If 1st and 2nd only are notchy, then the shifter is not properly adjusted. People should stop saying that this is merely a matter of break-in. It is NOT. 1st and 2nd gear are special, and here is why:
In order to prevent you from accidentally engaging reverse at a bad time, there is a doo-dad on the shifter, just below the pivot ball, that bumps against a rail in the pivot ball housing whenever the shaft is leaned to the left. When you push it down, the doo-dad is pushed below the edge of the rail, and then it can be leaned the rest of the way.
There is a critical adjustment that must be just right, in order to have the proper amount of twist in linkage rod, for engaging 1st and 2nd, when the shifter is ALMOST touching that rail. If the degree of difficulty engaging 1st and 2nd is noticeably greater than the other four forward gears, then it is HIGHLY likely that this critical adjustment is not set properly. Here is a quote from the factory repair CDROM:
Gear shift adjustment, checking
The gear shift lever must rest in the 3rd/4th gear gate when transmission is in neutral.
- Check operation of 1st and 2nd gear stop.
- Engage 2nd gear and push gear shift to the left against the stop.
- Reduce pressure on gear shift until it moves back to pressure point.
- Spring-back measured at gear shift handle: 3-5 mm
In other words, put it in second gear, then push it to the left until it stops, then let go. It should spring back to the right by AT LEAST 1/8 OF AN INCH! If it does not spring back by at least that amount, then your shifter is not properly adjusted. It is adjusted such that when the shifter is leaned as far to the left as it can be without pushing it down, the amount of twist applied to the shaft at that point is still not the proper amount to permit 1st and 2nd to be engaged cleanly.
If you cannot confirm that there is at least 1/8 inch of play as described above, then THE ADJUSTMENT IS OUT OF SPEC. Take it to the dealer and have them correct it, or if you want to try to fix it yourself, look in the archives and find my most recent posting on installing the UUC shifter.
Note also that you may have a different problem: difficulty engaging or disengaging reverse. If this is the case, then check whether the amount of spring-back is greater than 1/5 inch. If that is the case, have your dealer adjust it.