74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

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whc03grady
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74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by whc03grady » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:16 am

It won't go into gear while its running--or even rolling, for that matter--anyway. I can finagle it into gear (I chose first) with the engine off, clutch pedal depressed, and then start the engine. Once moving, I'm either in that gear or rolling with the pedal depressed. Actually, it will go into reverse while running, with a bit of a grind sometimes, a little more of a grind sometimes. In the couple days before this it was getting harder to get into gear.

Clutch pedal feels smooth through the sweep, perhaps too smooth, if you know what I mean? Like maybe nothing's happening.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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whc03grady
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by whc03grady » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:20 am

Note also: the transx leaks out the nosecone. Has for years.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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asiab3
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by asiab3 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:22 pm

If you can start it (clutch pressed) in first, can you drive it around the street/driveway? If launches are smooth and it idles normally with the clutch in, in gear, then I think we can rule out the clutch being an issue.

Do you have a helper that knows the shift pattern? It would be nice if they could shift, while you lay under the bus and watch the shift coupler for proper transmission of motion. Put on your "thinking cap," as now the shift rod will be backwards from the shifter. For example, first gear move the shift knob forward, but actually pushes the coupler back. Second moves the shift knob back but pulls the rod and coupler forward. So watch the rod and coupler, to make sure all the effort from the driver is given to the nosecone shifter shaft. Call out gears to your helper, and let us know what you see, or don't see?

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
119k miles with me.
296k miles on Earth.

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whc03grady
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by whc03grady » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:40 pm

As long as the engine isn't running it will go into first (pedal down) and, after starting, launch (pedal up) just fine, and drive just fine. But once I take it out of gear, there's no getting it back in while the engine is running.

The first thing I'm checking under better circumstances (e.g., not at the side of a busy road) is the clutch cable at both ends. Unfortunately I'm absent a helper.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by tristessa » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:27 pm

Bushings in the shift coupler? Front shift rod bushing? My shifting got .. interesting .. like you're describing, and I found all of those were shot.
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whc03grady
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by whc03grady » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:10 am

Too much play apparently. A few turns on the wingnut seems to've done it.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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whc03grady
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by whc03grady » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:45 am

Why does a poorly adjusted clutch result in that condition, that's what I'd like to know. Apparently I don't really know how a clutch works.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by cegammel » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:50 am

I would like to know as well. I over tightened my beetle's cable, and got clunking shifting, and very hard to hit reverse.

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by lilpig88 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:48 am

Here's a quick attempt at an explanation as I need a break from work:

In whc03grady's case (if I'm reading it correctly) your clutch had too much play so the pedal would reach the floor before the clutch could disengage completely resulting in enough drag between the flywheel/disc/pressure plate to keep turning the input shaft of the transmission. This leads to a grinding reverse gear shift and difficulty for first gear engagement as the syncros (for first gear) are working overtime to get the, still-slightly-powered-due-to-dragging-clutch, input shaft to slow to a stop. If you turn the engine off engagement becomes easy because all gears are at a stand still...and once the vehicle is moving shifting will at least be somewhat possible despite a still-draggy clutch. A few turns of the wingnut (tighter) removes some free play at the clutch pedal allowing it to now pull the cable a little bit farther than before which means it also pulls the pressure plate away from the clutch disc a little bit more which means it won't drag as much as it did (and eventually not at all if adjusted correctly).

A cable can stretch a little over time (especially when new) so check and take note of the free play at your clutch pedal. If free play is correct and symptoms still exist, it would be time to inspect other aspects of the clutch-to-transmission system (bowden tube, etc.)

...hopefully that makes a little bit of sense...

Too tight, however is a different story. A cable that's too tight leaves little to no free play at the pedal. At this setting the the throw out bearing is constantly pushing against the pressure plate spring fingers and potentially (if way too tight) the clutch is partially disengaged. This would be the similar to riding around with your foot constantly and lightly on the clutch pedal. The general symptoms would be a slipping clutch (if too too tight) but I don't think it could cause any actual shifting issues...just more wear than necessary (case thrust bearing and throw out bearing).

As an additional note: I recently had a volvo 240 that exhibited symptoms similar to whc03grady's and it turned out to be a clutch disc that would not slide on the input shaft of the transmission. No amount of adjustment changed the problem. This resulted in difficult reverse and first gear (from a stop) shifting. Despite the clutch being fully disengaged, the disc (being unable to slide away from the flywheel a bit) would drag on the flywheel and keep the input shaft turning. I had to shut the engine off at all stops...a new clutch with properly lubricated (only slightly of course) disc /input shaft splines fixed it.

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asiab3
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by asiab3 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:29 am

So for the sake of explanation, let's start by assuming the clutch's only job is to get the bus moving from a stop. This means:
-the engine is running
-the wheels are not turning
-something has to couple the turning engine to the stationary wheels

For the wheels to start turning, we can't just instantly couple the engine to the wheels, or the engine would stall. We must couple them slowly. Enter the clutch.

