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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hard time getting into 1st gear. It just doesn't want to go into 1st gear sometimes. I have gone into 3rd and almost stalled the engine when trying to move from a stoplight. Any ideas? It's not the clutch because I tried pumping the clutch and it only helped a little.
 
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There are bushings in the shifter lever and bushings and a lever on top of the transmission. These can get worn out and cause hard shifting that is unrelated to the clutch. There's a bolt that will let you adjust the travel of the lever, go to far one way and you lose 1st, go to far the other way and you lost reverse. Best thing to do is replace the plastic lever since it can break if it's never been replaced and adjust the lever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, how do I check the bushings? What's a good bushing and what's a bad bushig?
 

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You will be able to feel 1mm difference from a worn bushing because it can make it harder to shift.

If you have high miles, the bushings are probably worn. The plastic lever on top of the transmission can make up for some of the play, there's a bolt and a slider which you have to move to adjust the gearshift. I will try to find a link .
 

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This is a common problem in these cars. Excess play builds up and you have to adjust the shifter. Be careful because a little goes a long way.

Also, does double pressing the clutch pedal help any? If so, it may be a clutch prob. What happens is an air bubble gets into the clutch line. double pressing should help if it's a clutch problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I fixed this over the weekend.

I had to spray some lubricant over the shifter bushing on top of the transmission and adjust the nut until it hit a sweet spot. I think that the shifter cables and other parts may be stretched out too but this is good for now.
 

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Hi,

I would highly appreciate if someone could post a pic of which nut to adjust. I have exactly the same issue and couldn't figure out what to adjust.

Thanks
 

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Thanks for the reply CCBB,

However, the cables on my Golf 97 are different than this picture. Actually there are no cables, but rods with ball and socket joint on the ends
 
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