1992 Toyota Paseo (5-speed manual transmission) with difficulty shifting into 1st, 2nd, 5th & reverse?

I have a 1992 Toyota Paseo that's recently started shifting hard into all gears except 3rd & 4th.  We've tried it even when the car's off and it's still having difficulty, so it doesn't seem like it would have anything to do with the clutch.  Weirdly, it doesn't seem to do it all the time. It almost seems like it does it right after it's rained. When it's being difficult, the hardest to shift into is definitely reverse, although 5th isn't always a picnic either. 1st and 2nd are a little tough, but not that bad. 3rd and 4th are smooth as butter. Is it possible for the shift assembly box (or whatever it's technically called) to have some sort of difficulty that could be causing it to stick or be held back in some way? My boyfriend is a mechanic (although he hasn't been able to take it in yet) and he doesn't think it's the transmission, but he's not all that familiar with manual transmission cars. It's got about 160,000 miles on it. Any thoughts?

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Well... here in Europe we work with manual transmission cars, also better than automatic in my opinion.
Advices, try to solve the linkage first if is weak then strenghten it, but i never look under a Paseo underneath, does that model has a couple between your stick and gear box?
Here all the problem above sound like coming from clutch. but try these easy first.

Please note, by linkage i mean the cord between your clutch pedal and clutch, and by couple i mean the joint bewteen your stick and gearbox.

If the couple is maded from one piece, then your clutch is the problem, no matter how much grease apply on it.

Although for an 160k miles that was a very good clutch. Most of them drops at 100k.
Vyger6 years ago
What comes to my mind is the linkage is worn. The linkage is the system of little rods and joints that connect to the gear box. If they have gotten sloppy from wear then the are not lining up and moving the selector into the right spot. Or it might have dried up all the grease and become very stiff and resistant to moving. Some linkages have little nylon bushing that wear down and after that they don't move anymore, just like arthritis. You might be able to tighten it up and lubricate it but the parts are cheap and sometimes its better to replace them. It would also explain why it works better in the rain. The water provides a little lubrication that lets the parts move easier at least when they are wet. I would also check the gear lube in the gear box.
Vyger Vyger6 years ago
I replaced the linkage in my 77 VW Rabbit and it shifted a lot easier after that.
caarntedd Vyger6 years ago
+2. I would do the easy stuff first,(check the oil level and adjust the clutch to eliminate these options). Then it would be very likely the linkages.
+1
This sounds like an entirely plausible analysis and fix to me.

Steve
Does it crash, or is it just stiff to push it ?

Steve
kokocooper (author)  steveastrouk6 years ago
It's stiff, almost like trying to push through old rubber.