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Old 08-27-2021, 03:16 AM #1
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Grinding when putting into 5th gear (W59)

I am having intermittent issues with my 5th gear. The first time this occurred was 3 months ago, then it happened a few days ago, then it did it again today.

When I am shifting into 5th gear I will suddenly get a gritty and rough feeling through the shifter, sometimes this is accompanied with a grinding noise. I can get it into 5th gear still, but the sensation is concerning.

But the odd thing is that the issue will resolve itself later in the same drive, I will downshift and then go back into 5th and the issue is gone. Both times I remember this happening it occurred during the first shifts into 5th gear of that drive when everything might not be warmed up. This grinding happens with the clutch 100% in, there is no chance this is the result of me letting it out accidently (I checked).

The increasing frequency of this makes me concerned. I replaced my transmission fluid about 1000 miles ago (Redline MT90), the old fluid was very dirty looking. The clutch is likely original, I say likely because I got zero papers with my 4runner and it had 165k on the clock.

Any ideas what the issue might be?
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:43 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyral View Post
I am having intermittent issues with my 5th gear. The first time this occurred was 3 months ago, then it happened a few days ago, then it did it again today.

When I am shifting into 5th gear I will suddenly get a gritty and rough feeling through the shifter, sometimes this is accompanied with a grinding noise. I can get it into 5th gear still, but the sensation is concerning.

But the odd thing is that the issue will resolve itself later in the same drive, I will downshift and then go back into 5th and the issue is gone. Both times I remember this happening it occurred during the first shifts into 5th gear of that drive when everything might not be warmed up. This grinding happens with the clutch 100% in, there is no chance this is the result of me letting it out accidently (I checked).

The increasing frequency of this makes me concerned. I replaced my transmission fluid about 1000 miles ago (Redline MT90), the old fluid was very dirty looking. The clutch is likely original, I say likely because I got zero papers with my 4runner and it had 165k on the clock.

Any ideas what the issue might be?
How're your shifter bushings?

Clutch pedal adjusted?

If you rev match does it help? If so it sounds like you just have a synchro wearing out.
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:31 AM #3
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I agree with Jziggy. If everything else checks out a sync is going...

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Old 08-27-2021, 01:22 PM #4
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Quote:
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I agree with Jziggy. If everything else checks out a sync is going...
If it is going out, run a quart of GM Synchromesh fluid in there with your fluid of choice to help reduce the grinding... Sometimes really 'good' fluids will cause weak synchros to grind a bit more than they did before a fluid change and the GM Synchromesh (or compatible) fluid is specifically meant to keep synchros happy.

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Old 08-27-2021, 02:19 PM #5
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Why does it only grind sometimes and only at 5th?
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Old 08-27-2021, 02:40 PM #6
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Why does it only grind sometimes and only at 5th?
You have synchronization rings between every gear and they wear independently of one another, but chances are in the past either you or the PO routinely abused that shift. Or it could be because those gears were used most frequently in its lifetime and it's just wore out. At 20 years old and a couple hundred thousand miles, it can be anyone's guess.
Sometimes they make noise and sometimes they don't, because sometimes they're working properly and sometimes they're struggling to keep the speeds matched. That's how a failing part behaves generally, sometimes it works fine and others it causes a problem which may seem fairly inconsistent. Chances are there's a common denominator out there but it's not readily apparent, and for all intents and purposes I'd say it's really not relevant anyways - they're not gonna magically get better if you deduce and avoid it, whatever it is
You can have synchros replaced but it's typically pretty pricey (trans has to be completely broken down) and it might benefit you to find a full on replacement from a junkayrd
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Old 08-27-2021, 02:49 PM #7
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Quote:
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Why does it only grind sometimes and only at 5th?
Each gear has it's own synchronizer. I'm going to guess that when it grinds you are at a greater rpm difference between the input shaft (engine rpm) and output shaft rpm. If you rev match the grinding should be less noticeable.
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Old 08-27-2021, 03:57 PM #8
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Why does it only grind sometimes and only at 5th?
The shifting is in general notchier when the tranny is cold. Things seem to work better when it warms up. Usually it is lower gears that we have issues with, odd that yours is 5th.

