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MazdaSpeed 3 - Engine, Transmission & Driveline Discussion of engine, tranny and drivelines.


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 Old 03-14-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
 
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Default How to make my tranny "click-click" perfect?

So, I've been driving stick-shifts ever since I began to learn how to drive (almost 12 years now) and never have I had such an un-smooth tranny. I had a couple Preludes before this car, and the transmissions were perfect "click click" type transmission. One click out, and one click into gear. This tranny, however, is usually more "clickity click click."

I put in aluminum bushing, and that's helped with the vagueness but not with the actual engaging of the gears. It's the engaging of the gears that really bugs me. Whether I'm shifting fast, slow, hard, or soft, or whether I'm going slow or fast, most of the time it feels like I'm pushing through... pushing through to get into gear. Even if I come to a complete stop, go to put it into first, I'd expect a nice click right into gear, but it's more of a double click. So, I put it into second, then back into first and NOW it's only one click.

Most shifts feel like a double or triple click... like multi-notchiness or something. It really grinds my gears Grrr

What will solve this? I'm going to try better fluid.... and I know a tranny and motor mount won't help because this happens even at very low speeds, no speeds, and very careful, soft shifts too.

Thanks in advance.
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 Old 03-14-2010, 10:41 PM   #2
 
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I think you have been somewhat spoiled by Honda transmissions. They are known to make some of the best feeling transmissions, and every one I've felt has had that smooth polished click gear engagement. That said, I know exactly what you're talking about with our car, and it's pretty annoying. I think I get it the most in 1st gear, which is always at a slow speed, so speed really has nothing to do with it. If someone's found a solution for this problem, that would be great.

I see people posting about changing transmission fluids, but for some reason, I still can't figure out what problem they're trying to fix with the fluid replacement. Their descriptions are too vague to mean anything significant to me, or they mention grinding, which I don't really have a problem with. Or maybe I just haven't read the right thread, but this is the first time I recall this quirk of our car described using language I personally relate to. If it really is what is addressed by the transmission fluid change, please let us know.
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 Old 03-15-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
 
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I grew up on Saginaw and Muncie boxes so, this trans is slicker than warm massage oil on a stripper's thigh

Put a short shift plate on there (pm me for plans or buy JBarone's piece) and if that don't do it, a weighted shift knob will make it as good as it's gonna get. ...and seriously motor mounts, particularly rear, do wonders, even under low load.

Don't feel bad, VW struggled for years trying to make a decent cable shifter and they still aren't there yet so, we aren't alone.
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 Old 03-16-2010, 01:43 AM   #4
 
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I have a JBarone SSP. It does not address this issue. If anything, it accentuates it, because there is less momentum going into each engagement and you really have to push it through the *clkclkclkclks*

I find that shifting nice and easy really helps the feel smooth out. Instead of slamming the car into gear and waiting for the revs to drop when upshifting, time it so that you gently disengage the previous gear and then gently engage the next gear when your revs are matched. This makes the gear engagements more single clickish. Rushing the shifter makes you really feel those triple and quad clicks. The SSP makes it much more enjoyable to shift nice and easy. It makes it easier to rush the shifts, too
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 Old 03-16-2010, 06:13 PM   #5
 
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ooheadsoo, I'm glad my unprofessional language was understandable to you, and I've very glad you understand! Yes, my two Preludes were both fantastic but I never really realized it at the time because it just felt natural. I must say, I have the E4 shift knob and it did help with the feeling a little. However, I have the JBarone SSP and have no yet installed it.... what would your recommendation be? Install or not? I've never had a short throw shifter before, so it would be a first for me.

When it comes to transmission fluid, check out this thread. FreeFlyFreak said "After doing a little research it turns out the Gen 2 MS3 owners manual calls for GL-4 75W80,
The Gen 1 spec is 75W90, doesnt sound like much of a change, but if you look at the centistokes it is.
My guess is the 75W80 will work better in the gen 1 too, same gearbox AFAIK just slightly different gearing."

