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Old 12-21-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
v8nut
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Default Transmission is locked up

Somehow my 1935 transmission is locked up. I may have tried to install the wrong top assembly. I have both a 1936 and a 1934 top assembly along with two different shift levers for them. At this point the transmission will not turn at all. For example it kills the engine if I let out the clutch. The reverse slider moves freely and the gear just behind the shift collar moves a little but the main drive gear and the cluster gear are frozen solid. I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to fix it. Is this a common problem?
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

if the input shaft and cluster wont turn, its in high (3rd) gear. you dont say if its in the car or not, if it is something has to allow rotation like either jack up the rear end, or push in the clutch. with the cover off, you should see that the syncro is pushed forward locking the main shaft and input shaft together, the high gear position. slide the syncro back to where its centered between the drive teeth of the two shafts. a slant tower, 34, and a straight tower 36 will not interchange.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Take the top off and have a look inside. If it's killing the motor it would tell you it is in two gears at once.

You will have to investigate. You will need the correct top to match the gears.

You may have fitted the correct top but not engaged the forks in the gears correctly.

take the top off and manually move the gears to the neutral position. See if that frees up the motor (watch for splashing oil).

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Old 12-22-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

It is in the car, the top is off and it is definitely in two gears at once. It is locked up tight. My real problem is how do I free it? Can I cannot get the cluster gear or the main drive gear to move even a little bit. God forbid, do I have to take the transmission out of the car to free it up? I was thinking maybe I can pry the cluster gear back a little to release it. I would really appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

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Originally Posted by v8nut View Post
It is in the car, the top is off and it is definitely in two gears at once. It is locked up tight. My real problem is how do I free it? Can I cannot get the cluster gear or the main drive gear to move even a little bit. God forbid, do I have to take the transmission out of the car to free it up? I was thinking maybe I can pry the cluster gear back a little to release it. I would really appreciate any suggestions.
I would try to prise it back and forward to free up. But to assist this process to ensure your clutch is fully engaged. This hopefully should assist.
Phil NZ
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

I would chock the wheels and jack one back wheel up just clear of the ground. That might take some load off. You should be able to slide the 1st/reverse gear along the splines. It might take some measured force, don't go mad at it.

And as above make sure the clutch is fully released. (Pedal down).

Mart.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

What year are the gears, since much later gears can be put into early cases? How about a photo since you have the top of the transmission off. Look for one or more of the syncro balls in the way locking the syncro hub in position. Use a inspection mirror. Sounds like your locked in 2nd and 3rd since the 1st-R gear moves. You can not move the cluster! Drain the oil to see if there are additional syncro balls in the oil at the bottom of the transmission.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

You should not be able to lock the trans if the 1st/reverse slider is in Neutral. Take a pry bar and move it to be between the reverse idler gear and the 1st gear (2nd from back) on the cluster
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

If the shift tower is off the case, you should be able to move the synchro and get 2nd & high back into neutral. If it's locked in 1:1 drive (high gear) then it locks the input gear to the main shaft which will try to turn the driveshaft. It will also lock the cluster since it's mated at the input drive gear at all times. In low and second gear the cluster is mated either with 2nd or the low/reverse gear and they should be able to slide unless there is a load from the drive shaft as was mentioned earlier. If you get the synchro and low/reverse gear in neutral, it should turn unless the clutch is engaged. If it's all in neutral and it still won't turn, there is a problem in the bearings or fit somewhere.

It's not as easy to work the transmission without the shifter top when the trans is in the car but it should be movable if loads from clutch and rear axle are removed. It always takes a bit of motion to get the stuff to slide more easily. Either shift tower should work as long as it has the early type synchro. If it has the late type synchro, only the vertical towers will work with the 91A type 2nd/High fork installed. The forks can be modified but it takes cutting and welding to get one that will work on the old style angled tower.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I now remember that the shift tower that was on the transmission originally had been welded at the front internal fork and it is not the one I am trying to use now. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe the internals in the transmission are not 1935 although the main shaft has straight splines. Could the synchronizer collar be a later design??
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Mosey on over to our website and check out the Transmission Identification link. Lots of pictures and details to help you ID what you have. You could very easily have a mix-match of parts, and they may not be correct for the application.

http://www.vanpeltsales.com/FH_web/f...sID_3speed.htm
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Mac is straight up and being modest as usual. He produced a transmission book that the OP should try to get a copy of. It is a big help with finding out what fits together and what doesn't in all of the early V8 cog boxes.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Thanks to Mac VP and others who have posted on this thread. I just found a big hunk of a broken tooth so I will pull the transmission this weekend and post the pics of what I find when I take it apart.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

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Thanks to Mac VP and others who have posted on this thread. I just found a big hunk of a broken tooth...
I'm so sorry to read that. It's certainly a reason for why your gears were unhappy about turning!
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Did you find an actual broken piece? Or an area on the shaft where the spline looks damaged? Some shafts have an area like that that can fool people into thinking something has chipped out.

Hope you are able to get the problem sorted.

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Old 12-25-2019, 11:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

I did find the broken piece. I will post a picture of all of it when I get it apart.
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Old 12-25-2019, 06:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Broken parts can lock them up for sure.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:09 PM   #18
v8nut
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Here is the bad news. This picture is of the cluster gear. I'm still not exactly sure how this happened but I think I tried to install the wrong top assembly and I got the tranny in two gears at once. BIG PROBLEM! Well, I have a new cluster gear on order and I think I have the correct top assembly now. We'll see.

Jim in San Jose
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

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Originally Posted by v8nut View Post
Here is the bad news. This picture is of the cluster gear. I'm still not exactly sure how this happened but I think I tried to install the wrong top assembly and I got the tranny in two gears at once. BIG PROBLEM! Well, I have a new cluster gear on order and I think I have the correct top assembly now. We'll see.

Jim in San Jose
Hi Everyone. Faak Jim that's properly busted up beyond repair. The really bright side of this pic is that it's fixable. You play the game you pay the price. Be happy it's not unobtanium and move along. You just got a paperweight that might lead to a few interesting conversations.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:43 AM   #20
32pu
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Default Re: Transmission is locked up

Hello Mac VP, just reading this article and thread, had a similar issue with my transmission over the weekend in about nine months ago pulling the cover sliding the gears back into place everything seem to function fine. Not sure what’s causing it to get locked up. I see in the pictures/article there’s a detent spring does that put a load on the shift forks? Trying to prevent this from happening again, not fun pulling the transmission case apart on the side of the road
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