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2nd and 3rd gear issue - worn selector mech?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by mookie, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. mookie
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    mookie Member

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    I've got an issue with 2nd and 3rd gear - searching reveals fairly common issues with cold gearbox oil creating notchy or difficult gear changes, however my issue is not temperature dependent.

    It's a B6 1.9tdi 6 speed.

    My issue is solely limited to 2nd and 3rd. Shifting UP, normally into these gears and the feel is of slight resistance with a distinct feel of some sort of mechanical impedence to getting into gear. It never fails to get into gear and there is never any grinding of the gears or noise from the gearbox. It feels more like the shifter mechanism isn't quite setup or lined up properly in some way.

    Shifting DOWN into 3rd and 2nd, and there is no problem whatsoever.

    I have notice that if I am slightly more careful with the stick movement, and take a second or two longer moving to 2nd or 3rd, then the issue is almost always NOT there. This entails (obviously) keeping the clutch in a fraction of second longer, but also - and it's difficult to describe this - feeling the gearstick into position rather than just doing it on autopilot. But it makes for a very disjointed driving experience with the car effectively out of gear for a couple of seconds at a time as I go UP the gears (but not down).

    As I say, it is not temperature dependent as it does it all of the time. There is no noise or grinding of gears. The clutch pedal feels as it should do, with gradual bite rather than on/off control. There doesn't seem to be any movement of the stick whilst in gear, and little or no play (nothing alarming) in the stick itself. And it never does it moving back through the gears, only UP.

    Whether I'm coming to the correct conclusion or not, I don't know. But the fact it only does it moving UP the gears, and therefore when the stick is moving from a different starting point that isn't replicated when coming down the gears; and that I can avoid the feeling of impedence by being a little more gentle and sensitive; suggests to me alignment of the mechanism or some worn component/bush somewhere.

    Has anyone had a similar issue? I'm not familiar with the gearshift setup on the Audi A4, but have a lot of experience of troubleshooting and fixing the same problem on older rod shift gearboxes and cable controlled boxes (90's VWs) - always bush related. Are there any know points of likely failure on the mechanism for shifting? Obviously the elephant in the room (so to speak) is the synchromesh but I am guessing by a lack of grinding or screeching from the box when slotting it in gears, that the synchro is probably OK?

    I can't find anything in the thorough service history and receipt pile to say it's had either a new clutch or a gearbox oil change in it's life either - 140,000miles - but there isn't anything certainly clutch related, to suggest the clutch has had it (no slips and the pedal position/movement feels spot on).

    Any advice?
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  2. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    It could be the linkage cables on the gear lever need re adjusting, ill see if I can find the link how to do it, worth a shot its free, there's a video on YouTube on how to adjust vag cables.....
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  3. mookie
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    mookie Member

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    If you could, that would be great! Any idea of the ball/socket assembly on the base of the stick is a lifetime item?
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  4. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    It's easy to follow m8 just try and search YouTube vag cable adjust you may find over the years the cables could of stretched... This is what I would try before spending on other things....
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  5. mookie
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    mookie Member

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    I couldn't find anything on Youtube, but I did find this guide which is very good:

    ElsaWeb - Adjusting selector mechanism

    After doing what it said by leaning the stick to the right slightly, 2nd gear seemed on the test drive, to be virtually spot on. 3rd was better but still had a slight grindy feel to it - but looking at how it moved with the gaitor off, it looked like it was pushed right up against the socket assembly when in third and could maybe be fettled to sit slightly lower. A job for the weekend I think.
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  6. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    Sorry m8 I can't find the link I used but that one is very similar, maybe worth also throwing in some nice oil this may help with the Grundy syncro feeling m8...
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  7. mookie
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    mookie Member

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    Yeah an oil change is on the cards, just a lot of conflicting opinion on which oil to use - Redline MTL was my obvious choice but not sure.

    I've ordered a new clutch switch too, several threads on the Audizine forum regarding it causing the same issue, along with cruise control failure (which I dont have) so worth a try for the few quid it will cost.
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  8. Muzzcuzz
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    Muzzcuzz Member

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    I have a similar issue (I think) with my A3! When changing from 2nd to 3rd, it feels a little 'grindy' when you push it through the gates into 3rd. It doesn't make any grinding noise or anything and doesn't occur if you change gear gently ie not forcing the selector around it's channels. Does this sound like the same issue you have with yours mookie? I would be quite interested to find out if anybody has a solution to this because it is something that has been bugging me since i got the car 4 months ago. It's something I can live with, but if its something that can be fixed (even better if the cost isn't substantial) I would have it done/do it myself depending on the complexity.
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  9. mookie
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    mookie Member

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    Yeah sounds identical to mine. It seems much better since I put a new thermostat in and the engine is getting hotter... could that be having an effect on the box oil? Maybe just my imagination?

    When I took off the gear gaitor, I'm seeing slight movement in two main areas of the shifter - first, the bushes either side of the central ball/socket assembly that hold that assembly to the brass rods running parallel and either side of the assembly; and also there is up and down play, slight, in the ball/socket itself. I'm wondering if just a slight play in the up and down motion of the stick is then affecting the overall alignment of the stick and the movement of the cables?
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