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2001 Dodge Ram 1500 manual hard shifting while stopped

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2001 Dodge Ram 1500 manual hard shifting while stopped

  #1  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:59 PM
Everett45
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Default 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 manual hard shifting while stopped

Hey guys, I asked a similar question to this a while back and learned that 1st gear in this trans (NV3500?) is not synchro'd, which I get around by going from 2nd to 1st if I'm stopped. This isn't new, but lately I've been having more trouble getting it into any of the gears while stopped. Normally it'll slide into 2nd to get 1st lined up, and 5th for reverse. Clutch to the floor on all occasions, maybe it's not fully disengaging? But it doesn't lurch or creep when it does finally get into gear. Not sure.

I recall somebody saying that they ease out the clutch a bit while applying light pressure to the shifter and it 'slides right in' but I haven't had such luck with that, nothing really happens. I should mention that it shifts fine while moving, only acts up when stopped. And nobody likes to be that guy at the light who can't get the damn thing in gear. What do you guys think?
 
  #2  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Everett45 View Post
Hey guys, I asked a similar question to this a while back and learned that 1st gear in this trans (NV3500?) is not synchro'd, which I get around by going from 2nd to 1st if I'm stopped. This isn't new, but lately I've been having more trouble getting it into any of the gears while stopped. Normally it'll slide into 2nd to get 1st lined up, and 5th for reverse. Clutch to the floor on all occasions, maybe it's not fully disengaging? But it doesn't lurch or creep when it does finally get into gear. Not sure.

I recall somebody saying that they ease out the clutch a bit while applying light pressure to the shifter and it 'slides right in' but I haven't had such luck with that, nothing really happens. I should mention that it shifts fine while moving, only acts up when stopped. And nobody likes to be that guy at the light who can't get the damn thing in gear. What do you guys think?
Sounds like a clutch issue. Like it isn't disengaging
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-2019, 07:43 AM
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Could be your pilot bushing/bearing/whatever it is, is getting a bit sticky..... and the trans input shaft is still spinning pretty good, even with the clutch disengaged. Reverse isn't synchronized either.
 
  #4  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:47 AM
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You learn real quick how to 'half-clutch' to shift into first so if that isn't working at all, it may be an issue. Mine is still all normal after 252k but I'm on the third clutch so it may be time to drop that trans. Always try to find the rpms where the gears line up as if you're speed shifting but with the clutch. Could also be hydraulic issue. There's no adjustment on these so if it isn't fully engaging/disengaging look at the hydraulics first - both master and slave.
 
  #5  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramman18 View Post
You learn real quick how to 'half-clutch' to shift into first so if that isn't working at all, it may be an issue. Mine is still all normal after 252k but I'm on the third clutch so it may be time to drop that trans. Always try to find the rpms where the gears line up as if you're speed shifting but with the clutch. Could also be hydraulic issue. There's no adjustment on these so if it isn't fully engaging/disengaging look at the hydraulics first - both master and slave.
Ok, I've read that these clutch systems are sealed and you can't bleed them, so aside from leaks what could I be looking for? I'm not sure if it's possible to physically see the amount of travel the clutch fork has, and I have nothing to compare it to if I could.
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-2019, 10:57 AM
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No, you can bleed the hydraulics, just not adjust them like a cable system. Pull off the slave and check for any cracks or leaking in the body. Look at the plunger and clean the old grease and gunk off. The master just look for leaks and how dirty it is. It uses brake fluid so it will turn black over time. You could swap the fluid but the whole pre-bled new kit is only like 100 bucks at rockauto and I swapped in two sets in about 15min each. So don't bother with the individual slave or master parts.
 
