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HARD to shift from 1st into 2nd - problem described

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Matts67spit Avatar
Matts67spit Matt Burrow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA   USA
1967 Triumph Spitfire MkII "Silver Bullet"
Hello All,

I’m making progress on my '67 Spitfire MK2 renovations (I have the 1147 cc - 4 speed tranny, no overdrive) and have the tranny tunnel off, as well as the gear lever and stick shift (replaced the rear transmission mounts and did the gear lever selector rebuild kit, also insulated the tranny cover as recommended by several members). Now it's time to address this tranny/clutch issue that I am having.

It is VERY HARD to shift this thing from 1st to 2nd gear. I really have to pull down on the gear shift (with a loud 'clunk' as it shifts) to get it in to 2nd.

Going into reverse is just fine. Shifting from Neutral to 1st is fine. Shifting from 2nd to 3rd is fine, as is 3rd to 4th.

A buddy told me I may have to pump the clutch 2x to go from 1st to 2nd. The car is dismantled right now so I haven't been able to test that theory out.

FYI - Transmission was flushed and new fluid is in, clutch was also drained and new fluid put in.

Any ideas are much appreciated... thanks guys!

Matt



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-28 07:43 PM by Matts67spit.

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Lizzard d id
san jose, ca, USA   USA
Did you try a double clutch to see if it would shift ok then ?
Or did you let the rpms drop by 1000 before shifting into 2nd ?

Yellowhawk Valley Avatar
walla walla, washington, USA   USA
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Walla Walla"
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Portland"
1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV "Spokane"
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Dayton"    & more
Am I correct to assume you are having this trouble when the engine is NOT running? If so, you could have some damage on a shaft or other innards in there. If it is while running then it is most likely the synchro rings giving the trouble.
If not running, when you shift to neutral and move the shifter around then try to go to 2nd, do you have the same issues?
(trying to get more info for those that might really know what they are talking about)

Dan

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claytoncnc Avatar
claytoncnc Gold Member Marcus Clayton
Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Australia   AUS
If while running, it could well be the well known circlip has come off syndrome, on 1st/2nd cluster.
2nd gear will be hard to find, and will not feel like it is engaged all the way, whether coming up from 1st, or down from 3rd.

Usually makes quite a clunk (distinct from, but often accompanied by a grind).

Have also had this issue if 2nd gear synchro hub not assembled correctly (if someone has had it apart recently).
One of the internal splines is only half height to accomodate a detent ball. If this is mismatched, it is really hard to get 2nd, as the detent ball will not go down far enough to clear a full height spline



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-28 11:10 PM by claytoncnc.

SpitMan Avatar
SpitMan Doug Walls
Brandywine, Maryland, USA   USA
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "70 Spit"
1998 Chevrolet Corvette "Silver Fox"
2007 Chevrolet Silverado
2013 Chevrolet Malibu "Pearl Baby"
I think we need to know a little more about this before we can really dig into this.

However, I have had similar experiences as described by Clayton. Additionally, when the circlip comes loose on the shaft, third gear will pop out when decelerating. Synchronizer rings usually do not clunk but make a grinding sound and difficulty in putting it in gear. While he has the tunnel off, he should be able to remove the top and check on the shift hubs travel and see if there is any "slop or loosness" between the 1st and 2nd cluster and the 3rd and 4th cluster. If there is too much tolerance (looseness) between then the circlip is loose and the whole trans needs to be removed and fixed. Same thing for synchronizer rings.

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
Matt,
It might help to know whether the gearbox is three-synchro or four-synchro, The 1-2 hub is quite different in the three-synchro box.
All the best,
Paul

Matts67spit Avatar
Matts67spit Matt Burrow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA   USA
1967 Triumph Spitfire MkII "Silver Bullet"
Thanks so much for your responses guys!. I've been stuck with family duties and haven't been able to respond or work on the car for DAYS! Ugg!

Ok,..so from everyone's input here is what I gather. (BTW - I still have the gear shift and gear lever cover off - see photos)

1. PAUL - How would I find out if it is a 3-synchro or 4-synchro? Need some guidance on where to look. The more specific the better.

2. LIZZARD - I started getting the helpful hints (i.e. double-pump the clutch) AFTER I dismantled everything, so I won't be able to test until I put things back together to drive it. Also, idle is at 2200 RPM (way to high) and stalls when I adjust under that, so didn't experience shifting at a lower RPM while I drove it. [I have the carb rebuild kit, doing that soon, so that I can get the idle right.]

3. DAN - Great question. I didn't try to test the shifting problem while engine was off. Will do that once I get the gearshift and lever back on.

4. DOUG - In your post you mention: "While he has the tunnel off, he should be able to remove the top and check on the shift hubs travel and see if there is any "slop or loosness" between the 1st and 2nd cluster and the 3rd and 4th cluster." can you give me some details on where I am going here? Is it the square box on the top, shown in the pictures?



Here are my more general questions that come to mind:

a. What should I be inspecting while I have everything dismantled down to its current status?

b. Once we narrow in on the issue - is there anything that I can personally do to fix things? [I've ventured pretty far into this renovation...farther than I've ever gone on a car restoration before,..but fixing the tranny will be too much, I'll have to take it in to a mechanic to get the tranny fixed.] Do any of those "tranny fluid additives" work? (Lucas Transmission Fix, Bars Transmission Repair ) Would it HARM the transmission if I try one of those, or would it simply be a scenario of adding the fluid in, seeing nothing change, and a waste of $8 - if it doesn't work?

c. If it looks like the issue needs the tranny pulled, anyone know what a ball-park cost will be? Vintage British car repair guys charge $100-$125/hr here in Phoenix.

d. I've put a chunk of $ out to get the interior replacement parts, wheels, etc so if this is a costly fix (~ $1,000 +/-) then I will have to wait a bit on this fix. Will it be ok to drive this around (3-5 mile little outings near home) while this transmission issue is present? The car has 57,000 miles on it,..am wondering if 100 more miles in the next 3-6 months will make a lot of difference/additional damage? Would like to use the car a bit (even if it is tough to shift) before I take it in for the more costly fix.

Thanks guys,..REALLY appreciate the help here!

Matt

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
"Also, idle is at 2200 RPM (way to high) and stalls when I adjust under that, so didn't experience shifting at a lower RPM while I drove it. [I have the carb rebuild kit, doing that soon, so that I can get the idle right.] "

'That' could make a whole lot of difference!

2nd gear syncro gets more use than the others. Chances are if it has been reving like that for some time the 2nd gear syncro has had the snot beaten out of it. and this being North America and owners being more used to Automatic, the the chances are the PO just pulled harder on the gear lever.

Fix the idle (perhaps a vacuum leak or worn throttle shaft) consider a transmission rebuild (anything to do with the coggy bits requires a strip down anyway)

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