My 90' 300ZX will not go in reverse - Nissan Forum
Z32 Chassis 300ZX 1990-1996 300ZX Z32 Chassis Discussion

 
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#1 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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My 90' 300ZX will not go in reverse

I recently purchased a 1990 300ZX with an automatic transmission. Everything was working fine the first couple of days of driving it, but on the third day I've run into a major issue. While cruising around the city of Chicago I came to a red light and was a bit in the intersection so I threw the car in reverse to back up, but the car wouldn't roll backwards. I tried giving it some gas and the car still wouldn't roll backwards. I put the car back into drive and headed back home. I parked the car in the garage and again tried to get the car to roll in reverse but it wouldn't. Now that the car is stuck in the garage, I decided to put the car in neutral and tried to roll it out of the garage, but the car would not budge.

The next day my mother's boyfriend came over to take a look; he's not a mechanic or car expert but he was able to help me test some things out. We put the car on some axel stands leaving the rear tires free to spin. Obviously when we put the car in reverse and gave it gas the tires did not spin. We then put the car in neutral and tried to manually rotate the rear tires backwards. The tires did not turn easily and we had to put in a bit of effort just to get them to rotate a couple of inches; however when we tried to rotate the tires forward they spun with ease. We then put the car in Drive and the tires starting spinning forward no problem.

From some of the research I've done so far online I've discovered that I may have some type of transmission issue, so I contacted the seller to get any information on the transmission that he had and this is what he told me...
He had a rebuilt transmission put into the car approximately two years ago. Since then he has only put on approximately 1000 miles on the vehicle as he hasn't really been driving the car for the past two years. The shop where he had the transmission work done is no longer in business and that there was only a 1yr/12,000 mile warranty on the transmission. Not sure if he's lying but he did promise to bring me the receipts and such for the transmission work this evening, which hopefully will allow me to verify his information.

Does anyone have any idea what could be the issue with the car? I'm really confused as to why I can't get the car to roll backwards in neutral. Any help would be greatly appreciated and let me know if any other information is needed to help figure out what is wrong.
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#2 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Have you check the tranny fluid level?
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#3 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 11:48 AM
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Yes, the fluid level seemed fine; and the fluid looked to be in good shape. Do you think I should have it flushed?
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#4 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Check the basics...fluid level, shift control. If all that is okay, then you probably do have an internal issue. My guess would be an issue with the reverse clutch drum. Sometimes the snap ring that retains the clutch plates in the drum will pop out and result in a no reverse condition, yet forward gears will be fine. The repair in this scenario would be to remove and teardown the trans and replace the rear clutch drum assy and snap ring. Of course, if the trans is apart, it might as well be overhauled or another option, replace the trans. with a reman. or used unit. All depends on what is most practical for you. Best advise I can give you is to get it to a reputable trans shop.
#5 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by smj999smj View Post
Check the basics...fluid level, shift control. If all that is okay, then you probably do have an internal issue. My guess would be an issue with the reverse clutch drum. Sometimes the snap ring that retains the clutch plates in the drum will pop out and result in a no reverse condition, yet forward gears will be fine. The repair in this scenario would be to remove and teardown the trans and replace the rear clutch drum assy and snap ring. Of course, if the trans is apart, it might as well be overhauled or another option, replace the trans. with a reman. or used unit. All depends on what is most practical for you. Best advise I can give you is to get it to a reputable trans shop.
Thanks for the information. Could you tell me how to check the shift control? I'm not really familiar with working on cars but I am willing to try. Would this no reverse condition account for why the car will not roll backwards in neutral?
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#6 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Under the vehicle, the bottom of the shift lever and trans are connected by an adjustable steel bar. Just check the mechanica operation of the rod and notice any play. IIRC, it may be difficult to get a look at as the heat shields and driveshaft may obscure the view. To answer your second question: yes, it could. But, those Z32's were heavy and weren't easy to push, anyway!
#7 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by smj999smj View Post
Under the vehicle, the bottom of the shift lever and trans are connected by an adjustable steel bar. Just check the mechanica operation of the rod and notice any play. IIRC, it may be difficult to get a look at as the heat shields and driveshaft may obscure the view. To answer your second question: yes, it could. But, those Z32's were heavy and weren't easy to push, anyway!
Thanks again. I just have one more question. If I do somehow get the car out of the garage is it okay to drive it? Will driving the car somehow affect the damage already done, or even make things worse?
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#8 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 05:55 PM
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Impossible to say without actually knowing whats wrong with it. If it is the snap ring on the reverse clutch drum, them it should be okay for a short distance, but I wouldn't push my luck, either.
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