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View Full Version : 5 speed shifter linkage FUBARED, anyone know about a rebuild thread?



ZimbutheMonkey
06-02-2012, 07:13 PM
So I've been having issues the last little bit with shifter slop. It's been livable, but annoying. Well that's changed over the last couple days. It's gotten to the point where it'll grind gears going into 5th if I don't guide it in just right.

Basically it feels like there's no centering and very little in the line of gates anymore. As far as I know there is a Universal joint that connects the linkage and transmission that is probably shot. When I was researching the problem I saw that someone mentioned a thread where a guy rebuilt the linkage. However I've been unable to find it. Does anyone know where it is?

Also, if I'm mistaken as to the reason it's flopping around, please enlighten me. However the U joint seems to be the most likely culprit from all the research I've done so far.

Grip99
06-02-2012, 07:32 PM
Can i recommend an upgrade?

http://jhmotorsports.com/shop/catalog/shifter-linkage-package-c-21_62_63_107_148.html?osCsid=267270040531b2dce1a9b fb4cec481a4

And if you dont want the full package, you can buy the linkage separately. But i recommend the upgrade if you havent done it already

Grip99
06-02-2012, 07:34 PM
Link for just the linkage.

http://jhmotorsports.com/shop/catalog/linkage-upgrades-c-21_62_63_107_79.html?osCsid=267270040531b2dce1a9bf b4cec481a4

walky_talky20
06-02-2012, 07:42 PM
It will be pretty easy to tell what the problem is if you're looking at the linkage from under the car. Have somebody stick it in 3rd gear and them move the stick left and right (to reveal the side to side slop). It is possible that the slop is actually internal to the transmission. For example if one or both of the "slider bolts" (officially called the "stop screws" for the "relay shaft") it can cause horrible problems with the shifter "gates". Check out this thread for info on that:
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/452996-Kinda-freaking-out!-Shifter-or-tranny

ZimbutheMonkey
06-02-2012, 07:52 PM
Hmm, good to know. Can be checked/replaced fairly easily? By the responses in the other thread it looks like that would be the case. The only thing is that I don't have any problem engaging gears if the shifter is in the right position. It's just that the gate positions move with the side to side motion of the shifter.

So if I was to put it in 3rd and move it to the left, I'd loose 1-2 until I pushed it over to the right and 'moved' the gates back so I could engage 1-2. (if that makes any sense).

Polski
06-02-2012, 07:53 PM
^^^ memories lol

It was pretty easy with parts being cheap as well.

In my case i just had to remove the tranny mount on the passenger side to get that stopper bolt out.
The other bolt is very accessible

Hope you can rule out the problem.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-02-2012, 08:23 PM
Yeah, the only difference between your thread and David's thread about the same problem is that I don't have any issues with it popping out of gear or needing to force it in. It just feels like the shifter gates are incredibly sloppy or missing altogether.

That said, I'm hoping it's not anything deeper internally (assuming the issue is in the trans, but I'm thinking it may very well be)

One more thing to note is that it gets worse as the transmission heats up. It's still bad when it's cold, but it gets really bad when it gets hot.

Grip99
06-02-2012, 09:02 PM
How does your clutch feel?

ZimbutheMonkey
06-02-2012, 09:58 PM
fine

walky_talky20
06-02-2012, 10:08 PM
Your having to "reset" the gates is sounding more like an internal "relay shaft" problem to me. I've seen those universals be a little sloppy, but never that bad. And that behavior sounds pretty weird. Hopefully its just one of those bolts and you'll be good.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-02-2012, 10:27 PM
Yeah, I'm not looking forward to having to pull the transmission if that's the case. I've just got too much shit going on right now to commit to it. Never mind having to try and track down the parts once it's all apart.

So what exactly would fail on a relay shaft to make it act that way?

ZimbutheMonkey
06-03-2012, 10:52 AM
Well, I've kind of solved the issue, but not quite. It turned out what was allowing the gate position to shift was the fact that the set screw that fixes the U-joint position on the shaft that goes into the transmission had gotten loose. So I tightened it up and now the gate positions are set. However there is still an inordinate amount of slop in the shifter and it still wants to grind going into 5th. However all the other gears are fine, so if that's the worst of it, I can live with that until I get a chance to chase down whatever internal issue is causing the slop.

