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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My 2014 5spd frequently exhibits resistance when shifting in lower gears and I'm wondering where this is fairly typical. For example, when coasting to speeds under 5mph I'm unable to put the car back into 1st very easily without stopping first, at which point the problem resolves itself completely. As another example, when going through a turn at 10-15mph it's often difficult to shift from 3rd down into 2nd without encountering equal resistance. Or in some rare cases there may be some resistance from 1st to 2nd when accelerating normally. In all instances I usually need to apply extra force to engage the gear.

What are your thoughts? 3rd, 4th, and 5th don't have any problems. And I'd prefer not to wreck the transmission.

Thanks!
 

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Before we go any further, let's make sure we have the simple things covered.

From page 184 of the owner's manual:

"During each shift,the clutch pedal must be fully pressed to the floor.
Make sure the floor mat is properly positioned so it does not interfere
with the full extension of the clutch pedal.

Note: Failure to fully press the clutch pedal to the floor may cause
increased shift efforts
, prematurely wear transmission components or
damage the transmission."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Before we go any further, let's make sure we have the simple things covered.
I just went for a drive and being conscious of the clutch pedal seemed to make a slight difference. There is still some occasional hesitation though, but it seems to be improved. I'll have to be more conscious of where the pedal is. Thanks!
 

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To add, the more you let rpm/speed/gear match as you change gears the easier they will shift.

Perfectly matched speed/gear/rpm you don't need a clutch at all except for starting from a stop. (not to say you should DO it as a habit, just to emphasize how to make shifts the smoothest)

Click, Click to shift. One shift is into neutral, match rpm, then shift to the next gear.

Pushing fast straight from one gear to the next will always meet with resistance as the synchro's work to match gear speeds for you. After the slight pause between gears on the other hand, it'll click in & the clutch release will be smooth.

No need to slip the clutch at each shift if speeds are matched. (seldom perfect, that's why you still use the clutch)

Cheers

P.S. - If you let out the clutch between gears while it's in neutral, this matching is what's known as "double clutching" - the method used for all transmissions without synchro's. Not needed in full for a car with them
 

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My thought is you might need to bleed the clutch (hydraulic cable). Even a tiny bit of air can be a problem.

IMO Symptoms are you are not having the clutch release fully. If you try hard it is better. Thus IMO your clutch is not fully disengaging.. Thus the (probable) need to bleed the clutch hydraulics.

If that does not fix it. Then i would say you need to look at the clutch slave or master cylinders
 

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i drive semi (tractor trailors) trucks every day with unsynchronized transmissions. This has helped me learn alot about how important matching engine speed and transmission speed when shifting. and also understand how transmission internals work. In an unsynchronize transmission it doesnt matter what you do with the clutch if you do not match the engine rpms with the transmission speed it will never go in gear. With our cars which have synchronizers rev matching is not necessary but it make the syncrhonizers job a lot easier which in turn allows for smoother shifting. lastly, just a warning to everyone trying to flat shift without the clutch it is not wise to shift without the clutch even if you rev match the gears perfectly. You may not grind the gear but you are still putting more strain on the synchros causing them to wear prematurely. When you push the clutch in this takes the load away from the transmission allowing the synchros to mesh smoothly . Think of it as sliding a square peg into a square hole by itself verses trying to push the peg into the hole with a 20lb weight on top of it. Without the weight on the peg things will fall in place alot easier. i may have gotten off topic but just something ive learned from over the years working for freightliner.
All in all, just take time with your shifts. Every once and awhile a little resitance is normal. Also, try not to downshift into 1st gear unless you are at a complete stop. downshifting into first while rolling has always given me resitance in every manual vehicle ive ever owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All in all, just take time with your shifts. Every once and awhile a little resitance is normal. Also, try not to downshift into 1st gear unless you are at a complete stop. downshifting into first while rolling has always given me resitance in every manual vehicle ive ever owned.
I've tried to avoid 1st when in motion but found that it's not always possible with this drivetrain. For example, when pulling out of a parking lot into the street my speeds are likely in the single digits, at that point placing the car into 2nd causes the RPMs to drop to 400-500RPMs so my only option is first. However, the transmission won't let me easily shift into 1st without stopping entirely, which is a pain.

