View Full Version : Difficulty Shifting

01-16-2005, 11:36 PM
I swapped a JDM gen II and MR2T tranny w/ LSD in my 6th gen. Recently, I have had difficulty getting my car into 1st and 2nd gear after I have been in other gears. This happens most often as I come out of a turn. Any ideas?

01-16-2005, 11:45 PM
What year transmission, i realize you said LSD, but by no means does that equate to a 93 and up.

Also, are you on the factory shifter or a short shifter?

Check your shifter cables, make sure they slide effortlessly, check the connections to the transmission.

01-16-2005, 11:57 PM
I have the TRD short shifter but had no problems prior to the swap or, for that matter, immediately after the swap. What has me puzzled is that it is usually fine if I am simply slowing down for a stoplight or stop sign. The problem almost always occurs when I turn.

As for the year of the MR2 clip, I was told a 93 but I do not trust the importer. So, to answer your question, I am not sure and I do not know how to tell the year of the engine of the JDM gen II by looking at it.

01-17-2005, 12:01 AM
There are no visual ques on the outside. The best way to tell, is to pull an axel out, and take a picture of the axel slot. By that, we can tell you what LSD you have, and what year transmission your sporting.

I, as well as many others on the mr2 board find it difficult to down shift into 1st when coming to a stop. I blame it on my TWM short shifter. You could try switching shifters out back to stock. Maybe pop the plastic off around the shifter and make sure nothing is catching the shifter?

Does it grind when you down shift? Or do you just have to push hard to get it to go?

01-17-2005, 12:16 AM
I have no grinding issues. I am 99% sure my LSD is stock. I may very well try putting the stock shifter back in. I think the gains from the TRD were minimal at best anyway. Any other ideas?

Since it happens while turning, I was thinking I might have a bad motor mount? Any way to check these while they are on the car?

01-17-2005, 12:37 AM
When you let off the gas, does your engine shake? If your motor mounts are bad, your going to get severe rocking of the engine whenever its torquing through its cycle.

Check all the transmission to block bolts also, otherwise wait for someone else to chime in here.

01-17-2005, 07:36 PM
Anyone else with ideas?

01-17-2005, 08:49 PM
I have the same problem. Jayson at Jamasco told me that it is due to the rubber bushings that connect the shift linkage to the tranny. They flex and give which causes the difficulty in shifting. I was told to replace them with the aftermarket steel bushings.

Here is the link:


Product is the shifter cable bushing set. I have not installed these, but I know what you are feeling on your tranny :(

01-17-2005, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the information csnow. Jamasco did my swap as well so I called Jason today. He indicated that the front and rear motor mounts should be replaced with polyurethane mounts. Since the problem mostly occurs when turing, Jason indicated that it sounds like the engine is moving too much when either accellerating or slowing down. As such, I am leaning toward doing the poly filled mount mod as I do not know if anyone makes inserts for our mounts.

He also recommend the shifter bushings for insurance. I really appreciate the link.

01-17-2005, 09:50 PM
I wonder if I should go with the mounts as well. Mine is only in first and second though but I am stiff all the time, but less when going slow. Jayson drove my car and recommended the bushings. I will call him and see what he says. Do you have a link for the mounts? I forgot..are you in a 5th or 6th gen?

01-17-2005, 10:06 PM
I am in a 6th gen.

We may have slightly different issues because mine happens when I am slowing down which suggests engine movement is occuring. Having said that, the cost of the parts for both of these mods totals less than $50. Why not do both? I am going to do the mounts first and see if that works. If not I will try the bushings. If I were you, I might try it in reverse order given the difference in symptoms. Jason is a smart guy and if he drove it, I would follow his recommendation.

My problem only occurs in 1st and 2nd as well.

There are sites all over that talk about the mod if you google it. However, there is a pretty good thread on this sight in the custom engineering forum that talks about the materials to use. From the reading I have done, I think using the material from McMaster is the way to go. Here is a link to that thread:

Poly motor mounts thread (http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1341)

01-17-2005, 11:02 PM
Have you know, i have those shifter bushings as well, and it did not help that problem. Still a good investment regardless....

Front and rear stiff motor mounts are an excellent idea regardless.

snow.... What shifter are you on? Factory?

01-17-2005, 11:53 PM
try a clutch pedal adjustment before you start spending money. shifter cables flex, so even if the motor is moving around, it wouldnt really have anything to do with the shifting of the car. just kind of sounds like the clutch isint letting go all the way cause the pedal grabs too close to the floor.

