The gearshift lever in my daughters 99 Cougar (Roush) is very stiff throughout all gears, this stiffness has always been there to some degree but has gradually worsened over the last several months…. New clutch in the last year, no grinding when changing gears and the linkage below rubber boot is well lubricated. If you could please provide some expert advise. thanks
I am afraid I bare bad news... the transmission is suffering from swollen selector fork bushings. ATF fluid swells the bushings up, it used to be what was used to lubricate the transmission. however ford has long ago changed the specs to what is called Ford Honey manual trans oil its has a brown honey color or royal purple synchomax. they only fix for this is to replace the selector forks and inly use ford honey manual trans oil. there is a TSB issued for the fluid.
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what is stiff (add a noun here)
clutch pedal stiff
shifter lever stiff.
grinds , a bad clutch will make the lever seem stiff or will grind, if forced.
gears balk? same as stiff.
false neutrals. (slips , gear not engaging)
I suspect that it will be in the shift mechanism
If it is a cable shift then replace the cable
If it levers or other linkages check and adjust or lubricate as required
I doubt it is in the clutch as you haven't mentioned difficulty in selecting first gear only shifting from 1 to 2nd.
I presume this is a 5 speed manual transmission? Is it actually the gear lever that is stiff to work through the gear changes?
first thing to do is drain and refill the gearbox with new oil.
while you are under there, check that the linkages are not rusted or crudded up. If so, free them up and lubricate them well.
This is most ofthe related to lubrication of the cable, end bushings, and linkage at the tranny... especially at this age
You may want to disconnect the cable underhood and see if the floor shifter is mroe comfortable...
If the stiffness remains, I would suggest replacing the cable (lubrication is possible, but messy with the cable installed in the vehicle)
If your shifter move VERY freely, then likley the end bushing or linkage at the tranny - simple "maintenance" cleaning and lubrication should get you there.
IF the shifter at the tranny does NOT improve with external ceaning and lube, you may wish to flush/change your tranny fluid - many people do not perform regular changes and the position of the shifting bell-crank on the honda will allow dirt to accumulate and that shaft will bind as it passes through into the tranny.