(ejm @ Jun 10 2024, 11:40 AM) *

QUOTE(PCH @ Jun 9 2024, 06:55 AM) *

Sure enough, the gearbox is stuck in reverse. It seems like you can shift back and forth between 4 and 5, but in those positions the gearbox is just locked up; feeling like “park” in an automatic transmission.


Happens when side pressure is put on the shifter when moving to neutral. Drain the box and remove the cover where a side shift console would bolt up. Move the 1st/reverse shift rod into the neutral position and reassemble.


QUOTE(PCH @ Jun 9 2024, 06:55 AM) *

Also there was a mention of doing something with the reverse light pin to get it out of reverse.


This works on a 911 where the reverse switch contacts the end of the shift rod rather than the side. You'd remove the switch and push the rod to the neutral position.


Bingo! Exactly right...

The 911 version sounds drop dead simple.

I sold a 74 Super Beetle to a good friend who was LARGE.
His fat thigh would put too much side pressure on stick in reverse and pop that puppy BEHIND the other shift forks.
He'd stir around until he pushed something else into engagement.

He did it THREE times to the car. The first two times I wasn't with him, and he ended up locking the trans up bigtime.

The first time was Christmas eve in Marshal Texas (bout 200 miles away from Ft Worth). It was snowing and the car was in an uncovered parking lot.

Engine out, tranny out, tranny rear cover off, adjust shift forks, reassemble in the dark, in the snow, on Christmas eve.
7+ hours drive time, 58 minutes wrenching, a lifetime memory...

I had removed/reinstall the engine in that car multiple times and had gotten proficient.

He did it again later in Ft Worth. Drug to shop, much easier on lift.

3rd time I was with him when it happened!

Popped out of reverse but DID NOT engage another gear. Had him park it and I felt carefully with shifter, held it close to reverse location and "popped" it back into reverse gate without doing anything else.

10 second fix!!!

After he saw HOW to reset it, he never had any trouble again.

We also figured out it was his fat thigh that was creating the issue in the first place and I'm not sure if he ever did it again.
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