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 Old 01-13-2016, 08:14 PM   #1
 
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Default Issues Shifting - Troubleshooting Help

I'm looking for some advice and troubleshooting advice related to shifting issues I've been experiencing.

My 2008 MS3 with about 50K miles is difficult to shift into various gears at various times.
1st - I can't get into 1st gear unless totally stopped. Even then, at sometimes when press toward 1st, it resists, I move back to neutral, then it slips into 1st fine. (when this happened to my celica, the dealership mechanic said it was an indication of a wearing clutch)
2nd - My most troublesome gear. Most difficult to get into 2nd when cold. It seems to shift more easily after its warmed up and I shift at higher rpms and shift quickly into 2nd. Maybe it's in my head but it also seems to shift easier when I press the clutch pedal in quickly. Sometimes it helps to go to N, release the clutch pedal, then depress the clutch pedal and go into gear. Sometimes it doesn't seem to help. One confusing this is, it seems to slip right into 2nd if I'm downshifting to take a right turn.
3-6 Generally some resistance but not as troublesome as 1 or 2.

I've taken the MS3 to a tranny shop that was recommended by a mechanic friend. Both times they said it didn't seem bad enough to mess with, bring it back when the symptoms are worse or I get fed up with it. They gave me a quote of about $1K for the clutch. (flywheel section of quote seems too low for dual-mass) His diagnosis was he thought there was a clutch releasing issue and possible synchro wear.

The other thing that may be a clue: At times, it doesn't want to come out of gear even with the clutch fully depressed. That happens from time to time. Only when the car is stopped. Like when moving around in a parking lot. Performing a K turn for example. If I turn off the engine, I'm able to easily pull it out of gear. The transmission shop guy says that's an indication of a clutch releasing issue.

I swapped the gear oil with the Motorcraft XT-M5-QS a while back. It did seem to help a bit but wasn't a solution.

I was debating swapping the slave cylinder since it feels easier to get into gear when I depress the clutch pedal quickly. Maybe the clutch releasing issues are related to the slave or master not fully disengaging the clutch. Perhaps its not building enough pressure if the slave is worn. Could replace with new slave part revision.

What methods of troubleshooting can I perform to narrow down what component could be faulty? I need some advice, not sure what to do at this point. Thanks
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 Old 01-13-2016, 08:38 PM   #2
 
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Have you tried adjusting your shifter?
http://jamesbaroneracing.com/support/FineTune.htm
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 Old 01-24-2016, 07:49 PM   #3
 
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Default

Originally Posted by Djohns View Post
Have you tried adjusting your shifter?
Jamiesplanet.com
Thanks for the input. I've messed with the that adjustment months and months ago. Since I haven't messed with it in a long while, I thought I'd try adjusting it again. It does seem to help a bit. Some positions are easier to get into gear than others. Still, after trying many many positions, I still think something else needs to be addressed.

How could I diagnose if the issues could be hydraulic, clutch, or transmission?

Would a worn clutch cause difficulty getting into certain gears? 1 and 2 more than the others. The clutch engagement is very high and at times harsh.

Since its not as bad as swapping a clutch or tranny, I'm thinking of swapping the slave to the new part revision and see if there's any improvement. Like I said, maybe a worn slave isn't fully disengaging the clutch.
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 Old 01-25-2016, 06:34 PM   #4
 
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How stiff is your RMM? Sometime the engine moves around enough to cause shifting problems. You could also try the solid shifter bushings. There are some do it yourself threads on here that are dirt cheap. I thought a combination of the solid bushings and the adjustment thread helped me shift considerably.
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 Old 01-25-2016, 07:10 PM   #5
 
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Rougher shifting when cold is normal since nothing is warm. Since you changed the trans fluid did you also bleed the clutch? I would do that since its simple and may help, but I still side with worn synchros. It really depends on how the car was driven not how many miles to wear a synchro.
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 Old 01-26-2016, 07:46 AM   #6
 
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Thanks for the input.

To do list:
Install solid shift bushings (I think I have some from my TWM replacement that I previously had installed. I need to list that for sale sometime.)
Replace Slave Cylinder, flush/replace fluid, and bleed clutch. (I need to do brakes so I'll probably bleed the clutch and swap the slave when do the brake job.)

See how it goes from there. Will report back.

