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Hard to select a gear with engine running


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My 1972 Mach I with a 351c, 4 speed hurst, and toploader is getting tough to get into gear when the engine is running.  I thought it might be the toploader or 4 speed linkage, but it shifts into every gear just fine with the engine off.  The problem seems to go away after driving for while and everything warms up.  I'm suspecting the throwout bearing, but it is not making any noise.

Any ideas?

Thanks

 

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I'd be concerned about motor/tranny mounts: if bad, the whole system can torque throwing off a bit of the shifter mechanism.  I say this because you said everything is fine when engine isn't running.

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One trick that works on any four speed is to go to second gear before you go to reverse or first gear. Gets the gears to stop turning and it just goes into gear easier. 

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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Thanks for the responses!

The motor mounts are solid, and the car won't go into any gear easily when stopped, so it probably isn't the mounts.  

And, yes, if I grind it into second before first, it does seem to help.  But, this condition is relatively new and I'm looking for the underlying issue.

The clutch plate must not be getting fully disengaged with the 4 speed...  

But, I hate to tear everything down until I have some better understanding.

Thanks 

 

 

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Have you tried to adjust your rod out farther that pushes the arm with the throw out bearing? Longer rod pushes the clutch farther away from the disc.

 

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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Yes, thanks, that was one of the first things I tried...

I may go out and move it further... but, the engagement is currently pretty high up at this point...

I'm running out of suggestions!

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How much free play do you have in the clutch pedal, how far does it move before you can feel the throw out bearing?

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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I need to apologize for not mentioning that my clutch is a Centerforce...

After searching for "Centerforce clutch won't go into gear", I got thousands of hits...

Turns out that since Centerforce uses weights in a "floating ring" to put extra pressure on the plate.  While this feature really works, no one ever mentioned that the weights could stick in the housing!

This is why sometimes the clutch works just fine and other times acts like the clutch is partially engaged.   

Thanks for the help, and I'll probably live with this issue until I get mad enough to replace the Centerforce with a different brand.

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IMO, nothing wrong with a Centerforce. I put my Centerforce 2  in 11 years ago and NEVER had an issue as long as the push-rod is adjusted correctly. Mine has just very slight free-play so I know the throw-out bearing is totally disengaged. Now, if I don't get the pedal all the way down, it might grind the gears a bit. They seem to need full travel to clear the pressure plate from the flywheel. If it's dragging, for sure you'll get rough and hard shifts. 

A "mod" I did a few years ago was to install bronze oilite bushings where ever the old plastic one were as well as installing Mustang Steve's ball bearing upgrade on the pedal shaft. This made a huge difference to pedal pressure, making shifting so much better. Heck, even the wife can drive it now!!

If I were to replace this clutch, I think I would opt for the Centerforce Dual Friction, but honestly, I have never been able to make the C 2 slip or had any issue with it sticking.

EDIT: I just remembered one problem I had that you might want to consider. When my engine was rebuilt (first time) I installed a new throw-out bearing. Not long after, I had problems. After pulling the box, I found that one of the spring clips (to the fork) had broken off so the bearing was basically flopping around. This aftermarket bearing was made from pressed steel. My fix was get a new bearing from the local bearing store and fit it into the Ford cast housing, very easy to do. Could be yours has fallen apart as well.

Edited by Stanglover
added new info.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Thanks for the feedback!

Actually, my Centerforce 2 has been in for many years, and I also have not had any issues with it until recently.  If I had recently installed it and had this issue, I'm sure I would feel differently...

You are correct, it bites hard and never slips...

And, yes, something like a bad Throw out bearing clip would also cause a partial disengagement...  but, I'm really hoping I don't need to drop my transmission again!  

I bought my '72 Mach I in 1971... I'm 67...  in the old days I'd do a clutch swap in a weekend... now I'd take a weekend to think about it and a month to actually do it...

Thanks again.

 

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2 hours ago, Mikey said:

Thanks for the feedback!

I bought my '72 Mach I in 1971... I'm 67...  in the old days I'd do a clutch swap in a weekend... now I'd take a weekend to think about it and a month to actually do it...

Thanks again.

 

Hmm, that's funny. In 1980, I had a 72 Q code 4 speed needing a clutch. I dropped the box on my chest, then rolled it off onto the gravel driveway, then swapped out the clutch, only to blow it again a few weeks later. The next time I did it, a buddy lent me his garage and floor jack. Talk about luxury! Now, I can hardly bend down just to look under the car! I'm 73.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ouch!  Sorry I didn't see your post earlier... 

I know the Top Loader on the chest removal method too!  Not sure my chest wouldn't collapse at this point in my life though.  You are right about bending down too... I used to just hop in the Stang without a thought... now I feel like I need to bend a certain way to get in the car without wrenching my back.

Getting old isn't for sissies...  

I still try to do most of the work on the car myself because there really aren't that many old Stang mechanics around anymore.

Stay young!  73 is the new 53, right?

 

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1 hour ago, Mikey said:

Ouch!  Sorry I didn't see your post earlier... 

I know the Top Loader on the chest removal method too!  Not sure my chest wouldn't collapse at this point in my life though.  You are right about bending down too... I used to just hop in the Stang without a thought... now I feel like I need to bend a certain way to get in the car without wrenching my back.

Getting old isn't for sissies...  

I still try to do most of the work on the car myself because there really aren't that many old Stang mechanics around anymore.

Stay young!  73 is the new 53, right?

 

You're dead right, getting old is definitely not for sissies, but way better than the alternative.

Another little saying of mine is; "My eyes see what I saw when I was 20, my mind thinks like I thought when I was 20, I just don't recognize the old fart in the mirror!"

Stay young and prosper  my friend.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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