Stiff manual gear shifting

Tiny
FADI
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 MAZDA 626
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 253,000 MILES
My clutch pedal went down too low on my Mazda 626 Cronos 1996, and it would not bounce back as it normally should when I remove my foot, so I could no longer change gears. My mechanic told me it needed a new clutch master cylinder. After he replaced it I noticed the clutch pedal was low: I could change gears and the pedal would bounce back, but lower than its normal position. My mechanic told me I should not worry. I drove the car a few days and for short distances without problems. A week after the replacement of the master clutch cylinder, I noticed when I started my car in the morning that the rear gear was stiff, and so were other gears as I moved forward. But little by little, gear shifting became smooth as usual. The next time I drove my car was 2 days afterwards. This time gear shifting was even much stiffer. It took some driving and difficult gear shifting before gear shifting became smooth. So what is wrong? Was the clutch master cylinder not installed properly? Thank you.
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Sunday, June 12th, 2011 AT 2:36 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Check the master cylinder to pedal adjustment. If the pedal is adjusted too low, you would have the problem.

Try shifting without starting the engine to confirm it is not caused by the shift linkages.
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Sunday, June 12th, 2011 AT 3:08 AM
Tiny
FADI
  • MEMBER
To KHLow2008
Thank you for your reply. After the clutch master cylinder was replaced, the clutch pedal became low. So would this be the cause of stiff gear shifting according to you? I have just tried shifting without starting the engine, as you suggested: I was able to shift, but here again shifting was stiff, stiffer than usual with the engine off. Could the stiff gear shifting be related to gearbox oil? Does the mechanic touch the gearbox oil when replacing the clutch master cylinder?
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Sunday, June 12th, 2011 AT 3:45 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
When replacing the master cylinder, it is not necessary to do anything related with the gear box oil. If the gear shift is stiff even when engine is not started, that indicates a problem with the linkages or cables. Try lubricating the joints and see if it helps.

As to the pedal height, if it is too low, have it adjusted slightly higher but do not overadjust, which can cause problems.
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Sunday, June 12th, 2011 AT 10:50 AM
Tiny
FADI
  • MEMBER
To KHLow2008,
Thank you again. Could a low clutch pedal be the result of having air in the hydraulic line?
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Sunday, June 12th, 2011 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
It is possible for that to occur so you can try bleeding the system. If air is trapped in system the height would be eratic.
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Monday, June 13th, 2011 AT 11:35 AM

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