Walky_talky, you mentioned a relay shaft wearing. Is it possible that's what's causing the slop? If so, can you give me a heads up as to how and why that happens?

walky_talky20
06-03-2012, 11:53 AM
I was just referring to the usual failure of the "stop screws" shearing off. Those "screws" (ie: the 'slider bolts') hold the 'relay shaft' in place. When one of those bolts shears off, the relay shaft isn't held properly. From the experiences of other AZ members it seems this causes difficultly or impossibility of selecting the horizontal gates. Disassembly of the transmission is not necessary to replace the stop screws.

Glad it was a simple fix. That JHM piece should fix up your remaining universal slop issue.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-03-2012, 12:03 PM
Hmm, I have no difficulty at all in selecting the horizontal gates and gears 1-4 and reverse. Even 5th is easy to select, it's just that the shifter seems to travel a little too far to the right, causing it to grind a little on engagement.

Gear selection is smooth and it's never been an issue getting it in and out of gear. It's just that there still seems to be a lot of side to side slop once it's in gear (if that makes sense). But like I said, there's no problem getting it into gears (knock on wood). It seems to me based on what I've read that the broken relay bolt will result in an inability or extreme difficulty getting into gear as well as the trans wanting to pop out of gear. Am I right in thinking this?

walky_talky20
06-03-2012, 12:19 PM
Yeah. You're probably just down to a regular slop issue now. Or maybe a weak 5th gear synchro. Find where the slop is (probably the u-joint) and see what you can do.

Not sure what you've got for a shifter, but the older shifter box's, like my B3 90q has, there was actually some left/right angle adjustment at the pivot plate. I know this because I adjusted it incorrectly and made it difficult to get all the way over into 1st gear...which was quite annoying I'll have you know. Surprise 3rd gear starts weren't fun. I think the newer shifter boxes don't have that adjustment though.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-03-2012, 03:04 PM
Sigh, so it looks like it's having issues going into 2nd. It's intermittent, but enough to warrant a check of the pins. Just sucks that I won't have the time to check it until later in the week. I swear, this friggin' car can't go more than 3 days without an issue. [headbang][headbang][headbang]

ZimbutheMonkey
06-06-2012, 01:27 PM
Fuuuuucckkkk, so both pins are intact. That means it has to be something else. What I can't figure out is why the hell would it start grinding as soon as I secured the shifter to the input rod? Then it would shift OK in all but 5th, but 2nd would lock out intermittently, then I adjust the shifter and the friggin' thing starts grinding in 3rd????

walky_talky20
06-06-2012, 01:29 PM
Where is the clutch friction point? Way up high, or near the floor?

ZimbutheMonkey
06-06-2012, 01:52 PM
Probably about half way to one third from the top. It doesn't feel like it's just in the last inch or travel or anything. But I'll check it next time I get in it.

walky_talky20
06-06-2012, 01:57 PM
Does it feel like there is a problem selecting the right gears? Like stuff is messed up in there? Or does it just feel like worn synchros? Do you know how to double clutch? Does that help?

ZimbutheMonkey
06-06-2012, 07:04 PM
Haven't tried double clutching it yet. However I always rev match on downshifts. I'm going to try a heavier gear oil (redline heavy shock proof) and see if that helps. It should help with synchro engagement. If not, well I guess maybe I'm looking for a new trans :p.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-14-2012, 10:41 AM
So it looks like the trans has finally shit the bed. I went to make a regular shift from 1-2 (around 4500 RPM) and it got stuck in 1st. Worse yet, if I moved the shifter while it was rolling, the trans makes all sorts of awful grinding noises, even with the clutch depressed.

It'll roll with the clutch in, so I think the pressure plate is engaging. But it will not pop out, no matter how hard I try. It also won't come out of gear with the engine turned off. What's odd is that I seemed to get it into neutral if I reefed the shifter to the right and back. But as soon as I let the pressure off, it goes back into 1st.

Again, both the relay shaft pins were OK when I checked them last week. So I don't think it's a broken pin (unless one broke within the last week).

So does anyone have any ideas? I've resigned myself to having to drop the trans. But I'm trying to figure out if I should be shopping for a used one or if it's something that may be rebuildable for less than the cost of a used transmission.

I'm kind of thinking that another transmission may be best, as finding another transmission will allow me to finally pull my stock diff out to start on my limited slip diff conversion. But if it's one of those things that I can fix for $100-200, then I'd prefer to use my old trans.

walky_talky20
06-14-2012, 11:02 AM
Methinks you need another transmission. I don't think rebuilding an 01A is that cost effective when used ones are so cheap. But don't let me stop you. And especially if you want to do diff swapping and such, having a spare out the car probably isn't a bad idea.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-14-2012, 11:28 AM
Well I did some quick checking around and it's looking like I'm going to be paying in the neighborhood of about $600 for a used one. So maybe a rebuild would be in the cards.

