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View Full Version : Can't shift, transmission issue. Help!



c0r3y.af
08-06-2013, 06:27 PM
Hi all. Sorry for the long read, but I hope it helps you help me. If any of you are members of the Audi B5 Group on Facebook then you might already be familiar with my situation. I have a 97 A4 1.8TQM.

Last week I was driving to work in fifth on the highway. Nothing crazy. Got off the highway, came to a stop at a red light, and when I started moving again I noticed I was having a really hard time changing gears. Was able to limp it to work and back home again later using only third since it's the only gear I could find.

Shift linkage and shifter box seemed okay. A few people suggested that I take a look at the two slider bolts that hold the "relay shaft" in place, as they have been known to shear in half for no apparent reason. The driver's side bolt is right next to the slave cylinder, and the passenger side bolt is between the axle and the tranny mount. I found the following two threads which perfectly described my scenario and the slider bolt shearing, and I decided that was my problem, so I ordered both the driver and passenger side bolts in case I needed them. Threads for reference:

http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/452996-Kinda-freaking-out!-Shifter-or-tranny?p=6964325&viewfull=1#post6964325
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/519765-Shifting-issue

The two bolts finally arrived today. Upon taking a look under the car, I immediately noticed that there was tranny fluid everywhere and my fluid level was low. Also noticed that the drivers side slider bolt wasn't sheared, but completely missing, with the hole just wide open pissing fluid everywhere. I topped off on fluid using the normal fill hole and got to work replacing the missing bolt. I was able to align the relay shaft by wiggling the shifter around a bit, which was very hard because it was jamming up quite a bit, and using my finger to move it a little. After an hour or so I was finally able to get the new slider bolt in.

With the new bolt in, I still cannot shift. Certain gears are extremely hard to shift into, and others are pretty much non-existant. First, fourth and reverse seem to go in okay, although first takes a little force and fourth is almost too easy. Reverse feels normal. The others take extreme amounts of force to go in. This was tested with the car still on jack stands and the car not running. It just feels like everything is completely locked up. A friend of mine suggested jammed synchros, and I don't know anything about transmissions, but would that still be an issue even with the car not running? Shouldn't I be able to shift no matter what?

Clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, and throw-out bearing are brand new with about 6,000 miles on them.

I'm very desperate, and I'm pretty sure that I'm fucked... any ideas?

Quattrocket
08-06-2013, 06:30 PM
Your Sac mechanism has probably failed. Happened on my s4.sounds exactly the same as your issues. It unsprung for whatever reason. Had to tear it all apart again.

Sent from my HTC EVO 3D X515a using Tapatalk 4

c0r3y.af
08-06-2013, 06:32 PM
Your Sac mechanism has probably failed. Happened on my s4.sounds exactly the same as your issues. It unsprung for whatever reason. Had to tear it all apart again.

What exactly does that mean/what do I need to do? I'm completely blind when it comes to transmissions.

Quattrocket
08-06-2013, 06:46 PM
The SAC is a mechanism in the pressure plate that allows the clutch to adjust itself as the clutch disk wears. If the pressure plate hits something, dropped during install or otherwise shocked it can cause it to unspring, pressing the pressure plate hard against the flywheel not allowing it to relieve pressure from the flywheel when you press the clutch pedal. For whatever reason, you can still use reverse.
You would ha e to drop the transmission, remove the pressure plate and reset the SAC mechanism. You reset it by hydraulic press, pushing on the teeth of the pressure plate. After it's fully reset, you grab a flat head screwdriver, and reach Inside one of the holes and knock a little leaver over to lock it in place. Try a Google search, you should be able to find more info and pictures. It was a nightmare. Big reason why I don't have my s4 anymore.

Sent from my HTC EVO 3D X515a using Tapatalk 4

walky_talky20
08-06-2013, 07:42 PM
A4's don't have a Self Adjusting Clutch. It was S4 only. So that only applies if the OP is using an OEM S4 or RS4 pressure plate.

Cory: How does the movement feel, specifically side to side spring loading? Are all the gears in the right spot, just rough going in? Have you tried to drive it yet?

c0r3y.af
08-07-2013, 06:07 AM
A4's don't have a Self Adjusting Clutch. It was S4 only. So that only applies if the OP is using an OEM S4 or RS4 pressure plate.

Cory: How does the movement feel, specifically side to side spring loading? Are all the gears in the right spot, just rough going in? Have you tried to drive it yet?

It seems to change based on the positioning of the relay shaft when we put the bolt in. Clutch in or out doesn't seem to change anything. At this current point in time, I can hit what I think is third and fourth no problem. First and second,
I'm unsure of. The shifter goes left but it doesn't seem to travel far enough to actually find first and second. Anything to the right is a lost cause and I physically cannot move the shifter to the right to access fifth and reverse, no matter how hard I force it. I have not driven it at all since limping it home. If it helps, I'll try to post a video to YouTube and link it here.

