Yes, when I'm shifting from 1st to 2nd, at the top of the shift it grinds just a bit like while it's trying to engage. If I push the shift lever up even higher it grinds worse. Obviously I've got the clutch pedal engaged while I'm doing this.
That is interesting. Once the gear is engaged, it's engaged. Is it possible that pushing hard on the shift lever is causing the linkage to try and drag another gear into engagement? I did not think this could happen, as there is typically an interlock mechanism in the trans to prevent this from taking place.
The clutch has about 3-5" of travel before I feel the clutch disengage
As 52Carl says, try checking/adjusting the pedal free play. The "thumb" test that he mentions is an excellent method. I might add that you can hold a ruler next to the pedal with one end against the floor in order to get an accurate travel measurement. What you are actually measuring is the distance that the pedal moves in order to push the throw out bearing from its normal resting position to the point where it first contacts the pressure plate diaphragm spring (or fingers if it's not a diaphragm type pressure plate).
Once free play is established, you'll have a better understanding of how much pedal travel is left to actually release the clutch. If free play is excessive, the clutch pedal uses up most of its travel moving the throw out bearing, and does not have enough left to fully disengage the clutch.
Also agree 100% that a service manual is invaluable here.
As for other causes of the clutch hanging up, there is another post about grinding while going into first. In it, klhansen also has a good suggestion about the driven disc hanging up on the input shaft splines. If it does, instead of floating between the flywheel and the pressure plate when the clutch is released, it rubs against the flywheel.
This transmission was installed 3 years ago by a professional transmission shop.
If your trans is only three years old, the lube is probably in good condition (although its still not a bad idea to check the level). While I doubt it has anything to do with this issue, I was just fishing for an answer like: "Not sure.. Think its the same stuff that's been in there since 1950"
With the vehicle stationary, clutch disengaged, engine idling, transmission in gear, do you hear a whining or growling noise coming from the clutch area?" NO. Perfectly quiet
Just to be 100% clear. I meant that under those conditions, with the pedal pushed down, you do not hear noise, right?
I've gotten good at jumping out and aligning the shifter links at a red light and that fixes the problem.
Oh Man! does that bring back memories!
I had totally forgotten about that! I got my 68 from my Dad back in the late 70s. He always kept this yellow handled screw driver in the glove box for just such a situation. He left it in there for me when I took the truck over, and when I sold it to a buddy of mine at work, I bequeathed it to him.