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Will not go into reverse after clutch replacement

Old 02-10-2019, 01:34 PM
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Will not go into reverse after clutch replacement

Hey everyone,

I've been learking here for a while but now have an issue that I need some help on.

I have a 2003 titanium meridian 6 speed with VLSD. 186kms.

The guy I bought it off of wasn't normally driving a standard so I was worried about the clutch burning the flywheel, the clutch worked but would have a little trouble going into second and would chatter a bit and I would have to be double clutched. I desided to order a kit from rock auto and install it after my work project was finished.

2 weeks ago (when it was nice out - 10C) I started the disassembly using this YouTube video as a reference.


https://youtu.be/3k8fC038zS0


Things were going well until I got to the 3x 12mm bolts that secure the passager side axle, but after struggling for a few days managed to remove it.


After getting the transmission off and out I removed the flywheel and lightly sanded it with 600grit and reinstalled it. Centered the clutch disk and pressure plate and torqued it down. The throw beading was removed and the inside of the housing was cleaned best I could and hi temp grease was applied to the shaft, bearing and under the fork. After it was reassembled is where the trouble started.


My brother and I attempted to reinstall the trans using a 4ton floor jack and it fell off the jack about 8-10 inches onto plywood I had on the floor but was hard enough to put a small chip in the cast aluminum casing of the transmission. After managing to get it back in with more help I finished the reassembly and filled it was redline MT-85 (2.4-2.8L it was hard to tell as it was still on stands when I was filling it.. ). It started beautifully first turn had no issues 1 through 6 but it will not go into reverse. Lifting the lockout ring allows the shifter to slide to the right but it does not want to pull back into the reverse gate. I can't even feel the gear, it feels like there's something blocking or stopping it from entering.


I'm hoping with the infinite knowledge on this forum we will be able to work this out without removing the transmission again as I'll be quite sad if by trying to save 1200$ Ive ruined my transmission..


Pleaee help me.

Last edited by Thereper3603; 02-10-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:58 PM
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This is probably a retarded question but did you try shifting into 2nd before shifting into reverse? Any manual car ive driven that didnt want to go into reverse was remedied by doing this.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:21 PM
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Yes, I've tried going into each individual forward gear before reverse, doesn't work. While off with no clutch, while off with clutch, while on with clutch, haven't tried while on with no clutch but I'm use the outcome will be the same

Thanks for the idea thoe, keep them coming.

Edit just tried on with no clutch same outcome.

Last edited by Thereper3603; 02-10-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:53 AM
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I seriously doubt you broke anything inside the gearbox. It is possible to damage the input shaft if you hang the tranny on it while trying to get it to mate up. It needs to be supported the whole time till it mates up. I don't think that would keep it keep it out of reverse though. More likely it would just damage the seal. Other than that they're pretty bulletproof from the outside.

Have you tried getting it into reverse with the car not running? If it goes in with the car not running you may need to adjust the clutch master a little bit.

Next I would look at the shifter on the tranny where the cables connect. My guess is you'll find the problem here. See if you can put it in reverse by manipulating the shifter directly. One cable moves it up and down while the other cable rotates it. If you have someone shift it while you watch you'll see how it works. Remove the cables and see if it will go into reverse without the cables on it.

Also, look at the aluminum bracket that holds the cables. The one that bolts to the tranny down by the firewall. Those are known to brake while driving so it could have been damaged. The bolts are hard to reach so it's possible that they never got torqued down with multiple people working on it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:16 AM
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Yes, posted just above tired all gear combinations before reverse with clutch and no clutch with engine off. I was the one that removed and installed the bracket, no other hands. I was thinking the same thing about the linkage, and had my wife try to hit reverse while I lifted and pushed the selector with my hands and it still didn't want to go in, the linkage was attached at this point so this time I'll take it off and do the same.

Unrelated note, just tossed out 2 random misfire codes and a lean code. If they come back we can discuss those haha.

Last edited by Thereper3603; 02-11-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:51 PM
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Okay guys, I removed the battery, and airbox, (found I didn't attach the crank case air hose which could have been the reason the engine codes I'll remember to reattach that next time). Removed the upper shift linkage with the washer and cotter pin and was able to manually move the selector down and forward for first, down and backwards for second, reset to neutral, forward for third, backward for forth, up and forward for fifth, up and back for sixth, all of which I could do with both hands, I can raise it past the fifth and sixth gate into the reverse section but it will not push backwards into reverse, I gently used a small prybar to encourage it but alas it will not engage.

I'm still thinking it could be an internal issue. I'm scared.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:30 AM
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That's really strange. I can't imagine how it could be damaged by anything you did short of dropping something into it which would be pretty difficult.

Did you remove the reverse sensor during any of this? Even if not, I would pull the sensor and see if it will shift. If the switch is locked up inside it may be able to block the shifter. It's easy to access if you already have the airbox out.

