SAAB V4 Forum
SAAB V4 Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
 All Forums
 General Technical
 Help, on holiday, notchy/impossible gear change

Note: You must be registered in order to post a reply.
To register, click here. Registration is FREE!

Format Mode:
Format:BoldItalicizedUnderlineStrikethrough Align LeftCenteredAlign Right Horizontal Rule Insert HyperlinkInsert EmailInsert Image Insert CodeInsert QuoteInsert List

* Forum Code is ON
Smile [:)]Big Smile [:D]Cool [8D]Blush [:I]
Tongue [:P]Evil [):]Wink [;)]Clown [:o)]
Black Eye [B)]Eight Ball [8]Frown [:(]Shy [8)]
Shocked [:0]Angry [:(!]Dead [xx(]Sleepy [|)]
Kisses [:X]Approve [^]Disapprove [V]Question [?]

Check here to subscribe to this topic.

T O P I C    R E V I E W
andydeans3Posted - 16 Jul 2014 : 13:16:47

Up north on holiday with the car. I'm starting to have real problems changing gear, especially into 1st, and on into 2nd. Once moving along, not so bad to get into 3rd and 4th, though not easy.
I have tried tightening in the clutch clearance, and locking the freewheel. Doesn't seem to make any difference.
Clutch intermittently gives a judder, when trying to engage 1st. Then seems OK again
Clutch and engine are brand new. (3000 miles)
In the last 10 minutes, giving her another run up the road, it seems now to be OK, but I'm sure it will come back.

Causing chaos in Aviemore main street!

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
DerekPosted - 09 Sep 2021 : 12:40:23
Redline MTL is good. Use 2 litres. That is higher than the level plug but measures properly if you use the pukka Saab dipstick.
green96v4Posted - 09 Sep 2021 : 12:09:39
I've just filled mine after a rebuild using Amsoil 75/90 synthetic (recommended by Jack Ashcraft on this side of the pond) much thinner than regular dinosaur oil - I've been told to change it after 500 miles due to the extensive rebuild, so I'll see how it looks when I drain it...
christophePosted - 08 Sep 2021 : 22:04:41
I currently have Redline synthetic oil into my gearbox. Put it there one year ago and no side effects so far. At least none than I am aware of! I also used this stuff in my Studebaker Hawk since ten years. The gearbox is fine and I only top the level from time to time.
rattyPosted - 08 Sep 2021 : 13:03:22
Have finally got to the bottom of problem of not being able to select forward gears. So without removing steering column from the car, after changing top and bottom plastic bush in column change, a tricky job which you need to think through from start to finish; read Haynes manual and follow to the word. Most important is that you put a spare rod through reverse gear change spring unit otherwise it will fly off and is a pig to put back. This made no difference. Put a better u/j joint on with a lot less play, still no better. Next have a look inside top of gr/box. So without removing gr/box removed steering rack or rather unbolted it and managed to get all bolts off top lid. Inspected gear selector rod etc and everything looked very good. Could select gears ok by hand, so put that all back. So what next? Well I could always select reverse, but not forward gears or all the gears with synchromesh. So thought what about the oil? I have been using Millers nano oil. Type CRX70/90 NT, gli-5. State of the art oil, v. expensive at 60.00 to 70.00 for 5 litres. For doing my classic trialling I thought it was ideal so phoned up Millers tech. dept. and explained my problem. When did you last change the oil? Err 7 years ago but explained the car had only done about 2000 miles and had been laid up for nearly 4 years. One fact about modern synthetic oils is that they don't have a long shelf life once opened or in the gr/box. So guess what, took Ratty for a run in 2nd gear warmed it up and drained. Oil wasn't a bad colour, bit of fine brassy looking particles, plus usual steely bits you get with wear and tear. Also found a bit of bearing cage broken. B....r. That means after all this gr/box will have to come out for a strip down. Put 2 litres of Millers back in and all the gears are back again! The moral to this is change your gr/box oil and if it is synthetic every 2 to 3 years, whatever. It seems old fashioned mineral oils don't deteriorate like synthetics. I have had a deep grumbling bearing for quite a while. Was convinced it was a wheel bearing ,well no it is a pinion bearing or diff cage bearing. On strip down it will be interesting to see if synchro rings are worn at all. In 40 years plus have never had a synchro problem. Is anyone on the forum using synthetic gli-5 oil in their gr/box?
andydeans3Posted - 23 Aug 2021 : 12:58:52
Just realise that you live in Devon, so I guess I won't be nipping down from Fife, to give you a hand!!!