My thought is you might need to bleed the clutch (hydraulic cable). Even a tiny bit of air can be a problem.
That's an interesting idea. I'll have to ask a mechanic to test drive it.

To add, the more you let rpm/speed/gear match as you change gears the easier they will shift.
How does one determine where these "magic" shifting points are? Trial and error?
 

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I've tried to avoid 1st when in motion but found that it's not always possible with this drivetrain. For example, when pulling out of a parking lot into the street my speeds are likely in the single digits, at that point placing the car into 2nd causes the RPMs to drop to 400-500RPMs so my only option is first. However, the transmission won't let me easily shift into 1st without stopping entirely, which is a pain.



How does one determine where these "magic" shifting points are? Trial and error?
First, your driving habits may need to change to make working with a manual transmission easier.

When using a manual transmission, you're working with a discrete set of speed ranges (one for each gear) which both overlap & have different throttle responses depending on engine rpm..

A gasoline engine is quite flexible, but it reacts differently at different RPM's. As a result, you aren't only choosing between which of your few avail. gears will work for a given situation, you're choosing which will give you the most useful power band for the anticipated situation.

Sometimes this decision is simple, accelerating slowly for economy means you'll be using only the lower rpm capability of each gear while accelerating rapidly means the opposite, only the higher portion of each range will be used.

Your example of pulling out into a street while turning after slowing down to check traffic is one of the most complex situations for decision making you could set for yourself. Even the most experienced user of a manual transmission can't (and shouldn't) divorce shifting decisions entirely from driving decisions since the power flow can't be as smooth and variable as the power flow from a hydraulic automatic transmission.

As you approach the intersection, you need to already be looking at traffic & deciding whether you will be able to smoothly enter the intersection & turn without slowing more than necessary to take the turn at your selected speed, OR if you will need to slow to a stop or near stop to reevaluate the situation before proceeding.

In the first situation, you may be using either second or third gear depending on the sharpness of the turn with second being the norm for a typical sharp corner.

In the second situation, when you can't be sure of making the turn without stopping, you shift out of second to neutral as your speed drops below a useable range for that gear (quite low, near idle speed) and as your speed drops to a stop you ease the shift lever into first. You'll be very near a complete stop by the time the lever will move smoothly into first, this is called rolling into the gear.

Should you decide to keep rolling without a full stop after taking it out of second gear, you need to use some throttle to raise the rpm to the appropriate speed to select first gear & let out the clutch to accelerate without jerkiness as the clutch engages. The right "blip" of the throttle to accomplish this smoothly will take some practice to get right & it's a variable depending on the exact speed when you make your decision. This is difficult enough that it's NOT recommended to be attempted at all by beginning drivers.

To make it easier, your decision point is just before the appropriate stopping point. You DON'T coast past a normal stopping point and THEN decide to try to select first as you are trying to turn - this way ends in potential disaster as you are trying to do too many things at once, all of which have to go perfectly to proceed smoothly. This is how beginners end up stalled in an intersection half way through a turn.

Prev. habits of coasting into a turn then deciding whether to stop or shift into first to continue should be thrown out as a rule. Too many things to do at once is an excessive distraction from observing traffic & making decisions. You can add more variations back into your repertoire as the shifting functions become automatic.



For the second question on shifting points, you need to get your own "numbers" for the rpm differences between gears. Look at rpm before shifting & after completing the shift & do the math. Rev to 3,000 in second, then end up at 2,000 in third once the clutch is engaged, there's a typical 1,000 rpm difference between gears.

So, if you're rolling along at 2,000 in third and you decide to shift down to speed up quick, drop it into neutral - rev. to 3,000 - into second and the clutch is engaged again.

