: 2nd gear is hard to shift into.

02-27-2007, 03:54 PM
Well, I bought a 97 4 runner 4 cyl,5 speed last august off of craigslist. Naturally I have had a few issues, but one that has started to manifest it's self in cold weather.

When I start up in the morning, I have a bitch of a time getting into 2nd gear. If I take my rpms a little higher in first(3-4k) rather than 2.5k-3k before I shift from first to second, It's a little better.

I kind of have to give it some love to get it in, and when I have driven for a mile or perhaps less, I can then move through my gears with ease.

Any Ideas what might cause this?

As an aside, I get down shift into first unless I am fully stopped, but this may be unrelated, or expected behavior.

Thanks for any help.

taco lover
02-27-2007, 05:01 PM
Its not much help but I have had the same problems with my truck since I bought it. It seems to be pretty common.

02-27-2007, 05:26 PM
Then I wont worry about it

02-27-2007, 07:05 PM
you can try overfilling your tranny fluid but usually the fluid is just a little thicker in the morning when its cold and it takes a bit to warm up... you might have syn in there and that kinda exagerates the problem in the colder weather. mine is pretty bad in the winter time....

02-27-2007, 07:29 PM
Or if the synthetic is TOO slick, the synchros don't work as well...I have more positive shifting since I switched from dino to synthetic, but it does seem to grind a little more...

02-28-2007, 11:29 AM
So when it warms up it shifts fine?

If it only has problems in the cold, you might try changing the gear oil. If it was a syncro ring problem I think it would always be hard to shift into second.

I had a problem about a week ago. I usually park in the garage, but I had to park outside over night in the freezing cold.

When I went out to start up the truck I could not shift into any gear, it was like moving my shifter through mud. After about 10 min the tranny warmed up and I could shift fine.

How is your clutch? I have usually experienced problems shifting into Reverse when a hydraulic clutch starts to go. But I suppose it could also effect shifting into other gears.

The not being able to down shifting into first while moving is normal. I have to be almost completely stopped to sift into first. I dont know for sure but first gear may not have a syncro ring. I know a lot of older tranny's have no 1st gear syncro, older fords and VWs come to mind.

Good Luck!

02-28-2007, 12:52 PM
x2 on maybe changing the oil viscosity since it only happens when it is cold

03-01-2007, 12:11 AM
Yes, the problem is temp bound. yesterday, in the AM it was hard to shift, but when I left work after the car had been sitting in the sun for the day, I had no issues.

Good to know that 4 runners also have the same issue getting down to first. I had heard that some older cars have that issue, but I'm glad to know its not just me.

I dont know how to judge the clutch. The only thing that bothers me about it, is that I have to jam the peddle until is hit the floor to get the clutch to disengage.

I lack a basis of comparison with manual transmission, since this is my first.

03-01-2007, 08:03 AM
Sounds like your clutch pedal may need to be adjusted. This is for an older truck, but the procedure should be the same: