stuck in 1st

Oct 16, 2003
First time this happened was a year ago in Botswana. Middle of Savannah, surrounded by hungry wildlife by a lake. Fj45 with it's nose up against an embankment and stuck in 1st gear. With the few tools I had I managed to open up the gearbox lid and release the end of the gear stick that was trapped in a slot just to the left of the Ist gear selector. We didn't have to walk home at the risk of being something's breakfast, thank God!!
Now I'm back in England with her (the truck that is) and I don't want that happening again. Does anyone have any idea why this happened. Is the stick worn too thin?
Would much appreciate some help.


Staff member
Jan 15, 2002
Toquerville UT
I'd check a few things...first, make sure the shift guides under the tower are not sloppy, I don't recall how they are installed, but there outta be shims/adjustments to keep them located properly. 2nd, make sure the shifter itself is not overly worn. And 3rd, and the most likely reason it jumped, make sure the locking collar for the shifter and the pins are keeping it in the tower properly...I'd "bet" it's loose and the shifter can move up-down too much and you just caught it right during a shift.


Out of Africa / North Africa
I'm not sure what tranny is in the FJ45 but I had a similar problem with my '82 BJ60 when it still had a 4 speed. There is a rubber/nylon ring located under the shifter ball. The nylon disintegrates over time and allows the shifter to rest too deep in the tranny and not move between gates. Once I replaced that it shifts like new again.

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