`02 saturn sl 5 spd: driving down highway stuck in gear, I forced it out of gear and snapped shifter cable, replaced them and now it grinds going into 2nd gear only. Could i have messed something up on the shifter cable install? any way to fix this?
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Your shifter cables snapped (more specifically the connectors at the end of the cables, they are made out of nylon). Not good news 1) the cables are not made anymore you will have to find a place that might have some still in stock or go to a junk yard; 2) it requires dropping the ******; if your not able to do this yourself, you are looking at about $600 if you can even find the cables. I know what I'm talking about because mine snapped about 4 years ago and luckily some were still able to be found and I have a 98 Saturn SL. Good Luck!!! - Stu
take the console out and look under the shifter, if the shifter cables are disconnected from the shifter go to a parts store or ebay and get yourself a Saturn shifter bushing repair kit. happens all the time to S Saturns and maybe the Ls look on youtube for instructions to remove console and put on the bushing kit.
if the shifter cables are still connected you may have to be looking around for a lower mileage used transmission. 96-98 saturn will fit so long as the donor car has the same head, being DOHC or SOHC. so if you have an SL1 you can use a transmission out of another SL1, or an SC1, or an SW1. do not mix a 2 with a 1, bad mojo.
Check the busings on BOTH ends of the shifter cables. First check underneath the center console that your bushing didn't break and cause your shifter to be limp and not move anywhere. This is a very common problem and can be remedied permanently by getting the delrin bushing found on ebay.
Next, if the above is fine, check the clips on the shifter side under the hood. There are 4 clips. Two hold the cable ends to the tower and slide horizontally. The other two hold the cables onto the transmission and slide on vertically. Sometimes these clips fall off and makes the shifter inoperable.
Finally if all of the above checks out the last possibility is that your shifter tower metal tab that the shifter cables attaches to is broken and sliding instead of pushing or pulling. This happened to my car but is not likely as my manual was in a raced Saturn previously so wear from that most likely caused it to break.
This just happen to me a few weeks ago. If you take out the center piece in the car you should be able to see that the actual shifter is no longer connected to the rod which goes into the transmission. It is an easy problem to fix, however it is not cheap. I was told that you have to buy a complete new kit($250.00) for the shifter, however my dad gave me a different solution. He took some wire, and made a spider web type thing to keep it connected. On my car it was a small round plastic piece that broke, but I cannot remember what it was actually called. This little piece is not available through Saturn by itself, only through a complete kit. Please ask questions if this is not clear enough. Thanks :)