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Alright so I found a good condition 2002 Eclipse GS that I'm thinking about buying. 112k miles. Runs like a dream and shifts out great, except for one problem, there is a grinding noise when shifting from a stop to first, or from neutral to first. All the other gears shift out just fine, and if you shift from any other gear to first, it doesn't grind. What the current owner does, is when he's at a stop, he shifts to 2nd, than first, and there is no grinding when he does that.

I dont know if thats a red flag or not, but the transmission, other than that slight grinding in first, shifts smooth, with no slipping or apparent problems. Does anybody know what oculd cause this? I was thinking it might be a bad syncro, which would lose the sale, but are there any ways to trouble shoot this?
 

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First gear doesn't have a synchro in our transmissions.

Does it actually grind? Like if you hold it there will it just keep grinding or is it just hard to get into first? If its actually grinding then you may have a maladjusted clutch. If it is even slightly engaged it can spin the input shaft and it won't want to go into first, but it will second, because its synchronized, which would effectively stop the input shaft and allow you to pop it into first if the clutch isn't engaged quite enough to make it start moving fast enough again. Maladjusted clutch but more likely a bad slave cylinder.

Otherwise (if its just really hard to get in) you could have worn out shifter cable bushings, which is getting increasingly common. If so, your input on the stick might not be translating fully into the shifter linkage and it might not be pulling the selector over far enough to hit just first gear.
 
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