The pressure plate squeezes the clutch disc onto the flywheel, so as long as the pedal is untouched, the clutch disc is forced to spin exactly with the engine. Since the clutch disc has splines that mesh with the transaxle input shaft splines, this is where the mechanical coupling happens between the engine and wheels. The issue of "coupling the engine to the wheels without stalling" is solved by slowly making the coupling happen. Pressing on the pedal un-squeezes the clutch disc from between the pressure plate/flywheel so the disc no longer spins with the engine. Now the disc is stationary with the wheels/input shaft, you select 1st, then slowly squeeze the clutch disc again, (by RELEASING the pedal.) You've slowly coupled the engine to the wheels.

(This actually happens every time you change gears too, since all the transaxle really is is a multiplier or reducer for the engine to connect to the wheels. Colin's article on double-clutching explains this well, and though it looks like a long read, the information to word ratio is extremely high. Read it, or read it five times. My mom still doesn't quite understand how it works but she can NAIL a double-clutch downshift because of it.)
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=7896

Of course this is simplified, but it is really all that happens. The pressure plate squeezes the coupling between the engine and transaxle, and stepping on the pedal releases the coupling. If the cable isn't adjusted tight enough, there isn't a complete release between the two. If the clutch cable adjusted too tight (not enough freeplay,) then the system will be in a constant state of release/slippage.
1969 bus, "Buddy."
119k miles with me.
296k miles on Earth.

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by cegammel » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:51 pm

So, this is more suited to its own topic, but I have a squealing when the clutch pedal is not depressed in neutral, which disappears as soon as the slightest pressure is on the clutch pedal. From what I have read, it seems like the throw-out bearing is to blame. The clutch disk, pressure plate, and bearing are new, albeit Chinese... Is there a cure for squealing bearing?

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:14 pm

cegammel wrote:So, this is more suited to its own topic, but I have a squealing when the clutch pedal is not depressed in neutral, which disappears as soon as the slightest pressure is on the clutch pedal. From what I have read, it seems like the throw-out bearing is to blame. The clutch disk, pressure plate, and bearing are new, albeit Chinese... Is there a cure for squealing bearing?
Do you have a floating release bearing or a release bearing that rides on a tubular guide?

The floating release bearings have a reputation for squealing at light application if they lose their perfect centering, the squeal is the off-center of the collar on the pressure plate and the large flat circle on the release bearing. Chloe had this terribly every time I installed the engine until the release bearing pivots would find a spot they liked on the operating forks. A new release bearing with fresh surfaces allowed everybody to line up right away.

VW knew about this and had a technical bulletin to drill a hole into the bell housing and shoot spray lube at the release bearing-to-pressure plate collar. "Careful" they said, "you don't want to spray the friction surfaces." Ahhh, duh.

If we are talking about your beetle, you *should* have the late collar guided release bearing and a simple diaphragm pressure plate with fingers. You best not have the early collar adapter on that pressure plate, all heck can break loose from over-extension of the pressure plate. You have a nice 1" free play at the pedal and an engagement about 2-3" off the floor? Did you lightly grease the release bearing contact surface at assembly?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 98,380 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by asiab3 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:54 pm

For what it's worth, I went to install a longblock with the early style pressure plate into a later style collared bug years ago, and the engine case would not mate flush with the transaxle. We actually couldn't even get the four main fasteners installed. That's when I learned about the compatibility...
1969 bus, "Buddy."
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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by cegammel » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:32 am

Unfortunately, I have no answers to any of your questions...I assumed the transmission to be stock, with the collar. My pressure plate is the later style.

When I tightened the clutch cable up a turn, the squeal stopped. For about a week, the clutch was releasing properly, but the release point has since climbed up the pedal travel. I also have a personal issue of the beetle 'feeling strange,' right after long hauls in the Vanagon...so, I could be imagining pedal travel...

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Re: 74 Manual Won't Go Into Gear

Post by whc03grady » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:00 pm

This problem is appearing again. Or rather, a related problem: it is now difficult to get out of 2nd.

Description: I'm driving. The vehicle is in 2nd. It's time to go to 3rd. I depress the clutch pedal. I move the shifter up and toward 3rd. It feels strange and is definitely not going into 3rd. It won't go to 4th or 1st either. I put it back in 2nd and let off the pedal. It's in 2nd. I depress the pedal again. I move the shifter up and toward 3rd. Now either (a) it goes in like nothing ever happened; (b) it won't go in to any other gear (see previous description). It only occurs in 2nd. Getting out of every other gear is normal. Getting in to every gear is normal--unless it's from 2nd.

This was happening maybe every 10th shift but now it's every other shift. I'm not in a place where I can risk it becoming every shift (that is, being stuck in 2nd) so for now I'm skipping 2nd altogether (I know, I know).

Thoughts?
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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