Technical First gear doesn't work

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Technical First gear doesn't work

Nov 9, 2015
Hi there!

Back to here with problems... last year it was about the rev iddle and issues in the exhaust. All solved and this year MOT has been passed at first attemp with no issues.

But now gearbox doesn't work at all. When car/engine are cold gearbox works fine but when gets hot first gear and rear don't pull in.I've read several threads related to issues with gearbox but no one similar, at least I didn't find it. So excuse me in advance if it does exist.

Clutch was exchanged 6 years ago and has 26.000 kilometers. Clutch cable has about 9 months and 6.000 kilometers. And I would say it is not clutch related as I can start driving in second gear without any problem. It doesn't smell like oil burned, as if there would be a leakage in the clutch.

It seems that cables and conectors work properly. And only when is hot it doesn't work, first gear doesn't want to enter in its place, it is like something is blocking it. I've done a video, it always helps.

My fear is that gearbox is damaged... but let me know if you think different.

I'm going to exchange the oil, just in case.

By the way, shall I go ahead with oil recommended by Fiat, Tutela Zc75 Synth (or anyone with similar specs) or shall I try with a different viscosity because of the problem?

Thank you all for being there and keeping the forum alive!

If the problem is only when engine/gearbox is hot I would go for oil viscosity problem (which it sounds like you are thinking)!
Not sure what the correct oil is but I used "Motul Gear MB 80W Gear Oil" last time I changed, which was a long time ago.

I would think if the gearbox was damaged you would never be able to select the gears but even then I would look at linkage connections first
Thanks for your reply. I didn't mention that all the others gears are working fine, just in trouble with first and rear when hot. This night I was thinking that maybe it is a syncros issue, if so I presume new oil should mitigate it.

Let's see it oil exchange solve it
if it always works with engine off but becomes a problem with engine on, maybe the clutch is not disengaging fully. It is hard to believe given that clutch isn't very old but still possible. It's very easy to test and see if that is the case, just tighten the clutch cable nut a few more turns to increase the travel of release bearing (pedal will move higher, but you can still press it to the floor, pushing the bearing further into the pressure plate "fingers"). If there is a positive change, then your pressure plate needs replacing (but just buy the whole set and change it, not much difference in price and work involved is the same).
If no change, problem is something else but i'd check this first as the test costs nothing and is fast to perform. Just mark or somehow remember how much you tightened the cable nut so you can return it to its normal position later.

Actually, you said the clutch cable was recently replaced. Maybe it was never tightened enough (the nut at the end of cable) and it just barely worked from the start and now when the cable stretched a bit from use, it doesn't disengage the clutch enough to shift. In that case nothing is broken and the cable just needs a bit more tension on the nut. But anyway, test first and report back what you found out :)
it should. when the engine is cold started, the 1st gear can be engaged just as easily as when the engine is off?
Yes, when it is cold all gears are engaged perfectly. Maybe not as smoothly as when stopped, but still easily
With a manually adjusted clutch cable, especially one where you can put your hand under the pedal and lift it a bit further, generally you adjust so brake and clutch pedal the same height, if pedal is noticeably lower it won't get the full release operation.
Totally agree. Both are at the same level. I can pull clutch cable up a bit more, but if so it will be upper than break pedal
In the old days with carbs, if engine ran faster when hot it could grate going into gear, but looking at your video it just seems to baulk at engaging rather than grating as though gear cable or selection fault possibly?
I've checked the clutch cable and tightened two turns. Oil changed. Today, Sunday, I've just found a generic brand 75w-90, not the same as Tutela 75w-80, but it accomplishes the specifications MIL-2105D. And I think that 90 will help to fill the gaps of worn teehts and pinions.

I've gone for a drive and seems to be working fine. Maybe there was a lack of oil, oil in bad condition, or a bit of all. I'll keep an eye on it in the coming days.