A used HLSD from a 6th gen can be had for under $1000 all day from car-part.com. I'd go with an 04-06 if it did come to that. I did it back in 04 or 05 when mine had the 3rd gear crunch and I wanted HLSD. It's a much better shifting box and goes straight in.

Before considering a swap I'd have a pro look at it. I still don't think you did catastrophic damage inside just by dropping it a foot.

That hose will give those codes if it's not connected. I was going to respond that you probably had a vacuum leak from a lose or cracked hose. Any air coming in past the engine side of the MAF will do that.

Last edited by Derrick2k2SE; 02-12-2019 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:10 AM
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Are you taking about item 12 on page MT-16 of the FSM? That never came out but I don't see how that would stop it from engaging as it wouldn't go into reverse before I put the battery back in.

I'm just wondering if there was a spring, clip or ball dent that possibly popped out of place. If there was an acessable plug I could pull without throwing something out of wack from the outside to check I'd be interested in hearing about it. I've called a few stealerships in the area and a few of them let me talk to the shop foremans, we went over all of the issues and they came to the same points you fine people did. They also stated they should be able to take a lot more abuse than the small fall as well.

As much as I like having reverse I'm pretty picky about trying to fix things myself. That being said in Edmonton Alberta it's still - 25C and in an unheated garage this is not a fun project. Seeing as I've loosened all of the bolts and can remove the transmission again I have four options.
1. Take it to a professional get it diagnosed, order the parts and rebuild kit and bring it inside and hope I can get it apart and back together. (might involve some tools I don't have, and will need to waiting on the bearing kits, seals and synchros).
2. Take it to a professional and have him fix the reverse issue (no down time but everything I saved from doing the clutch myself will be lost and more, I'll aquire peice of mind that it was done correctly).
3. I attempt to fix the reverse issue or attempt an unsupervised rebuild. (again will need tools and waiting on parts, a lot of down time and could make things worse than before).
4. Remove the transmission myself again and bring it to a shop for diagnostic and repair (potential cost saving of removal and installation, odds are if they don't install it they won't offer any type of warrenty, mild amount of down time, gonna suck bawls taking everything back out and paying someone for fixing what I messed up).

Unless there is something I'm overlooking here it seems like these are my only options. I just don't want to unbolt a bolt or pull the shift tower assembly out and having something fall in, or detach, if I could pull the drivers axle out and remove the one side of the trans while still installed to access the reverse tree I might consider it but the amount of fine dust on the car for working in the oil sands of Northern Alberta I'd again be worried about contamination and debris.

It looked so easy on the video,

Last edited by Thereper3603; 02-12-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:15 AM
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How did you drain the gear oil? Did you drain using the proper drain plug, or did you undo one of the bolts on the bottom of the trans? Did you see a spring +small ball bearing come out at any point?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:24 AM
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I used the 10mm hex plugs on the drivers side.

The 2 wet ones in this picture.

https://imgur.com/a/LuLHBGA

item 17 and 19 in the picture below
https://imgur.com/a/sj3tzGZ

Last edited by Thereper3603; 02-12-2019 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:10 PM
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Well, it's at a shop right now, my son and I are waiting to hear the hopefully simple diagnosis *fingers crossed*.

Edit: well all the shop told me is that it is an internal issue. So I guess I'll be taking it home and restarting the job. Removing the trans and bringing it into the shop to have them sort out the issue as it saves me 6 hours Labour to remove and install it after they fix it. They also quoted 7 hours at 130 an hour for the rebuild (thats max redoing the gear trees and syncros, could just be a simple issue. And quicker fix once they are in there) F. A. K.

Last edited by Thereper3603; 02-12-2019 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Thereper3603 View Post
Are you taking about item 12 on page MT-16 of the FSM? That never came out but I don't see how that would stop it from engaging as it wouldn't go into reverse before I put the battery back in.

(
I'm not looking at the manual but it's the switch for the reverse lights. It's basically a plunger switch that's actuated when the shifter goes into reverse. If the switch packs up it could stop the shifter. It's been a while since I've had one out but it is actuated by movement inside the box. Think of sliding your hand down a wall to turn off a light switch, If the switch was frozen up it would stop your hand. It's a stretch but it's also easy to check.

The rebuild cost is getting into the price for a replacement. That's assuming they can fix it at all or that it doesn't need expensive parts on top of the labor. See see if the shop may be interested in buying your box. When I did the swap a rebuild shop gave me $250 for my old one with a bad syncro. That was a nice help in offsetting the cost of the new used one.

I'm looking on car-part.com for 2005 HLSD 6-speed trannys and seeing plenty for around $500 with reasonable mileage.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Derrick2k2SE View Post
I'm not looking at the manual but it's the switch for the reverse lights. It's basically a plunger switch that's actuated when the shifter goes into reverse. If the switch packs up it could stop the shifter. It's been a while since I've had one out but it is actuated by movement inside the box. Think of sliding your hand down a wall to turn off a light switch, If the switch was frozen up it would stop your hand. It's a stretch but it's also easy to check.

