Every now & then, I can't get my car into 2nd or 3rd gear.
Mainly happens when SWMBO drives it. After struggling
with it for a few seconds, it'll go into gear. Any suggestions
or hints would be appreciated.
When sitting still with the engine running and the clutch out, try pushing the clutch in, wait 2 seconds, then try to engage reverse. If it doesn't go in smoothly, you might have something keeping the input shaft spinning with the clutch disengaged (or the clutch isn't completely disengaged)...
The only other things I can think of is that the synchros are going in the trans or the shift rods/rails/bushings have become sloppy...
Do the gears clash or does the shifter just stick and not go into gear?
As Pat said is the clutch completely disengaging the tranny. Put in 1st gear and you should have about 1 inch of travel from the floor untill the tranny starts to engage. If it doesn't then you'll have to adjust the clutch.
If that is OK. then you may have to adjust the shift link.
If you have a service manual its easy to do. If you don't I'll explain.
Place the tranny in neutral. From under the car loosen the nut that holds the shift levers tight. Make sure all the levers are in there center position. You can move them full forward then full aft individually to make sure that each shift lever is in its center position. You will place a rod, a drill can be used, in the centering hole that goes through the shift levers. This centers them all. Then make sure the shiftlever is in the neutral position from above. Then tighten the shift linkage nut and you should be set.
If you want I can E-mail copies of the service manual instructions to you. Let me know.