  #7  
Old 06-11-2019, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramman18 View Post
No, you can bleed the hydraulics, just not adjust them like a cable system. Pull off the slave and check for any cracks or leaking in the body. Look at the plunger and clean the old grease and gunk off. The master just look for leaks and how dirty it is. It uses brake fluid so it will turn black over time. You could swap the fluid but the whole pre-bled new kit is only like 100 bucks at rockauto and I swapped in two sets in about 15min each. So don't bother with the individual slave or master parts.
Well I looked at the master, on the inside of the truck it was just a little dirty/moist. Outside was fine. The slave was the same but it looked like it came from a leak higher up on the engine. The pushrod was dirty, I cleaned it off and regreased both ends. Not really worn or anything either. That seemed to help some, I could go 2nd to 1st most of the time, but I'd say a third of the time it would either lock me out of 2nd entirely or I could get 2nd but not 1st. Of course most of the stops I made I could have put it in first before stopping but I made a point to come to a full stop in neutral like at a light.

Judging from the cotter pins put in place of roll pins on the clutch line connections (both connections are bone dry, so I think the cotter pins are working), I'd say both cylinders have been replaced in the past. Truck has 150K on it so not surprising. I doubt that they've gone bad already, so how could I go about bleeding the system? Do I need to remove it entirely or can I do it on the truck?
 

Last edited by Everett45; 06-11-2019 at 01:18 PM.
  #8  
Old 06-12-2019, 10:17 AM
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If there's only trouble going into 2nd and out, then the syncro for 2nd might be wearing out. It's common to happen. Why would you need to downshift from 2nd to 1st anyway? Does it pop out of 3rd just fine? Can you go from 1st to 3rd smoothly?

Never seen cotter pins on the little plastic connections so yeah, maybe replaced at some point if you don't know the history. If there's smooth pedal and pressure in every gear, then there's no need to bleed. You would know if there's air in the system. Notwithstanding, here's how to bleed:


 
  #9  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramman18 View Post
If there's only trouble going into 2nd and out, then the syncro for 2nd might be wearing out. It's common to happen. Why would you need to downshift from 2nd to 1st anyway? Does it pop out of 3rd just fine? Can you go from 1st to 3rd smoothly?
Reason I say 2nd to 1st is because that usually will get 1st gear lined up when at a dead stop, which is where the problem arises. I'm not downshifting per say, just when I come to a stop where I can't have the clutch in for ages I put it in neutral and then must use 2nd in order to shift into 1st, hope that clarifies.

There's always been good pedal pressure, so you're right it probably doesn't need bled. I don't know if I mentioned this also but the same problem occurs when pulling it out of gear, it sticks in 1st and reverse.

On the topic of synchros, when downshifting to 2nd for a turn, I have to apply light pressure towards 2nd on the shifter for a second or two before it goes in. It's smooth, but I'm assuming that's just the synchro taking time to match the speed? Does yours/other trucks go right in to 2nd on the downshift? That might tell me if I do indeed need synchros.
 
  #10  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:48 AM
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Man, all of this could be a problem OR it could just be how you drive/shift. Everyone's different and unless I drove your truck I wouldn't know if anything's weird. I drove a lot of sticks during my college years working for a construction company and you get used to all the idiosyncrasies in each transmission. Sometimes you have to let the clutch out a little to let it fall into gear, sometimes a little more pressure on the stick, sometimes rev match, etc. You get the idea. I've been driving mine since June of 2001 so it's really just an extension of my arm. Sometimes first needs a little spin of the clutch by letting the pedal out half-way until it goes in (going to second and then first achieves the same result). I usually rev match all the gears up but not down. I only downshift on the rare occasion unless towing.

It actually sounds to me like maybe, just maybe, you are causing these issues. Are you leaving a little gas on when pulling the stick down from 1st? This will feel like it's sticking because there is still power mesh happening in the gears (I have felt this on occasion). When you shift to 2nd on a turn, rev match the gear a little and it'll fall right in. Although I rarely use 2nd even around town. Third is plenty of gearing for the torquey 318. And I have 33s and 3.55s. But yeah, I don't have any trouble with 2nd that I can recall. Third and fourth are loose in the pocket. I replaced the plastic bushing but there's still play. Oh well. The left and right side H are still tight. And I never have trouble with 5th or R.

My advice is to take it to a shop and get their opinion on the syncro meshing. Bad syncros should not be tight but rather cause it to pop out of gear or grind going in. Have them check the oil for unusual wear. I just can't help anymore without being there.
 

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