4-speed stuck in 2nd -- Where do I start?

Discussion in 'U-shift em' started by desordi, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. desordi

    desordi New Member

    I have a 70 Stage 1 with M22. It is stuck in 2nd gear right now. I drove it 15 miles through traffic lights to the tire shop this morning. Put new tires on. Drove it out of the parking lot and through a couple traffic lights. Reverse and 1-4 all worked fine. Then at one light it got stuck in 2nd.

    This is not the first time this has happened. Last time was over 2 years ago, but I rarely drove the car, and I think it was stuck in 1st. I crawled under the car and somehow managed to wiggle things loose... not sure what I really did.

    So, where do I start? Is it likely the shift linkage/rods? Could it be internal?
    jpstage1 likes this.
  2. wkillgs

    wkillgs Gold Level Contributor

    I'd start with the shift levers/rods.... try moving the 1-2 lever on the trans to get it into neutral.
    Inspect for play in the shifter rods or worn/missing bushings, then adjust the shifter and adjust rod length as necessary.
    If it's getting stuck in 2nd as you try to shift into third, shorten the 1-2 rod a little. It might not be disengaging enough (from 2nd) and might be trying to engage into 2nd AND 3rd at the same time.
  3. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    To set the rod ends you need to insert an alignment key in the round keyway. The correct diameter drill bit will do.
  4. yachtsmanbill

    yachtsmanbill Well-Known Member

    Also replace the 6 bushings and 6 circlips while aligning the shifter with a 1/4" drill bit. If youre feeling brave, take the shifter apart for a clean and grease job. Bill
  5. 69GS430/TKX

    69GS430/TKX Silver Level contributor

    Or, if you're unlucky, it could be an internal failure like I had with my M21, where it got stuck in 4th gear in a town 100 miles away from home. I had no neutral, no reverse. My choices were "depress the clutch" and "4th gear." It was interesting getting through the streets of a big city, then onto the highway and back home, with a tranny like that. Thank goodness for Buick torque.

    When I got home, I had to rebuild the tranny. I don't remember what all went to pieces inside, but I think something broke and locked up the gears. I am saving up for a Keisler. Muncies weren't meant to handle massive torque.
  6. afracer

    afracer Well-Known Member

    Sorry to revive an old thread, but did you ever figure out what caused it to get stuck in gear??? My 70 GS 455 4 speed just got stuck in 1st gear last weekend and I can't get it out. Luckily I was only 4 miles from home when it happened so I was able to limp it home without too much headache but boy was I pissed.

    What happened was I was rolling thru a parking lot and about to pull out in traffic on the highway, was coasting in neutral, then saw a quick break in traffic, so I quickly put it into 1st gear, it fought me a little and made a little grinding noise when it did go into gear... but it went into 1st and I took off, but then when I went to shift to 2nd I couldn't pull it out of gear at all....I don't think I put the shifter quite perfectly into first, so it may have pushed one of the other gear levers too much too (either 3rd or reverse). Is it going to be as easy as disconnecting the shift rods and sorting them back properly, or am I looking at something more drastic (rebuild)? I was so mad at the whole situation I haven't even looked at the car yet but would like to tonight as there is a big cruise in tomorrow night. Thanks for any help/advice!
  7. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Arms are crossed , although that's not technically happens per say that's what I call it, 4 gear cars with worn shifters are usually the cause ,I've laid in the rain and burnt my arm a few times in high school when my dads 4speed would hang up, put shifter in N and when you crawl under the car you'll probably find that the second arm from the front isn't standing straight up as it should when in N click the arm upright and you should be good to go again. No need to disassemble anything tho
  8. BadBrad

    BadBrad Got 4-speed?

    BIG Rubber mallet
  9. SteeveeDee

    SteeveeDee Orange Acres

    Worn parts are the main culprit. You can start with new bushings and aligning the neutral gate with the tool or the correct size drill bit, for starters. If you have nylon bushings in the shifter, they wear a lot faster than the metal ones (but vibrate less). So they'd be my first choice for replacement.
  10. afracer

    afracer Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I'm going to check it out today and pray for the weather to hold out!
  11. afracer

    afracer Well-Known Member

    Pulled the rods off the shifter, reset everything back to neutral and put back together. Shifts fine but shifter needs adjusting.
  12. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

  13. Clanceman427

    Clanceman427 Hardtops need not apply

    When I got stuck in 2nd it was because the bolt for the shift lever had come loose. So the interlockininterlocking rectangles werent meshed. Check that first. If it is, relplace the lock washer with a new one to try to prevent this in the future.

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