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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Transmissions
Satisfied Customers: 22964
Experience:  Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans Specialist
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I have a 1998 2.3 Acura CL, 170000 miles and manual

Customer Question

I have a 1998 2.3 Acura CL, 170000 miles and manual transmission (stick shift)
In the last few weeks, I have started to have some trouble shifting into the 5th gear.. All other gears are fine but shifting into 5th, i feel a bump.
So almost every time now, I have to softly bang it into gear.
There is no grinding and the car drives fine once I get it into gear.
Had a auto mechanic friend drive the car and he confirmed the transmission is fine.
While he was pulling on the shifter cable and I shifted from within the car it seemed to work smoothly.
We suspect it is the shifter cable.
Before we replace it (which seems will take a lof of effort + $s), would like a second opinion and if anyone has faced a similar problem. Was it the cable.. is there anything else we could try to confirm.. if there a bushing to replace easier ?
Also what is the part # ***** the cable to replace ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Transmissions
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Justanswer!

Usually a shifting issue that involves one gear is caused by an internal issue such as a worn synchronizer or shift fork issue, but it could be a cable related issue. A misadjusted cable or worn end bushing could be causing what you're having. Often the bushings on the ends of the cables will wear, usually at the trans end, and it will allow the cable to move independently to an extent from the arm on the trans, and it will cause shifting problems.

Is there any play in the bushings in the end of the cables?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are no bushings that we can see at the end. Does the 98 Acura CL have bushings that can or need to be replaced ? If yes, what are the part numbers ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
another important detail... sometimes it shifts into fifth gear with no problem... 2 in 3 times, it sticks ..
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Are you able to upload a picture of where the cables attach to the trans?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay of a couple of days ... attached are the pictures of the cables under the hood. This is where we pulled on it and it seemed to work smoother.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

The bushing is visible on the cable shown in these pictures. The bushing is the piece in the round end of the cable where it attaches to the arm at the trans. What you want to do is have a helper move the shifter while a second person watches to see if there is independent movement of the cable before the arm on the trans moves.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, this is the cable under the hood. So if there is independent movement of the cable then the bushing needs to be replaced ?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Correct, if the cable moves any significant amount before the arm on the trans then the bushing is worn. I attempted to find aftermarket bushings for this model year but was so far unsuccessful, if you do find the bushings are loose then I'll see if I can find some, otherwise it would require replacement of the cables.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Was able to find the exploded assembly drawing and part # ***** Do you see a bushing that may need replacement ? Most of them seemed like metal pieces .. Would there be some sort of turnbuckle arrangement to tighten the whole assembly ?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

The bushings are serviced with the cables using factory parts and aren't shown separately in this diagram. If you find the bushings are loose then we'll either have to locate aftermarket bushings or you'll need to replace the cables themselves.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your responses so far. I am really looking to get Acura specific advice on the parts... is there a mechanism to tighten the cable ? Is there a replacement bushing ? etc., The cable costs $350 so I would rather not buy it, if not needed.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

There is nothing to tighten the cable. If the bushings are loose then you'll either need to replace the cables or we can attempt to locate aftermarket bushings separately, which I was not able to find in my previous searching.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am looking for an Acura mechanic who has seen a similar issue before and has experience to know what the root cause of the problem is. It drives fine but is difficult to shift into the 5th gear... takes a couple of tries to get into fifth gear. Once in gear it works fine.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Over the weekend, figured out what was wrong with the transmission.There is a leak at the driveshaft seal and there was almost no transmission fluid
in the case... filled up, works fine now. It is rather amazing how the transmission
worked just about fine with a little fluid.Will need to replace the driveshaft seal soon.