Just something to consider I suppose. I'll eventually try a different fluid and see how it reacts.
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 Old 03-16-2010, 08:08 PM   #6
 
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My MS3 shifts much better than my 1st gen DSM ever did. That 2nd gear engagement was always bad no matter what fluid or how warmed up it was.
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 Old 03-16-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
 
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I have Ford Synthetic in my transaxle and the shift action is very smooth hot or cold.
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 Old 03-16-2010, 10:25 PM   #8
 
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http://www.mazdaspeedforums.org/forum/f10/jbarone-short-shift-plate-mini-review-50654/

In short, it's a pretty amazing little piece of steel. I've used it for a while, now, and the shifts don't feel short to me, anymore. When I first installed it, I was completely shocked by how short the shifts were to me. What does this tell me? There is NO WAY I could ever go back. It's really worth its weight in gold.

Before you change your transmission fluid, here's the trick (again.) Don't rush the shifter. You have to wait an eternity for the revs to drop, anyway, so use that time to shift nice and smoothly. It feels much better that way.

Thanks for tips (all of you) on transmission fluid.
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 Old 03-16-2010, 10:44 PM   #9
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For me the shifting is great when just cruising / pussy footing around town. It's just that when I get on it, the transmission is complete crap. I've never been able to complete a decent 1/4 because of this, due to countless miss shifts, even with the RMM, bushings, STS, etc. The ONLY time I’ve been able to successfully complete the ¼ is by al most granny shifting the damn thing. It’s frustrating as hell! (I’ll never know what my car is really capable of) It's the same story when down shifting. This is my biggest disappointment concerning the car.
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 Old 03-17-2010, 12:36 AM   #10
 
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You can get on it, you just can't smack the shifter around if you want smooth.

What do you mean by mis shifts? How exactly are you missing the shift? Is it not engaging or is it missing the gate completely? If it's missing the gate, you might consider the JBarone SSP. Although it doesn't improve the feeling of the gear engagement, I have tried to miss the gate on 2nd-3rd shifts, and I haven't been able to do it yet.

I don't have any problem with downshifting this car that isn't related to my own technique or consistency.
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 Old 03-17-2010, 07:39 AM   #11
 
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Seriously, put the XT-M5-QS fluid in. Trust me on this. The difference is night and day.
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 Old 03-17-2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ooheadsoo View Post
You can get on it, you just can't smack the shifter around if you want smooth.

What do you mean by mis shifts? How exactly are you missing the shift? Is it not engaging or is it missing the gate completely? If it's missing the gate, you might consider the JBarone SSP. Although it doesn't improve the feeling of the gear engagement, I have tried to miss the gate on 2nd-3rd shifts, and I haven't been able to do it yet.

I don't have any problem with downshifting this car that isn't related to my own technique or consistency.
When you drive at WOT, the cars front end moves up which causes the shifter cables to temporary deform, hence the miss shifts. When the car isn't driven at WOT this doesn't happen because the cars front end isn't launching up due to a shit ton of torque. I've tried the JBarone, if anything it made it worse, didn't like it at all. The tranny is sloppy, nothing to do with my technique. I’ve never had issues like this with countless other manual transmission cars. I have to slow things down a great deal just to make sure the shift goes in at WOT, especially at the track. It doesn’t happen near as much on the street but nonetheless it happens.
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 Old 03-17-2010, 10:09 AM   #13
 
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i have the ACT street clutch/flywheel/ pressure plate installed (after my stock exploded) i also replaced the fluid with the ford XT fluid and my shifts are really smooth still not perfect but a definite improvement, STS is on its way and i will be doing my own bushings.
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 Old 03-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #14
 
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Would it better or worse to just not use bushings at all? Just bolt that assembly to the floor?
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 Old 03-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #15
 
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no im pretty sure you will need bushings because without them it would effect the hieght of the linkages, im sure that will effect things...
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 Old 03-17-2010, 06:51 PM   #16
 
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ms3077, something must seriously be wrong with your car then....
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 Old 03-17-2010, 07:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BolvangaR View Post
ms3077, something must seriously be wrong with your car then....
Not unless you mean it produces more torque. It's just the nature of the car being FWD and very high low / mid range Torque. I've tried other MS3's and the same shit happens. Have you ever seen how much the front end of this car gets up at WOT? It's insane. It's worse at the strip due to the surface being extra sticky, the tires hook up harder thus launching the front end up in the air. The tranny allows me to shift just quick enough to achieve just under 14 / low 14’s but any quicker and it’s a guaranteed miss. Whenever I’m in route to a quick time after a good 2.0 60ft, 3rd gear doesn’t go in and I coast into 14.5 about 99% of the time. Maybe it's just the track I go to because it doesn't happen near as much on the street.