01-17-2005, 11:53 PM
I am not sure. I just got the car, so I don't know if it is factory or not. The handle is not factory for sure, but don't know about the other. I would have to see one in person to know.

01-18-2005, 12:02 AM
Lagos... I think you are on to something! Just looked at http://speed-source.net/ and they offer a Toyota Extended Clutch Slave Cylinder Pushrod

"This items falls under the classification of “dirty little problem solver”.

Many people have found that aftermarket clutches, especially those with heavy pressure plates, make complete disengagement of the clutch difficult.

This makes gear changes difficult and may make the transmission grind when shifting from neutral. This clutch slave cylinder push rod is ¼” longer than stock and is made from CNC turned 303 stainless steel.

This slightly longer shaft puts the slave cylinder piston further back in its bore, thus allowing a longer stroke and more disengagement. Installation is simple, and does not require bleeding the clutch. "

01-18-2005, 12:08 AM
Good call Lagos!

Forgot about that, takes about 2 seconds to adjust your clutch pedal, you guys should give it a try!! Made a difference with mine for sure!

01-18-2005, 03:39 AM
Thanks Lagos. I looked at the clutch pedal adjustment tonight to try to adjust it but ran into a problem. If the clutch isn't fully engaging when it is pushed down, I assume I want to lengthen the distance of the throw so that I am pushing more of the rod (marked in yellow on the picture) through the fire wall. If that is true, the nut closest to the firewall would have to be moved further away. (marked in red) However, that nut will not turn that way because the nut on the other side of the adjustment braket is in place and I can't get a wrench on it(marked in blue). Do I have to take out the pin holding this whole assembly together to adjust this (marked in green) or am I missing something? Sorry the pic is dark - its dark under there even with a flashlight.


01-18-2005, 03:54 AM
k. you are looking at the right place and have the right idea, but dont take any pins out! what you want to do, is grab an 11mm wrench and loosen that little nut on the back of the fork looking thing. then you turn the whole thread rod and you will see the pedal move up and down.

01-22-2005, 05:06 AM
I had no idea how common this problem was. Here is a excellent thread from mr2oc.com:

Clutch Engagement Adjustment Thread (http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=26205)

01-22-2005, 06:53 AM
yeah its very common and easy to fix. did it work for you, gman?

01-22-2005, 10:15 PM
It worked! I no longer have great difficulty shifting into any gear. Interestingly, the shifting is a little "notchy" - the engagement is a little more rough/sloppy and less crisp. My bet is that it is the shifter bushings. I am going to drive it for a bit and see if that gets better with a little more experience at the new clutch engagement point. My clutch now engages about halfway instead of 1" from the floor. Once I got the correct wrench (12mm) on the correct nut (its the one in red), the adjustment was easy. All you have to do is turn that nut clockwise until it is loose. Then turn the shaft the same way as much as necessary. Then, the nut is simply retightened. What I have circled in blue in the picture is not even a nut. Its easier to do these things in the daytime....

01-23-2005, 02:27 AM
after you get the height right.... dont forget to turn the sensor on the top. that has a lot to do with shift quality too. you want to have the top sensor push down on the pedal to remove any sloppy or stiff feel that the pedal got from the rod adjustment.

just keep playing around with those 2 adjustment points and youll get the right feel.

01-26-2005, 01:23 AM
After I did a clutch pedal adjustment, I installed the solid TRD shifter base bushings. After driving for a week or so, things are somewhat better but not great. I am still having problems getting into 1st and 2nd on downshifts - regardless if I am turning now.

Interestingly, when I am having problems, I can pump the clutch once and the car will go right into gear. Since I discovered this, I have noticed that the problem usually occurs when I have the clutch depressed for more than a second or two when I am slowing down.

Do you think this mean my clutch lines need to be bled? If not, what does the fact that pumping the clutch solves the problem in its entirety?

01-26-2005, 06:04 AM
if you can pump the clutch and get it to work, then that probably means u have air in the clutch lines.

bleed your clutch again and make sure to do it correctly to get all the air bubbles out.

02-06-2005, 07:51 PM
I just wanted to say thank you to all that helped me resolve this problem. Today I installed the brass shifter cable bushings and the problem is resolved. My small stock bushing was completely shot. Now my transmission shifts like butter. Thanks again.