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Old 08-08-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
wreakhavoc
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Default Hard to shift into first gear

About 87,000 miles now. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get into first gear or it will seem like it's engaged but then will abruptly slam out of gear when I take off. No problems with the other gears.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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Same here... It's (I've) been doing it since I bought it and that was about 60k miles.. I suspect the "operator" is part of the problem... I've just over 80k on it now and it hasn't gotten worse or better... Nor has the operator... ;-)
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:58 AM   #3
Mark C5
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Fairly common C5 problem, especially the '97-'00 models that have the paper blocking rings. Try shifting into 2nd and then to 1st. The works 99% of the time for me. It's aggravating and eventually I'll replace the trans but you can live with it for a long time. Others will recommend changing the fluid, the Anti Venom mod or a different shifter and a shifter adjustment. Tried it all, same result.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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It's not the operator in my case. I have had the car since it had 29,000 miles and it just recently started acting like this. What are paper blocking rings?

Last edited by wreakhavoc; 08-08-2009 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
Mark C5
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Blocker rings are an intermediary part between the synchronizer sleeve and the gear cone. When the synchronizer sleeve slides over, it first pushes the blocker ring against the gear cone, and the blocker acts as a cone clutch to help speed up or slow down the gear to the desired speed prior to the synchronizer sleeve sliding over further to engage the gear.

The '97-'00 are paper and the '01 and up are compressed carbon.

Last edited by Mark C5; 08-08-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:16 PM   #6
AJ Powers
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Default Shifting

I changed to Royal Purple - noticed some difference.

I "Rangered" clutch fluid - noticed big difference.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Had the EXACT same problem with my 98 and posted many threads about it. Tried replacing shifter- no joy. Changing fluid- no joy. Everyone on The Forum kept telling me the 1st gear syncro was bad. Finally Broke down and did the rebuild at Corvettes of Houston.

Guess what. The 1st gear syncro was bad. When their mechanic showed me mine-vs the new one- I was amazed it stayed in gear at all. The small teeth become worn and rounded causing it to pop out of gear when engaged. A loud banging noise that really scares the hell out of you.

It is true about the paper blocking rings. But either way- rings or syncro- you're tearing into that trans and its pricey.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Hard to believe it would go bad at less than 100,000 miles with normal driving.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:26 AM   #9
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Mine was ko'd at 53 k mi. But the schmuck who had the car before me couldn't drive to save his life.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:08 PM   #10
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I had the same problem a number of years back. I was almost ready to have them open it up, but everything I read said "change the fluid". I changed the fluid to Mobil 1 and it made a world of difference.
Step 1 is change the fluid.
( I will probably see the next 10 posts telling me I should not have used Mobil 1 on a 98 with paper blocking rings, but I got a 100,000 miles on it now. The car has a few problems, but shifting isn't one of them)
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #11
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I have the same problem in both my '99s. It's fairly common. Just make sure it's fully in gear before you move. If you have problems getting it into gear, just slowly let out the clutch while applying pressure to the shifter. Have faith, it'll pop right into first.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97C5owner View Post
Had the EXACT same problem with my 98 and posted many threads about it. Tried replacing shifter- no joy. Changing fluid- no joy. Everyone on The Forum kept telling me the 1st gear syncro was bad. Finally Broke down and did the rebuild at Corvettes of Houston.

Guess what. The 1st gear syncro was bad. When their mechanic showed me mine-vs the new one- I was amazed it stayed in gear at all. The small teeth become worn and rounded causing it to pop out of gear when engaged. A loud banging noise that really scares the hell out of you.

It is true about the paper blocking rings. But either way- rings or syncro- you're tearing into that trans and its pricey.
Good to hear you got this resolved.

For the OP, I would just try sliding it into 2nd or 3rd before first, sometimes it will help. You almost certainly have some wear and it just depends on how long you can live with it.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:07 AM   #13
jraddington
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Default Shifter

I have had a similar problem with my 99 6-Speed. I too found that going back to 2nd before sliding into 1st makes it work perfectly most of the time.

If you move the shifter into 1st very slowly you can feel it hit two distinct "notches". Sometimes the first notch can feel like it is all the way in, and letting out on the clutch will either pop it out of gear or grind like crazy.

I remedy this on my car, I did the following:

1 - Shifter alignment ( pretty quick and free, helped a little )

2 - Lubed the shaft ( quit laughing, I put lube on the shifter linkage at and around the shifter. Best to do with shifter alignment. Cheap and made the shifter buttery smooth. )

3 - Changed to Royal Purple fuild. This did make another small difference I could feel.

After all of these steps I have not popped out or grinded gears once... But my wife still does it once or twice when she drives. She just doesn't push hard enough on it.

- Josh
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:49 AM   #14
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Mine can be bear going into 1st from a stop as well. It got quite a bit better when I put in fresh tranny fluid. And I even went cheap with plain old dino Castrol Multivehicle ATF.

Also I think on a lot of our cars the clutch still drags ever so slightly with the pedal all the way down loading the transmission a tad. Keeping the fluid clean helps. Getting a higher volume clutch MC (like the Tick) probably would help more. What leads me to believe this is with the engine off, my car will slide into first like butter. Whereas if it's idling, there's that little "hump" getting it in. Additionally if I come to a stop without engaging the clutch in neutral then it also slides right into first with no effort at all. But if I come to stop, shift neutral, engage clutch (pedal out), wait, disengage clutch (pedal in), then try for first ... there's that "hump" again.

At some point I'll get the Tick adjustable MC.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:00 AM   #15
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My 97 has 48K miles on it. It has been popping out of gear since it passed 30K miles. I found that if I down shift into first before each stop I can get it to align properly and that has resolved the problem for now. My friends 05 has less than 20K on it and he has complained about it popping out of gear too.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:00 AM
 
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