Strange '97 Jetta 2.0 manual transmission problem

WHY??? I have seen 2 Jettas (1987 and 1997) both with 5 speed transmissions that eat up the release bearings and the release rods.
Currently the 1997 is BACK at the transmission shop. It is a nightmare for them, also owner, and even VW told them to just change the transmission. They have changed the clutch, rod a few times along with the release bearing, the rear housing of the transmission, both bushings for the rods but the problem resurfaces after about 1 day of driving.
I am wondering if the transmission's mainshaft bearing is allowing some tilting which might cause the release rod to spin all of the time with the mainshaft and damage itself along with the release bearing.
BTW on that 1987 I changed out the transmission = no more problems which is what I suggested to the 1997 owner! I know of one good local VW transmission rebuilder, auto & man, but he was busy at the time this problem occurred.
TIA
--
later,
(One out of many daves)
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I know that the early clutch pressure plate had a spherical center piece which holds the rod centered. It's now gone. If the bearing inside the main transmission shaft gets worn then there's no guide for the rod. Remove the oil seal and take a look at that bearing bush....
SFC

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So we are talking about the transmission mainshaft bearing and mainshaft seal? This is what I am thinking too. Not the clutch release pushrod seal and bushing right, of which there are supposedly 2 new bushings for this rod?
I am not sure I remember any 1985-1998 Jetta (with 4 cyl) having a pressure plate with a spherical center piece. Yes it has a release plate held into the pressure plate with a circular clip. That plate has a metal spot about the size of a dime that the rod presses up against.
Thanks SFC I will relay that info to the trans shop! ;-)
--
later,
(One out of many daves)
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The very early plates <84 had that nice center piece. I think, to cut cost, they left it out. So now the bushing has to hold the rod centered. I now read thtat the bushings were replaced so "something" else is not straight or not lining up or damaged rod maybe?
SFC

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hmmm you might be right...........I have not done a Rabbit clutch in sooooo many years I have forgotten what that release plate looked like. I thought it looked like the 85> ones.
I do notice sometimes that the release rod does not hit the "dead center" of the release plate on some of the clutches I have taken apart.
Well I will hear more about this trans problem next week, so I will report the "solution". ;-) Maybe they will inspect the main input shaft bearing.
thanks!
--
later,
(One out of many daves)
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Would it not just be cheaper to pickup a used tranny for this vehicle. They are a dime a dozen & I have never paid more than $350 for one.
Craig

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Those 5 speed transmissions are NOT common here in Chicago! I wish I could find them in the JYs or Pick-N-Pull places though! I probably need to learn how to rebuild them. ;-)
That was I recommended for these past 2 months, replace that trans, but that transmission shop is still fighting it! EVEN the dealer told the trans shop to replace the trans. It would have been cheaper to have a remanned trans installed too, with less downtime! Owner is not happy and is thinking about selling his Jetta. :-(
thanks, One out of many daves

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