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Pops out of reverse

6200 Views 24 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  djseth
Hello all,

About two years ago, I pulled my trans (86 Quad) to do a clutch. I pulled apart the trans to take a look at things and found the stakes nut on the end of one of the main shafts had come completely off. So I bought a new one and put it back on. Everything looked really good in there, dog eared gears on 2nd were perfect (the car has 30k miles on it). So put it back together. I did not mark the number of washers on either side of the shifter. So I evened them out. I also have the bump, bump under the car on take off ( i had that before the clutch as well) and I the PO installed and new trans bushing, the yellow one, and it is oriented correctly. Any ideas about what's causing the popping out of reverse?
Thanks all!
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The bump bump bump on take off is probably the center bearing support of the driveshaft. The rubber gets soft and lets the shaft bounce around at low rpm.
Do you think that could be causing reverse pop too?
I had the same problem after getting my transmission rebuilt. I took it back to the shop that did the rebuild (an Alfa specialist), and they were able to make the adjustment without removing the transmission, although I'm not sure what adjustment they did.
The transmission position is a bit tricky. When you replace or add the yellow
reinforcement to the transmission mount it some how changes the rear position of the transmission. There is only so much room in your console to allow your shift pattern to work in both foward and back shifts.
Do you have the hole in the transmission mount (bushing) at the bottom or at the top. At the top will take away room for reverse to fully slip into position.
The hole is suppose to be at the bottom. Even with the mount in the propper position with the reinforcement bushing I have had to place washers under the cross member (4 bolts mounting) which allowed the transmission to drop ever so slightly which allowed the transmission to stay in 3rd and 5th. It sounds like you are having the other problem and you are too low at the rear of the transmission which doesn't allow the reverse gear to fully engauge.
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Interesting! In my mind, I remember the hole in the yellow busing to be at the top (that's where I thought it was supposed to be) but I will look today to see exactly where it is. I don't think the shifter is hitting the tunnel opening, so I don't think that's the problem. If I hold the shifter back in reverse with my hand, it is fine. Without the hand, pop, neutral.
Lowering the cross member changes the angle of the front U-joint and that will increase vibration IF the driveshaft angle was correct before the lowering. Both U-joints should operate through the same angle. That means that the front section of the driveshaft should be parallel to the input shaft of the axle when the car is normally loaded. Aligning the driveshaft involves lowering either the cross member or the center support. Proceed with caution!
OK, just took off the transmission mount to look at things. The hole is definitely at the bottom. I was told the PO replaced the trans mount and maybe he did. It has a lot of open area in the rubber and I can twist the center sleeve pretty easily. She does have the yellow "cushions" on either side. Also, when I push on the driveshaft it does more around at the center bushing. What do you guys think?
The Yellow poly reinforcement thing is designed to fill in the opening in the original mount to make it less flexabilty, and the side yellow rings keep side to side motion. The complete Poly setup pretty much takes the movement completely out of the mount.
I put one on my 86 and it works great. I put another on my 91 and it did what yours is doing .. Pops out of gear. So I took it out.. I gave it to a friend and we put it on his 88 and it works great. If your tranny mount is way loose then it could be raising up at the rear too much and causing it to pop out.
It also can cause the thump thump in first. If you just have the yellow rings and not the center parts of the poly setup then its not really doing much to reinforce the mount.
I'd say replace the mount with new stock mount and it should fix your troubles. If you want to purchase the complete poly reinforcement unit and keep your old mount you may have good luck and maybe not. -
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An update. I got the new trans mount in with the help of my 13 year old daughter. It seems the thump thump under the seat on take off is gone. But it still pops out of reverse. Any ideas?
Your shifter could be out of alignment.

How tight is the shift boot when you have it in reverse?

Its not too difficult to adjust.

Can you post a picture of the shifter when in reverse?

I did replace both rubber shifter boots. The console is installed. Do you still want a picture?
I did replace both rubber shifter boots. The console is installed. Do you still want a picture?
Ok. Well, lets see a picture of the shifter in reverse and in 1st. No need to take anything apart.

I might be off, but its a cheap and easy thing to check and fix.

Good luck,

I took a quick movie of it. Can I email it to you?


Got the video.

I'm not a mechanic, but it could be:

1. When the inner rubber boots were installed, the shifter was not in the neutral, centre position, and so the tension, when in reverse pulls the shifter out. Not common, but could be.

2. Transmission mount needs to be changed. This is more common. Do you know if the mount has been changed? Not too difficult to change yourself with some basic skills.

Here is a picture when I installed a new mount.
Auto part Wheel Automotive wheel system Rim

3. Not very common, but the ratchet gear lockout mechanism on top of the transmission spring may be worn. Not very common. Here is a picture of the mechanism.

Auto part Automotive engine part Engine

Circle Metal

Good luck,

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Have you had any luck?

Hi Vin,

Nothing yet. Mother's day, crap going on. But should be getting to it eventually. Will let you know as soon as I know.
Seth, i had the same problem, and after scouring the blog, I found some suggestions. In my case, the motor mounts and the transmission mounts were worn, so the entire alignment of the transmission was off. The shift lever didn't have enough space on the right, and hit the console, never getting fully in gear. Had to hold it down. Replacing the motor mounts and transmission mounts (hole side up), seems to have fixed the problem. Now I just need to put a new leather shift boot on, and hope there is enough room. SO check out your motor mounts. The new ones raised my engine about 1.5 inches....which had a big impact on the centering the shift lever better in the console. COOPP
WOW, thanks. I was told the PO replaced the motor mounts, but who knows for sure. Any way to tell visually?
WOW, thanks. I was told the PO replaced the motor mounts, but who knows for sure. Any way to tell visually?
Did the PO say how long ago he replaced them?

One way to tell with your model is how close is the bottom of the radiator fan to the fan shroud? The poorer the condition of the engine mounts, the closer it will be. In time the fan will come into contact with the shroud and cause you all kinds of other issues.

Good luck,

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