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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been driving sticks all my life. Love my new JKU, but for some reason I have trouble with Reverse. About half the time I'll start up the Jeep and I'll go to backup and I'll hear the gears chatter. What am I doing wrong?! I feel like an idiot.
 

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Is the reverse gear even synchromeshed?
 

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I've got a '15 and that happens occasionally. It's much less often now that I'm used to it. There is a certain feel you get when the gears mesh successfully. You'll learn to recognize it. Now that I'm used to it, I can tell when it's not synched up and meshing properly just by feel.

In that case....put the shifter back in neutral, then work the clutch again, then shift into reverse. That always works. You don't need to go fast, or use strength, or try to jam it in there. It'll synch up nicely after that.

I don't even think about it now. I can feel when it's not right, and working the clutch again takes maybe four seconds.
 

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JK manual transmissions have a reverse synchronizer. Shifting into reverse use one fluid motion over to the right until the shifter stops and then down, with pressure continuing to the right and it won't grind.
 

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I say, don't sweat it. It's summer now so maybe the temp has nothing to do with it (i.e. sometimes they are more finicky in the cold), but all the sticks I've ever owned (5 or 6 different vehicles) have always granted me with some loud noises half of the time when going into reverse. Just par for the course.
Knowing the JK, if it goes into gear, and you can drive backwards - then it's OK. Lots of threads talk about where it doesn't shift into gear easily - so if you can, I wouldn't worry. If it's loud as crap but you can move, just part of the good old life that we love and admire.
 

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My gearbox was balky as hell when my JK was new. I didn't grind gears, but getting through the reverse gate was so difficult I thought something was wrong with it. Trying to remember when it started feeling normal, think it was around 1500-2000 miles.
 

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Which Wrangler?

I have a Sahara, and it has a little different shift boot than the Sport models. I think that the Sahara, Rubicon and some other models have a "leather look" outer shift boot that doesn't play well with the inner rubber shift boot. It will exert pressure to return the shift lever to the center position. You just have to make sure that it is placed firmly in reverse and held there as you let out the clutch. Even them, I've still had it pop out at times.
 

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Agree with most everything here. I too got used to the feel but still get the grinding from time to time - usually when I am in too much of a hurry :)
 

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I'll agree with the points here
- it happens when I'm in a hurry :)
- it's worse when the tranny is new

my 2012 JK and now my 2017 JKU did the same thing

You get the feel of it and realize there's a notch you can pull back into but that's not the one you want, it's the further one.

While it's easily recoverable, the downside for me is wife is howling with laughter and derision whenever that happens to me in the trader joes lot
 

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Its a shit manual. I've owned some shitty manual vehicles in my life. Chevy Chevette, Ford Festiva, Ford Ranger. In 18 months of owning the JKU I've managed to grind the gears more than I did total in the previous 25 years of only owning manual vehicles.

I now reflexively maintain pressure on the shift lever in reverse when I'm letting out the clutch. If I forget I'm just asking it to grind and pop out of reverse. It doesn't happen every time, but at least this prevents it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the help everyone! I'm getting a better feel for it, but it still happens probably once per day. It's embarrassing more than anything, as everybody turns their heads to look at me, and yes, my wife laughs at me too.
 

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Generally speaking shifting into 1st and then over to reverse works..... (for reasons I have forgotten)
 

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If you're moving forward even a bit and shift into Reverse it will grind also.
 

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The most fun though is going for 6th gear at highway speeds and hitting reverse by accident; now that gives a nice grinding sound.

At least that is what my "friend" told me, not me, now way...
To avoid that press the shifter lightly toward the passenger seat as you shift from 5 to 6. It will slide right in (to 6th).
 

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Also it may be low on fluid. I changed mine to royal purple and when I drained it, it was a qt low right from the factory... So I filled up an empty quart bottle and took it right to the dealer so that they could document my records. When they change out the fluid, they do not measure and I was really glad I did mine early.
 

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To avoid that press the shifter lightly toward the passenger seat as you shift from 5 to 6. It will slide right in (to 6th).
Yes. The shifter is spring loaded. You can feel this in neutral because the spring wants to center the shifter directly between 3rd and 4th. So, when you're in 5th, the spring tension keeps the shifter pulled toward the left hand side of the gate. When shifting into 6th, compensate for the spring tension by bumping the shifter to the right side of the gate prior to shifting out of 5th...then pull it straight down.

That little bump to the right is just a minor pressure thing. You don't need to be ham-fisted with it. It's a tiny bump right, then straight down. After a short while it becomes so natural you won't even notice it.
 

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Been driving sticks all my life. Love my new JKU, but for some reason I have trouble with Reverse. About half the time I'll start up the Jeep and I'll go to backup and I'll hear the gears chatter. What am I doing wrong?! I feel like an idiot.


Nope. Same exact thing here. When the Jeep is cold, the gears grind and chatter when reversing out of garage. Then All is well and it operates as smooth as can be. I can't replicate it when the Jeep is warm. Only when backing out of the garage first thing in the am.

Frustrated and concerned.

The MT is very smooth and an easy driver. I'm impressed....EXCEPT the cold gear grinding chatter in reverse.
 
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