View Full Version : N15 SSS changing gears issues

07-10-2016, 08:32 PM
Hey all,

My daily Nissan pulsar N15 SSS is currently experiencing a gear change problem which has only arisen over the past week. It's a 1999 N15 SSS wi manual transmission and since owning it I have changed all fluids and filters.

There are 3 issues which I believe are all related:
1) the car seems to loose rpm on initial take off in 1st gear. I.e. When taking off in 1st gear off a red light, it looses revs and almost seems like it's going to stall, so I've been using the throttle more on initial accerlation to prevent this issue.

2) not all the time, but say 4 times out of 10 the gear will not go in, this happens when in a stationery position selecting 1st gear and also when just selecting any gear. I will have my foot on the clutch all the way down hitting the floor and the gear knob will not go into the desired gear. Then I release my foot off the clutch and re press the clutch pedal and select the gear and it goes in. Sometimes it selects gears easily and smoothly, and sometimes it just won't go in, making it a pig to drive, especially when downshifting to accelerate or go up a hill and it just won't go into 3rd from 4th, meaning your going up the hill in neutral until you press the clutch and try and select 3rd gear again.

3) the 3rd problem is linked to the above issues and involves the gear crunching when in reverse or when selecting 3rd gear mainly. This usually happens when the gear refuses to go in so I release the clutch and re apply it and then it goes into gear but with a crunch. Reverse gear crunches Almost every second time.

I've done some research but not to sure what the issues are caused by. It the second owner and the car is on its original factory clutch and gearbox which have travelled 130000kms(I purchased the car with 90000kms on the odometer)

Please point me in the right direction as my car is very clean and has been well looked after and serviced and I would really like to resolve this issue ASAP as it's almost impossible to drive it safely and confidently.

Thanks in advance

08-10-2016, 12:16 AM
I had similar issues with my Pulsar, which begun with replacing the clutch cable as that was shagged and is a pretty common problem. It also ended up being that the clutch was worn too. I'd probably start by checking your clutch cable along with its adjustment. They're around the $70 mark brand new genuine from Nissan so not too expensive to start with as opposed to doing a clutch.

08-10-2016, 06:20 AM
Thanks for the advice. I'll start by changing the clutch cable over. I bought one over 2 months ago from Nissan genuine for $80. I'll let you all know how I go.

08-10-2016, 08:51 AM
Check your clutch arm closely with someone depressing the clutch inside the car. Check the pivot point of the arm for any hairline cracks that expand when the clutch is depressed. This is a common point of failure and when they break, you need to remove the gearbox to replace it, or as some do, they get them welded up.

The issue you're describing tells me the clutch is not disengaging. Grinding gears (especially reverse) indicate the clutch is not fully disengaged because reverse does not have a syncro. Could be time for a new clutch.

I highly recommend researching the upgrade of fitting a Hydraulic clutch actuation setup to the car during a clutch change. This makes the driving experience a lot nicer and, from my own personal experience, a lot more reliable. No more cables to change, no more adjustments to be made. Its a set and forget system (except for periodic fluid bleeding like the brakes).

08-10-2016, 01:38 PM
Also, check this thread out:


08-10-2016, 04:34 PM

So I popped the bonnet after work today and had a quick look around and what do you know. The issue was right there.
I saw the nut that is on the gearbox end of the cable that is used for tightening and adjusting the cable was loose, very loose, like 10mm away from where it should be in the tightened position. This meant the clutch cable fork had a lot of free play.

So I immediately tightened the cable using the larger adjustment nut then secured it in place by tightening the steel 10mm nut. Took it for a drive and the pedal felt tight and responsive. No issues with the gear selector. No crunching gears.

Only thing I noticed is that the pedal feels much heavier and the clutch friction point is up higher on the pedal. Before this, I used to press the pedal all the way down to the floor then only lift it a little bit to engage the gear, however now the clutch friction point is up really high, like in the last 40% of the pedal when coming off the pedal if that makes sense. Makes the drive a bit hard as I'm not used to a gig friction point, but nothing I can't go used to.

Also, checked the cable fork and it has not cracks or anything like that so overall very happy!!

08-10-2016, 04:56 PM
Make sure you don't over-tighten the adjustment. You should be able to push on the clutch arm and hear/feel the free play and the 'tink' of engagement as the release bearing is pushed into contact with the pressure plate fingers. If its adjusted too tight, it will run the release bearing on the clutch all the time which will heat it up and wear it out super fast. Also as the clutch wears it will tighten up and put more pressure on eventually leading to a situation where it might not fully engage.

Glad it was an easy fix though !

08-10-2016, 05:17 PM
Oh, I've tightened to the point where there is no free play. Not very tight, but just enough to remove free play. I didn't pay attention the tink noise. I will loosen it a little and try and adjust it correctly.
Not easy when you have fat fingers like me. That clutch arm is in one prick of a spot.

08-10-2016, 05:37 PM
I think once you fix it up and give it a few mm of freeplay as its designed to have, the friction point will return to normal position.

10-10-2016, 06:03 AM

The above photo is what the culprit was. I looked in the service manual and found the section on clutch cable adjustment. Tighten adjustment knob until no free play, turn back to loosen 2.5turns then tighten the 10mm lock nut.

11-10-2016, 12:52 PM
Ive attached the clutch cable adjustment extract from the service manual for anyone who experiences the same issue in the future and stumbles across this thread.


14-06-2022, 11:39 AM
I think once you fix it up and give it a few mm of freeplay as its designed to have, the friction point will return to normal position.

Hey Pal,

Having an issue getting into 5th gear in the Red Jett.


Just not as smooth and slick as before. Stiff and forceful.

All other gears are normal.


Transmission fluid fine and full.

Just a small adjustment to the clutch, engages nicely from near the floor.

No crunching.

Anyone help?


14-07-2022, 02:52 PM
Issue solved. It was the gear linkage bushes. Three had disintegrated! Yet again. Third replacement. Bushes for gear selector rod are now N IDSSAN Pt. # 34139-30P00