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I have a 2001 ford escort. It is a manual transmission and at this time the shifter will only physically move into 3rd and 4th gear. Any ideas on why?... i was told that my shifter may have come out of the shifting forks.... I don't know much about cars so pardon my idiocy and lack of proper terminology. I tried to remove the covering to see what was going on but i couldn't get the metal covering removed...... any help would be greatly appreciated...
 

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Not trying to be an ass, but if you're not sure what year your car is, you probably shouldn't start taking it apart. You will not be putting the shifter back into the gates by removing interior components. What you are talking about is removing the entire trans and splitting the cases, and I believe that would be a tad advanced for you.
 

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If you try ti shift into 1st and 2nd and feels like hitting a wall the forks are damaged like dezfreeze said the trans need to taken apart.
 
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