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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 Insight 5-speed tranny issue. Very stiif shifting, now won't budge:
225,000 miles. Never any problems with this tranny, no grind ever. Tranny fluid changed every 50,000 miles for good luck. About 3 weeks ago it became a little tricky to get into 5th gear, then soon tricky to get into other gears, had to wiggle and force the gearshift to get it into correct gear. Then about a week ago became very, very stiff and almost impossible to get into gear, but still no noises of any sort. Now I cannot budge the gearshift lever into any gear. No noises, no grinding, just won't budge. Checked fluid levels. Brake Master cylinder was a little low. Topped that up. The other which I assume is the clutch hydraulic master cylinder reservoir was full. After topping up brake master cylinder started car and pumped clutch peddle many, many times. No help, still cannot budge shift lever. Help!
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Get some WD40 or such, and saturate all the cable connections for the trans that is on top of the transmission for a starter..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to Willie, and Hybrrr .. I've sprayed lube on the cable connections on top of the trans. This loosened up the cable that allows fore and aft movement of the shift lever at driver's position, however haven't been able to get the other connector to loosen up and allow lateral movement of the shift lever. Sprayed it again and will try it tomorrow AM.
Thanks!
Nick
 

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^ Do the connections look really corroded? Your description sounds more like a hard core mechanical failure of some kind rather than just corrosion, though corrosion certainly wouldn't help, or it could make a mechanical failure worse... It just doesn't seem like you can go from a working shifter to non-working in a matter of days (few weeks), due to corrosion alone... You might want to take a closer look at those connections and make sure something's not cracked, bent, broken, the rubber bushings are in-tact, etc.
 

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By removing only the cotter pins at the end of the cables assembly (one is pictured the other one is inches below) and then disconnect from the transmission by sliding it out of their place you should be able to determine if the issue is in the cables/shifter or in the transmission.
 

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Just wondering: does it refuse to shift while driving or with the engine off also? If it's only while driving your clutch is acting up.
 

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2001 Insight 5-speed tranny issue. Very stiif shifting, now won't budge:
225,000 miles. Never any problems with this tranny, no grind ever. Tranny fluid changed every 50,000 miles for good luck. About 3 weeks ago it became a little tricky to get into 5th gear, then soon tricky to get into other gears, had to wiggle and force the gearshift to get it into correct gear. Then about a week ago became very, very stiff and almost impossible to get into gear, but still no noises of any sort. Now I cannot budge the gearshift lever into any gear. No noises, no grinding, just won't budge. Checked fluid levels. Brake Master cylinder was a little low. Topped that up. The other which I assume is the clutch hydraulic master cylinder reservoir was full. After topping up brake master cylinder started car and pumped clutch peddle many, many times. No help, still cannot budge shift lever. Help!
I had this problem with my 2000, but it had been sitting a while so it makes more sense that the problem would be corrosion. In my case, the problem linkage was the one that moves the shifter side-to-side. For instance, it shifted fine from 3rd into 4th, but getting over into the 5th-reverse track was next to impossible. Lubrication of the linkages was my first step, but unsuccessful. So I had to take them apart. The cottar pins had rusted in place so I had to drill them out (not fun in such a tight space) in order to get the retaining washers off. What I found was that the rubber bushing had bonded to the spindle it rotates on, and had to be pried off rather forcefully. Then I used emery cloth to remove the remaining rubber from the spindle, replaced the bushing (still intact, thank goodness), and lubricated everything with a good silicone lubricant. I replaced the washers and cottar pins with new ones, and the result is it shifts smooth as can be. A long weekend under the hood in awkward positions and much cursing, but it did the job.
 

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if your axle seal goes and your trans fluid leaks out, and you drive the car, the first thing to go is 5th gear, the next thing to go is ability to move the trans in the gears, did you check to make sure fluid is still in the trans ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to All for you many helpful replies. I have a short video of the top of the trans while attempting to shift, however InsightCentral is telling me I cannot upload either a ".mov" or an ".mp4" video file. How can I share the video with y'all?
Thanks!
Nick
 

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Originally, no video formats could be uploaded. Not sure whether that has changed. Most folks have put their videos on U-Tube and provided a link.
 
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