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12' stuck in 6th

1990 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mikexplorer
Ok, so if I were never in a bind, today is the day! History of events: 4000 miles ago I replaced my factory clutch with a single wheel heavy duty while visiting my parents in Fort Smith, Ar, (good time to visit and do a little deer hunting) by the time I went to STL, Omaha, and then Denver, I realized I had to pump the clutch to get a gear, then just started floating the gears without the clutch using what little synchronizing I had to work with. Once that started I did some more research realizing I probably should have gotton a SB master and slave assembly already primed and ready for install. Talked to my installer in Fort Smith and he said he probably just needs to bleed hyd's a little more. Cool, I got a plan now. Now ive just made it to OKC en route back to the installers shop with this load (53' car hauler and 3 tahoes), and now im stuck in 6th. Stuck at 70mph, stuck at stop, stuck with engine off, straight up stuck. I busted out the tools at the truck stop and pulld the shift tower in the cab of the truck. Tried to use a screwdriver to pit the 5th/6th gear in neutral (with no success) all the while noticing the following during , inspection: bad fluid leak between the tranny housing and the shift tower (installer did not lay a seal, silicone or gasket post installation), metal dust in what fluid was left, starter was loosened with 1 lost bolt (why this was loose anyway), tranny oil all under the truck, no fluid in my clutch fluid reservoir. What do I do? Drop the tranny now and tear it apart? Rebuild it right here in 30 degree weather at the truck stop? Run it to Arkansas light truck and stay outta 5th and 6th? Remember I have 3 tahoes to drive and im not broke so I got wheels and plenty of time being these tahoes are mine. I just want to do this right this time less the stealerships involved.....are thereany recommended rebuild kits?
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i would reservice the clutch master cylinder resevior and see what that got me after re installing the shifter. reservice trans if needed also. i would bet that your stock parts are not up to par for you upgraded clutch. your installers lack of numerous things leave some questions to be answered.

got to do what you got to do on the road, or if you got time get the trailer to someplace you can park it and download a tahoe then get the truck to a competent mechanic

just my .02
Stock hydraulics don't have as much pushrod travel as is necessary to disengage an aftermarket single mass type clutch setup, that is why it is required to get upgraded hydros when doing the swap. that's the reason for your hard shifts. The stock hydros are also notorious for going out, just replaced mine last week because they were leaking down at the slave cylinder. All that being said, I'm guessing that your main issue at the moment is the fact that you have no fluid in the clutch reservoir so you basically have no clutch. You can try refilling it and pumping the pedal in hopes that it comes back somewhat, that is what I did and continued to drive for several days until my new hydros arrived.
Filled reservoir, secured starter, and inspected the hydraulics; leak definitely from top side of housing at the shift tower mount. Pumpin clutch violently for a few hours. Should be able to get a gear if I need it, ttanny still stuck in 6. I spectrd all shift tower moving parts with no evidence of heavy use or wear and tear. Im wondering with upgraded clutch just replace the entire hydraulic assembly. Thats a fix I can do later. The hard shifting may have bent my shift fork but I inspected the moving parts of the shift tower and noticed no deficiency. What are chances of: didnt swap out hyd assembly when installed new clutch, hard post shifting has damaged tranny internals? If thats the case, it appears to only be the 5th/6th gear. What parts should I expect to be damaged?
If I am reading you right. It sounds like you also lost all the gear oil in the tranny itself also? Pull the side plug to check the fluid level in the housing. When this happened on my winch truck. It welded the input and output shafts together. I was also stuck in gear...hopefully it is just your clutch reservoir.

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ouch, hopefully that is not the case here, if that is the case here i would say there would be some action to be taken with his installer
I'll be doing some more assessments today. Gonna pull plugs and side plates for a visual inspection and drain the fluid. Most likely just gonna send it to diesel shop I've located here and go home for a few days. Problem with the "installer" is that he was recommended by my pop. I got there and felt a little obligated, guy was 60 somethin yrs old, still using floor jacks and I just was that impressed with the shop. But, that's what my shop looks like and we have worked some miracles in there so I try to never judge a man by his shop. In this case I should have went with my gut feeling.
If it were the clutch reservoir? Note that I have pulled the shift tower and used a screwdriver to attempt to move/align the 5th/6th gear linkage and it still remains in the 6th gear position. I don't think the clutch reservoir could still have affect on this could it? Note I only know enough clutch/tranny knowledge to be dangerous.
If the trans is in 6th gear and there is pressure from the driveline keeping the gears loaded up then it will be very difficult to get it out of gear without the clutch being disengaged. Think of it like when a vehicle with an automatic transmission is parked on a hill and you go to take it out of park and it's hard to pull the shift lever down and when you do you get a big clunk.

