Question about 1985 Volkswagen Jetta

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Have a shift linkages problem trying to get it to work again. everything is hooked up but can't shift gears.

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VW dealers have a special "tool"to set up the gear linkages.....its not easy to set up by adjusting one part then another.....in fact its bloody near imposible.

Posted on Oct 07, 2010

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Gear stick will not move from park !


Make sure you car is actually in PARK, Easy to do, Just disengage the parking brake (emergency brake) and attempt to push your car both forward and reverse to ensure your car isnt in neutral. If you cant budge the vehicle your good to go! If it rolls forward it may be in neutral or a forward gear. if it rolls backwards it may be in neutral or reverse. If it rolls both directions its in neutral. On that note if it moves at all skip to the third step (***) and make sure the transmissions shift bracket is in the park possition. Depending on your cars transmission model the parking gear is located all the way left to the farthest possition or all the way right to the farthest possition) One direction will put you in Park, the other in will put you in 1st gear, If your in 1st gear the linkage should be too far away from the shift plate to connect if your column says you are in park. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO START YOUR CAR WHILE IT IS IN A DRIVE GEAR AND THE LINKAGE IS DISCONNECTED IF YOU ARE ABLE TO START YOUR CAR IN ITS CURRENT STATE DO NOT MOVE THE TRANSMISSIONS SHIFT BRACKET UNTIL LATER IN THIS INSTRUCTIONAL!!!!!

* Floor shift automatic, the push pin lever (located inside your shifter/gear stick) may be malfunctioning. You have to pop the grip off and inspect the white plastic pin inside the shaft to see if it is damaged, also check inside the grip while you press the safety release (shift lock button) to ensure the internal slide mechanics are propperly working). Also check for anything obstructing the levers movement inside the floor housing.

** Column Shift. Make sure your pull pin lock is working properly (disengages the shift lock when you pull back the gear shift before you select a gear) if its broke theres two possible behaviors you'll experiance -1. You cant pull the gear shift back at all or -2. No effort or less than normal effot is required to pull back the gear shift. If all that checks out then you have to inspect the steering column linkage bar (you may have to remove some of the steering column housing to view it. Make sure the bar isn't bent or that its movement isnt obstructed.

***Automatic Transmission Linkage Check - Look under the kick panel located above the gas and brake pedals.........Once linkage is located under the dash (kick panel) disconnect it and try the gear shift. If the cable moves under the dash then reconnect it and move on to the next step.
Now block the wheels and climb under the car and disconnect the linkage from the transmission and have someone work the gear shift while you see if the cable is operating propperly, if the linkage moves (as it should) then try shifting the transmission back and fourth by hand while the linkage is disconnected., If the shift bracket feels stiff or is dirty clean it off with non corosive chemicals so you dont damage any seals. If the bracket operates smoother go ahead and reconnect the linkage and try shifting with the column again. Be sure to move the shift bracket back to the park position and make sure your shifter column is in park as well before you reconnect the linkage, if you dont you are sure to run into more issues.

Hope this helps you out! If all the mentioned area's above are in working order then your problem is with the car's transmission and you should take it to a speciallist.

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Your shift linkage is binding up. You need to get a can of white lithium grease, go under your truck, and find where the linkage hooks to the side of the transmission. Every point that you see a connection, i.e., another rod hooking to it, or any pivot point, spray that spot. Follow it to the steering column, and grease those points as well. Work your gear shift through its range, and it should help greatly.

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