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Old 12-21-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
ImmortalKenny
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Cold tranny problems

So I bought an '02 SVT with 44k miles a couple months ago, it's been a great car so far except for this one problem. When it's been sitting outside overnight in the cold, it's nearly impossible to put the tranny into any gear the next morning. However after driving the car for 10 minutes or so when everything's warmed up, you can't even tell it had shifting problems.

I feel like I'm going to break something trying to put it in gear when it's cold. This can't be good on the tranny either. The only thing I've done so far is swap out the transmission fluid with Royal Purple Synchromax. However the fluid that came out was the factory Ford "honey" transmission fluid, so it's not like the previous owner put the wrong stuff in.

Any input?


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Old 12-21-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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How was it shifting before you swapped fluid
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Indy'sexclusiveZx3 View Post
How was it shifting before you swapped fluid
I'm not sure if it's placebo, but the Synchromax fluid improved the shift feel by a little bit.

It didn't do anything for the problem I'm having though. It was the same before the fluid swap.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Id wonder if the purple wasnt for colder climates, i know ford makes sure their fluid is made for colder running tempertures.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:41 PM   #5
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Ok how cold though? I didnt see the AZ by your tag
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:54 PM   #6
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Its normal. The gears in a manual trans are splash lubricated which means that the greas need to start moving to be lubricated because while sitting all the fluid falls to the bottom of the pan and when its cold it also gets a little thicker. With that purple fluid I would see and really check and see if its ok for your trans. Most of the time putting different fluid in a trans can do damage over time. So putting the fluid that was in would most likely be your best bet
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Baker View Post
Its normal. The gears in a manual trans are splash lubricated which means that the greas need to start moving to be lubricated because while sitting all the fluid falls to the bottom of the pan and when its cold it also gets a little thicker. With that purple fluid I would see and really check and see if its ok for your trans. Most of the time putting different fluid in a trans can do damage over time. So putting the fluid that was in would most likely be your best bet
I switched the transmission fluid over to RP Synchromax to see if it would fix the problem that the factory transmission fluid could have been causing. I mean, I could switch the fluid back to the OEM stuff, but it probably won't fix anything.

I chose RP Synchromax based on recommendations from other SVT and Getrag owners.

So for those who have SVT's in colder climates than Arizona, do you also get the same problem?
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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I have never heard of this stuff but I'm sure there are a few other fluids you could use but most transmissions only work best with OEM fluids
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Just happened to me a week ago in WI, after the car sitting overnight with temps in the 20's. I turned the car on no problem, went to reverse, and found the shifter would only easily move forward and back between 3 and 4 which are the at rest gears (no side to side movement). I'd read about shift linkages disconnecting on the trans housing so I removed the intake and airbox housing to look at the trans and linkage (first time for this) and saw that both linkages appeared to be still attached. You can manually move the linkages like this and I was able to shift it in the back and forth way, but not side to side, but both linkages were definitely securely attached.

I took off the shifter boot and looked things over, everything still attached, but something was still binding and it felt like it was from the shifter itself. I sprayed down all the mechanical contact points/linkages (including the shifter base) with Liquid Wrench white lithium grease (doesn't freeze) and it freed up and now shifts better than it has in quite awhile. I don't know if this is really a permanent fix but it definitely solved what I thought was a bigger problem, and one that I'd encountered for the first time.

So I'd suggest taking off the shift knob and shifter boot and having a look at the shifter mechanism itself, something in there was binding for me and greasing it helped.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Baker View Post
I have never heard of this stuff but I'm sure there are a few other fluids you could use but most transmissions only work best with OEM fluids
I might switch back to the OEM fluid if nothing else works.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SPD_soul View Post
Just happened to me a week ago in WI, after the car sitting overnight with temps in the 20's. I turned the car on no problem, went to reverse, and found the shifter would only easily move forward and back between 3 and 4 which are the at rest gears (no side to side movement). I'd read about shift linkages disconnecting on the trans housing so I removed the intake and airbox housing to look at the trans and linkage (first time for this) and saw that both linkages appeared to be still attached. You can manually move the linkages like this and I was able to shift it in the back and forth way, but not side to side, but both linkages were definitely securely attached.

I took off the shifter boot and looked things over, everything still attached, but something was still binding and it felt like it was from the shifter itself. I sprayed down all the mechanical contact points/linkages (including the shifter base) with Liquid Wrench white lithium grease (doesn't freeze) and it freed up and now shifts better than it has in quite awhile. I don't know if this is really a permanent fix but it definitely solved what I thought was a bigger problem, and one that I'd encountered for the first time.

So I'd suggest taking off the shift knob and shifter boot and having a look at the shifter mechanism itself, something in there was binding for me and greasing it helped.
It's worth a shot, thanks for the suggestion. I recently replaced the shifter arm and that one small bushing (links below) to free up some slop, so I know they're not the culprits.

http://focus.c-f-m.com/fordshifterar...70focus-1.aspx
http://focus.c-f-m.com/fordshifterbu...t170focus.aspx
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