Won't go into 5th gear - Saab 900 Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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Thank you for posting at TSN!
Your symptoms would be typical for the 900 transmissions with a reduced movement within the shifting linkage. In many cases, this could be a simple solution such as loosened retaining screws at the shifting ball mechanism, directly under the rubber gear shift rubber boot. All three screws should be fully tightened, and consider using Loctite at the three threaded screws to avoid any future potential loosening.
Another common culprit for this transmission linkage could be at the rubber coupling at the transmission linkage input shaft, as this enters the transmission. The rubber couplings have a tendency to crack/split which could cause incorrect input, and could cause similar symptoms, to those mentioned. A replacement coupling may be required, and this is a typical DIY installation.
Thanks again for posting at TSN, and please inform relative to any additional questions!
Gary K. at SWEDISH DYNAMICS, INC.
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