In practice, you'll find you need to anticipate since waiting for the exact speeds before doing anything is a clunky & slow way to do things.


Hope the small lesson is useful, started from basics as I didn't know the correct starting level.

[cheers]
 

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i drive semi (tractor trailors) trucks every day with unsynchronized transmissions. This has helped me learn alot about how important matching engine speed and transmission speed when shifting. and also understand how transmission internals work. In an unsynchronize transmission it doesnt matter what you do with the clutch if you do not match the engine rpms with the transmission speed it will never go in gear. With our cars which have synchronizers rev matching is not necessary but it make the syncrhonizers job a lot easier which in turn allows for smoother shifting. lastly, just a warning to everyone trying to flat shift without the clutch it is not wise to shift without the clutch even if you rev match the gears perfectly. You may not grind the gear but you are still putting more strain on the synchros causing them to wear prematurely. When you push the clutch in this takes the load away from the transmission allowing the synchros to mesh smoothly . Think of it as sliding a square peg into a square hole by itself verses trying to push the peg into the hole with a 20lb weight on top of it. Without the weight on the peg things will fall in place alot easier. i may have gotten off topic but just something ive learned from over the years working for freightliner.
+1 [thumb]
 

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Just an aside, but I have found once I am moving at all.. Second gear is good. Like slowing down waiting for the car in front to move..etc. If i am even moving a little, second is great. First really IS only for starting from a complete standstill..
This is my experience anyway.
This in response to 'trying to downshift into first while moving"
 

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^^^ My experience as well (same trans, different car)
 

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Just an aside, but I have found once I am moving at all.. Second gear is good. Like slowing down waiting for the car in front to move..etc. If i am even moving a little, second is great. First really IS only for starting from a complete standstill..
This is my experience anyway.
This in response to 'trying to downshift into first while moving"
One thing I will add. The owner's manual says to never downshift into first gear unless you are traveling less than 15 mph. My personal routine is I never downshift into first until I have come to a complete stop or at least almost stopped. I don't think it's good for the transmission. This probably falls in to the rev matching that sailor talks about.

And yes, I start off in second all the time if I am on a slight decline or if I still have momentum.
 

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Just an aside, but I have found once I am moving at all.. Second gear is good. Like slowing down waiting for the car in front to move..etc. If i am even moving a little, second is great. First really IS only for starting from a complete standstill..
This is my experience anyway.
This in response to 'trying to downshift into first while moving"
I have done the same with all my manual cars. Generally shifting into first when rolling is going to have some resistance. I know my old mustang going into first from anything over 5mph you really had to force it in. I haven't done it in the focus yet but i'd imagine it would be the similar.
 

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One thing I will add. The owner's manual says to never downshift into first gear unless you are traveling less than 15 mph. My personal routine is I never downshift into first until I have come to a complete stop or at least almost stopped. I don't think it's good for the transmission. This probably falls in to the rev matching that sailor talks about.
Agreed.

As a general rule of thumb, never downshift into 1st gear.

The only exception is if you are (for example) crawling along in a parking lot at less than 5 mph.
 

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I drive a medium duty work truck (box) thats a 6 speed UD.
my boss has me double clutch when I shift. Press clutch pedal, remove from gear, let off, press once more and pace into desired gear.
 

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You can bog down second gear pretty low. as long as the car isnt bucking you should be okay.
 

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I drive a medium duty work truck (box) thats a 6 speed UD.
my boss has me double clutch when I shift. Press clutch pedal, remove from gear, let off, press once more and pace into desired gear.
What kind of truck is it and what brand of trans. I work for freightliner and our medium duty m2's come wiht the option of a 6speed trans. They are synchronized and dont need to double clutch.
 

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You can bog down second gear pretty low. as long as the car isnt bucking you should be okay.
You can take off from 2nd gear also. I only do this in the winter time when its snowing or ice is on the ground as it helps to get you moving without too much power going to the wheels. I have owned about 6 different manual cars and this one is probably one of the easiest to drive. [driving]
 
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