View Full Version : Need Help! IH: Stuck in 2nd gear

08-02-2008, 07:35 PM
I went to shift my IH mill from 2nd gear down into 1st and found that I couldn't get out of 2nd at all.

- Yes, the motor was stopped.
- No I haven't had to force shifting ever before. Although I've found jiggling the spindle by hand has made synchronization easier.
- Shifting between low & high range seems to work fine.

I thought I'd check if anyone else has run into this before I tore into the head. But searching this forum didn't come up with anything.

I would imagine something in the shifting mechanism has come loose or just out of tolerance.

If anyone has run into this or has any ideas, I'd appreciate any tips you may have.

Now back to the shop...

08-02-2008, 09:36 PM
I haven't had that problem with my IH mill, but I did have a very similar problem with my Grizzly G4003 gear-head lathe. The gears are attached to a spline which slide when you push the lever. The are generally reasonably tight splines, and if any piece of grit gets between the spline and the gear you get binding. This can make gear changing anywhere from a little bit more difficult to extremely difficult.
On my lathe shifting into one of the gears started to get difficult, and then it got to the point where I had to open up the gearbox and use a pry bar to change move the gear on the spline. It eventually got so bad that even VERY substantial "nudging" wouldn't make it budge. I spent a bit of time trying to fix the problem but determined that it was more work than it was worth. After some period of time the problem seemed to fix itself, and not shifting is a prybar-free operation :) I still don't know exactly what caused the problem.
I would recommend taking off the top of the gearbox (friendly reminder- make sure you drain the oil first), and trying to move the gear on the spline. The good news is that the gears are a lot more accessible on the IH mill than my lathe, so you should be able to get the grit out, remove any burrs, and get everything sliding smoothly without too much of a headache.

Hope this helps,

08-02-2008, 11:56 PM
Hi Deaeni;
Call us at IH Monday afternoon, 860-832-8285 and we will help you out any way we can.

08-05-2008, 04:53 PM
What was the problem and the solution?


08-06-2008, 12:02 AM
The problem seems to have been with the key binding in the keyway, probably due to grit, as Matt suggested.

Here is what I did:

1) Pulled the motor off

2) Pulled the head cover off

3) Drained the oil

4) Looked for any obvious problem ... in vain

5) I then took a hooked bar and was able to pull the gear upwards(this corresponds to shifting from 2nd to 3rd) without to much force. Then I used a stick to tap it back down to 2nd. After this I could use the shift lever between 2nd & 3rd, but it would hang in 1st every time.

5) At this point it was clear that I was going to have to pull the shaft with the gears for 1,2 & 3.

6) Consulted with IH.

7) Pulled out all 3 gear shafts, the main resistance is the suction of the shaft pulling out of the bearing. I had a couple of old Model T leaf springs I used on opposing sides of the top gear/bearing on the shaft(s) and they popped right out.
Note that there is a small ball and spring that you want to keep track of for reassembly.

8) After I got the problem shaft out, I could move the gear set up the the shaft 2/3 of the way freely, then it would begin to bind, getting more difficult the closer it got to the 1st gear position. I then tried flipping the gear set and sliding it on to the shaft backwards... it didn't want to go, so my thought was either the key or keyway was the problem but I couldn't see anything wrong.
So I took a small fine file and took a couple of strokes in the keyway and tried it again... much better! Then I took a small stone and did a couple of strokes on each side of the key... better yet!

9) At this point I tried putting the gear set on backwards again. This time it went on but seemed to drag a bit around the middle. So I gave the top of the key a couple of stokes with the stone, and gave it another try. Success, it now would slide freely, the full length of travel.

I haven't been able to come up with a satisfactory explanation of why I needed to dress the top of the key, but I suppose some grit got in & caused a deformation that I was unable to see... in any case, after reassembly, it shifts better than when it came from the factory!


08-07-2008, 09:16 AM
just out of curiousity is this the new larger head model of the IH or the original IH mill?

08-07-2008, 10:58 AM
The mill has the old type head.

I use it more for tinkering, not production work, so it hasn't had a lot of wear...