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Gary, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 775
Experience:  Senior Technician
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Have a manual hilux ute that won't go into reverse. It's

Customer Question

Have a manual hilux ute that won't go into reverse. It's like reverse doesn't even exist
JA: What is the model/year of your Toyota?
Customer: 1991, and the gearbox is off a surf r151
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yeah. Just put 'new' gearbox and clutch in, all other gears work beautifully but no reverse
JA: Has the clutch been slipping? Are you having any trouble shifting?
Customer: Won't grind, won't go in with engine off
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope, all other gears are great and clutch new
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Gary replied 24 days ago.

Hello there,

Can you tell me what you mean by "new" gearbox?

Cannot select with engine off, what does the shifter do?


Customer: replied 24 days ago.
34;new" means a secondhand gearbox that Is new to the car. No it won't go into reverse with the engine off, the shifter does nrhing-like there is no reverse to go into
Expert:  Gary replied 24 days ago.

Ok, sounds like something wrong with the reverse lockout mechanisim.

Did you have the shifter off prior to fitting the box?


Customer: replied 23 days ago.
What reverse lockout mechanism? It doesn't have one. And by shifter do you mean gear stick? The new gearbox has the old stick because they were the same although we tried the new one as well and it made no difference
Expert:  Gary replied 23 days ago.

A lot of manual transmissions won't allow reverse from 5th to prevent accidental reverse engagement while driving.

This is an internal lockout.

So if all forward gears are fine, it does the same with both gearsticks, and you can't select it with engine off, then there is an issue within the box.

Is reverse next to 1st or under 5th?


Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Under fifth
Expert:  Gary replied 23 days ago.

Unfortunately I would say you are pulling the transmission out, and disassembly as necessary to find out why.

Has someone had this trans apart recently?

Sounds like a shift rail interlock assembled incorrectly.


Customer: replied 22 days ago.
No, nobody has taken it apart
Expert:  Gary replied 22 days ago.

I sorry that I am not with you to help you decide.

But it sounds like an internal issue.

With the shifter off, you should be able to select all gears, so then you might see or feel an abnormality.

Otherwise the transmission needs to be disassembled.

Did you buy this trans with a warranty, or 2nd hand privately?


Expert:  Gary replied 19 days ago.

Hello again,

Do you need any further help?

I hope my advice has been of assistance to you.

Kind regards