View Full Version : Neutral Drop - Tranny Problem

01-25-03, 02:16 PM
I hope you can help me.

I have an 81 Vette with an automatic transmission. Recently, I allowed my nephew to borrow the car and when it was returned … no transmission.

From conversation it appears he did a “neutral drop” heard a loud thump and then transmission would not engage in drive or reverse.

I am hoping you may have some suggestion as to what may have happened during this lapse in judgment.

Also any referral to a good shop or mechanic would be appreciated. I live in Encino CA


Justin:cry :cry

01-25-03, 03:27 PM
...a boyfriend did a neutral drop in an old Malibu and he spun the driveshaft off the car with a broken u-joint! He and his Uncle were able to repair it, and he sold the car shortly after, and NEVER did a neutral drop again.

I'd check your drive shaft and half shafts...if they are connected...I'm afraid internal damage may have occured. Sorry for bad news.

01-25-03, 09:13 PM
What exactly is a neutral drop? And sorry to hear about this. Hope everything goes well. :(


01-25-03, 10:06 PM
A neutral drop is when you put an automatic vehicle in neutral, rev the engine up...and then drop it into gear.

It is supposed to be like 'slipping' or 'dumping' the clutch in a manual vehicle, but I don't think the two (manual & auto) are similar in transition of force delivery to the drivetrain.

The force of the drivetrain components being suddenly engaged at high rpms can be extremely damaging.
Or the vehicle will 'lurch' forward with a squeal of tires.

I'd NEVER recommend doing this with ANY vehicle.

01-26-03, 12:29 AM
Sounds like someone was attempting a burnout or two. ;)

Trans shops in LA, eh? Hmmm... I'll have to think on that for a minute or two. If I come up with somebody out in the Valley I'll let you know. (I'm in the South Bay.)

One thread is enough I think. We'll keep bumping it back to the top if need be. ;)

01-26-03, 12:38 AM
I would be asking the nephew for about $1,200.00. Time for a new trans.


01-26-03, 03:20 PM
Sorry about the multi posts. I'm new here and thought my posts would land in diferent places and therefore be seen by more lookers...Oops! Sorry.

I very much apprecaite the responses so far and hope for more info.

Thanks, and sorry again for the flood of posts.


01-26-03, 11:37 PM
You can delete the dup posts. Just select the "edit" option at the bottom of each, then select delete post.....


01-27-03, 12:12 AM
I would first do like Heidi said and check the driveshaft and ujoints to see if they snapped especially back at the rear end. If those check out then have a good tranny shop check the transmission. Once you know how much it will cost to fix. Then I would grab a six pack of whoop-a$$ and go have a pow wow with the nephew. Just my .02


01-28-03, 02:42 PM
Thank for all the help. Dup posts deleted and nephew currently tied to a fence somewhere near the Mexico border.

Actually, he's really a good kid and as you might imagine he feels terrible. He has gallantly offered to take responsibility and will certainly do his part.

This being said, one more question:

I have seen u joints let go and they usually leave the drive shaft or what is left of it hanging to the ground. I will be lifting the vehicle soon (limited time and space) but is there a chance the u joint could have let go but not dropped to the ground?

My fingers is crossed.


01-28-03, 03:02 PM
Nope - when U-joints let go, they break and all Hell breaks loose with the free end flailing around, tearing up everything in their path. I suspect your transmission shop will find lots of internal damage, possibly even case cracks or damage too. A neutral drop is a great (?) way to spend a thousand dollars or more.

10-17-03, 09:33 PM
i let my cousin drive my impala once first time he drove a car in his life. I said wait here i just have to go answer the phone.... i ran inside got the phone and heard my tires spinning. I run out and start swearing at him. he said t he car was rolling down my driveway so he hit the gas and realized it was in neutral so he put it in drive. he said it only hid about 1 1/2 grand and the car seemed OK. if your gonna be doing burnouts neutral SLAMS are not the way to go. My cousin wasnt to happy when i started beating him up and he didnt get to drive around the neighborhood anymore!

10-17-03, 10:35 PM
Do you have reverse? It could be either the Trans blown out with the valve body gaskets pushed out the sides, to the forward clutch not applying. Sometimes the piston cracks, or the seal pops out from line pressure.
I would first see if when you put it in gear, the drive shaft is not spinning. If not, then you have a Trans problem. A spinning drive shaft in gear is a sheered pinion gear.