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Stuck in 3rd, wheels won't roll

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1937 Fordor, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Went for a ride this morning in my 1937 Ford 85hp and when I was attempting to shift up to third just after rounding a shallow corner the car skidded to a halt. The car is now stuck in third gear and I can't get the shift lever to move. The car will not roll on the rear wheels.

    Car has been towed with great care to my house about 1.5 miles away. I need to get it unstuck so I can get the car back to my storage place then I can start fixing. I will get under it later on and try and see what is up and perhaps even repair it. If not, I need to get the car back to the garage and drop the trans and rear end. Would like to at least get it unstuck so it can roll.

    When I first took off in the morning, there was a lot of clutch chatter in first, but seemed to settle down with time. The car performed excellent last night but this morning I am stuck in third gear and the car won't roll. What should I look for? Any obvious culprits to point to? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
  2. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,556


    How do you know it's 3rd? That wouldn't make it skid to a halt. It would just continue to drive. Does it move when you push in the clutch?
  3. WillyNilly
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 240

    from NorCal

    No experience with this trans, but sounds like it may be locked in 3rd and reverse since it's the same side of the shift pattern. There should be a lockout detent to prevent going into two gears at the same time. Is it possible the trans was rebuilt recently and this was left out? Maybe take the shift cover off and poke around with a screwdriver to free up the gears at least into neutral? Good luck.
  4. Thanks for responding.
    I know it is in third because I shifted from second to third when it happened.
  5. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,038

    from Auburn WA

    Stuck in two gears at once. Had this happen to a 53merc. Pull the cover off and check the shift forks.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  6. Yep he is going to find a bent shift for or on that is severly worn or both.

    It is not in 3rd just because you were shifting to third, it is in 2 gears or is trying to go into 2 gears at once.
  7. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,556


    You didn't respond if pushing in the clutch releases the rear wheels, so we need more info. If you let the clutch out and the engine stalls and the car does not move, it's in two gears at once. The load on the trans comes from the front of the shaft, so before you attempt to either pull the cover, or manually move the shift arms, put a socket and breaker on the crank and attempt to turn the crank backwards. It may not move much, but that will relieve the bind and usually allow you to manually grab the shift arms and get it unstuck.

    Is it a stock trans?
  8. Will not roll with the clutch depressed. We just tried it.
  9. Okatoma cruiser
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 179

    Okatoma cruiser
    from Ms

    Something's locked the rearend up- maybe?i would jack up the rearend and see if the rear wheels will move back and forth-
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  10. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,742


    sounds like the front u joint came apart. it is inside of the bell at back of transmission. came apart and locked up the tires.
  11. Didn't we used to rock them back and forth when this happened?
  12. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,546


    2nd -3rd gear both engaged , try what bad shifter said this ocassionally happens on transmissions that are getting internally sloppy or have worn out bushings on the linkage
  13. Thanks for the responses. Got to get it unstuck. Don't care if I have to get the trans rebuilt, no problem. Then I don't have to worry about it. Just need to get the car rolling so I can get it back to my barn then I can take it apart if I have to.
  14. Just wondering!!!How did you tow it home if the rear wheels wont rotate??
    and depressing clutch does nothing to release it..use same method to get it in your barn.I am assuming it was rear towed by a wrecker?
  15. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    It is in two gears. Pull the shift lever (I am assuming it is a Ford floor shifter trans) and use a long screwdriver to pry the shift forks into neutral, then put the shifter back in.
    Always be sure the trans comes right out of low before hitting second, or the detent may not engage, causing the low fork to drag into gear when you go for high.
  16. George/Maine
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 949


    Take the cover off tans and look for broken teeth see if semcro will move to neural.
    If you have smooth surface maybe move with 2 wheel dolly's in not to far.
  17. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Tow truck with a wheel lift [stinger] will carry with the rear wheels off the ground. Is still has the floor shift trans pull the floor board and trans top. With top off issue will be readly seen.

