View Full Version : Need Urgent Help

05-01-09, 06:02 AM
I'm only posting this because the problem is getting so bad it is changing how I prepare my day and what time I leave my house for activities....

My V, for a while, has had a problem where as soon as I start the car up and try to put it into reverse to get out of my spot, will not, under any circumstances, go into reverse, and will go into a forward gear if i use both hands to push the stick or not into those gears at all either. Today, I couldnt get into reverse at all, allowed the car to roll back into the road, and sat there about 3 minutes trying to get it to go into a drive gear. It wouldnt, so I jammed the stick as hard as I could against first and it somehow connected enough to get my rolling about 5MPH (it was not engaged in the gear though), after I got some speed, did the same to second, and got up to ten. Then I finally got it to go into third with maximum force and a lot of noise.

It was like this for about 5 minutes of driving, then it got slightly better, but still was super-harsh into gears, almost like I needed a new clutch.

After ten minutes of driving, it drove like a million bucks and was shifting smoothly and without resistance, though the clutch pedal was still soft and going to the floor with relative ease.

What is this problem? I don't think it's the actual clutch, because if a clutch goes bad, it doesn't get better as you drive (right?). Same for throwout bearing or those kind of things, they don't get better as you go, they remain in the same state of functionality.

Please please share your mechanical wisdom with me. I just hope its not a clutch. I haven't looked up clutch prices and labor costs for the V cause I'd rather not know haha. What could this be guys? Ask any questions you may have that would help answer the question.
2004 w/ 103K miles, original components.

05-01-09, 06:35 AM
Sounds like you might be low on hydraulic clutch fluid. Check the level and fill if necessary.

How long's it been since you had the system flushed and refilled with fresh fluid?

05-01-09, 07:48 AM
Have you changed your trans fluid ever? If not at 103k miles I bet it looks like rotten applesauce. I don't know if that would cause those problems though.

The Tony Show
05-01-09, 12:25 PM
103k? Take it in and have the clutch bled several times- sounds like you've got either air in the line, low fluid or no fluid in there. While you're at it, have the trans flushed and filled with Dexron VI (factory fill was the older Dexron III).

05-01-09, 01:35 PM

My trans has been behaving like yours for the last couple months. Honestly it sounds like yours is much much worse than mine. I can't get into 1st, 2nd, or reverse when cold. I can however still get into 4th and then shift from there to another gear. No grinding... but LOTS of binding and lots of effort to get into the 2nd gear (aka not 4th) I do not need to use two hands... you a wimp or something? j/k

Now I've bled ml clutch three times, and I keep swapping reservoir fluid on it... no help really

I also swapped the oil in my trans ( 40k on the trans only ) for some Amsoil. The trans fluid helped a lot for the 1st month or two with the hardness of shifting... either I'm getting used to it or it's getting worse again. C66 mentioned that the torque drive has a better viscosity than the ATF Amsoil I put in (which was recommended by Amsoil I might add) so I might try that

Mike: At this point I honestly think my slave is dragging a little when cold and that is effecting getting to gear.... I also think it is starting to damage some of the T56 components such as the synchros, forks, and maybe causing the rails to bind.

PS. On a side note I did swap out my stock shifter bushings with the UUC ones. Good thing I did, both of mine came out with two fingers and had worked almost 80% of the way out.... one of them was crushed to oblivion... the new shifter bushings do help a lot with getting into gear by removing the sloppiness and play of the remote mounted shifter.

I would try all of the above things I did in your effort to fix this... you can't drive a car that takes 5 minutes to get into gear.

As for me I'm going to start putting a parts pile together of a used trans, and new clutch..... Ahhhh what should I buy? :thepot:

05-01-09, 01:37 PM
You know what IS nice? Not having to spell check my posts in fear of getting called out by TBJS!! hahahahaa....

come back TBJS and Tiffany

05-01-09, 01:41 PM
You guys are making my teeth grind just thinking about what your doing to those transmission internals.

