FLU419 transmission question

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adavis

New member
I've noticed that my FLU419 is getting harder and harder to shift into 1st and 3rd gear. It doesn't seem to go completely into those two gears....it will pop out if I don't hold the gear shift. Is there a shift fork or some sort of linkage that can cause this? I drive the thing quite frequently and it has just started doing this the last few times. When in gear it drives fine.....its just tough to get it into the 2 positions towards the front of the cab (1st and 3rd gear). Any suggestions? I haven't taken anything apart to look. Thanks.
 

aghumvee

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Blairstown,Missouri
Our SEE wont go into 1st or 3rd either. It happened this weekend after using it. Have not had a problem with it for the 5 years or so that we have been using it. Now I just have to find time took look inside the transmission.
I've noticed that my FLU419 is getting harder and harder to shift into 1st and 3rd gear. It doesn't seem to go completely into those two gears....it will pop out if I don't hold the gear shift. Is there a shift fork or some sort of linkage that can cause this? I drive the thing quite frequently and it has just started doing this the last few times. When in gear it drives fine.....its just tough to get it into the 2 positions towards the front of the cab (1st and 3rd gear). Any suggestions? I haven't taken anything apart to look. Thanks.
 

saddamsnightmare

Well-known member
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Abilene, Texas
June 1st, 2016.

Check your transmission lube oil level, if it gets too low, a Unimog can be a hellish machine to try to shift. Also consider adding some heavy duty manual transmission lube additive if it is low. Sometimes finding the dipstick and the filler can be an adventure.
 

adavis

New member
I haven't had really any time to check into it unfortunately. I will check transmission fluid level this weekend. My unimog still drives fine and has no problems with the transfer case. It just feels like it doesn't want to "engage" in 1st or 3rd gear. If I hold it in first it moves fine, but it doesn't feel like it goes all the way into 1st or 3rd (2nd and 4th are fine). I just assumed that it was something like a bent shift fork. What transmission fluid does it take and any suggestion on "additive"?
I've read that the FLU419 transmissions are different than any other Unimogs.....is that correct? And does anyone know if there is a way to get to the top of the transmission to open it up WITHOUT tipping the cab forward???
Thanks.
 
Last edited:

88FLU419

Member
41
1
8
Location
Eastern Ct
If you want to get the top off of the transmission, you will be tilting the cab. No way around it. Once it is tilted, everything is easy. Had mine tilted for injector pump work.
 

adavis

New member
Soooo, I finally had a chance to spend some time on this, and I already have a question. The largest metric allen wrench I have in my set is a 10, and it is WAY too small for the transmission oil fill plug. I realize I need to buy a larger allen wrench, but does anyone know what size the drain plug and oil fill plug take? I've looked through the manuals I have but can't find a specific size wrench mentioned.
 

adavis

New member
FYI for any other SEE owners.....the drain/fill plugs on the transmission are 9/16" allen. I didn't have one that size, so I made my own out of a bolt with a couple nuts welded to it. Worked well. I stuck my finger in the hole (why can't they make it so you can see in there???) and the oil is low. I'll be adding more 80/90W gear oil when I get home tonight and hopefully that is all it will take to fix my shifting issue. I'm curious if someone can explain why low transmission oil will cause it to not shift into 1st and 3rd? Just wondering. I'll post as soon as I find out if this solved my problem......
 

adavis

New member
So I put 1.5 pints of gear oil in the transmission and it doesn't seem to have improved my shifting issue. Anyone else have any suggestions or experience with this issue? It just won't shift in to first and third. If I push pretty hard, I can get it to ALMOST engage in to first gear. I can hold it in third and move the vehicle if I hold it in third with a fair amount of force. Second and fourth gears seem to work fine, and there are no noises when the vehicle moves. I'm assuming I will need to tip the cab and get into the transmission to check out the shift fork, but does anyone have any experience with this? It seems like there are a few of us that are experiencing the exact same problem so this could be quite useful information. Does anyone know of someone that has in depth experience with these transmissions that I might be able to contact?
 

thingamadigger

New member
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Hamilton, ON
The farmer tool box method for allen wrenches you don't have such as the 14mm for the drain plugs, is to build one with a 1-1/2" long or longer bolt of the appropriate size. Double nut 2 nuts on the end of the bolt as hard as you can, keeping the sides lined up on the nuts. now you have a custom "allen wrench" special tool, that you can turn with a socket or wrench!
 

