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So my 75 280z 5 speed has been parked for a couple of years now. I don't drive it, once in a while I'll start up the engine and let it idle for 15 to 20 minutes. Recently my nephew came and wanted to test it out, when he shift the car into reverse it grinds and won't go into gear. I know the tyranny are hard to come by now and a rebuild would be costly to. What are my options or were to check to make sure it's the actual tyranny that is bad. I did remember reading on here few months ago about a post and a member said he had the same issue and has something to do with the clutch slave cylinder or something.
 

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Will it go into first gear? How does the clutch pedal feel? Regarding the slave cylinder it may need to be replaced or bleed. They are cheap $35. Try and bleed it, make sure you fill the clutch master periodically during the bleed process so you don’t run the maser cylinder dry .


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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Most likely the tranny is fine and the slave cylinder isn't pushing out the clutch.

Download the service manual from Nicoclub.com and that will get you started. Then get under the car while someone pushes out the clutch and watch the slave cylinder operate - or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will it go into first gear? How does the clutch pedal feel? Regarding the slave cylinder it may need to be replaced or bleed. They are cheap $35. Try and bleed it, make sure you fill the clutch master periodically during the bleed process so you don’t run the maser cylinder dry .


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Goes into gears fine, just reverse gear that's grinds
Most likely the tranny is fine and the slave cylinder isn't pushing out the clutch.

Download the service manual from Nicoclub.com and that will get you started. Then get under the car while someone pushes out the clutch and watch the slave cylinder operate - or not.
Ok thanks. Hopefully this weekend is sunny enough for me to get underneath the car and check
 

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Most manual transmissions I’ve come across all grind if you try to jam it into reverse without having first put it into a forward gear. You have to stop the input and countershaft from spinning before you can go into a non-synchro gear such as reverse. Have you tried going first then reverse, if so does it go into reverse easily this way? Still probably wouldn’t hurt to check your clutch master level and actuation.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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I forgot about @UncleWiggly well made point.

At the risk of being redundant, he's right on target.

The Z transmissions are prone to grind when shifting directly into reverse. If that happens, shift into first, then shift to reverse. IIRC they use a gear in common and this sequence tends to eliminate the grind. I use this fairly frequently.
 

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All of my past and present Z cars have this issue. I think it's just normal.... (not necessarily the grinding, but the not going into reverse)
They always seem to go into smooth reverse after I shift into a forward gear first. I'm not sure why this is, maybe a thing with Nissan transmissions, but it seems very common to me.

Bon
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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All of my past and present Z cars have this issue. I think it's just normal.... (not necessarily the grinding, but the not going into reverse)
They always seem to go into smooth reverse after I shift into a forward gear first. I'm not sure why this is, maybe a thing with Nissan transmissions, but it seems very common to me.

Bon
If I recall correctly there's an idler gear that's used both in first and reverse. I may recall incorrectly.
 

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there is no anti balk ring for reverse, its just a crash box style shift (all the other gears are always in mesh). Best bet is to make sure your clutch is not dragging, Come to a complete stop before trying to go into reverse. You may have a slave cylinder that is getting weak not giving you enough movement on the clutch fork to completely disengage the clutch. If its old I would recommend replacing that with a new NISSAN slave, they are still available. Make sure you have properly blead the system of air. IIRC there is no adjustment on the system in a 280z anyway. The gears with balk rings (like tiny clutches) can tolerate some drag in the clutch the reverse crash box style can not.
 

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Grinding into gear is not normal. It may be common because many old transmissions on old cars are worn. It could be clutch, synchros or worn gears. The clutch hydraulics are the cheapest, easiest wear item to check and most likely since you haven't been driving it much.

KEEP YOUR CORE if you buy a slave or master until you have it installed and working.

There wouldn't have been so many sold if the owners of the cool new sports car that was the poor man's Porsche had trouble getting into gear.

For reference, Porsche used a 2.4 litre engine with the 915 trans that is now considered clunky back when the 240Z was new. The Porsche cost about 3x what the Z cost.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Grinding into gear is not normal. It may be common because many old transmissions on old cars are worn. It could be clutch, synchros or worn gears. The clutch hydraulics are the cheapest, easiest wear item to check and most likely since you haven't been driving it much.

KEEP YOUR CORE if you buy a slave or master until you have it installed and working.

There wouldn't have been so many sold if the owners of the cool new sports car that was the poor man's Porsche had trouble getting into gear.

For reference, Porsche used a 2.4 litre engine with the 915 trans that is now considered clunky back when the 240Z was new. The Porsche cost about 3x what the Z cost.
The shift from first to reverse to eliminate gear crunch is well documented and I've done it with the four Z-cars I have owned: 1971, 1976, 1982 and 1983 Z-cars.
 

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So my 75 280z 5 speed has been parked for a couple of years now. I don't drive it, once in a while I'll start up the engine and let it idle for 15 to 20 minutes. Recently my nephew came and wanted to test it out, when he shift the car into reverse it grinds and won't go into gear. I know the tyranny are hard to come by now and a rebuild would be costly to. What are my options or were to check to make sure it's the actual tyranny that is bad. I did remember reading on here few months ago about a post and a member said he had the same issue and has something to do with the clutch slave cylinder or something.
Check the clutch dude. Try so strat it in gear w/ clutch pushed in. If you crash through the garage, it's the clutch.
 

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So my 75 280z 5 speed has been parked for a couple of years now. I don't drive it, once in a while I'll start up the engine and let it idle for 15 to 20 minutes. Recently my nephew came and wanted to test it out, when he shift the car into reverse it grinds and won't go into gear. I know the tyranny are hard to come by now and a rebuild would be costly to. What are my options or were to check to make sure it's the actual tyranny that is bad. I did remember reading on here few months ago about a post and a member said he had the same issue and has something to do with the clutch slave cylinder or something.
Could be the cluth slave cylinder or master brake cylinder. Possibly a warm out clutch or Trannie. The Master brake cylinder and the slave cylinder should be changed as a pair if at all possible. Failed seals in one usually mean weak seals in the other half
 
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