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Stuck in Second, Gearknob Flopping Around
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Thread: Stuck in Second, Gearknob Flopping Around

  1. #1
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    Stuck in Second, Gearknob Flopping Around

    Was driving at about 20 in a residential neighborhood, went to downshift from 2nd into 1st, and the gearknob was just totally disconnected from the transmission. It flopped up into where first used to be with no resistance whatsoever and then just flopped back down when I let go of it. The transmission is stuck in second, and the gearknob just isn't connected to anything anymore. It also will not move into the neutral position or any of the other gear positions besides first and second. It moves freely between first and second, but it is stuck in that line.

    I've read it might be rubber piece where the shift cable connects to the transmission, and I've read there's a recall of the clutch diaphragm spring. Apparently the latter issue may result in an "inability to switch gears," but the clutch itself seems to be working just fine, so I doubt that's it.

    Anybody had something like this happen or know what part breaking might make the gearknob free to move between first and second but unable to move anywhere else?

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    Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear about your trouble. Sounds like you may have a detached or broken shift cable. Shifting to first at that speed puts a large load on the sifter, especially if you didn't double clutch. Look under your shift boot to see if a cable detached and then under the battery tray to to check under the hood.

    As for the clutch recall, that is for non-turbo models.

    Here are some pictures to give an idea of the shift cable attachments.



    http://www.fiat500usa.com/2019/07/fi...ng-repair.html

    Under the shift boot:



    Note: One of the shift cables is detached in this image.
    http://www.fiat500usa.com/2012/09/fi...r-install.html
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    Cables up at the gearknob itself are all good.

    Also, 20 was an overestimate. It wasn't a violent shift at all, had just been over a rough speed bump and was about to turn around, probably doing 5-10mph. There also wasn't any moment where I felt it snap, just wasn't there at all when I went to shift.

    Should I be double declutching into first? I thought it was all synchro except for reverse.

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    Lifetime Member texanbrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoyalDeserter View Post
    Cables up at the gearknob itself are all good.

    Also, 20 was an overestimate. It wasn't a violent shift at all, had just been over a rough speed bump and was about to turn around, probably doing 5-10mph. There also wasn't any moment where I felt it snap, just wasn't there at all when I went to shift.

    Should I be double declutching into first? I thought it was all synchro except for reverse.
    It probably just corroded and broken on the gearbox side (underneath the battery tray). It's a pretty common issue.

    All gears are syncro'd, except reverse, you shouldn't need to double declutch although I tend not to change into first unless almost stationary.
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    You either broke a shift rod or it came loose from the transmission.

    Pretty obvious really.

    In the not so old days, they used cables that operated under tension. It was a more robust system but not as crisp in feel.

    Tedolph

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoyalDeserter View Post
    Cables up at the gearknob itself are all good.

    Also, 20 was an overestimate. It wasn't a violent shift at all, had just been over a rough speed bump and was about to turn around, probably doing 5-10mph. There also wasn't any moment where I felt it snap, just wasn't there at all when I went to shift.

    Should I be double declutching into first? I thought it was all synchro except for reverse.



    I just mentioned the downshift into first becasue that is a stressfull shift for any transmission and if you had a worn part like a cable, that's a good time for it to let go.

    When you downshift into a lower gear, especially like first, the synchro is under a lot of stress to speed up the gear so it can be engaged. That can take some time for this to occur and the harder you push the shifter to engage the gear the more stress the synchro is under. This is a good reason to double clutch and bring the rpms up to the new engine speed in the first gear. This will help the synchro parts last longer and also results in smoother driving.

    Do you have to? No, but it will help the transmission last longer. Besides, it never hurts to have some mechanical sympathy for a car. It is one of the reasons some folks don't have issues and others always have some kind of problem.
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    +1 on Fiat500USA. Most people report it's the cable end that pops off.

    Your dealer will suggest you replace the cable if that's the case. It's cheaper and easier to put in a $30-40 bushing kit. (NAPA has them for $16.) A couple people rigged it with cotter pins and other methods.

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...ighlight=cable



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    I do always rev match, never double clutched into first in this thing though.

    I removed the battery and had a look, and it is the cable itself rather than the end that's broken. So, sadly the $40 fix won't do it.

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    I bought the kit from bushingfix and it worked great. Comes with the tools to press (stomp, in my case) the new ones in place. The hardest part of the job for me was getting all of the old rubber bushing scraped out of the rings.

    https://www.bushingfix.com/fiat-500-...ushing-repair/

    While I was in there, I took off that little direction changing shaft the smaller of the two bushes sticks onto and lapped/regreased it. Whole thing took about 1.5 hours (with 30 minutes of trying to get that old rubber off the ring).

    The dealership quoted me $1400 to replace the cable assemblies LOL. NOPE.



    Quote Originally Posted by map View Post
    +1 on Fiat500USA. Most people report it's the cable end that pops off.

    Your dealer will suggest you replace the cable if that's the case. It's cheaper and easier to put in a $30-40 bushing kit. (NAPA has them for $16.) A couple people rigged it with cotter pins and other methods.

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...ighlight=cable



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    i cant really help, but i have to say, coming from europe where manuals are the norm, i dont recall EVER (& thats 30 yrs of driving) putting a car in first while actually driving. its always been when starting from a stop!
    i cant really explain what i mean very well, but always being in 2nd & feathering the clutch or coasting, being careful never to ride the clutch, is the way to go.

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