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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I'm hoping to have some light shed on an unusual problem.
I took my 2002 TF 160 out for a drive yesterday, got about 5 miles and without warning the gear stick became incredibly hard to shift. My first thought was as if someone had dumped a load of super glue on to it. I pulled over to try and loosen it but that just made it worse and within seconds I had to use both hands to shift gears. It moves well from left to right but is an absolute pain up/down i.e. into and out of gear. Called breakdown and it was understandingly something they couldn't help with on the spot, so we managed to shift into second and I got home that way.
It makes no difference if the engine is off or on and just to clarify, it does still go into gear as I had to reverse on to my driveway but it takes both hands to shift.
I've checked all fluids and oils I can easily access but I'm at a complete loss.

I was thinking it might be that the transmission fluid had leaked but it's odd I got 5 miles before it seized up without warning.

Has anyone come across a problem like this before? Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone for your time.
 

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mg_tf
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The connection between the the gear lever and gearbox is 2 cables, one cable for the side to side movement and the other the back and forth movement. This should be easy to check by disconnecting the cable at the gearbox end and seeing if the movement is still stiff.

If it is the cable that's causing the issue it's better than having to dismantle the gearbox but I believe they're a pain to change although I've never done one myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it! Ok yeah, from what you've said, the cable seems like the most realistic reason.
This being my first ever car and only for a few months at that I'm still learning as I go along - how would I go about disconnecting the cable at the gearbox? Is that something easily done or am I better to wait until I find someone who knows what they're looking at?
 

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mg_tf
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Take a look at this video, I'm not sure if this is the for/aft or side to side cable, the second cable is above it and to the right. It should also be noted that there should be a rubber gaiter, that's missing on this car, that covers the inner cable where it exits the outer sleeve

 

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I should have mentioned that the video shows an F, the TF setup is slightly different I believe but the cable ends are the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is great stuff, I will have a look at that tomorrow morning, thank you!

Something I just remembered, the last time I drove the car before it seized up yesterday which was about a week ago, it suddenly started rattling from behind. It was definitely coming from the engine area and every slight pothole increased it dramatically. I decided to finish driving to my destination as it wasn't far to go before looking at it, but suddenly just heard a 'clonk' and a rattle as if a screw had fallen onto a metal plate, and then everything was silent again. It got me home ok and as I said above it got me 5 miles from home yesterday but I wonder if that has anything to do with it?
 

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mg_tf
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There is a metal clip holding each gear shift cable to the bodywork just before the bellcrank. These clips apparently can come loose. That is enough I understand to cause difficulty changing gear. If only one clip came off, that could explain why you've lost the gearchange in the one direction only. Could explain the rattle too.

The good news is the fix is to simply put the clip back in place.
 
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