Question about 1999 Audi A4

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Won't shift into gear...1985 Audi Quattro

The shifter acts like its stuck and hard to get in and out of gear. most of the time i have to start the car in 1st, just to get going. Just started happening. Replaced the slave and master cylinder no more that 4 months ago. any ideas?

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  • alexis_rosse Jun 23, 2009

    Truth is, i would not have a clue how to do this. Would it be expensive for someone to fix?

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Check the clutch free play on the slave cylinder, the pushrod might be too short to depress the clutch fully. Did you make sure the master cylinder releases all the way?

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

  • Jaco
    Jaco Jun 24, 2009

    It shouldn't be very expensive. First, check that all the air is out of the system ("Bleed" the fluid out)

    Easiest way to do it is as follows:
    1- Put a thin, transparent pipe on the bleeding nipple on the slave cylinder.
    2- Put the other end in a jar with a little brakefluid, making sure the fluid cover the open end of the pipe.
    3- Have an assistant depress the pedal, keeping it on the floor.
    4- Open the bleeding nipple, watch the clutch lever return to normal position.
    5- Close the nipple.
    6- Repeat steps 3,4,5 until the liquid in the pipe is clear of bubbles. Just make sure you keep the reservoir filled to the MAX mark.

    When you are sure that the system is clear of bubbles, let it rest, have a beer - lol - then start the car, see if it is working. If not, adjust the nut with the pushrod running through it until it's better (if you have that system) Otherwise, insert a thin (about 1/8 inch thick) washer between the end of the rod coming out of the slave cylinder and the clutch lever and try again. If it's better, you can experiment with different thicknesses until it works right. On the other hand, it might be too long. In this case, take another rod of the same thickness, and cut it shorter in 1/16" increments until it works. It shouldn't be a lot shorter eventually, perhaps about 5/16".


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In the event the hydraulic system is ok, here are some notes on mid 80's vw stuff i witnessed. if your car is like the vw's of that time... the linkages had issues. as the car ages the mounts change. i knew a guy that had to replace plastic pieces. one on the shift linkage and one at the base of the shifter. they were dealer items. another car i saw like that. the guy made adjustments of his own by cutting and adding parts that had threads to adjust the linkage. the shifter was accessed by removing the exhaust and a vast heat shield beneath the car. there were large flat hexagonal pal nuts holding the shield. . .seem familiar? yet? if not, seek answers in the audi shop forum. google it. farfignewton!

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