Shift linkage problems


New member
Stuck in 4th

I have a Bentley, but no tools handy, and too damned cold outside to roll around under my westie here in Winterpeg, MB. :)

After driving here from Seattle the last few days, i noticed that in the colder weather i'd get stuck in 4th gear, unable to downshift. upshifting works very reliably. essentially, getting off the interstate to get gas is an adventure, with me stopping the vehicle at a yield, depressing clutch, wiggling the shifter around for awhile, and usually only gets unstuck by doing a "lurch" while in 4th. After that, upshifting is fine. *occasionally* this also happens when downshifting from 3rd.

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Mike Robinson

New member
Shift Linkage

I think it may be time for you to find an underground heated garage!

Linkages are relatively straight forward. So I hope this is your problem.

I am assuming you are a vanagon....

Get under the van on at the back passenger side and look at where you put the oil in the tranny, but basically look at the bit of the tranny closest to the front of the van. You should see the gear change lever and the rubber boot. Move this around and see if there is any debris in the area.

The other areas of the linkage that get problems are at the front under the spare tire - spray some WD40 into the linkage box and move it around. The last area that may present a problem is under the gear shift boot inside. Lift the boot and you have 2 large phillips screws that you can loosen and reposition.

If they are all ok them it is looking towards an axle problem.

I have just replaced my tranny. I have a great experience with Daryl at

This may make you depressed ...

'82 Westy diesel 1.9TD