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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,
I have been doing a ej20 swap for some time now.
I got the engine and transmission in the car about 1 month ago.
This week I finally got my shifter and hooked it up.
Well i hooked it up and it's straight up stuck.
When you try to do anything with the shifter it feels frozen.
you can move the shifter to the right but not to the left.
It doesn't feel like it's going in any gears what so ever.
It looks like it's stuck in neutral but feels like it's stuck in first or maybe second.

I have tried the following....
-Bleeding the clutch, It has a brand new clutch and everything. The clutch fork is fine. I have taken off the rubber boot and looked down the hole to make sure everything is engaging. It looks perfect.

-Rotating the engine by hand while another person pumps the clutch and tries to shift. We thought maybe it was stuck in-between gears which it kinda feels like but that didn't work either.

-Hooking up the drive-shaft to the diff. to see if it spins the drive-shaft and diff. My thinking was that if these spin than it's definitely in some gear. When the engine is turned by hand it spins the front wheels and spins the drive-shaft which tries to spin the diff. I'm still not sure weather or not this proves it's in gear. all 4's are up in the air so I feel like there could be a small amount of resistance on the transmission which turns the front wheels and drive-shaft.

-Have tried putting some fluid in. That did nothing.
When I got the transmission i drained it or what was left of it.
When i drained it there was a small amount of metal on the plug no big chunks or anything just looked like normal wear to me.

-I quadruple checked to make sure the shifter is hooked up properly.
I'm 99.99% sure it is. It even looks like it is, It's attemping to do something but there is just some sort of resistance I just cant figure out where it's coming from.

-I have checked the transmission for signs of abuse or dropping it in shipping. It looks 100% fine, not a scratch on it. It's made of aluminum so it's pretty soft and would have some signs of abuse if that was the case.

The car is not running yet so i cannot turn it on to truly see if it's in gear.

It feels like there is some sort of internal resistance inside the transmission but at the same time it seems impossible for it to be completely locked up. I could understand if one of the shifter forks was broken or something and it wouldn't go into 1 set of gears but it wont do a damn thing. I've turned the input shaft enough where it seems anything jammed would have definitely come unjammed. Or at least lock it up completely and not turn the wheels. I'm so confused!


Any help is appreciated!
 

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www.jackstalk.com
‘98 RS, '00 911 Cab, '18 CT6 TT, '04 Escalade ESV
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5,518 Posts
It honestly sounds like one of the shifter forks is either broken or stuck, but you wouldnt be able to physically see that without cracking the transmission open. I cant really think of anything else it could be, unless it's literally frozen and you're doing this swap in antarctica :p
 

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00 White GC8 (GM8) P1 twin, EJ207, 5spd DCCD, cusco rear LSD, STi front LSD
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1,042 Posts
by any chance did you tightend the reverse lights on the tranny? the two 17mm or 19mm bolts on back left hand side of tranny. if you did, that would prevent it from moving. i found that out the hard way once.

this tranny is new to you? no history of it? it should definitely slide.

can you slide the rod by hand without linkage? the shift linkage could be bent.

check those bolts with the wires on them. maybe they are tooo tight. happened to me.
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
by any chance did you tightend the reverse lights on the tranny? the two 17mm or 19mm bolts on back left hand side of tranny. if you did, that would prevent it from moving. i found that out the hard way once.

this tranny is new to you? no history of it? it should definitely slide.

can you slide the rod by hand without linkage? the shift linkage could be bent.

check those bolts with the wires on them. maybe they are tooo tight. happened to me.
I have not tried the reverse light bolts. I know exactly what your talking about ill try that tomorrow. Why does that have anything to do with the shifter tho?

I have tried shifting it by hand right at the transmission but that's a no go also.

The transmission has aprx. 68k miles on it. when I tore the engine apart to do maintenance it looked tits. I can't imagine the transmission being fubared with the shape everything else was in.

Hopefully your reverse bolts do the trick. Ill try tomorrow.

thanks for the help so far!
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It honestly sounds like one of the shifter forks is either broken or stuck, but you wouldnt be able to physically see that without cracking the transmission open. I cant really think of anything else it could be, unless it's literally frozen and you're doing this swap in antarctica :p
I would agree kinda. But with other contributing symptoms i feel like it can't be. Unless ALL the shifter forks are broken it would at least go into some gear. Surely not all the shifter forks can be broken unless they threw it off the empire state building. Or maybe I'm the unluckiest guy ever to do a swap.

Oh, and I did convert AUTO to manual if that means anything to anybody....


thanks again!
 

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00 White GC8 (GM8) P1 twin, EJ207, 5spd DCCD, cusco rear LSD, STi front LSD
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1,042 Posts
the reverse light bolts actually were to tight on a transmission swap i did. shifter took all my might to pull forward and backward trying to shift. for shits and giggles, i loosened them and the shifter was back to normal!
 

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'98 2.5 RS
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763 Posts
a friend of mine had a similar problem on his stock 02 wrx. a single tooth broke off his second gear and jammed it to where he couldnt get it out of second. i hope this isnt the case with your tranny though.
 

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MY99 GF4 EJ227 JDM 6spd
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5,262 Posts
why is it that you do NOT tell us what tranny it's from and what year? and an EJ20? EJ20G? EJ20K? EJ20H? EJ02R? EJ205? EJ207?
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
why is it that you do NOT tell us what tranny it's from and what year? and an EJ20? EJ20G? EJ20K? EJ20H? EJ02R? EJ205? EJ207?