The rebuild cost is getting into the price for a replacement. That's assuming they can fix it at all or that it doesn't need expensive parts on top of the labor. See see if the shop may be interested in buying your box. When I did the swap a rebuild shop gave me $250 for my old one with a bad syncro. That was a nice help in offsetting the cost of the new used one.

I'm looking on car-part.com for 2005 HLSD 6-speed trannys and seeing plenty for around $500 with reasonable mileage.

Ahh, yeah I'll check the plunger tomorrow morning after the wife's oil change. So as far as I can tell the absolute best direct swap will be out of a 2006 maxima/altima? I remember reading somewhere on this forum about it having better syncros?
​​​​​​
Either way it will have to come out, I'm not too concerned with that part anymore as all the bolts will come out easy this time. I'm just worried about buying a lemon.
I found one in Quebec, 450 +65 shipping, add just says 2004-2006. I'm thinking this would be my best bet, 30day warrenty..
​​
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:43 AM
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Yes. They fixed the bad syncro issue in 04. You just have to make sure you're getting the HLSD gearbox. Open diff sucks in these cars. They do have a slightly lower final drive ratio but it's barely noticeable. You'll be a few RPM higher cruising in top gear but have faster acceleration through all gears.

I'm not sure if they did the HLSD in 06 but they did in 40-05. Most yards will have a return policy for a bad part. Mine came out of Canada too. A lot of the HLSD cars went to Canada. Up there they like them for the snow. Here in the US most people get manual trannys to beat on them but up there it's more normal.

The swap is very straight forward. One of the cable connectors on the shifter has to be swapped over from yours but it's only one bolt and it only goes on one way. You'll see when you have them side by side. There's nothing to it.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Derrick2k2SE View Post
Yes. They fixed the bad syncro issue in 04. You just have to make sure you're getting the HLSD gearbox. Open diff sucks in these cars. They do have a slightly lower final drive ratio but it's barely noticeable. You'll be a few RPM higher cruising in top gear but have faster acceleration through all gears.

I'm not sure if they did the HLSD in 06 but they did in 40-05. Most yards will have a return policy for a bad part. Mine came out of Canada too. A lot of the HLSD cars went to Canada. Up there they like them for the snow. Here in the US most people get manual trannys to beat on them but up there it's more normal.

The swap is very straight forward. One of the cable connectors on the shifter has to be swapped over from yours but it's only one bolt and it only goes on one way. You'll see when you have them side by side. There's nothing to it.

Do I called that place I asked him if you could see right through the differential, he said all 3 that he has have a "pin", so I think it's safe to say they are not the HLSD version. The search continues, I'll look on that car parts. Com website but I'll post a link to the one I think is right so I can get a confirmation.

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Old 02-14-2019, 09:38 AM
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Please view this ad:2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R spec V 6 speed manual transmission ,
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-transmission-drive-train/kingston-on/2003-nissan-sentra-se-r-spec-v-6-speed-manual-transmission/1408430195?utm_source=com.google.android.apps.docs &utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialbuttons&utm_ content=app_androidPrice: $ 100
I found this one as well. Its a cross the country like the others but as far as I can tell it's the same as mine other than the final drive ratio.
​​​​​​Or
I also found another one in Quebec 700 Canadian, 2 day shipping 2005 HLSD 140,000kms.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:00 PM
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The Spec V does have a lower gear ratio. I don't know If the gears are different or just the final drive. It's obviously designed for a car with a considerably lower power to weight ratio. The Maxima tranny is as low as I would want to go in a daily driver. I think there are people here who have the Spec V. They may be able to tell you more about it.

If you search the old threads on the subject you'll find how to determine what you're getting. Around 04-06 there was a lot of discussion about it. You can search for threads with my name in them. I was involved in most of the discussions but I don't remember the details.
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Old 02-15-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Derrick2k2SE View Post
The Spec V does have a lower gear ratio. I don't know If the gears are different or just the final drive. It's obviously designed for a car with a considerably lower power to weight ratio. The Maxima tranny is as low as I would want to go in a daily driver. I think there are people here who have the Spec V. They may be able to tell you more about it.

If you search the old threads on the subject you'll find how to determine what you're getting. Around 04-06 there was a lot of discussion about it. You can search for threads with my name in them. I was involved in most of the discussions but I don't remember the details.
RPMs will be 500 higher, so there goes fuel economy on the highway. But at least it'll be HLSD.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Child_uv_KoRn View Post
RPMs will be 500 higher, so there goes fuel economy on the highway. But at least it'll be HLSD.
For what I'll save in gas over the years I hope to have her, I'll go for the proper gears. I love driving from edmonton to ft McMurray and only using 5/8th of a tank.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:15 PM
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So I paid a guy some come over and give me a hand taking it in and out again. We swapped the throw bearing for the one that came in the kit cause he thought that was the issue..
Reinstalling he broke the pnp sensor you were referring to and i ordered a new one, took the old one out and still wouldn't engage with non pnp installed. I think it's time to order a new one.

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