I did just get off the phone to one of the mechanic shops I deal with and he suggested that there are some internal clips that hold the shift assembly that may have broken. That and it may be possible that the bolt/pin that holds the shift fork may have sheared. So if that were the case, it may be a cheap fix.

The only problem is that when I drained the trans fluid to put some heavier stuff in last week, there were chunks of bronze in the fluid (not really chunks, but it looked like chips that you would get if you drilled into a piece of metal, not fine pieces like filings). So I'm thinking my 1-2 and/or 2-3 synchro is probably in need of replacing anyway and I'm sure those costs add up quickly.

So like you said, it may be better just to get another trans, put it in and rebuild my old one with the limited slip diff at my leisure. At least then I'm not rushing the process.

catbed
06-14-2012, 11:35 AM
So it looks like the trans has finally shit the bed. I went to make a regular shift from 1-2 (around 4500 RPM) and it got stuck in 1st. Worse yet, if I moved the shifter while it was rolling, the trans makes all sorts of awful grinding noises, even with the clutch depressed.

It'll roll with the clutch in, so I think the pressure plate is engaging. But it will not pop out, no matter how hard I try. It also won't come out of gear with the engine turned off. What's odd is that I seemed to get it into neutral if I reefed the shifter to the right and back. But as soon as I let the pressure off, it goes back into 1st.

Again, both the relay shaft pins were OK when I checked them last week. So I don't think it's a broken pin (unless one broke within the last week).

So does anyone have any ideas? I've resigned myself to having to drop the trans. But I'm trying to figure out if I should be shopping for a used one or if it's something that may be rebuildable for less than the cost of a used transmission.

I'm kind of thinking that another transmission may be best, as finding another transmission will allow me to finally pull my stock diff out to start on my limited slip diff conversion. But if it's one of those things that I can fix for $100-200, then I'd prefer to use my old trans.

Shifting from 1-2 and it getting stuck in 1st makes me think you broke one of those pins on that shift. I had the same thing happen to me last week when I NLS 1-2, and then 3rd gear was stripped of all its teeth and synchros shortly after that. Weird thing is I wasn't in/going in to 3rd gear when it broke, I was downshifting to second.

I'm pretty sure you need a new trans.

EDIT: You definitely need a new trans. My gear oil looked like gold glitter coming out. Just read your next reply. It is not worth rebuilding an 01A.

walky_talky20
06-14-2012, 12:01 PM
And just FYI, if you're synchros are wore out and you want them to work better, you need *thinner* fluid, not thicker stuff. If it were mine, I'd probably try to score another 01A that's broken in some completely different way - like just a stripped 3rd gear or something - and build one good box out of the 2.

$600, eh? That seems a little steep.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-14-2012, 12:04 PM
Well, just to clarify a little, there weren't tons of shavings when I changed the oil. I drained it into a clear plastic ice cream pail and I could see a spattering of them on the bottom. But I didn't see any as the oil was draining out. So it's not as though the oil was full of them.

That said, it looks like something is worn in there. I hadn't been getting any grinding up until about 1-2 weeks before the failure and even then it was only under full power 2-3 shifts at 8000+ RPM which didn't happen that often. So it's not as though the trans was driven for months like that and grinding all the time. But it's possible there's more damage/worn parts than the shavings in the old trans oil suggests.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-14-2012, 12:08 PM
And just FYI, if you're synchros are wore out and you want them to work better, you need *thinner* fluid, not thicker stuff. If it were mine, I'd probably try to score another 01A that's broken in some completely different way - like just a stripped 3rd gear or something - and build one good box out of the 2.

$600, eh? That seems a little steep.

It's steep because I live in Canada eh [:p]

As for the fluid, you do want it heavier. Reason being is that the blocker rings which engage the synchros rely on fluid shear to exert mechanical force on the synchro rings (if I understand that correctly). As such, a thicker fluid allows the blocker rings to exert a more positive engagement on the synchros during the shift. (just think viscous coupling on an AWD transfer case)

walky_talky20
06-14-2012, 12:21 PM
I'm pretty certain it's the other way around. My 220k+ mile 01A shifts *way* better when it's 90F outside. When it's below freezing I have to all but skip 2nd gear until the fluid warms up (thins out). The worn synchros can't bite when the fluid is too thick.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-14-2012, 01:10 PM
I can't say 100%, however I actually trust the mechanic who told me this (I have a healthy skepticism of a lot of mechanics BTW). The guy is probably about the smartest mechanic I've ever run across, and believe me, I've talked to a lot of mechanics over the years.

