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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4632
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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My 2004 Corolla is shifter is stuck in I believe 1&2.

Customer Question

My 2004 Corolla is shifter is stuck in I believe 1&2.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to provide you the access to a live phone call.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Never mind the phone call. Please answer the question
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

No problem; glad to help. On a manual transmission, and the shifter is not moving properly, we usually see that either the shift cable had become detached from the shift link, or the shift cable has failed. There are 2 cables that connect the shifter to the transmission. If you have the mechanical skills, you can remove the air filter box form the driver side of the engine compartment, you will be able to see the top of the transmission. The cables connect to two movable arms on the transmission. Once you have the air box out, have a helper manipulate the shift lever thru all of the gears. You should see the arms move rather easily. The arm that is not moving is the one that has to be examined closer to see if the cable is moving inside the outer housing (if not the cable is broken or detached from the shifter). If the cable is the problem note that it is very difficult to replace the failed cable in the driveway. It is almost absolutely necessary to lift the vehicle on a hoist to access where the shift cable comes thru the lower portion of the firewall.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At what point do we blame this all on the transmission and other components like a slave or master clutch cylinder?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The shifter goes in 3, 4, 5 & R.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's just not going in 1&2.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

If the clutch master of slave cylinder were causing the problem, the car would start and try to move forward. As Long as the engine will run with the clutch pedal depressed, I would rule out the cylinders and the hydraulic operations

This really sounds like the 1-2 shift cable is either broken or detached. It would be rare to break a shift fork inside the transmission unless somebody really abused the shifting.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I try to take off upon removing my foot from the clutch there's a stall and the car eventually shuts off.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

The shift arms work in tandem. When you shift from one gear to the next, both arms have to move. If the cable or the shift fork is the issue, you are causing the trans to be in 2 gears simultaneously.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

This causes the stall.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

in other words, when you shift from 1st to second, the arm moves from one gear to the next. Shifting from 2 into three causes the 1-2 lever to shift out of two and the 2-3-5 arm to shift into 3rd. This sounds like the 1-2 cable or the 1-2 arm is not moving

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
why doesn't it greverse when I put it in reverse?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Because the 1-2 shift arm is not in its idle position most likely

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

You cannot get reverse with 1 or 2 still being selected at the transmisison

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a way to manually detach everything from the transmission and see if the shifter moves in all position?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Yes. You need to remove the air cleaner box and everything on top of the transmission area to access the shift cables. They are held in place by clips. Remove the clips and the cables will be free to allow the shifter to move. If the shifter still does not move in 1 and 2, I suspect the cable is broken at the shifter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you reference a YouTube demonstration in what you're telling me?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrkRaKgFp_c

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

This shows you what the cables look like and where they are placed.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Once you see the cables, this is where you need an assistant to move the shifter and watch the levers move. Both have to move.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

DO you have any other questions for me on this request? Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A lot more questions are coming. I'm more interested in how it all works. This way when I understand it I can tell the mechanic I don't need a tranny like he's suggested. I didn't think I had a tranny problem to begin with. This all happened on my way home so I've always been convinced it wasn't the tranny. I thought something came apart.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How many shift cables are there. Is each cable responsible for say 1&2 or 3, 4 & 5 have their own cable and Reverse has it own? Please explain.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

2 shift cables. They work together. When you shift from one gear to another, one cable de-selects the current gear and the other cable selects the desired gear. Reverse is locked out any time that there is a gear selection. This is not like an auto trans, where you have drive, revers, and the other in a direct progression. The gears in an manual trans need to be moved in and out of gear via arm force moving the shifter, which moves the cables, which moves the shift arms, which moves the forks, which moves the gears back and forth........ The shifter, in reality, provides two functions. It deselects the current gear and selects the desired gear as you move it. This is why both cables have to move properly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just to make sure I understand you properly, you said if I disconnect the shift cable from the tranny and just leave it attached to the shifter I should be able to go into all gears? If that statement is wrong please walk me through the steps from shifting in the car to the part before it goes into the tranny.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

And just to make sure I understand you properly, you said if I disconnect the shift cable from the tranny and just leave it attached to the shifter I should be able to go into all gears+

Correct

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Disconnect the shift cable clips at the links. Move the shifter. It should move thru all of the gears effortlessly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it doesn't move?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

If it does not move the shifter is either broken internally or the shift cables that hook to the shifter are causing a bind., in any case, with the 2 shift cables disconnected at the trans, and the shifter STILL does not move for one and two gears, , your mechanic knows nothing about transmissions and should be telling you you need the shifter removed and inspected.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

If the shifter does move thru all the gears, you either have a cable issue or a bent fork.....if the cables are good your mechanic is correct

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the fork I'm assuming is in the trans? Where does the clutch and its role fall? Could it be the clutch disc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
at this point from what you've said it's either the shifter(internally), the shift cable or the fork?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Correct. The Fork is in the transmission. The cable moves the link on top of the trans. The link moves the fork back and forth to engage/disengage the gears.

The clutch is the connection between the engine and the transmission. When you press the clutch pedal, you force the clutch disc away from the engine. This stops the engine spinnign to make the transmission spin. I do not think you have a clutch issue

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

So at this point from what you've said it's either the shifter(internally), the shift cable or the fork?

Correct.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I may have to pay the $30 to request a talk. What's your availability?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

available now

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

I wiill be back online in an hour; need to go to the hardware store. Please advise if you still need the phone call

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can an automatic trans be put in a manual transmission car in any way just using the fly wheel? Or it's more complicated than that?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

That would be a really exp[ensive and difficult proposition. AN auto trans needs electronics to shift in this car. That would entail a new wiring harness, a new ECU, the shift lever and cables, new trans mounts, a different starter and a different flywheel. Too expensive. Too difficult. If the manual trans is the problem, you are best advised to replace it with an identical unit. Replace the clutch whilst you have the trans out; it is cost effective to do this at that time. Saves you from pulling it out 50,000 miles from now

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