Because I don't see how that's of any importance.
But its from an MY98 ej20G which is a 5 speed.
Correct me if I'm wrong but isnt a 5mt a 5mt?? I understand maybe some difference in center diffs but unless you have an RA or something aren't they all the same?
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
a friend of mine had a similar problem on his stock 02 wrx. a single tooth broke off his second gear and jammed it to where he couldnt get it out of second. i hope this isnt the case with your tranny though.

I also hope this isn't the case, but I'm curious did his car stall every time he would try to get it to go? Or would it just stay in second gear?
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok, i tried loosening the reverse light bolts and the problem is still just as bad.
The bolts where not super tight. I even tried tightening them and felt no difference in the shifter. Still locked up/frozen

I also drained the fluid i just put in, hoping to see some chunks of metal.
It's clean as a whistle. No metal on the drain plug at all this time.
This wasn't surprised or anything just thought i would try it.

I think I'm going to get the car running and see what that does if anything.
I just cant accept the fact i have to take everything apart again before i even got the thing running.

Any other thoughts or ideas are helpful. I'm willing to try just about anything short of pulling the transmission out right now.

thanks for the response so far!
 

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'98 2.5 RS
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763 Posts
Ok, i tried loosening the reverse light bolts and the problem is still just as bad.
The bolts where not super tight. I even tried tightening them and felt no difference in the shifter. Still locked up/frozen

I also drained the fluid i just put in, hoping to see some chunks of metal.
It's clean as a whistle. No metal on the drain plug at all this time.
This wasn't surprised or anything just thought i would try it.

I think I'm going to get the car running and see what that does if anything.
I just cant accept the fact i have to take everything apart again before i even got the thing running.

Any other thoughts or ideas are helpful. I'm willing to try just about anything short of pulling the transmission out right now.

thanks for the response so far!
this is a bit of long shot but have you tried unhooking the shifter linkage from the tranny and then tried shifting gears directly on the tranny?

is the shifter stuck like the sword in the stone or is there ANY play or movement?

also, not trying to hijack but where is the reverse light bolt?
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
this is a bit of long shot but have you tried unhooking the shifter linkage from the tranny and then tried shifting gears directly on the tranny?

is the shifter stuck like the sword in the stone or is there ANY play or movement?

also, not trying to hijack but where is the reverse light bolt?
I have tried shifting directly at the transmission and that also feels stuck/frozen

Both shifting at the transmission and at the shifter itself feel the same.
They both have play to the right but will not go left nor go in or out.

From my understanding there are 2 reverse bolts on the transmission.
If your sitting in the driver seat they would be on your left hand side.
They are about 2-3 inches apart and both have wires coming out of them. If you where under your car looking directly at where you would shift your transmission look about 5 inches in front of that and you cant miss them. They are size 18 or 19.

There is another bolt on the opposite side of the transmission that has 2 wires coming out of it. I have no clue what that does, but i tried loosening it just because it couldn't hurt and it also did nothing.
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ill take off the casing later today or tomorrow and see what she looks like.
thanks for the link!
 

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MY99 GF4 EJ227 JDM 6spd
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5,262 Posts
Because I don't see how that's of any importance.
But its from an MY98 ej20G which is a 5 speed.
Correct me if I'm wrong but isnt a 5mt a 5mt?? I understand maybe some difference in center diffs but unless you have an RA or something aren't they all the same?
it may matter because some issues appear on certain trannies and not others. EJ20 and 5spd. I don't know if that was put together from different cars or the engine tranny set that came together. It could be EJ207 with JDM 94 WRX 5spd...... If I don't know what year tranny it came off of, I can't tell you if it's a common issue or not. It helps ZERO IN on issues because we'll KNOW what you have so we'll KNOW what's we're dealing with tryin to help you.

I didn't say anything because I was thinking it's a oldskool tranny, with the oldskool shifter joint and you lost the spring that keeps the shifter in neutral position. If it IS stuck in gear, then it's stuck in gear.

So you are UNABLE to select ANY gears. Only shifter movement is from neutral to right. That's just perfect. We can say someone broke the tranny before you and now you're stuck trying to figure it out.
 

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00' ej20
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
update!!!!!!!

Alright well this evening i ended up pulling out the transmission again....
I started by taking off the rear most casing just to make sure nothing was stuck or jammed in that and saw basically what I expected, nothing what so ever. The gears looked amazing just like the engine did when taking that apart.

So I continued to take off the transfer case to get to the shift forks where I thought my problem might actually be. And while trying to take off the transfer case I noticed a ton of resistance it should come off with just a bit of finagling but it was definitely stuck on something. So I tried my best to peek in there to see what the deal was and it appeared as though 5th was selected and 3rd/4th was half selected. Basically the shifter arm had selected 5th but was stuck there because 3rd/4th was in a weird half selected position, so the shifter arm wasn't able to get out of the 5th gear position. This would explain why I was only able to move the shifter to the right and not to the left.

So i ended up unscrewing the actual shifter arm and wiggling it out of the forks which to my delight worked and the transfer case came right off. I was able to put all put all the forks back into the neutral position with ease. I can easily select every single gear at the forks which is awesome! Also all the gears/syncros that I'm able to see look really good.

So tomorrow I need to get gaskets so I can put everything back together and make sure everything really works from the outside of the transmission.

It sucks I had to take this beast out again. But it's my fault for not catching it before putting it in. I'm really excited that it appears to work and I'm not going to have to replace anything except a couple gaskets.
thanks a lot for the link subaruferrucci It really came in handy!
Also a thank you to everyone who had some sort of input everything helps!
 

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1998, subaru, impreza L black
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650 Posts
saddly that link i sent you didnt fix my problem with my trans.

i had to get a new/used trans and rear diff

on the + side they installed a VLSD in the back end and got a new clutch put in


BUT it is good to hear you fixed your problem
 
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