Transmission does not engage
1997 Ford Ranger 3.0L 4x4 5 sp. manual transmission
My son was driving his truck home one night and went to shift into the next gear. It just seemed to go into neutral and he couldn't get it to go into any gear. If he pushed the clutch in he could shift the lever into gear but when he let the clutch out it was like it wasn't dis-engaging. The truck had 185K miles on it so I just assumed the clutch had finally given up the ghost. To make a long story short, after replacing virtually everything - clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing, slave cylinder, master cylinder, etc. it still won't go into gear. Right after we rebuilt it we started it up, baekd it out of the garage, drove it about 1/2 mile through 3 or 4 gears, he went to shift again and same thing happened. When he let the clutch out it was like it was still in neutral or the clutch wasn't dis-engaging. I crawled under the truck and took the inspection cover off as he pushed the clutch in and it sure seems like the slave cylinder is traveling far enouogh to suppress the forks. I can visibly see the forks being depressed when he pushes the clutch in. I should also mention that we've bled it numerous times. Anyway, he swears it is the transmission. He says that he was never able to shift it into and out of gear before when the engine was off unless he pushed in the clutch, which you can easily do now. And he says the gear shift has a lot of slop in it when it's "in gear" that it didn't have before. It sure seems to me that you can shift a manual in and out of gear without the clutch with the engine off but it's been quite a few years since I've driven a manual so my memory is undoubtedly fuzzy. We've also taken the top cover off the transmission and inmspected the ball shifter underneath. It all looks OK to me but, admittedly, I don't know what I'm looking for. Any ideas as to why it would work for 5 minutes after replacing the clutch and then just stop again - doing the exact same thing? I am at my wit's end and do not relish dropping the transmission again. It is a 4x4 so is there something with the transfer case maybe? When we had the transmission out of the truck I put it in gear purposely and could not spin the output shaft by hand. I don't know if that matters or not but I'm grapsing at anything at this point. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or guidance you can offer.