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Shifting to first problem

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I have a 98 glx jetta and sometimes it is very hard to get into first and reverse. When it won't go to first it feels like you have to kinda of force it into gear and even then it won't go sometimes. Does anyone have a clue as to what the problem is?

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check the condition of the bushes on the shifter mechanism....


also the shifter tower on the gearbox are known to funny, however you should be able to determine that if you can easily get it into gear from the gearbox side with the cables disconnected....

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Mine used to do the same, it originally came with a B&M short shifter and it was a pain to select anything without looking like I'm whisking cream for a cake.

I got a better selector and fitted it along with a new plastic thingy that fits on the gearbox end.

Things improved loads but first and second were still a bit tricky along with a stiff 5th.

Last night on a run I shoved her into 5th and felt a twang (oh god) lost 5th as soon as I dropped out from it.

I had to fight for reverse when I got her home and then took a peek.

The flimsy tin metal that the box is made of has slowly worn, bent and snapped away because of the amount of force required to get it into gear.

I decided to reinforce it all with 4mm aluminium plates, I first cut a few cardboard templates and then fitted.

Now it the gear changes are like a sports car, nice and close and I can get into each one no problem, sometimes first needs to go through second sometimes but it's so much better.

I will try to add pictures of the simple reinforcement job if it lets me upload them.




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