Hello, and thank you for choosing Just Answer to help you with your questions!
I highly doubt it is a clutch problem, as this would usually lead to slipping while in gear
especially with a hudraulically controlled clutch
Grinding is usually a synchro problem... however... 99.9% of the time this is not a problem with any of those transmissions (just mentioning it as a worst case scenario)
99.9% of the time you will find that the shifter bushings are worn out and need replacement. They deteriorate into basically nothing, making for a sloppy shifter, and making it incredibly difficult to get the truck into gear
Fortunately for you, the bushings are quite cheap, and very easy to replace
here is a great article/write up on how to replace the seat and bushing
Should cost about 10 bucks in parts, and shouldn't take more than a half hour to replace them if you take your time
Good luck, try this first. I'm sure it will cure your problems. If not, please let me know and we'll take it from there
Would that explain the grinding of the gears even when the clutch is depressed? I'm working on getting the parts. Thanks.
I apologize for the delay in response. Much like many of the other experts on here, I am a tech at a dealership for my "regular" job and do this part time in the evenings.
I am glad to hear that worked for you. Most of the time those bushings just deteriorate into basically nothing, and you just have to fish out the pieces, throw some new bushings in there and you're as good as new again. With those bushings gone, there is so much slop in the shifter that it never really makes it fully into gear, and causes what you've described. Now your shifter is working again, the linkages are doing what they are supposed to, and you're up and running. I am glad you got it all set, and it was a simple and cheap fix. Good luck with the rig, and if I can help you in the future, please let me know.
Have a safe trip :)