I know others swear by the redline and I am not going to argue one way or the other about that. However, I have a 4 banger like you and mine for sure prefers Amsoil. I found the redline to be OK when fresh but it soon started getting notchy.
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Old 08-27-2021, 05:16 PM #9
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Would waiting for it to get worse before doing anything cause damage to other parts?

Would you replace the clutch and the syncros at the same time?

I assume the price to replace a syncro is in the thousands if I have someone else do it. I'll try eliminating the other possible causes because I don't want to take apart the transmission if I don't have to.

If I replace one syncro should I do them all at the same time?
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Old 08-27-2021, 05:43 PM #10
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Would waiting for it to get worse before doing anything cause damage to other parts?

Would you replace the clutch and the syncros at the same time?

I assume the price to replace a syncro is in the thousands if I have someone else do it. I'll try eliminating the other possible causes because I don't want to take apart the transmission if I don't have to.

If I replace one syncro should I do them all at the same time?
To replace the synchros the transmission will need to be pressed apart so if you aren't going to replace the transmission then it should be rebuilt with all new synchros/bushings/bearings. Transmission will need to be removed so it would be a good time to examine your clutch and flywheel.
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Old 08-27-2021, 07:33 PM #11
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Would waiting for it to get worse before doing anything cause damage to other parts?

Would you replace the clutch and the syncros at the same time?

I assume the price to replace a syncro is in the thousands if I have someone else do it. I'll try eliminating the other possible causes because I don't want to take apart the transmission if I don't have to.

If I replace one syncro should I do them all at the same time?
The tranny has to be taken down just about as far as it will go for synchros to be replaced, so it would be a little silly not to replace the clutch of all things. Really at that point you should make a list of components that possibly need addressed and heavily consider making the leap while you're at it.
And yes, ignoring your synchros can cause you to damage your gears if you're not paying much attention. Without them you'll find you'll have a TINY window to shift and will likely be grinding gears together until they're forced into place. Not to mention it sounds embarrassing, generally a 2/10 experience. There's a reason they've been common place for 60-70 years, and existed for a few decades before their acceptance; driving without them is pretty shitty
Edit: If our suspicions are correct and you don't want to replace it I'd recommend taking it to a highly rated transmission service shop near you for the work and not DIY in your garage. It'll be spendy (probably around $2k if I had to guess) but the headache it'll save alone makes it money well spent.
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:13 PM #12
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I think you’re in for a trans rebuild and clutch job.

I’m actually about to do that too. My trans and clutch are getting chattery. I’d rather freshen up the bearings and synchros before anything actually goes wrong to set me up for another 250k+ miles of success
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Old 08-31-2021, 02:15 PM #13
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Today the transmission did the grinding thing again. It was under the usual circumstances:
- Transmission wasn't fully warmed up
- Only the shift into 5th gear made grinding
- Grinding into 5th ceased once the temperature got up to operating

This time I tried experimenting with double clutching and that got it to not grind when it would of. So I think that is a pretty good sign that my synchro on 5th is going out. Time for a rebuild...
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:44 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyral View Post
Today the transmission did the grinding thing again. It was under the usual circumstances:
- Transmission wasn't fully warmed up
- Only the shift into 5th gear made grinding
- Grinding into 5th ceased once the temperature got up to operating

This time I tried experimenting with double clutching and that got it to not grind when it would of. So I think that is a pretty good sign that my synchro on 5th is going out. Time for a rebuild...
Eh, just double-clutch the 5th shift when cold. Doesn't seem like much of a hassle compared to the cost of a rebuild. If it gets really bad or starts popping out of 5th while driving or something - then rebuild.

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Old 09-07-2021, 08:22 PM #15
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Eh, just double-clutch the 5th shift when cold. Doesn't seem like much of a hassle compared to the cost of a rebuild. If it gets really bad or starts popping out of 5th while driving or something - then rebuild.

-Charlie
To build on this, if anything take advantage of this time during the remainder of it's life and start saving up for a replacement or rebuild. The bill hurts a lot less when you're prepared for it, and judging by your other threads it looks like you got a handful of lots of little things that need attention. Replacing a trans is a big repair and there's no reason to treat it like it was unexpected if your car is giving you a heads up
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