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1991 Mits Minicab stiff gear shift

Discussion in 'Mitsubishi Minicab' started by RCminicab, May 17, 2023.

  1. RCminicab

    RCminicab New Member

    Hello all. I'm new to forum but I've been driving my 1991 minicab since 2008. I don't tend to drive it in the winter and the last few seasons in the spring when I start driving it the gear shifter has been very stiff. It usually loosens up after a bit of use and everything is normal. This year it is again stiff but it has only loosened up for the fore/aft motion (eg 1st to 2nd gear) but not for the lateral (side to side) motion. It doesn't seem to be the cables. It seems to be in the transmission. I suspect its the shafts (I don't know the proper name for these shafts) that turn when the gear shift cable pushes/pulls and then engage the shifter forks. Maybe there is a bushing in there that's worn out or something.....

    Anyone else experienced this? Anyone know if I can dis-assemble the top of the transmission with it in the truck ( to get at the cable to shifter fork connections)? Anyone that has done this have any sage advice. Anyone have any manual showing how to do this? Parts diagram?

    Attached Files:

  2. Bowe

    Bowe Member

    If you haven’t already it would be worth removing the shift boot and lubing the pivot points even if it doesn’t seem like the cables.
  3. RCminicab

    RCminicab New Member

    Thanks Bowe.

    So this has turned into the worst kind of problem.....I went out to work on the problem tonight and everything now works as it should. I hate problems that "go away" with no known root cause - they usually re-appear at the worst of times.

    So all I did was remove the box access hatch to the transmission top, spray some Gunk de-greaser on the filthy mess and rinse it off. I removed the shifter boot as per Bowe's suggestion and before doing anything else I moved the shifter around to see what was happening under the boot and the stiffness is gone. I didn't even clean or lube it yet.

    So my thinking is that maybe the Gunk and wash removed some crud (seems unlikely as it really wasn't that bad as per previous photo) or sitting in the heat all day loosened something up?

    So the path forward will be to clean and lube under shifter boot, clean and lube top of transmission, put the access cover back on and drive it. Suggestions on best lube? - I'm thinking of dry silicon lube that will not attract dirt.

    Anyone else have this issue after their truck sits for bit?
  4. Kei3DO

    Kei3DO New Member

    I had a weird shifting problem when I first got my u42 last year. It did not under any circumstances want to stay in 3rd. Felt like it was being pulled backwards. Turned out my rubber boot was just getting stiff, like old rubber does. And was pulling it back to center. I removed the boot, added lithium grease all over the shifter joints, then made my own cloth boot with material from a hobby store. It's never tried to pull out of 3rd again.
  5. RCminicab

    RCminicab New Member

    Kei3DO - thanks for the thoughts/ideas. Mine was stiff to shift even with the boot off. As reported earlier, its been fine since cleaning and lubing so I'll wait to see if it re-occurs next spring. So far its been smooth driving. It was a strange problem and I doubt I've gotten to root cause yet but I can't diagnose what's currently working.
  6. Clay1968

    Clay1968 New Member

    i have a question about your truck. I just replaced my clutch in my 91 u42t 4wd. It seems like the shift from 2-3 is very tall. Is this normal? I rev 2nd all the way out and go to third and it feels like what 4th should be like.
  7. Kei3DO

    Kei3DO New Member

    Are in a 4spd or 5spd? I have a 5, so if you're in a 4 I'm not sure what those feel like to give you my opinion
  8. Clay1968

    Clay1968 New Member

    I ended up realizing my trans was a 5 speed. I didnt think of it since it had a 4 speed ball and never shifted a trans with my left hand before! It shifts great now

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