Question about 1996 Volkswagen Jetta

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My gear shift has a problem going back into 1st gear. The clutch is fine, a friend told me it could be the shift bearing need replacing. What or where could I look at to see the diagram of how the bearings are set up.

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Well the is no such thing as a shift bearing associated with a VW Jetta. Alot of VW 020 5 speeds won't let it shift into first gear until you are going under ten miles an hour or so. I don't know if it's a design feature so you won't put it in first at a high speed and over rev the motor, or what for sure. I have a Scirocco 16v and a Jetta GLI 16v, all have the same transmission as the 1993-98 Jetta, they both do the same thing. Does the shifter lever have any "play" in it? There are a few bushings for the shifter and the linkage going to the transmission, that do wear out and will cause it to be hard to shift into gear.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010

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Sounds like a clutch release problem since engine speed should have no effect on your ability to shift into gear once the clutch is depressed. But there are other possibilities, personally I would start by inspecting (and replacing if necessary) the clutch throw out bearing and clutch pressure plate. If they're both within spec then inspect the shift fork. If you have to go any further than that your looking at having to replace synchros inside the transmission. 90 percent of the time just replacing the throw out bearing will do the trick. Personally depending on mileage I would replace the whole clutch assembly since its a fair amount of work just to access the clutch bearings and once your there the entire assembly is accessible

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With the engine off, check your operation of the gear shift. If you can go in and out of the gears fine without the engine running, then you have a worn clutch disc that needs replaced. If the problem still exists then you either have low fluid/weak hydraulic system, or there is a problem with the syncro that may be adjusted.

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3 quarts should be enough fluid. Did it make the noise before you replaced the clutch. It sounds like a bearing in the trans. It's not the pilot bearing. A pilot bearing would make noise when you step on the clutch and then the noise would go away when you let out the clutch. Can you describe the noise? It sounds like a bearing in the trans or a problem with the throw out bearing.

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The clutch bearing is supposed to have a groove on the inside where it slides on the shaft That groove is supposed to have a heavy grease applied to it to prevent the bearing running dry on the collar it slides on.Regardless of your driving style, that grease is intended to remain there for the life of the clutch, (generally every clutch I have ever replaced still had some remaining lube there unless the bearing itself failed from a material defect which caused it to overheat and cause that grease to then run out of the retaining groove) I'm not there and can't see the old parts, but in my opinion the first clutch may have failed partially because of your lack of skill in using a stick shift vehicle but the second failure obviously is not your fault if the information you have posted is correct.
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