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2nd gear on 94 S4 is absent in shifting

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Hey guys,

I was driving the 94S4 today, and all of a sudden, I don't have 2nd gear. All of the other gears work fine, it's just that when I put into second gear, it goes in, but there is no engagement..... still feels like I'm in neutral. There was no grinding, no noise at all. I shifted from first to second at a stoplight, no problem..... went to the next stoplight, put it into neutral, then when the light turned gtreen, put it into first... ok..... then put it into second, pushed the gas, and the engine revved up, but no acceleration... just coasted along exactly as if I was in neutral.

I did some quick "feel" tests, and with the engine running and the clutch pushed in, I pull it down into 2nd, and it feels.... void.... no sensation at all.... then when I release the clutch, still nothing....... All other gears feel totally original and fine. If the engine running and I try to put it into 2nd without putting the clutch in, it feels resistance... feels the same as if I try to put into other gears without putting the clutch in...just a normal resistance(this is if I only push very lightly on the gearshift, of course... don't want to grind the gears) If, when pushing lightly on 2nd, and feeling the resistance (just like the other gears), then I push in the clutch, then after a beat, it snicks into the 2nd "proper" position, but still nothing... no noise, no engagement, just empty and void.....

I do not have the red hose any more so that is not an issue. In the previous week, there were a couple of days where for some reason, I couldn't get into 2nd without grinding badly... this happened on two separate days, all throughout the drive, but then the next days, it shifted fine. I'm thinking that there is definitely a connection here, and if any of you have an idea what is the culprit, any advice would be greatly appreciated.... also, since I do have 85,000 miles on the transaxle, a rebuild is in order anyway.... anyone have an idea on what a rebuild in the United States of the Renault transaxle costs? (parts, and labor) I have rebuilt my citroen gearbox on the 85 TE before, so I'm not afraid to get in there, but and advice is hugely appreciated.

All the best,

Paul Wendling


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Just having a gearbox done with exactly the same problem on an S4S. I have seen the gear and it id devoid of teeth and was down to the Synchro being worn out. The box now has a new second gear and synchro ring.


I'll get around to it at some point.

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Oooh bugger - time to order a 2nd gear and synchro. I feel your pain...

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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Sorry to hear about your problem Paul.

Your second gear looks like the one in the pic below, the dog teeth have all broken off. It is usually caused by ham fisting from first to second and happens over time. A few teeth here and there until finally one day the last ones will break off and no more second gear.



Edited by lotus4s

1995 S4s

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Ok, It is what I thought........

The info and pics from you guys are hugely appreciated. Does anyone know about how much I should spend for 2nd synchro and gear and any other necessary rebuild parts? I will probably also get first gear synchro at same time. Also, the halfshaft seals are leaking, so perfect time to replace. I know there is a trick to getting the halfshaft seals set, and also what is the procedure to removing the halfshafts from the tranny. Is it circlips, or just tight, so need a mallet, or other? On the Citroen, it was obvious because of the hex bolts.

Also, when splitting the case, what material should I use for sealing the two halves back together, and what type of tranny fluid, and how many quarts.... etc.... any other things I should know? I am planning to remove the tranny on Monday, and do the rebuild so i will keep you all posted, also with pics of the interesting bits :rolleyes:

Once again thank you so much!




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  • 2 weeks later...

for pics see


I've had mine apart twice for resealing and LSD install.

You'll need ling punches to remove the roll pins

You'll need Loctite 518 or Permatex anaerobic sealant to seal the cases.

Don't lose the ball detents and don't force the shifter forks back in after pulling/pushing them all the way to one side (you'll crush the springs after the balls fall out) in fact don't pull the forks too far to any side.

you can see some of the process here

You do need to set the seals to the proper depth.

You can check with JAE in CA, and SJ SPortscars in the UK for 2nd Gear and synchro.


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Thanks Travis,

The pictures will definitely be super helpful. I am getting the synchros, gears, and misc pieces from Harry Martens, he has been SUPER GREAT in helping me. I got the new pins, seals, gaskets, etc from JAE. Just waiting for the gears to come from Europe... I will post pics here when it's time to open her up.

All the best to everybody on this site!


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