When you upgrade the hydraulics it comes with everything from the pedal pushrod all the way down the slave cylinder in the trans, all pre-bled just have to install.
Ok, that makes perfect sense, learning some good knowledge. However, Ive filed the reservoir and have been pumpin the clutch like an Olympic champ goin for gold most of the night. No response in linkage yet. Also note that prior to the lockup I would/could pump the clutch to get enough pressure to throw out the bearing and float/synchronize the shifting with the rpm's to grab another gear. I'm thinking from knowledge from all previous threads that due to the hydros not being upgraded as well and floating the gears with hard shifting has consequently sustained damage in another area of the manual tranny. Any thoughts on that theory?
If I am reading you right. It sounds like you also lost all the gear oil in the tranny itself also? Pull the side plug to check the fluid level in the housing. When this happened on my winch truck. It welded the input and output shafts together. I was also stuck in gear...hopefully it is just your clutch reservoir.

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ive seen that on a bed truck before makes for a real PITA to try n load it without pullin the drive shaft or axles!!

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It sounds like the fluid completely drained, in which case it'll be close to impossible to pump it back up. As you experienced, the pedal pumping does work, but only when there is still some fluid in the line. Honesty I couldn't say 100% one way or the other, but my guess would be if you put in new hydros you would be back to driving condition. It does however sound like there are a few other issues with the truck. One question that Deaddew01 asked was: is your transmission actually empty of fluid? If that is the case, there could have been some internal damage done, but if all you had was seapage at the shift tower then I'd say it probably didn't leak enough to hurt anything, so make sure you check the fluid level.
Pulled the drain and the 2 pro plates to do an inspection without actually droppin the tranny. Dropped approximately 3 1/2 quarts of fluid mixed with some very fine metal dust. Noticed at the forward side of the tranny a 4" strip of metal gasket is bent & breached inside the housing. Has a pile of the metal dust right there below it. Also noticed on outside of case where gasket was bent inside is another leak. I am assuming this is when the installer forced the tranny back into position post clutch install and broke the gasket then just said F it and continued to install regardless. New crazy findings while doing this inspection; at back side of tranny where drive shaft bolts to; 3 of the shaft bolts backed of 1/8 of an inch and only 1 had about 5 lbs of torque on it. Just amazing!

I've done a full video of these findings. I've dropped the shaft and loaded it onto an 18 wheeler car carrier am its bound for Arkansas today. Will arrive in the am. I'm goin to give this company the opportunity for redemption as I will be there soon to QC the operation. Depending on their attitude will depend whether or not I post this on You Tube, submit it as a review on all search engines with their name and report it to the BBB. I'm prepared to rain he'll on their reputation. However, for the forum only for now; Boycot "Bills Transmission" in Van Buren, Arkansas!! They need to stick to 1980 honda civics and such....
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Man! That's a terrible install!!! I can see missing one or two items, but it sounds like they barely got the thing back together!!! Let us know what you find out.
Yes indeed; unlike myself my wife is good at being a very professional, demanding, and intimidating person as she is one with the ability to instill fear in clients on a corporate level. Me, I'm just a good Ol redneck that don't really know how to negotiate firmly without incorporating a good Ol a$$ whippin. So I think with her on my side when I get there will help me maintain my cool and hopefully resolve this issue. I'll update on the results
I think after hearing what you found, I don't think I would let them touch it again! More like let a reputable shop fix it, and send them the bill!
I agree 100%, going to stay there and QC the project. Problem is I got $1500 wrapped up in it and I'll have to pay for another to do the work. I'm just praying that with me being there in the shop assisting we can get it done right. They won't pay any 3rd party billing. Crooks!
Wow, good luck, seems like you have some good knowledge on the work to be done so things should go ok if you're over their shoulders the entire time.
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