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Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:26 am

My original st185 trans failed. I replaced it with a st205 trans but it still has the notchy shifting into 2nd and it's hard to put it in 1st if I'm going over 5mph. I can force it but I just slow down to avoid issues. I think my all-trac has a stock shifter that was cut to become a sorry short shifter. I was looking into a st205 shifter, a st205 shifter or a aftermarket twm but I don't know if these will solve my issues. I doubt it's the trans since I have the same problem my st185 trans has always had.

What do you guys think? I replaced the shifter trans bushings with brass ones. Replaced my slave cylinder and my master cylinder doesn't leak.
The never ending quest continues :(
I love/hate this car :)
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Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:50 am

I've found all of my Celicas hard to get into 1st while moving at all, so maybe that's normal? If it's only notchy into 2nd it could be a fluke or maybe something is fouling the shifter mechanisms/cables?

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:09 am

underscore wrote:I've found all of my Celicas hard to get into 1st while moving at all, so maybe that's normal? If it's only notchy into 2nd it could be a fluke or maybe something is fouling the shifter mechanisms/cables?


I was thinking of buying new cables to try that idea. I haven't checked recently on the aftermarket cables someone here posted a link to in a while.
If my shifter lever is the original one but just cut, that shouldn't cause this right?
I'm trying to avoid any problems with my trans. I did use new fluid when I installed it like 2 or 3k miles ago. I used a raising clutch and resurfaced the flywheel too.

Are you familiar with the st20x shifters? I remember seeing the st205 shifter is a upgrade for the st185 and even the st204 is also a upgrade compared to the st185
I'm just debating on a replacement shifter assembly

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:57 pm

What type of gear oil are you running? In my 86 Celica GTS, Toyota spec'd ATF, but I had some notchiness. I switched to 75W90 gear oil and it smoothed it out. I noticed in later years, Toyota switched from ATF to gear oil in their specs. I'd start there and research 75w90, 80w90, synthetics, brands, GL4 or GL5, etc. There are threads on this site discussing this, with a lot of different opinions. I'll try to dig them up later and post the links.
Your post said, "...and it's hard to put it in 1st if I'm going over 5mph. I can force it but I just slow down to avoid issues." Are you downshifting into 1st? Not trying to be a dick but I never downshift into 1st gear. If you're at 5mph, just use your brakes; they're easier to replace.

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:15 pm

Gearbox and tranny oil thread:
viewtopic.php?f=43&t=19619&hilit=75w90

Amsoil scientific study on gear oil (not surprising Amsoil came out #1 in comparison testing):
http://www.syntheticwarehouse.com/broch ... _study.pdf

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:57 pm

Rick89GTS wrote:What type of gear oil are you running? In my 86 Celica GTS, Toyota spec'd ATF, but I had some notchiness. I switched to 75W90 gear oil and it smoothed it out. I noticed in later years, Toyota switched from ATF to gear oil in their specs. I'd start there and research 75w90, 80w90, synthetics, brands, GL4 or GL5, etc. There are threads on this site discussing this, with a lot of different opinions. I'll try to dig them up later and post the links.
Your post said, "...and it's hard to put it in 1st if I'm going over 5mph. I can force it but I just slow down to avoid issues." Are you downshifting into 1st? Not trying to be a dick but I never downshift into 1st gear. If you're at 5mph, just use your brakes; they're easier to replace.


I'm using red line 75W90NS
When i try to put it in 1st is when I take it out of gear and coast to a red light and it suddenly turns green but I'm only going a few mph. Putting it on 2nd will put a huge load on my engine. Know what I mean? That or when I need to make a U-turn and if i stop completely, I'll miss my chance because of cars that are coming in the direction I want to go in.
I don't downshift unless I need to suddenly pick up speed.
Thanks for posting the thread.
On my way home from work a little while ago I noticed that shifting into 3rd feels like its catching on something part way through the shift.
So going I need to be going like 2-3 mph to smoothly put it in 1st
Going from 1st to 2nd feels notchy like if I'm not pressing the clutch all the way in
And going from 2nd to 3rd feels like its catching on the edge of something.

On a different topic, I just read up about shell rotella t6 5w40 and pick up a bottle on my way home :)
I've been using mobil1 forever on my all-trac. I'll do oil analysis in 3k miles.

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm

Ahh, yes, i know what you mean. I forgot about those "in-between" moments. I gotcha.

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:32 pm

Rick89GTS wrote:Ahh, yes, i know what you mean. I forgot about those "in-between" moments. I gotcha.


What do you think it can be? My shifter cables, my shifter assembly or what about the master cylinder..... damn
Thanks for helping so far guys

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:01 pm

Worst-case is your synchros going bad but check all the easy stuff first, even the clutch and slave.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=53504&hilit=gear

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:54 pm

Do you have any issues going into 4th?

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:30 pm

Rick89GTS wrote:Worst-case is your synchros going bad but check all the easy stuff first, even the clutch and slave.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=53504&hilit=gear


Just woke up,
I'll look into it and post what I find. The thing that worries me the most is this transmission fails and I can't fix it. If I knew how to rebuild it I would not be worried about this at all. I remember seeing that the synchros are still available because they are used in newer transmissions too. That's good news but as of now since I have no knowledge about the transmission it worries me.
I still have my original transmission. With the help of people here I believe it's a shift fork that failed. When I learn how to fix that I'll have a working spare transmission :D
Thanks man
Last edited by lalojamesliz1 on Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:32 pm

alltrac801 wrote:Do you have any issues going into 4th?


Nope. No issue going up into 4th or 5tth or even downshifting into 4th. I don't think I have problems downshifting into 3rd either but I'll have to verify that.

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:22 am

lalojamesliz1 wrote:My original st185 trans failed. I replaced it with a st205 trans

Was your ST205 trans rebuilt, or have the synchros replaced, prior to you installing it? Why did your ST185 trans fail?

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:23 am

I looked at that thread you posted Rick and the sugar cube on the e154f trans is a hard plastic that looked new. I'll check the clutch linkage. It's been a while since I did

Re: Please help me rid of this notchy shifting

Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:10 pm

lalojamesliz1 wrote:Nope. No issue going up into 4th or 5tth or even downshifting into 4th. I don't think I have problems downshifting into 3rd either but I'll have to verify that.


The only reason I ask is because my car was really hard from 1st to 2nd. and hard from 3rd to 4th but not as bad. After about 3 months of that hard shifting it was almost impossible to get my car into 2nd so i would just shift from 1st to 3rd. Then one day I was driving to the parts store forced it into 2nd and my shift cables snapped and i was stuck in 2nd. You might check and see if MR2Heaven is still selling the st185 cables.
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