I agree, I do think my 2nd gear syncro has some wear. I wonder what a rebuilt transmission would cost. Or send my out for rebuild. My buddy and I could remove/install it.
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 Old 01-26-2016, 07:54 AM   #7
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Sounds like the slave cylinder is bad.
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 Old 02-29-2016, 07:27 PM   #8
 
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A quick update. I installed JBR shifter bushings, they helped a bit to add solidity to the shifts.
I grabbed a new slave cylinder and installed it with a friend. When I unbolted the old slave, fluid was leaking from the boot so I believe it had failed. Which is good news.
We really fought to get the system bled for a while. We used an Motive power bleeder, a HF vacuum bleeder, and the good ole' manual method of having a buddy press the clutch pedal while you work the bleeder valve. It seemed to pretty well bled with no air bubbles coming out. We kept trying again and again since the pedal feel was so vastly different from the previous feel that I assumed the system still had air in the lines. Then realized that perhaps the pedal would maybe feel totally different with a new slave. I took it for a drive. Shifting felt good but much different from before. I'd have to get used to this.

I drove it around for a while and it felt pretty good.

The next morning the pedal felt a bit lower. I took it to work and back home again. It seemed like maybe I'd need to bleed some more air out so a different buddy and I tried to bleed it again. This time, it all went south and we must've got our timing off and left a bunch of air in.

I'd hoped the bleeding process would be cake with the motive. When we first pressurized the Motive, fluid and air was coming out. Then the flow seemed to be down to a trickle. We both couldn't understand how it wasn't just flowing out with the positive pressure from above. A dude at work suggested gravity bleeding it to get the bulk of the air out then bleed with another method to bleed the smaller bubbles out. I've really never had to bleed anything before except a Suzuki motorcycle. That was pretty easy. I'm not sure what's going on here. I don't think we let the master get dry. Perhaps it needs to be bench bled now. I'm pretty fed up with the situation really.

At this point, I'm going to see about borrowing the Motive again and try to bleed it again. Or possibly take it to a mechanic who can bleed it fully. Any tips/tricks/clues/advice appreciated.
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 Old 02-29-2016, 08:49 PM   #9
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I haven't done it myself but many people have had a bitch of a time bleeding the brakes and clutch on these. Maybe @phate; has some tips since he has done it a bunch.
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 Old 03-01-2016, 08:16 AM   #10
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With that motive bleeder or any power bleeder setup, you should be able to get all the air out. Once you pressurize the system and have a slow stream of fluid, let it bleed for a bit with the pedal up, then slowly move the pedal down to the floor (while still bleeding). Wiggle the pedal a bunch at different positions to dislodge any air bubbles in the system (I do it by hand).

When I have replaced something in the hydraulic system, it takes 2-3 quarts of fluid to get everything out, and I usually have to do it a second time if I don't do the power bleeding like up above. The clutch system kinda sucks to bleed.

Video of my setup:


Video of slave travel:

You should have ~5/8" travel at the slave. If you have that much and still have trouble shifting, I'd say the hydraulic system is ok and you've got something wrong with the clutch assembly.



@wifudude;, in the third post you say that the clutch engagement is very high. Do you mean it's near the floor or near the top?
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 Old 03-10-2016, 08:42 PM   #11
 
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Big thanks @phate , I was able to get the system bled I believe. I used to motive and just kept bleeding. I went through a few jars of fluid before I was getting clear fluid without air bubbles. There was a ton of air in the system. I think wiggling the clutch petal helped. It also helped to open the bleeder more than I was previously.

So far so good with the new slave. It seems like an improvement.
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 Old 03-13-2016, 12:18 PM   #12
 
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I may have spoken too soon. I'm wondering if there's still air in the system because the pedal feels soft until about 1/2 way down then I feel the resistance of the slave cylinder pressing the clutch release arm. Also the clutch engages quite low to the floor. I'm wondering if the "soft" section of pedal travel is air compressing.

Before the new slave, I felt resistance through the entire travel of the pedal. Same on my other vehicle, a MT Honda Element. The pedal feels firm from top to bottom. Perhaps more air trapped in the mazda master. Perhaps it needs to be bench bled.

I'm a noob when it comes to working on hydraulic systems. I'm debating continuing to work on it or bringing it to a shop and hope they can bleed it properly. It is drivable and actually shifts pretty well but how can I be sure there's no air trapped in the master?

Here is a video of my slave cylinder travel. (I took a few of them hoping for one that was easy to read the tape measure but this is the best of the bunch)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLAwSKRrB5Y
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 Old 03-23-2016, 05:43 PM   #13
 
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Just drove the speed3 back from the mechanic. He was able to bleed more air out of the system. Shifting is MUCH improved. Sometimes it just pays to have a professional tackle the job. Especially if it's a tricky job and you don't have a bunch of experience with that type of repair. Well worth $40
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