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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'02 4.0/5spd...

1st to 2nd I have to mash it to the left as I pull down, otherwise it grinds like hell. Then up to 3rd I have to keep it left (but not all the way to 1st slot) rather than just "straight" up; otherwise I get another grind. 3rd-5th no issues. Never had this problem in my XJ (or any other vehicle I had with a stick.) It's almost as if the whole linkage is off-center slightly. Any comments?
 

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I have the exact same issue in my '02X. Mine gets much better and almost goes away once the jeep fully warms up. Does yours get better when it's warm?

I'm curious to see what people say the issue is as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
when was the last time you changed transmission fluid?

um, never. just bought it in September. Now has 78k.
To answer the warm vs. cold...might be slightly better warm, but not drastically.
 

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Most likely its your tranny the syncronizers are on their way out. I had a chevy that did the same thing. The syncros are brass and fits between each gear and aligns them as you shift into that gear. Being brass they ware out especially if someone learned to drive stick with it.
 

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yea maybe the syncros mine grinds like no tomarrow into 3rd and 4th but i just double pump the clutch so it doesnt and i replaced the tranny fluid helped out a little bit even with 78k and no change theres prob a lot of gump in there i know there was in mine with 97k. changing the fluid didnt work miracles but it really did help
 

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Most likely the PO did not change the tranny fluid. When I bought my Jeep that was the first thing I did was change all fluids. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing the condition of the fluids. It also gives you a indicator of the condition of the tranny based on the metal on the magnetic drain plug. Allot of metal could be signs of abuse and problems to come. But as others have said it could be the syncros going or shifter fork. Good luck trouble shooting and let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all the tips, and I will change the tranny fluid as soon as I can. When I bought it I did do a diff and x-case fluid change, but not tranny as it was shifting fine. Only noticed the shifting issues recently, as the weather got really cold.
 

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By your description of pushing it sideways etc to get it to not grind doesn't sound like a dirty fluid problem. The way the shifter is made it shouldn't make any difference. Pushing the lever side to side should have no effect.

I wonder - the top cover of the trans houses the shifter - could it be loose? Take off the shifter boot and make sure the bolts are tight.

The synchro hub splines tend to collect all the dirt and filings. Just draining and refilling may help a little if it's shifting hard. You really should flush it to get crud out.

Jack up the rear wheels - both wheels - drain the fluid out. Refill it with 2 pints of Kerosene.
Start the engine and let it idle in 1st gear about 1 minute = DO NOT REV IT!
Shift to 2nd for another minute or so.
Then third, fourth, etc.
Shift it up and down several times - DO NOT REV THE ENGINE, JUST LET IT IDLE.

Stop engine, drain out the kerosene - it'll be really dirty!
You can do it a 2nd time too if you want.

Refill with the factory recommended fluid - avoid the "gimmick" stuff, like oils with food coloring etc.

About 90% of the time a good flushing makes it shift like new again.

Did I mention "DO NOT REV IT WITH THE KEROSENE IN IT?"
 

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my grinds when tryin to shift into reverse. Have no idea why the hell it does it. Any ideas?
What year Jeep? Reverse doesn't have synchros. Try shifting real slow going into reverse, especially if the engine is cold. Or pull forward a few inches, then put it in reverse. It's pretty normal till you get used to it.
 

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I have the exact same issue in my '02X. Mine gets much better and almost goes away once the jeep fully warms up. Does yours get better when it's warm?

I'm curious to see what people say the issue is as well.
I have an 03 TJ and mine does the exact same thing....it grinds second (unless I push to the left). 3rd is not quite as bad, but is still not "smooth"....4th and 5th smooth. BUT it does seem to get better when it warms up. I just bought it about a month ago and immediately had ALL fluids in the Jeep changed. I was actually thinking of replacing the clutch, that's how I found this thread. Any suggestions????
 

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Been thinking about it. My memory is kinda grayish, but I think there's a nylon bushing inside the shifter housing on top of the nv3550. The top of the tranny has a tower looking thing the shift handle goes into. That housing unbolts and comes off (I mentioned previously those bolts could just be loose too.)
Inside the housing the lever goes through a cross pin and bushing. If the bushing cracks or breaks, the shift forks aren't getting pushed correctly when shifting, causing the grinding.
Having to push it sideways seems to indicate the bushing's gone south.

It's accessible from the top - under the console. It's not complicated, just be very careful to not drop anything in the opened trans. 3 or 4 bolts holds it on.

Check your Factory Service Manual before unbolting and taking it out. As I remember you have to put it in a certain gear when R&Ring to get it back in right.
It's not rocket science, just take your time and observe how it came apart.

I think Chevy uses the same shifter tower on their 5 speeds too, thus the same bushing - if you have trouble getting the bushing.

Most likely a shop will tell you the whole tranny needs to be rebuilt - even then they may not even look at the shifter bushing - you'd still have the problem. You'd probably have to show them an exploded drawing of the shifter so they'd understand what you are talking about. I hate to say it, but most tranny shops can tear it down and rebuild it - but have no idea how they work.

Someone offers a short throw shifter for them too (Hurst?)

Slightly easier warm is probably because the oil is thinner and the gears slide easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks rrich and all the others...I will take the boot off and check it out as soon as I get a chance. Going to the 'rents this weekend for christmas, might get the ol' man to help out. I hate to say it but he's spent more time under trudie's hood than I have. Soon as he gets going he hates to stop. I just want to get whatever's wrong fixed and get back out on the trail!
 

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I am having trouble with 1st and 2nd grinding. i Changed the fluid with the pennzoil synchromesh but it had little to no effect. when i changed it the drain plug magnet had very little hair like shavings on it. Not sure if thats normal? However when i poured the oil out of the bucket there was two brass lookin shards about the size of a grain of rice or smaller. Think i might have a synchro problem? who knows. I know its a lil of topic but does anyone know what might be going on here? I can mash the clutch in and throw it in 1st or 2nd and it grinds. but if i mash the clutch and hold it for maybe 3 secs it slides right in. This is gettin really old really fast!! Makes it absolutely NO fun to drive!!!
 
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