  18. We towed it with a wrecker with the rear wheels in the air and the steering wheel tied up. Drove real slow and careful. Only had to go about 1.5 miles to my house. Car is in the driveway. If I can't free it up, I'll drop the trans in the drive and then we'll try and get the car back to the ford barn.
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  19. In the past two weeks (I was driving the car nearly every day), twice I found a clump of grease on the floor, in the area of the trans. Wasn't sure where it was coming from. I lubed the car recently (about 300 miles ago). And I changed the trans oil about 300 miles ago too. I only drove the car about 1.8 miles from cold start to when the trans stuck. What do you think? Might be the problem? bummer.
  20. Do as John Evans states,,PULL the top off the tranny,,have a look-see before removing the trans.
  21. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,218


    typed before thinking.............

    Attached Files:

  22. Just went out there and was able to squeeze my body under the car. There is a clump of muddy looking grease puking out where the drive tube meets the rear of the trans. Looks like a clump of wet mud. And it looks like the lump of grease I found on the garage floor. This is looking dismal.
  23. I'm with john Evans and fastcar1953 the ujoint went out on my truck wouldn't move at all shifter was stuck in 3rd ... Look up 31'ABone HAMB member .. Bill he is great on rebuilding these transmission if you need someone to rebuild it for you. good luck.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  24. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,742


    pull the bell back and see what the u joint looks like. if it's good disconnect it and roll car in garage. if it's bad you found the problem.
  25. Cooked!!! I found metal shavings in the trans oil. Here are the two biggest hunks. The rest are very very small flakes. The fluid looks to have a sheen like brown metal flake paint.

    Attached Files:

  26. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,855


    Looks more like chunks than flakes. Good luck with your repairs.
  27. Took the floor out and removed the transmission cover. I was able to slide things around by hand and get the car to roll without the clutch in. Every time I tried to put the tower back on, things got jazzed up. The photo of the trans with the tower partially removed is how the innards looked while locked in place.

    There is damage --missing teeth on the main drive (# 7061) can be seen in the photos. The brass parts are heavily scored. Right now I have the innards lined up in such a manner that will allow the car to roll free.

    The shifter forks don't appear bent or deformed; the smaller fork moves fore and aft but the larger one does not move at all. Should it move? Looks like it should move like the smaller one.

    I am grateful to get it unstuck and rolling. I will get the car back to the garage this Friday and some time soon take the trans out for a rebuild. I want to rebuild this trans case rather than trade it because it is original to the car.
    <!-- / message --><!-- attachments -->

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  28. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,231


    From what I can see:

    The pics of the shift cover; The trans lever is in 1st gear in those pics. When one fork is in a gear, the other fork is locked, so it won't get into 2 gears at once. So, if you are trying to move the large fork which is 2/3, it is not supposed to be able to move, if your other fork shows to be in first gear.

    I need to look at the gear pics more closely to see what else is going on.
  29. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,231


    Ok, I see why it is jambed in 3rd. There is a chunk of the inner detent parts of the 2/3 syncro hub ass'y, that help keep it in gear, which is broken or dislodged. It is jambed between 2nd gear brass ring, which is forcing the slider to stay locked in the 3rd gear position.

    In case you don't know; 3rd gear happens when that front slider hub goes all the way forward and locks the input shaft, to the out/main shaft. So there really is no 3rd "gear", it is merely locking two shafts as one.

    2nd gear is the gear just behind the rear brass syncro ring.

    1/R is done with that rear sliding gear. Forward on that slider is 1st, back is R. Those small chips on the 1/R slider is normal. Those get small chips if if it gets shifted into 1st or R, when the car is still moving.

    I do not see any serious gear damage from here.

    Your problem is that the syncro ass'y failed, and the broken part is holding the 2/3 slider in 3rd gear.
  30. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,231


    I have outlined the chunk that I think is the problem. Can you take a look in the trans to see what that is?

    Attached Files:

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