I'm using a 240mm (S4 size) Clutchmasters FX100 clutch and pressure plate, and ECS RA4 LWFW, if that helps.

Appreciate the help so far guys.

Gumby
08-07-2013, 06:24 AM
Did you drain the fluid to check for any metal shavings, or just top it off?

I had very similar symptoms when my pilot bearing basically exploded.

walky_talky20
08-07-2013, 06:48 AM
It sounds like there is still an issue with the relay shaft. Stuff may have fallen apart a bit after the bolt backed out. Have you checked the bolt on the other side?

I've never actually done this slider bolt repair, so I don't know how much you can see in there, or what the tricks are to get it to go back together properly. It is sounding like the box may need to come apart. But if it were mine, you can be sure I would keep messing with it to see if I could avoid that.

Kenrevo
08-07-2013, 08:49 AM
I'm fixing the exact same thing on my car right now. Did you put the relay stops on the correct sides? There are both different, the longer one is on the passenger side. Does the shifter center when you move it side to side?

M-Hood
08-07-2013, 05:05 PM
It seems to change based on the positioning of the relay shaft when we put the bolt in. Clutch in or out doesn't seem to change anything. At this current point in time, I can hit what I think is third and fourth no problem. First and second,
I'm unsure of. The shifter goes left but it doesn't seem to travel far enough to actually find first and second. Anything to the right is a lost cause and I physically cannot move the shifter to the right to access fifth and reverse, no matter how hard I force it. I have not driven it at all since limping it home. If it helps, I'll try to post a video to YouTube and link it here.

I'm using a 240mm (S4 size) Clutchmasters FX100 clutch and pressure plate, and ECS RA4 LWFW, if that helps.

Appreciate the help so far guys.



When my relay shaft bolt on the passenger side of the transmission broke I could not get into 1st or 2nd gear at all. I still think the bolt on that side is broken seeing the one on the driver side was completely missing.




The SAC is a mechanism in the pressure plate that allows the clutch to adjust itself as the clutch disk wears. If the pressure plate hits something, dropped during install or otherwise shocked it can cause it to unspring, pressing the pressure plate hard against the flywheel not allowing it to relieve pressure from the flywheel when you press the clutch pedal. For whatever reason, you can still use reverse.
You would ha e to drop the transmission, remove the pressure plate and reset the SAC mechanism. You reset it by hydraulic press, pushing on the teeth of the pressure plate. After it's fully reset, you grab a flat head screwdriver, and reach Inside one of the holes and knock a little leaver over to lock it in place. Try a Google search, you should be able to find more info and pictures. It was a nightmare. Big reason why I don't have my s4 anymore.

Sent from my HTC EVO 3D X515a using Tapatalk 4

That would only effect getting into gear while the engine is actually running, his problem is he can't find some gears even with the engine turned off. Even if the clutch failed completely you would still be able to move the shifter into each gear while the engine is off.

c0r3y.af
08-08-2013, 06:59 AM
It sounds like there is still an issue with the relay shaft. Stuff may have fallen apart a bit after the bolt backed out. Have you checked the bolt on the other side?

I've never actually done this slider bolt repair, so I don't know how much you can see in there, or what the tricks are to get it to go back together properly. It is sounding like the box may need to come apart. But if it were mine, you can be sure I would keep messing with it to see if I could avoid that.
Haven't checked the passenger side yet so I suppose I probably should. Gotta find some time to get it done. This is killing me.

I'm fixing the exact same thing on my car right now. Did you put the relay stops on the correct sides? There are both different, the longer one is on the passenger side. Does the shifter center when you move it side to side?
I definitely didn't get the two bolts mixed up.

When my relay shaft bolt on the passenger side of the transmission broke I could not get into 1st or 2nd gear at all. I still think the bolt on that side is broken seeing the one on the driver side was completely missing.

That would only effect getting into gear while the engine is actually running, his problem is he can't find some gears even with the engine turned off. Even if the clutch failed completely you would still be able to move the shifter into each gear while the engine is off.
You're probably right, and thanks for explaining the clutch thing.


Appreciate the input thus far everyone. Going to work on that passenger side bolt asap. Hopefully I can have it done Saturday.

Believer
08-11-2013, 01:21 PM
I saw you are looking for a tranny on the B5 Facebook page, what ended up being the issue?

c0r3y.af
08-14-2013, 07:32 AM
Well, I checked the passenger side bolt, and the bolt was fine. Looked brand new, in fact.

It's pretty clear to me that when the drivers side bolt came out, something broke or was misaligned. We noticed that if we remove the drivers side bolt again, and wiggle the relay shaft around before putting the bolt back in, the shifter would react differently, but I can't line it up well enough to get all of my gears and no matter what, in the end, it always seems to fall back to only having 3rd and 4th, and no side-to-side play at all.

I'm hoping by pulling the tranny I'd be able to see the problem a bit easier, or at least tell for sure if I need a new transmission or not. Trying to source one in the meantime so I won't have to waste as much time.