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M46 won't go into gear

Mr. V

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2004
Portland, Oregon metro
1982 244 Turbo, M46 manual transmission.

Recently it started to not go smoothly into gear; gringding, notchng, have to force it.

Adjusting brought short term relief: never normal, just a tad better for a short bit, then back to bad again.

I just now put in a new clutch cable, hoping that was the problem, but nope, same as before.

With the cable out I noted that the clutch fork seemed a bit "loose," although it was still attached to the transmission body.

I am guessing the problem is somehow related to the clutch assembly, although I put new parts in three years ago; I suppose the transmission could simply be wearing out?

Hoping someone can shed light on this, thanks: I don't want to have to pull the transmission if not necessary, but I will if need be and I have a spare on hand if it is "bad."

Part of me is saying "Enough...just get rid of the beast" but I really enjoy it when it runs well.
When the clutch was replaced. Was the pilot bearing replaced? That can cause drag on the trans and make it hard to shift into reverse and first.
Yes, all new pieces with the correct clutch kit.

Both the old metal sleeved clutch cable and the new one I just put in seem to allow for the correct free play, 1 to 3 mm, but still no joy.

I have an exhaust leak and an oil leak so guess I'll bite the bullet and yank the motor and tranny out as a unit: it's a royal PITA and dangerous for me, just one person, to try to remove and reinstall the M46 using only a floor jack: rolls off easily.

It will be interesting to find out just what the problem is.
Is the clutch fork an original or an aftermarket replacement? I have read the aftermarket ones can bend near the pivot point, throwing off the adjustment
OP the clutch disc can and does stick on the input shaft of the transmission. When replacing the clutch the splines get lubricated with grease. Doesn’t take much.
Sudden or gradual? Is it difficult to put it in all gears?

Also, do yourself a favor and get a Harbor Freight trans jack. Much safer to remove a trans alone.
Post-mortem report:

I just pulled the engine with the manual transmission in order to discover why the clutch no longer works.

The clutch fork is bad.

It bent near where it attaches to the casing, and this caused it to not stay / be properly adjusted.

The fork was new when installed with a stock clutch kit three years ago; seems like it should last longer than three years.

I don't "hoon" or race or beat my 'brick, so I'm wondering: WTF is going on here?

that's right at the stamp cut corner so possibly a bit too sharp of a cut angle there and it just weakened quickly. Did both sides crack or just one?
There are no visible markings / name visible anywhere on the fork.

Yes, it is cracked on both sides, in the same location.

The disc, pressure plate and flywheel look normal enough.

Just trying to figure out "Why the fork is f^$ked?"

Don't need a repeat.
Almost 9 years ago, we tried our 1st aftermarket clutch release fork.

It was marked "Sameer" and IIRC it was gold anodized.. We installed it and found that we couldn't adjust the clutch properly.

We removed the transmission and fork and found the pins for the release bearing not to be in the right spot, so we installed a NOS original Volvo release arm and we won't install anything else at this time.

We have some used OE Volvo clutch release forks and at least 1 NOS original Volvo release arm in stock.