coolhandmatt

New member
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Location
Hawaii
One of the things you should also check before tipping the cab and diving into that project is the shifter bushing. It is the bushing that the shifter rides in and they do deteriorate with time causing the shifter to sit to low in the collar and then the shifter doesn't engage the shifter forks properly. You can get to it by pulling up on the rubber boot housing from inside the cab and then from the side sticking your hands in through the passenger side it will have a metal collar the detents down and putting downward pressure and turning it I think counterclockwise and it will let you release the shifter (BTW you need to disconnect the 3 airlines for downshift lever if you want to pull it completely out). You should have two guide pins on the inside of the transmission collar and they have to be removed to get the bushing out. Hope it helps
 

adavis

New member
coolhandmatt.......thanks for that info!! I just logged in to bump this thread to find your post with some excellent information. I will try that in the next couple days and see if it helps. It is a really strange scenario.....the gear shift just doesn't want to go in to 1st or 3rd. Luckily I have low range so I can still drive around my property and use the backhoe, but there is no way it would be driveable on any road/street. Have you seen that bushing cause problems with only the top 2 gears? Just asking, because there was at least one other person on here that stated they had the same problem as me. THANKS AGAIN and I'll post when I check it out.
 
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Vallejo, CA
Pictures of the bushing being discussed.

http://www.expedition-imports.com/3102680035

We do sell a lot of this bushing, however normally do not hear of reports of the issue only affecting selected gears.

If in the SF Bay Area a good resource on these transmissions would be Mario Moreno in Dixon, CA. Considering he taught the military how to rebuild them for MB, I'd venture to say he has more knowledge than anyone else in North America. He's in retirement, but still regularly works on Unimogs from his home or service truck.
 

adavis

New member
So I had a little time last night to mess around with it and I can't see how it would be the bushing (unfortunately). Maybe I'm thinking about it wrong though......I would assume that if the bushing is worn and allowing the gearshift to sit too low to properly engage the fork, I should have vertical "slop" in the gear shift. I should be able to pull up on the lowest part of the shaft and feel play, and if I try to shift into first while I am pulling up it should engage. Is that a correct thought? If so, my gearshift has no play and I'm not able to shift into first even if I'm pulling up on the gearshift. (SIGH)

This gentleman you speak of in Dixon....would he mind if I called him and just picked his brain on my situation? I would love to have him fix mine, but the 817 mile trip there without 1st or 3rd might be a little tough. I'm honestly nervous about digging into this deal because for one, its a Unimog and stuff ain't cheap and two, I am completely intimidated by transmissions. Also, what should I expect when it comes to tipping the cab? I assume I'll need to remove the front loader mounts, but will I need any other special tools and what is the best method of doing the "tipping" without damaging anything (including myself)?

If anyone knows of someone in my vicinity (eastern WA/north ID) that has experience with a 419 I'd love to talk with them. Shoot, I may even pay them to come over and show me what to do if that's an option. Thanks for the info so far. I'm really wanting to get the old girl fixed....it makes me sad seeing her sitting there every day without moving.
 

adavis

New member
coolhandmatt......you were right on the money! I decided to pull the gearshift out and see what that bushing looked like and found a bunch of little bits (see picture).
unimogbushing1.jpg
I was amazed at how difficult it was to pull the gearshift out of the hole, but when it came free it popped right out. The end looks good with no real wear or strange bend. I got everything cleaned out that I could and stuffed a clean shop rag down in the hole to keep stuff from falling into the abyss. I was worried about the two pins, but they actually pushed out very easily. There are metal sleeves in the pin holes, and both of mine had "walked" inward, but a pair of vice grips gently pushed them back in place.
I'll order the new bushing tomorrow. I'm surprised that on a Unimog they would design something like that bushing out of plastic rather than, say, oil impregnated bronze. I mean my truck just turned 3000 miles and the thing is toast. Yes, its 26 years old but if it were bronze it wouldn't need replaced because of time....just miles (and a LOT of them).
I'll post again when I get the bushing in and update whether or not this fixed my shifting problem. My fingers are crossed!!
 

coolhandmatt

New member
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Location
Hawaii
Adavis
Glad you took it out. A lot of car companies had similar designs. I would recommend using some assembly grease when replacing the shifter. I had ordered the part from Couch Off road but Expedition Imports would probably be able to get it as well. BTW the part is 310 268 00 35. PS don't worry about the **** that falls into the tranny box. It is non metallic and won't mess anything up but placing a rag in the collar to keep dirt and debris out is a good idea and getting as much out as possible gets good marks.
 

adavis

New member
SUCCESS!!!! Got the bushing installed with some good grease, slid the gearshift back in place and BINGO.....she shifts like BUTTA BABY!! 1st through 4th feel like silk. It's crazy that the bushing would disintegrate in 3000 miles but that's what happened. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Hopefully this will help other SEE's stay on the road.
 

coolhandmatt

New member
8
0
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Location
Hawaii
Adavis,
It probably wasn't the 3000 miles but the 30 years its been sitting in the tranny. Coincidently after doing the post I had to replace the bushing in the forward/reverse shifter. Luckily I had an extra one waiting for a rainy day. I don't know if it is common that both bushings would need to be replaced around the same time, but I wouldn't be surprised.
 
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