Last edited by ms3077; 03-17-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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 Old 03-17-2010, 08:08 PM   #18
 
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Every car is different but, I've found this car to be no sweat in the 1/4 running MT-90, a glued stock RMM and my own design short shift plate. I flat shift the car and it's the easiest car to flat shift I've ever driven, in over 25 years of driving high performance cars road and track. I have an engine torque damper I put on at the track for safety but, the car does the job shifting-wise the same with it as without it. I'm in the 13.80s on the stock rubber.
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 Old 03-18-2010, 10:28 AM   #19
 
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I have no problems shifting at all either. I always flat foot shift when racing too. No problems at all. Goes in like butter. Granted, it used to suck and suck bad but after the few mods I've done, it's like click-click heaven.

Mods:

XT-M5-QS Ford Motorcraft Synthetic Fluid

Street Unit Billet Aluminum Shifter Bushings

CP-e 60 Durometer Rear Motor Mount

Made some adjustments to the linkage via the shifter cable adjuster (see this forum for a how to, but it takes like 5 seconds to do, no tools required even)

I plan on eventually getting a transmission and side passenger mounts in the future. I'm also going to get a super heavy shift knob and a short shift plate.
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 Old 03-18-2010, 10:44 AM   #20
 
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Hey, im a complete noob and i have felt this exact thing... how do bushings help with this? should i install them? those with them has it helped alone?
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 Old 03-18-2010, 11:57 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by darth vader View Post
Every car is different but, I've found this car to be no sweat in the 1/4 running MT-90, a glued stock RMM and my own design short shift plate. I flat shift the car and it's the easiest car to flat shift I've ever driven, in over 25 years of driving high performance cars road and track. I have an engine torque damper I put on at the track for safety but, the car does the job shifting-wise the same with it as without it. I'm in the 13.80s on the stock rubber.
two questions:
is flat foot shifting the same as boost shifting?

does this have the potential to damage our engines on a stock tune?
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:02 PM   #22
 
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BOOST SHIFTIN? ffs is when you dont let off the gas when you shift..
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:04 PM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by Fagwagon View Post
BOOST SHIFTIN? ffs is when you dont let off the gas when you shift..
i know what flat foot shifting is. i have heard of boost shifting as well. i was curious if the terms are synonymous...
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:06 PM   #24
 
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i cant help never heard of boost shifting...
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #25
 
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well, on ffs, i can easily see the potential for damage to the transmission but what about the motor?
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:10 PM   #26
 
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maybe you are speaking of brake boostin?
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:19 PM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by Fagwagon View Post
maybe you are speaking of brake boostin?
well, i know brake boosting reduces the pedal effort by using engine vacuum on one side of a diaphram to assist in pedal travel and left foot braking will keep the turbo spooled up and give you more torque on corner exit, right? the two are different.

no, i am quite certain the term i heard was boost shifting. idk, i need to get further clarification i guess.

but back to ffs, is it damaging to the motor?
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 Old 03-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #28
 
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FFS is something i do regularly when i race at the drags, brake boosting is something you should always use when roll racing....im not going to explain that. But as far as it damaging something, sure possible but shit happens when you race...i wouldnt flat foot shift everywhere you go tho...
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 Old 03-18-2010, 01:21 PM   #29
 
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I've never heard of boost shifting. lol

Originally Posted by HaigDaniel View Post
Hey, im a complete noob and i have felt this exact thing... how do bushings help with this? should i install them? those with them has it helped alone?
They help by taking away the "mushy-ness" of going into gears. Yes, you should definitely install them, imo. Yes, just doing this alone with help a lot.
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 Old 03-18-2010, 07:10 PM   #30
 
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IMHO, all the mushiness is still there. I'm not sure what the bushings accomplished. Personally, I wouldn't pay full price for them, but if you get them on sale, heck, why not? It's just that on my car, it doesn't seem to make a difference.
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 Old 03-19-2010, 08:26 AM   #31
 
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I think others and myself can only share what we did to fix what you are talking about. YMMV depending on your car. I had horrible problems shifting this transmission at first too. It was my mission to fix this. I feel that I have. I have driven nothing but manual transmissions since I was 17 and I feel that this is one of the smoothest after three important mods.

