99 Legacy Brighton 2.2L manual 5spd California emissions, cable clutch, 185k miles. Shifting into gear became increasingly difficult over the course of a week, and trying to shift into reverse would be met with a wall of grinding gear. Had to turn engine off, shift into reverse, turn on again to reverse. Shifting gears with engine off is fine. Turned the clutch cable adjuster nuts in 1/4" and everything went back normal, no grinding into reverse, normal shifting while driving.
Couple days later, took it to a mechanic I've used before, he said it's fine, maybe the synchros are getting bad, but the clutch is fine and he'd just live with the difficult shifting if he were in my shoes. Drove home and got worse by the mile. All previous conditions returned.
Trans fluid hasn't been changed in a while. Thinking maybe that could help. Drained 3050mL old oil and refilled with 2900mL Pennzoil Synchromesh. A few iron filings collected on the drain plug magnet but nothing insane. No sign of bronze/yellow metal from synchros. Old gear oil didn't smell good but wasn't burnt or anything.
Drove to work, became almost impossible to shift into first, reverse same problem as before. Screwed in the clutch cable adjusting screws again, 1/4", problem fixed again.
Decided to tear off the clutch fork dust guard. Look inside, what do you know. Pivot cup on clutch fork is cracked badly. Test the clutch pedal, can see the cracks propagate in the clutch fork metal. Bad. Decide to try to drive it home 15 miles at 10pm, no traffic. Most conservative shifting ever. Tried to keep it in second or third the whole time without hitting any lights and always waiting for fork to shatter when using clutch pedal. Worked. Amazed. Parked car at home until parts arrive.
What parts should I get for this job? How much should they cost? I'm going to lift the engine rather than drop the transmission, and figure I should do the clutch kit while I'm replacing the fork, throwout bearing, clutch cable, and shifter joint if I can access it without dropping the trans. I should probably also r&r both front driveaxles (one boot ripped on both) but might be lazy and do that another time (they work fine).