Problem shifting into reverse

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Old 16 May 2005, 11:47 am   #1 (permalink)
timbirr@mailcity.com
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Default Problem shifting into reverse

I have an '03 Toyota Camry 4-cyl. (a made in Japan model) with 5-speed
manual tranny. Has about 30K (most of it highway).

Recently it has been more and more likely to be reluctant to shift into
reverse. Having driving manuals for 30+ years, I know most of the
tricks -- shift into first, move forward a bit and try again, shift
into fifth and don't move and then shift into reverse, etc.

But, on two recent occassions, I had the need to back-up quickly -- the
most recent being an "older" driver who for some reason decided to back
into my car as we were both sitting waiting for the stoplight to
change. Had I been able to get into reverse quickly, I would have
avoided the crash (which caused no damage, but still...).

Anyway, I don't understand the mechanics of this problem, which I had
have in all my manual tranny cars to a greater or lesser extent. Can
someone explain it. Is there a -- CHEAP -- way to help make this less
of an issue?

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Old 16 May 2005, 03:42 pm   #2 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: Problem shifting into reverse


<timbirr@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1116262052.561058.171120@g49g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> I have an '03 Toyota Camry 4-cyl. (a made in Japan model) with 5-speed
> manual tranny. Has about 30K (most of it highway).
>
> Recently it has been more and more likely to be reluctant to shift into
> reverse. Having driving manuals for 30+ years, I know most of the
> tricks -- shift into first, move forward a bit and try again, shift
> into fifth and don't move and then shift into reverse, etc.
>
> But, on two recent occassions, I had the need to back-up quickly -- the
> most recent being an "older" driver who for some reason decided to back
> into my car as we were both sitting waiting for the stoplight to
> change. Had I been able to get into reverse quickly, I would have
> avoided the crash (which caused no damage, but still...).
>
> Anyway, I don't understand the mechanics of this problem, which I had
> have in all my manual tranny cars to a greater or lesser extent. Can
> someone explain it. Is there a -- CHEAP -- way to help make this less
> of an issue?


The trouble with shifting into reverse is that the car is stationarywhich
means the output gear will not be spinning. In forward gears the
differential feeds motion back to the gearboxe's output gear allowing easier
meshing with the input (engine driven) gear. In reverse you are forcing 2
*stationary* gears to engage. While trying to do this you often get
'locked-out' because of misalignment of the engagement dog and ring. The
fast way to avoid this is to press the clutch to the floor and quickly move
the stick to reverse. This means the input gear will still be spinning-down
(slowing down) which means there will be a little crunch sound,..but at
least you have succeeded in picking up reverse quickly.

Mechaics always prefer the driver to crunch the gears a little than to use
brute force,..as this can cause gear-retaining circlips to be forced out of
their gear-shaft grooves.

My terms here are not quite right,..but the dynamics of what is occuring is
correct, as long as the gearbox doesn't have other problems..

Jason


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