Shifter Bushings
Rear Motor Mount
Redline MT-90 Fluid (If I was doing it over I might try the Ford stuff everyone is talking about now)

I no longer have complaints about my transmission. I realize everyone is different and every car is different but please just do these mods like has been suggested and then determine if there is still a problem.
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 Old 03-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #32
 
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I agree with ^^ him. I did those same mods (did the Ford fluid though) and it has turned my car from one of the worst to one of the best in shifting and feel.
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 Old 03-21-2010, 11:04 PM   #33
 
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Well, I'm trying the Amsoil MTG as soon as it arrives.... we'll see how it goes!
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 Old 03-21-2010, 11:08 PM   #34
 
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Be sure to let us know here how it works. I'm considering the redline stuff myself.
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 Old 03-22-2010, 07:31 AM   #35
 
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Both the Amsoil and Redline stuff is top tier stuff, it should be a big improvement over stock fluid. Personally I think the Ford stuff might be a bit better, but probably not enough to even mention.
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 Old 03-25-2010, 02:04 PM   #36
 
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Finally replaced whatever was in my tranny with the Amsoil MTG and now the "wah wah" is much louder. Before, I could barely hear it and not very often. Now, it's very noticeable. Transmission seems to be more notchy, but not in a bad way. I haven't had more than a couple minutes driving with it, but so far I don't really see an improvement... it's just different.

Later today, I'm going to do some more driving and the fluid should get fully warmed, so we'll see how I like it. I've never known for certain what was in my tranny because a year ago it had work done and who knows what they put in it..... and I wouldn't know because I just bought the car a couple months ago.
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 Old 03-25-2010, 02:53 PM   #37
 
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Many have reported that Redline MT-90 will yield more noise when used in our transmission. In other manual transmissions, I always had great success using MT-90 over the stock fluid, but I went with the Ford XT-M5-QS in this car after doing some research. It has worked well for me thus far...no noise and better "when cold" shifting. Also, just to mention from what I have read, it is not recommended by many that you add a friction modifier to your fluid. Be careful if someone recommends this...caveat emptor.
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 Old 03-25-2010, 07:54 PM   #38
 
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I guess it was too much to hope that a bit of fluid would make the transmission shift like a Honda. Now I've read people saying Ford>MT90, MT90>Ford, AMSoil>Ford, and the same group of people claiming that it's now "one of the best shifting cars I have ever driven." I'm starting to think it's all placebo. I'm just going to have to change my own fluid and see for myself. The question is which fluid to replace the stock with.
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 Old 03-25-2010, 08:39 PM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by ooheadsoo View Post
I guess it was too much to hope that a bit of fluid would make the transmission shift like a Honda. Now I've read people saying Ford>MT90, MT90>Ford, AMSoil>Ford, and the same group of people claiming that it's now "one of the best shifting cars I have ever driven." I'm starting to think it's all placebo. I'm just going to have to change my own fluid and see for myself. The question is which fluid to replace the stock with.
My transmission only underwent this transformation upon doing all three mods, like I said. Bushings, RMM and fluid. People always want to argue the RMM part but they have no idea (I know I didn't) how much this engine shifts and bounces around even at very low speeds. Any shifting of the engine throws off the alignment of the linkage causing problems.
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 Old 03-25-2010, 09:13 PM   #40
 
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Originally Posted by thezfunk View Post
My transmission only underwent this transformation upon doing all three mods, like I said. Bushings, RMM and fluid. People always want to argue the RMM part but they have no idea (I know I didn't) how much this engine shifts and bounces around even at very low speeds. Any shifting of the engine throws off the alignment of the linkage causing problems.
That's what I'm hoping...... Going to be ordering a RMM very soon. I REALLY hope that even very low speeds, like you said, can throw off the alignment of the linkage. Oh please let it be so!

So, I've since driven with the Amsoil in the tranny for maybe 20 minutes around town. I have to say, I think it is an improvement and I haven't even let it get fully warmed yet. Both unfortunately and fortunately (for different reason), I live only about 3/4 miles from work and my town is so small that I can get to my destination without the car (especially the tranny) getting fully warmed up.

ooheadsoo, have you tried a RMM yet? I'm thinking I'm going to try the Street Unite one piece with the soft bushing option.
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