1996 Ford ranger 5 speed

Asked by Jul 11, 2018 at 05:46 PM about the 1996 Ford Ranger

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Why can't I shift gears when my truck is
turned on but I can shift gears just fine when
it's shut off

9 Answers


Sounds like the clutch isn't disengaging. The tramsmission (in your case gearbox) is always turning with the motor when its running and when its off you don't even need to push the clutch pedal in to switch gears, not that id recommend doing so. The first thing I would do if I were you is to flush the clutch system with fresh fluid (DOT3 brake fluid I believe) and hope its just water in the line. Use clear hose on the end of the nipple to drain it into a clear bottle so you can see what color it is, if it's really dark and has black stuff settling on the bottom the seals in the clutch master/ slave cylinder are probably deteriorated and not allowing pressure to build up

I've done all that and have all the clutch pedal in the world but can't switch gears. I'm thinking it might be my flywheel

Also I just put new clutch master and slave cylinders and gravity bled them


Possibly but id be more suspect of the pressure plate

The pressure plate is bran new. The whole clutch system minus the slave cylinder and the flywheel is all bran new. I haven't even driven the truck yet on the clutch system I just installed. As I explained earlier though,I bled everything and have excellent clutch pedal just can't shift into gear when the vehicle is started


Above you said you just replaced the master and slave cylinders... How much free play is in the clutch pedal before you feel it start to push the master cylinder? I know you said theres all the pedal in the world but i still feel the need to ask, too much free play and it wont disengage the clutch. I personally dont suspect the flywheel although i could be wrong, you're more likely to get vibration and clutch slippage unless it's fragmented. Through the inspection cover on the gearbox you can see almost everything (on mine anyhow), if you haven't already grab a helper to make sure you can see the throwout bearing do its thing. Gravity bleed doesnt always get all the air out either, if you have someone to help out it only takes a few minutes to do so and you can 100% eliminate that as an issue.


It can be tough to help diagnose issues without actually having the vehicle in front of one's self btw, sorry for the inconvenience! Lol


There is always the possibility that the input shaft if broken or theres something else internally gone wrong. What exactly all did you replace and when?

I replaced my clutch,master cylinder and slave cylinder and the pilot bearing as well as the pressure plate all at the same time. Within the last 2 weeks. I haven't even driven it since I replaced all this. As far as my flywheel I have replaced the clutch 4 times since I have owned the truck. But never had the flywheel surfaced

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