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post #1 of 16 Old 08-05-2019, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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No 1st Gear

Hey ya'll!

I just got back from a 650+ mile trip in my 1989 Dodge Daytona C/S. When I was pulling onto the exit to get home it wouldn't let me shift into 1st or 2nd gear. It eventually let me into 2nd but I'm still not able to get it into 1st. I can get into all other gears. The lower cable that connects to the gearshift mechanism from the engine bay appears to be binding when trying to shift into 1st but I can't find where. The transmission is the A-555.

This is my first time really working on a tranny and I am unfortunately nowhere near a lift or have the facility to take the tranny apart. I'm supposed to be making another 400 mile trip tomorrow afternoon so i'm going to tinker with it tomorrow morning.

Any advice is helpful!

Thank you!

Last edited by 89_daytonaCS; 08-05-2019 at 11:02 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-05-2019, 11:22 PM
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Re: No 1st Gear

first check the clip that holds the cable end to the bracket on the trans in still in place
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-06-2019, 09:03 AM
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Re: No 1st Gear

This is from a 1990 FSM but should be similar to your 89.

No 1st Gear-trans-shifter-cables-1.jpg

No 1st Gear-trans-shifter-cables-2.jpg

88/89 SHIFT CABLE ADJUSTMENT
No 1st Gear-trans-88-89-shift-cable-adjustment.jpg
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-06-2019, 06:58 PM
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Re: No 1st Gear

Rent a car.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-07-2019, 09:49 AM
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Re: No 1st Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingbe View Post
Rent a car.
Lame, fixing issues, especially roadside is more rewarding. Only time you need to rent a car is if you spun a crank/rod bearing or absolutely grenade the transaxle. Everything else can be fixed on the road or limped home.

Anyhow... follow NAJ's tips above, it does sound like a linkage alignment issue where you could still manage 2nd. Otherwise the next step would be broken shift fork pads for the 1-2 fork which would lead to a undesired trans overhaul.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-07-2019, 12:01 PM
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Re: No 1st Gear

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Originally Posted by yellonoma View Post
Lame, fixing issues, especially roadside is more rewarding. Only time you need to rent a car is if you spun a crank/rod bearing or absolutely grenade the transaxle. Everything else can be fixed on the road or limped home.
Last time I couldn't shift to first gear I found this. So yeah, not lame. Stuck in the middle of the 400 miles trip sucks. This isn't the roadkill show were you have a support vehicle that can help you out. People die on the side of the freeway because idiot drivers.



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post #7 of 16 Old 08-07-2019, 01:09 PM
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Re: No 1st Gear

there's a hidden killer in ALL our manual transaxles..

and that would be the little bolts that secure the shift forks to the rods inside the trans

they have a thread that spins into the fork and a nub tip that fits into the rod

and it would probably never be a problem if that bolt hole didn't go all the way through the fork and rod

'cause when that bolt breaks ..and it can.... the threaded piece stays nice and safe in the fork but that tip that went into the rod drops right out the bottom

where it lands right on the gearset & goes plink , plunk , bump along the gearset until it tries to drop between the ring & pinion

which is where it makes it's escape by pushing the r&p apart and going through to the diff
in the process it makes space by cracking the case at the front intermediate bearing

threading the hole all the way through the fork & rod and replacing with a strong azz little bolt with thread it's full length would prevent this as then no part of a broken bolt could fall free

granted.. lol ...my powershifts are a little extreme
- just a "little" clutch , only enough to yank it outta gear and in the same motion jamb it right into the next with ZERO rpm flail
1-2 or 2-3 makes no difference I get the same shotgun like bang outta the gear mesh every time that's just as loud as the engine screaming
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-07-2019, 01:36 PM
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Re: No 1st Gear

also , a broken 1-2 fork can be "patched up" - IF you have broken the longer "front" fork finger and you have a mint plastic slipper pad for the remaining finger

you just need to remember to be really REALLY nice with the 1-2 shifts until you can find a replacement fork

and of course the broken piece needs to be found & removed
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-08-2019, 08:12 AM
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Re: No 1st Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingbe View Post
Last time I couldn't shift to first gear I found this. So yeah, not lame. Stuck in the middle of the 400 miles trip sucks. This isn't the roadkill show were you have a support vehicle that can help you out. People die on the side of the freeway because idiot drivers.
That would classify as a grenaded trans, been there twice as well, but close to home, limped it home. We don't have freeways in NS, which i'm not sure is a good or bad thing at times.

My point was, is that it's worth looking at, with some help from some knowledgeable members, before renting a car

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post #10 of 16 Old 08-08-2019, 10:00 AM
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Re: No 1st Gear

In this case I agree with renting a car only because the OP stated...

"I'm supposed to be making another 400 mile trip tomorrow afternoon."

If i had a broken down vehicle, have never worked on this issue before as was stated by the OP and had to leave on a long trip the next day I would also rent a car for that trip and look at my car when I returned.

Chances are that he has not yet responded to his thread is he is still on his trip.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-08-2019, 09:59 PM
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Re: No 1st Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellonoma View Post
We don't have freeways in NS, which i'm not sure is a good or bad thing at times.
I would classify the 102 as a freeway, this is near my last house.

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0537...thumbfov%3D100
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-09-2019, 07:27 AM
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Re: No 1st Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by chromguy View Post
I would classify the 102 as a freeway, this is near my last house.

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0537...thumbfov%3D100
I've been told, and learned that a freeway is any 100km/h+ controlled access highway, not 4 lanes+ like I use to think. Freeway/Highway ... Supper/Dinner kind of thing
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Re: No 1st Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellonoma View Post
I've been told, and learned that a freeway is any 100km/h+ controlled access highway,
Sure.... that is the definition I use as well. We are off topic,sorry to the OP.
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-10-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: No 1st Gear

You are correct I just got back from the trip. Thank you guys for all the responses. Everyone has been very insightful.

I took her easy and she seemed to be fine in the other 4 gears the entire way which is a risk I definitely shouldn't have taken but alas here we are. I tore her down as much as I could when I was at my destination but still wasn't able to find an issue so tomorrow I will be calling around local trans shops to see if they will look at it or not. If anyone knows somebody in Lincoln, NE that could help me out, it would be much appreciated!

This car is my daily and literally the only vehicle I have besides a motorcycle that's two states away. Also, renting a car at 21 isn't the cheapest thing. Thanks for the advice though.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-12-2019, 08:00 AM
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Re: No 1st Gear

Have you removed the shifter cables from the trans to see if both cables move freely?

If they do move freely can you move either shift lever on the trans by hand?
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