Thanks for the speedy feedback.
First off, where do find a replacement dogbone, either old- or new-style (and how can I determine which kind I have in there now)?
I think there's no problem with bent shifter forks or anything else inside the tranny itself, but rather with something exterior to it, such as the coupling rubber interior core, which is presumably deteriorated in a 27-year old car, and likely also temperature sensitive.
And so would soften in the heat and not properly transfer the shifter pattern rotation. I would note also that when my front engine mount failed completely (the side ears/flanges which sit on the two little built-up platforms on the front of the unibody, fractured off completely), so when the forward part of the engine/transaxle was basically resting on that pair of light aluminum longitudinal struts below, it wouldn't shift into fifth under any circumstance.
After I had replaced the front and pass side mounts, it shifted OK again for the next several years. I never replaced the DS engine mount because it's notoriously difficult to do, so I'm told, and the rubber DS engine mount interior seems intact still.
So I had this brilliant idea last week to shim up the front engine mount with tabs of aluminum stock, about 7 mm thick, raising the front part of the engine/tranny assembly about the same amount, thinking that might do something positive for the linkage. But that could have somehow worsened the situation, since that's when the gate for fifth disappeared altogether, even with a cold engine (although the temps here have been in the high 90s for three weeks). I removed the shims today, retightened the left and ride side front engine mount bolts, but still the gate for fifth is gone, baby, gone.
posted by 24.1.22...
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