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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping its not the synchros. Sometimes when driving and I push to 5th gear the shifter feels normal like its in 5th but when I let out the clutch the gear grinds and is not engaged. Typically I press the clutch back down quickly as soon as I hear the grind, back to neutral and back to 5th, slowly, and when i let out the clutch its back in 5th fine. This typically only happens when I'm at highway speed. It never pops out of gear and has only started doing this in the last year or so. I've had the car since 2001 and 27k miles, now over 300k, so I am familiar with its history.
Is it possible its something with the shifter or linkage. It feels like its not not getting pushed all the way in gear when this happens.
 

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1997 200SX base 5-speed
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85 Posts
Being that the linkage is mechanical, I don't think it would work well at all other times and for all other gears. It seems more like a synchro issue to me because it's an engagement problem which relies on synchronizers. You can try tightening the clutch linkage adjustment and see if it feels better. Its just above the trans and below the air filter area. There are also shift bushings that wear out where the shifter linkage meets the transmission underneath. I put a polyurethane one in form Energy Suspension and it really tightened up the feel of the shifter. But again, it doesn't seem like a linkage problem to me.
 

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1997 200SX base 5-speed
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# 15 is most important and the one I found Energy Suspension bushings for. 18 is a lot harder than it seems to replace and not as common to go bad. #15 is the one that actually goes forward and back into each gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great. Going to change those out, #15, this evening. I'll report back.
I have a leaking seal where the axle goes in the transmission. Replacing that and while pulling the axle out I noticed the boots were cracked open. Also noticed boot gone on lower ball joint. Replacing the axle, seal and lower control arm at the same time. Might be a longish evening.
 

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1997 200SX base 5-speed
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I went down that road on mine too. These are old and worn out cars now. I'd focus more on seeing if you can get the trans to shift right. Why put money and labor into other stuff if the trans is going out? These aren't worth the money if any major failures occur. I had a terrible engine noise when I first got my 97 that I was able to cure with a new timing chain tensioner. After that, I went ahead with other repairs, but not before making sure it would be a reliable engine/trans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All done. Shifting does seem tighter but I haven't had it out on the highway. I get what you are saying holding off. I've had this car since 2001. No matter what breaks on it I'll be fixing it short of a angry fender bender. Even then to a point I'll fix it. I have around 350k and have done 3 clutch changes among other things. No major repairs so far. Just pretty much maintenance. I even repainted it once myself. I've put in the SE rear end with disk brakes and the NX larger front brake calipers (along with the larger brake booster). Two must have improvements in my opinion. Just now replaced entire exhaust. Tired of patching on the 24 year old system. I figure my repair/maintenance on this car each year is less than one new car payment. Not falling into that trap. I did the lightweight flywheel too. I did not notice much difference at all.

Anyways the shifting issue I'm having is not that its throwing it out of gear or grinding when going into gear. Its more like I can get the shifter to 5th gear position but when I release the clutch I hear the grind but ir a light grind. I put in the clucthc and pull out and back into gear and typically its good after that. This doesn't happen all the time and seems as if its just a little harder to get it all the way into 5th gear. Hopefully this will fix this.
 
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