Kind of reminds me of a guy I knew who would "pop" start his Harley because the electric starter was junk. :helpless:

(trashed the transmission)

Are you able to push it through the gears with the car not running (cold)?

05-01-09, 01:47 PM
My teeth grid every time I shift the car Heavy! Trust me man I've been plugging away at this as diligently as I can..

Trans oil swap, repeatedly flushing the clutch, UUC shifter, UUC bushings... some helped a little... some didn't.... some faded over time....

The next step for me is to get myself a replacement clutch, flywheel, slave, and trans.... for when/if this thing decides to bind up on me...... sounds like Mike is in a worse boat that I am

PS. I've been driving like an old man since the winter thawed just to take it easy on the poor drivetrain... this has for sure chilled out my driving style in attempt to prolong life while I tinker away with it.

05-01-09, 01:50 PM
I've got RPM, Tick-Shift, Tranzilla, and Luke in my speed dial just in case the sand in the hourglass runs out before I replace the ever elusive "problem"

05-01-09, 01:56 PM
Well, good luck.

Big ?

Can you push it through the gears with the motor off?

05-02-09, 02:23 AM
ill check first thing tomorrow about if i can do it with the car off, if i recall correctly i can 1-4 but not 5,6,R. but let me double check.

The cadillac dealership showed me documents of the repair and service work done at my V over the time the previous owner owned it, one of those service intervals supposedly flushing when i asked. i may have it done again

I dont think its air in the line because it wouldnt get better as i drive it, the air would still be there. definitely not a relative temperature thing, as today's worst-case-ever occured at 70+ degrees

i just took a 2 hour road trip from charlotte to raleigh, and like i said, the more i drive the car, the better it gets. when i got home and was off the highway and dealing with stoplights, the clutch felt like new, hard as it should be, and the car drove like butter. sounds like a tranny fluid thing like you guys said, maybe as it heats up with driving, it expands to fill a void (i.e. low fluid) but then again tranny fluid isnt supposed to expand. maybe after the fluid is circulated throughout the system it gets smooth. when it is smooth, the gearbox is almost S2000-esque

man i just hope its not a clutch issue. i dont think it is from what little i know about mechanics and having driven a stick for years.

on a good note, looks like the tranny work for replacing a clutch would be nearly identical to my 350Z if it did need major work, i just assumed it would be more

Thanks so much for your input guys. im gonna have the caddy dealer flush me and refill with the Dextron VI as Tony mentioned. Is it something that can be done by a pro mechanic at home? one of my roommates is a mechanic and i could help him if we could do it at home.

05-02-09, 12:38 PM
Sounds like a funky clutch slave to me.

05-02-09, 12:51 PM
Sounds like a funky clutch slave to me.Tech talk.


C66 Racing
05-02-09, 01:13 PM
103k? Take it in and have the clutch bled several times- sounds like you've got either air in the line, low fluid or no fluid in there. While you're at it, have the trans flushed and filled with Dexron VI (factory fill was the older Dexron III).

Dexron VI is not recommended by GM for the Tremec manual trannies. The correct GM fluid is GM part 88861800. Here is a cut and paste from a Tech Bulletin on the subject:

"Manual Transmission fluid part number 88861800 U.S. (88861801 Canada) is currently available through GMSPO. Current and past model vehicles listed above with either a manual transmission or transfer case that REQUIRE Dexron III should use the above listed manual transmission fluid. This fluid is a direct replacement for Dexron III in manual transmissions and transfer cases. DO NOT use Dexron VI in place of the manual transmission fluid in any manual transmissions or transfer cases as a failure may result."

I believe that GM found that the Dexron VI had viscosity too low for Tremec Manuals and came out with the new part number which is essentially just a re-issue of the older Dexron III.

