Toyota Tacoma manual transmission pop out of gear? Here's the simple fix!

Step 4: Installing the new Seat, Cap, and Seal.

Picture of Installing the new Seat, Cap, and Seal.
Installing is pretty much as simple as it gets. Just install the new seat and seal- seal first into the shifter socket. No special tools required. Next install the new shifter cap by popping off the old, pressing on the new. Apply a thin layer of general purpose grease on all components.

Now reverse the disassembly instructions and wallah- all done. Happy to say that the truck now shifts and drives better than it did even when new. The grand total cost was $20 and 30 minutes of time, which is a lot cheaper than paying for someone else to do it or worse- having it misdiagnosed and have to buy a new or rebuilt transmission.
davesan111 months ago

1993 pickup was sometimes jumping out of 4th and (less often) 3rd gear. Did the fix and all is well. Thanks for the info! However, now it grinds a little bit when I go from 4th to to 5th. It never did this before. Anyone else had the same problem?

For future readers help I also made a simple tool to replace the repaired shift assembly very easy (typically the toughest part of the job). The tool can be easily made using a suitably modified plastic irrigation pipe joiner (< a dollar in Home depot) and a saw (metal or wood) along with a vice of some sort to hold the part whilst sawing. Takes about 5 minutes and is reusable. Will post a write up along with a few pics. shortly and hopefully make the job easier for future readers wanting to fix the same problem.

Many thanks for the manual transmission info. Because of this forum I saved tons. The local dealership's parts guy told me that i needed to purchase the whole shifter with bushing already in place, for $275.00. A local parts dealer has the bushing repair kit for $29.99. 45 mins start to finish. And it really works! Thanks again!!!

ssmith1612 years ago
My 1994 Toyota P/U stopped letting me shift into 4th gear.  I was getting around without 4th, but then 3rd gear started to give me a similar issue.  Got 282K 'PROUD' miles on 'her'.  My mechanic dismissed my problem and told me to get a new car.  Met this guy at a party who told me to check the seat/gasket in the gear shift.  Then found your site from Google and with the pictures and the good explanations, I was able to completely remove the 'remnants' of the seat where I found the gasket that still remained.  Greased up the new seat/gasket and pushed the shift lever cap back on and...YOOOHOOO!!!  I got my truck back and all her gears are working.  BTW, removing the shift lever cap was the hardest part of this entire process.  Used 2 small square 1/4 inch stick pieces of wood cut from a floor board of new oak.  Pushed down and then to the left on the 2 corners inside the cap.  NOTE:  When I went to the Toyota parts desk, the guy told me I'd have to buy the whole gear shift for about $200, that they didn't carry that part.  Went to the service desk there instead and got the part number.  It's called a "Seat Sub-Assy", part number 33505-35020.  Costs $18.  Thanks for the help.  Hope this helps someone too!
tom18505 years ago
Toyota Tacoma 99. My wife had the same problem. Started just being a little difficult to get it into 3rd gear. Then it got to the point where she could not get into 3rd at all and it was starting to feel like it wanted to pop out of other gears. Transmission shop said 650.00 for new clutch etc. Got the parts from Toyota. I was pretty lucky as they had them in stock here in Palm Springs. The parts guy told me he sold plenty of these parts back in the day. I think the dry hot climate here might dry out the rubber more quickly. Anyway....worked perfectly. Was a bit tricky to get the retainer ring to twist and pop out but after that is was pretty simple.
meleagrid6 years ago
Many, many thanks for this post re replacing transmission seat, seat cap and seal. 1993 manual Toyota pick up ca 103K. Gears 3 and 4 popped out. Took it to dealer telling them it was the shift tower pilot bushing and seat. They said it could not be accessed from the top and had to pull tranny--10 hrs work ca $500. Otherwise possibility of $1200 to $2500, if issue with transmission or if a new tranny needed, respectively. Told them forget it, put the vehicle back together and I was taking her home. Total charge for service paid was $58 labor and $17.26 for bushing, seat, and seal. Took the parts home and after reading instructions for replacing parts, replaced them two hours ago and took a drive. Viola! No popping out gears, no grinding, and far better than the truck has driven in a long time. Yes, that seat was crumbled to smithereens. Sorry to read others have learned the hard way. But for me this site was the best info I ever got re DYI auto repair and the instructions and photos explicit and superb. Many thanks again--eb Macomb, IL USA
mowerracer (author)  meleagrid6 years ago
No problem! Ya- the reason I put this up here was that I thought I was going to have to replace the transmission on mine. After this little fix, it runs great.
i wish i have visit this site first. i have the same problem on my 99 tacoma 2.4 L. 200K miles got a quote from AAMCO for $1200-2200 to repair or rebuild. they said it was synchroniser may be damaged. so i bought used transmission from ebay with lower mileage about 80k miles,and replaced it, then the problem still exist. the transmission that i bought does't come with the shifter so i used the old one. i am strongly believe that my problem is the same one here. and i have spend $ 900 the problem still exist. i will go to the dealer tomorrow and get the part needed and DIY. thanks for this great instuctables. its really help. thank you