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Tranny tough shifting

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 23 May 2014, 02:17 pm
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Default Tranny tough shifting

Greatings.

I have a 2001 PT Cruiser with 146k on it and a 5 speed manual tranny.

The problem I am now having is after the car has been running a few minutes, when I need to shift to 1st or 2nd and starting now, into 3rd, I have to let the clutch out a few times with the tranny in neutral in order to get the tranny into 1st or 2nd.

What are the possible problems.

Best Wishes,
Brian
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Old 23 May 2014, 02:32 pm
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Has the clutch ever been replaced? You have to remember, at 146K things wear out. Most of the problems we see on the manual tranny is with the bushings in the shift assembly.
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Old 23 May 2014, 03:06 pm
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

1st, 2nd and 3rd are shifted in to and out of a lot more than the others. At 140k miles it sounds like the synchros are worn. Possibly replacing the transmission fluid will help. Otherwise, the only way to replace the synchros is a rebuild of the transmission. My 2002 PT with 87k miles still shifts very smoothly. Replaced the bushings on the shift cables twice. First time was before I knew about booger bushings and bought a brand new shift cable assembly from the dealer at about $150. Ouch!

Letting the clutch out in neutral (aka double clutching) is what everyone had to do on manual transmissions before synchros came around.
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Old 24 May 2014, 09:11 am
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Even if the synchros were totally worn these things shift acceptably.

Classic dragging clutch; difficult engagement in lower ranges- Just as Crewzin says.

Try clutch adjustment under dash, there's a long post here; 'difficult engagement when warm' or similar title.
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Old 24 May 2014, 09:16 am
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownSport View Post
Try clutch adjustment under dash, there's a long post here; 'difficult engagement when warm' or similar title.
Stiff transmission when hot?
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Old 24 May 2014, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Yep, the guys are ALL right. It could be the synchronizes as Patriot says. But the thing that would make me suspect the clutch first is the part about the problem starting in the lower gears and working it's way up.

See, the thing is, you can shift without synchronizes at all. AND you can also shift it without a clutch at all.

It can be done by doing something called rpm matching. That is, matching the engine rpms and thereby the transmission's input shaft rpms to the speed of the gear you want relative to the output shaft...wheel speed...and it will just glide into gear.

HowEVER, as you might guess, that is harder to do in the lower gears and easier in the higher gears because of the way gear reduction is working inside the transmission. SO, if you have a clutch problem...it shows up in the lower gears first. Then the worse it gets, the more pronounced it gets in the higher gears.

Make sense? I hope so cause I just confused the heck out of myself. LOL

It absolutely could be synchronizes, but I would try the clutch first. If you don't get any joy there, draining the oil will tell you pretty quick if the synchros are eating each other. There will be a BUNCH of particles in the oil. And if that's what it is and ya wait too long, there will be some chunks in it too. ;~0

Last edited by JDB; 24 May 2014 at 11:11 am.
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Old 24 May 2014, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDB View Post
Yep, the guys are ALL right. It could be the synchronizes as Patriot says. But the thing that would make me suspect the clutch first is the part about the problem starting in the lower gears and working it's way up.

See, the thing is, you can shift without synchronizes at all. AND you can also shift it without a clutch at all.

It can be done by doing something called rpm matching. That is, matching the engine rpms and thereby the transmission's input shaft rpms to the speed of the gear you want relative to the output shaft...wheel speed...and it will just glide into gear.

HowEVER, as you might guess, that is harder to do in the lower gears and easier in the higher gears because of the way gear reduction is working inside the transmission. SO, if you have a clutch problem...it shows up in the lower gears first. Then the worse it gets, the more pronounced it gets in the higher gears.

Make sense? I hope so cause I just confused the heck out of myself. LOL

It absolutely could be synchronizes, but I would try the clutch first. If you don't get any joy there, draining the oil will tell you pretty quick if the synchros are eating each other. There will be a BUNCH of particles in the oil. And if that's what it is and ya wait too long, there will be some chunks in it too. ;~0
that little adjustment should fix it. like 10-15 of us had the same problem getting into first-second last year when it got hot out and the adjuster was the miracle fix.

my second gear synchros are shot from abuse and it still shifts like butter, just with a little grind now. it still powershifts just fine too, LOL. you can't really drain the fluid and see all the metal shavings inside because there's a rectangular magnet in the case and it is not located anywhere near the plug. you can see it in my pictures here. you can spot it in pictures 2 and 3, and the last two pics of the post are specifically the magnet.

Last edited by rob342; 24 May 2014 at 12:51 pm.
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Old 26 May 2014, 09:42 am
JDB JDB is offline
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
that little adjustment should fix it. like 10-15 of us had the same problem getting into first-second last year when it got hot out and the adjuster was the miracle fix.

my second gear synchros are shot from abuse and it still shifts like butter, just with a little grind now. it still powershifts just fine too, LOL. you can't really drain the fluid and see all the metal shavings inside because there's a rectangular magnet in the case and it is not located anywhere near the plug. you can see it in my pictures here. you can spot it in pictures 2 and 3, and the last two pics of the post are specifically the magnet.
LOL...I've destroyed a synchronize or two in my day Rob. If I build it as a toy...I drive it like I stole it! ;~)

And yep, I thought about the magnet, but to be honest, I didn't know that Chrysler had stopped putting magnetic plugs on the transmission. OR enough about the trans in Cruisers to know if the synchronizes were bronze or steel. I've destroyed BOTH in my day. LOL

But I've never been into one of these car's trans-axles before. Great pics by the way!

Oh, and I LOVE the, "If it don't fit...get a bigger hammer!" attitude displayed in that 4th pic. ;~)
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Old 26 May 2014, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

synchros are fibreride or something, except some 1-2 are brass.
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Old 26 May 2014, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Tranny tough shifting

Start with the simplest things first. Far and away the most common cause is the bushings on the cable end links. Remove the air filter box to visually check the trans ends and pop the floor console boot out to get a peek at the shifter ends. The clutch master cylinder and/or slave is another possible. If you can change gears better when you push in the clutch pedal quickly and shift immediately but you have a problem when you are doing the routine more slowly, that's a sign of the seals in the master or slave failing and leaking. If that all checks out good, then go looking for trouble in the trans.
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