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5000Q 5 speed shifter problem: me or the car ? (fwd)

I've been casting about for 5000Q. Today I test
drove an 87 with 85k miles. The car had a number
of questionable qualities, e.g. needs pads & rotors,
no maintenance records. But what disturbed me the
most was that I coundn't make a clean 2nd to 3rd
shift. There was always a little snick/grind.
I wasn't driving the car aggressively, and my
years of owning various VW GTi etc should have
trained me to shift properly. I tried moving
the lever with a variety of motions but
I began to wonder if it was a tranny problem.
I didn't seem to have the same condition
down-shifting. Is this linkage at all akin
to the VW w/plastic bushings or could this
be a sign of internal gearbox problems ?
Or was it just my technique ?  I was put off
enough that the car was relegated to a
buy only if it gets down to project car
cost rather than its current asking price.

Any clues for the clue-less ?


Greg Rickes