The AMSOIL ATF (http://www.c66racing-synthetics.com/Product%20Bulletins/ATFPB.htm) (stock code ATFQT) mentioned above was reformulated to lower its viscosity to make it suitable for Dexron VI applications. After I brought up the issue of Tremec applications with AMSOIL they changed their primary recommendation for Tremec trannies to the AMSOIL Torque-Drive Synthetic Transmission Fluid (http://www.c66racing-synthetics.com/Product%20Bulletins/ATDPB.htm) (stock code ATD1G).

The basis for this change was that the Torque Drive (ATD) has a viscosity nearly the same as the original Dexron III (7.41 cSt at 212F for the ATD) whereas the ATF had been reformulated down to a viscosity of about 6.8 cSt, nearly as low as Dexron VI which is about 6.5 cSt. Additionally, the Torque Drive has no viscosity modifiers so is absolutely shear stable, whereas the stock Dexron III fluid's basestock shears down very quickly. As an example, I drained my stock fluid at 10,636 miles and the factory fill Dexron III had sheared down from a nominal 7.3 or so to 5.03 cSt. Ouch. I can only imagine what the OP's tranny fluid has sheared down to after 100k miles.

I drained the AMSOIL ATF I had put in at 10k miles after about 6k miles of use and its viscosity remained at 6.85, exactly what it had started at. I replaced the AMSOIL ATF I had in my tranny with the AMSOIL Torque Drive ATD at that time. Although the ATD has a little higher viscosity than the AMSOIL ATF, I really didn't notice a difference in feel.

All that said, for AMSOIL fluid users, AMSOIL's website now shows that the ATF has been reformulated again, is no longer recommended for Dexron VI applications and its viscosity is up to 7.6 cSt. This appears to be positioning it for primary use as a Dexron III application, leaving AMSOIL without a product for Dexron VI applications right now. However, as I don't know how much of the Dexron VI version of the AMSOIL ATF they have in their warehouses, I'd still recommend the AMSOIL Torque Drive ATD for those wanting to try AMSOIL tranny fluid.

05-02-09, 02:06 PM
Sounds like a funky clutch slave to me.

Well there are only so many parts to make the clutch work and then there are even fewer that are affected by heat.

Fluid sounds like the most likely culprit as I don't think the seals and piston of the slave would get better as the engine warmed up.

I don't think it is tranmission fluid either.

Ak Jim
05-03-09, 02:17 PM
The next time you have this problem try pumping the clutch several times and then putting it in gear. If it works ok after pumping then it probably is air in the system.

05-03-09, 03:12 PM
Have you checked your linkage? I parked my V in the garge one night and the next day it wouldn't go into reverse so after pushing it out I discovered that 1-6th gear worked fine. I drove it to the dealer and they replaced someting in the linkage and it was done under warranty.

05-04-09, 01:05 AM
Sounds like a funky clutch slave to me.

Yeah that.

(May as well be a clutch with what you have to do to change it out...)

05-20-09, 12:17 PM
Mike any updates? I have one other tidbit that might help. I noticed after my repeated refilling/swapping of the shot glass reservoir that there was fluid that had come out of the top of the reservoir and had dried up.... After a careful examination of the rubber diaphram (accordion looking thing in the cap) that the clear plastic part in the bottom had come out because the rubber accordion had ripped slightly.

At 1st I didn't really think much of it, but Darkman pointed out to be that it does matter because you don't want moisture contaminating the fluid, which will lower the boiling point.

So just for grins I bled the clutch one more time... and just like the other times it helped... but the question is how long will it last? I think the boot being ripped is allowing moisture in there and ruining my RBF600, which is causing my clutch to drag, and therefore making it hard for me to switch gears.

I called up Luke and he's ordering me what we think is the replacement cap. so until I get that fixed it looks like I'll have to bleed my clutch about every 2 months to keep the fluid good enough for the slave to fully disengage...

Why post that novel? check your rubber diaphram in the reservoir... and even if you just bled that clutch.... do it again just to see... it doesn't hurt anything... and it was eye opening to me.

Thanks Darkman!