That said, no advice is infallible, however what he said did make sense and I've seen it confirmed on other platforms. Apparently, it's not uncommon for guys with Honda transmissions to do this when their synchros wear, which is way more common than with our transmissions. (these 01A's are actually friggin' tough considering they were only ever used on stock applications that put out 200 CHP max an revved to 7000 RPM max)

walky_talky20
06-14-2012, 01:12 PM
I thought the Honda guys prefferred GM/Pennzoil synchromesh fluid (which is basically water) over their crappy Honda MTF, for shift quality anyway? Maybe I'm behind the times.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-15-2012, 06:51 PM
So as I was disposing of my transmission oil, I found this...
http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo238/tlillo1/syncro.jpg

Then my car sent me this message and laughed at me
http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo238/tlillo1/transmissionzieetzthem.jpg

Bitch...

mysman
06-16-2012, 06:02 AM
Impressive, especially with just FWD (like mee)...

SleeperAvant
06-18-2012, 06:31 AM
Damn. You launch hard on a regular basis?

walky_talky20
06-18-2012, 06:44 AM
http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/jj531/1time30/vin-diesel-car.jpg

Granny shiftin', not Double Clutchin' like he should.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-18-2012, 10:06 AM
http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/jj531/1time30/vin-diesel-car.jpg

Granny shiftin', not Double Clutchin' like he should.

lulz

M-Hood
06-18-2012, 10:30 AM
Damn. You launch hard on a regular basis?

Launching wouldn't cause that damage, jamming it into gear with the clutch not fully disengaged does. If this happens push the seat further forward. lol

SleeperAvant
06-18-2012, 12:11 PM
lol

M-Hood
06-18-2012, 02:01 PM
http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/jj531/1time30/vin-diesel-car.jpg

Granny shiftin', not Double Clutchin' like he should.

Wait are they drag racing or driving a damn semi?

walky_talky20
06-18-2012, 02:10 PM
^lol. But seriously, the synchros in my 01A are so weak I can't downshift without double clutching, unless it is fully hot. If I just jammed it in, I'm sure I'd be where the OP is now.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-18-2012, 02:54 PM
Launching wouldn't cause that damage, jamming it into gear with the clutch not fully disengaged does. If this happens push the seat further forward. lol

The strange thing is though, I always rev matched on downshifts and the clutch was always in. So it's not like I was constantly jamming the synchros on the 3-2 downshifts.

M-Hood
06-18-2012, 03:24 PM
The strange thing is though, I always rev matched on downshifts and the clutch was always in. So it's not like I was constantly jamming the synchros on the 3-2 downshifts.

Could just be all of the down shifting you do. When I rebuilt my original 01A only my 2nd gear syncro needed to be replaced and that transmission had about 125k miles and about 7 years of drag racing on it.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-18-2012, 05:38 PM
Hmm, it could be. As a hold-over from my tandem truck driving days I always shift sequentially and the RPM difference between 2-3 on these damn transmissions is so wide that when I do pull 2nd on a downshift the RPM's are usually pretty high. Having a turbo that doesn't hit full boost until 5000 RPM doesn't help matters either as that means I usually upshift at high RPM's as well. (I remember joking to myself one day that my car was having an identity crisis and thought it was a Honda lol)

walky_talky20
06-18-2012, 06:36 PM
The strange thing is though, I always rev matched on downshifts and the clutch was always in. So it's not like I was constantly jamming the synchros on the 3-2 downshifts.

If your throttle "blip" happens with the clutch pedal on the floor, that does nothing to save your synchros. "Double Clutching" means you perform the throttle "blip" whilst in Neutral with your foot *off* the clutch. This way you are not only matching the flywheel to clutch disc speed, but you are also matching the shaft speeds inside the transmission prior to gear selection. More specifically, you are using the flywheel/throttle blip to bring the clutch disc & input shaft up to speed, instead of making the synchros do it for you. This is much more beneficial when you are doing very high rpms downshifts, obviously because the synchros have a lot more work to do.