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
rattyPosted - 12 Aug 2021 : 10:54:28
Andy thanks for coming back. I have not taken the lid off yet with gr/box in situ. Putting that off as a last resort. I have to keep reminding myself that these cars are all about 50 years old with appropriate wear and tear, and parts do wear. The top white nylon bush connected to the gear lever can and does wear. John Saab had similar problems to us, he swapped everything for better or new with no luck until he swapped the steering column and gear lever then everything was back to normal, as it should be. So I have decided to check and renew steering column/gr/change first. Took gear lever off last night, one threaded bolt, and nylon bush was cracked. So a new or good as has to be renewed in place. Luckily I have a spare one which should be ok. I am having new pins made up, both ends for universal joint so that should be like new and will try again. I am also going to jack the front of the car up and have someone run the car, dip clutch and attempt to change gear by hand using the u/j joint. See what happens there! The things we have to do to keep our old girls going.

nigel martin-oakley
andydeans3Posted - 10 Aug 2021 : 03:36:16
I've nothing more to add really. The garage found some play in the pins of the knuckle joint. I'd have to go and look at my "log book", but I think my gearbox has been changed twice since 2015. I always have a refurbished one "ready to go", and I'm sure I changed it in 2015, and certainly changed it again in January 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

Reading through the whole thread again, quite few people talked about adjusting the gearbox stay, well the LHD cars don't have that gearbox stay.

For your problem I would think it's something to do with the adjustment of the steering column. It's very finicky, and "suck it and see".
I just remembered, last year, or maybe the year before, I started having some small gear change issues, and fixed it by slackening those bolts under the column, pushing the column as far down as it would go, and hey presto, problem gone.
I'm not sure that you can get that gearbox top cover off with the whole caboodle in place.
Where do you live? I'll come and give you a hand.

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
rattyPosted - 06 Aug 2021 : 12:24:58
Andy, did you get to the bottom of your gear selection problem?
I still can't get forward gears, all of them so have taken car off the road and about to to remove top
gr/box gr/change cover in situ. Funnily enough I can get reverse.

AndyinthegaragePosted - 08 Sep 2014 : 18:35:48
Hi Andy,

pm sent.
mellePosted - 08 Sep 2014 : 10:46:41
Originally posted by andydeans3
I'm wondering if the top plate, which contains the shaft bearing, can be removed, and replaced, with everything in situ?
I'm afraid not...

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
andydeans3Posted - 08 Sep 2014 : 07:40:38

Not really.
I went back to work on the 4th of August, and am only just back a couple of days ago.
I immediately wipped the radiator out to have it re-cored in Dundee, so I have no update from what I said on the 2nd of August.
I am thinking that after what Sweedspeed said, and the amount of play that I have on the shaft going into the gearbox, that the problem may lie there. I have a spare gearbox, and I'm wondering if the top plate, which contains the shaft bearing, can be removed, and replaced, with everything in situ?

One thing for sure, though, no selection issues with the engine off....
Might drop in and see you one day. You work away from home as well I think?
Perhaps send me a PM with your phone number, and I'll give you a call?


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
AndyinthegaragePosted - 06 Sep 2014 : 09:52:49

did you ever get to the bottom of this?

andydeans3Posted - 05 Aug 2014 : 20:33:41
Thanks for the information. We'll see how it goes. From what you say, getting the top cover off might be a good idea, if the problem returns.
There's certainly a lot of side play in the shaft going into the box From what you say I guess you an you get that cover off without pulling the box out?


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
sweedspeedPosted - 03 Aug 2014 : 09:31:08
Bit late now but I had the exact same issue on my '76 RHD 96. First was impossible unless you went into reverse first etc...
It turned out to be caused by the gearbox top cover. The selector fork sockets where worn due to massive play in the top cover selector pin this was causing misalignment when moving from one gear to the next as the selector forks did not always return to the "neutral" position.
I replaced the top cover for a better one as a quick fix until I had time to pull the box and promptly did another 5000 miles
Sorry for late response
HTH Mark

'71 97 Sonnet III
'72 99 OEM+
'76 96L V4
'74 95 Sleeper
'88 900 Jubilee
'96 9k SST
'98 9k Annie
andydeans3Posted - 02 Aug 2014 : 11:47:08
I've got the car back now, and she is driving fine, though second is still a bit "notchy", nothing like before though. Due to the intermittent nature of the problem, we'll have to see how it goes in the coming weeks.
Having bled and adjusted the clutch (which were fine), the only thing that the garage found was worn pins on the knuckle joint, in the gear linkage, above the gearbox. They tried to change the whole assembly, but it was found that the LHD format assembly, is a different length to the right hand drive assembly. Good to know for any others that have left hookers.
There is also some "float" on the shaft that goes into the gearbox.

Time will tell....


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo

Snitz Forums 2000
SAAB V4 Forum© 2000-04 Snitz CommunicationsGo To Top Of Page