Transmission shifting HELP!!--Trans rebuild or Clutch??


Knuckle Buster
Jan 8, 2011
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hi All
I just bought a 1960 Willys Wagon in great shape with a Chevy V-8 engine and the stock T-90 3-speed transmission.

The previous owner said that it was hard to shift, I bought it without brakes so I never test drove it. Now that it's grinds gears every time I shift no matter how slowly or quickly or whether I double clutch it. And believe me, I can usually drive without a clutch.
What's going on?

Is it a trans issue? He said he had the syncro's replaced about a year ago and it started doing this right away. Is he not being truthful? Does it need a rebuild?

Is it a clutch issue? with the Chevy engine?

What advice would you all give?

Thanks for your help
willys93108 said:
Hi All
I just bought a 1960 Willys Wagon in great shape ...

Welcome to the forum Mike-

A few things to try:

With the engine running, the trans in neutral and your foot off the clutch pedal, step on the pedal and shift to first or reverse. Does it shift into gear OK or grind?

How much free play is in the clutch pedal? Should be no more than a couple inches or so. If the trans grinds going from neutral and there's a lot of free travel, it may just be a clutch adjustment or worn clutch.

If it goes from neutral into reverse or low OK and the clutch feels good, then you will probably have to dig into the trans.

There's a rebuild guide that Pete posted in the Reference Library that may help you.

Just some simple suggestions,
Old Willy
Only second and third gear are synchronized. You will have gear grinding trying to shift into first or reverse if moving at all. If you are grinding in second or third shifting it could be the synchros.