SleeperAvant
06-19-2012, 05:39 AM
If your throttle "blip" happens with the clutch pedal on the floor, that does nothing to save your synchros. "Double Clutching" means you perform the throttle "blip" whilst in Neutral with your foot *off* the clutch. This way you are not only matching the flywheel to clutch disc speed, but you are also matching the shaft speeds inside the transmission prior to gear selection. More specifically, you are using the flywheel/throttle blip to bring the clutch disc & input shaft up to speed, instead of making the synchros do it for you. This is much more beneficial when you are doing very high rpms downshifts, obviously because the synchros have a lot more work to do.

Doesn't seem very efficient to double-clutch even when you are racing on the circuit. I guess it is one of those arts that need to be mastered.

walky_talky20
06-19-2012, 05:57 AM
Plenty efficient for racing (if you are THE FREAKING MAN):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iXu5_ty3Zs

Or Walter Rohrl in an Audi Quattro (double clutching at 1:13):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbU4GZkt7ig

I just do it out of necessity. But having a car with very weak synchros does make you much more aware of the strain people normally put on them. Like when you are rolling up to a stop light and are coasting in for several seconds with the clutch pedal to the floor. Suddenly, the light turns green before you even hit the brake, so you blip the throttle to put the revs at 3 grand and throw it in 2nd gear. But who brought the input shaft instantly from 0rpm to 3,000rpm? Why, the synchros did. And when you are sitting at a traffic light with just the brake pedal pressed and the light turns green. You push the clutch and *immediately* jam the shifter into 1st. Who is taking the input shaft from 900rpm to 0rpm in a split second? Oh yes, the synchros again.

SleeperAvant
06-19-2012, 06:20 AM
Now that I think of it. I double-clutch when coasting to a red light but then it suddenly turns green. I blip the throttle while the clutch is still engaged, but the gearbox is in neutral, then clutch-in, go into 2nd, or go into 1st if the speed is slow enough.

I find though for the majority of downshifting from 5-4 or from 4-3 that double-clutching might not be as necessary as going from 3-2.

walky_talky20
06-19-2012, 06:38 AM
Indeed. 3-2 is a big rpm jump on the downshift. It also seems to be the weakest synchro in the box. At least in mine anyway. 5>4 is usually fine and 4>3 is decent as long I'm coming directly from 4th I do it quickly (ie: I don't let the input gears slow down to 0 during the shift). But when it's cold if I don't have in pretty much on the money, it's not going into 2nd without excessive force.

SleeperAvant
06-19-2012, 06:50 AM
With that said, I can see how it would be necessary going from 5 directly to 3 if someone were in a hurry.

ZimbutheMonkey
06-19-2012, 09:41 AM
If your throttle "blip" happens with the clutch pedal on the floor, that does nothing to save your synchros. "Double Clutching" means you perform the throttle "blip" whilst in Neutral with your foot *off* the clutch. This way you are not only matching the flywheel to clutch disc speed, but you are also matching the shaft speeds inside the transmission prior to gear selection. More specifically, you are using the flywheel/throttle blip to bring the clutch disc & input shaft up to speed, instead of making the synchros do it for you. This is much more beneficial when you are doing very high rpms downshifts, obviously because the synchros have a lot more work to do.

You do bring up a valid point for sure. It's tough for me to remember exactly how I did it to be honest. It was all kind of one motion. IIRC, I'd dip the clutch slightly as I stabbed the throttle and that would ease the transition out of 3rd and let the revs shoot up and then I'd move it into 2nd but it was all in one quick motion.

The reason I don't think it was necessarily rushing the synchros is that there was never the resistance that you'd normally feel if you just tried to pull it into 2nd (where it would end up at 5500-6000 RPM) from 3rd and let the synchros do all the work (you know that feeling where there's that short period of resistance as the synchros speed the next gear up). But then again, maybe the way I was doing it was masking some sort of internal stress.

I do know that's the type of thing that can happen if you try and shift without the clutch. Even if you think you got the RPM's spot on you likely didn't as the synchros and blocker rings are still taking up some of the shaft speed differences. However it just feels like you did it smoothly.

Tough to say, but the other thing that I think didn't help matters is that with the 9 lb flywheel, the revs dropped so quickly, especially during the 2-3 upshift and 3-2 downshift that you needed to get it into the next gear and fast. So I tended to rush that shift. That said, I was under the impression that the synchros were matched, so I wasn't as concerned as I would have been had I just been hammering it into the gear and letting the transmission take the entire load.