Question about Extra Low gear

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Question about Extra Low gear

Post by fasontales » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:39 pm

First, does my 5-speed transmission actually count as a 6 speed because of the extra low? Or is there also a 6 speed + extra low transmission out there? Asking because when I go to order parts it asks if my tranny is 5 or 6 speed and I'm not sure if extra low counts.

Second, my extra low just plain doesn't work. If I put it into extra low the light on the dash comes on but when I release the clutch... nothing. Engine doesn't stall and no power is transferred to the wheels either. It was my first time to use extra low the other day before I have been driving my car for years and tranny shifts just fine. Is extra low breaking a common problem that you guys have well documented?

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Re: Question about Extra Low gear

Post by NWMO » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:47 am


As far as I've seen, the MT Tercel was only offered with the 5spd tranny w/ EL when in 4WD. It seems half of the sales advertisements believe this was an option because it is "RARE". If the EL isn't working at all, I would guess there may be an issue with the shift linkage or mechanism that doesn't quite engage the low gear, but still allows the shift lever to travel far enough to turn on the indicator lamp. I suppose the gear could be stripped or possibly removed, but I don't know that you could remove it without creating other difficulties. Others will give better instruction, as I've not been into one of these transmissions yet. Good luck and in all honesty, it's a great little car even without the EL gear.

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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
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Re: Question about Extra Low gear

Post by xirdneh » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:39 am

When they say 6 speed it includes extra low.
I work on these trannys and i have seen damage of many kinds but have never seen any damage to extra low related stuff. Do you know if the tranny has ever been taken apart? When and if ever you do take it apart i sure would be interested in knowing what was wrong.
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Re: Question about Extra Low gear

Post by Petros » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:33 pm

sometimes they list the trans as 5 speed, sometimes six speed, there is only one type of manual trans that came in the 4wd Tercel, a five speed with an EL (sometimes called six speed). If it is a manual trans with 4wd, it is all the same transmission in all years of Tercel4wd.

it is rare that the EL would fail. you might remove the center console, pull the rubber boot and than remove the large circlip so you call pull out the shift lever. Than inspect the condition of the nylon bushing on the end of the shift lever, as well as the lever end mount. it is possible if bushing, the socket, or "ball" end of the shift lever is worn and sloppy, it will not go into gear. the nylon bushings I think are still available, if your lever end, or metal cover that supports the end of the shift lever is worn out, it will have to be replaced with good used parts.

typically there is a final "notch" or position it must get into to be "in" gear. the EL light is actuated off a simple switch on the linkage that is not directly attached to the gear cluster itself. So it is possible you are getting the lever into the right place (so the EL light comes on) but it is not being pushed all the way into gear. Possiblly because of worn linkage, or because of it being stiff and you are unfamiliar with the lever position.

I presume that you try the EL when in 4wd (the only way it will go into EL), and you are pushing it all the way into position.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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