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First gear/reverse Manual trans questions

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Old 10-27-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
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First gear/reverse Manual trans questions

1) There seems to be some sort of locking mechanism that keep you from being able to shift into first gear when the wheels are spinning at a certain speed. But now, even when I'm stopped, the locking mechanism seems to occasionally still be engaged preventing me from shifting into first when I'm stopped. Enough coaxing and it'll go in. Any info on this lock and if it's adjustable or serviceable without dropping the trans?

2) If I'm rolling backwards slowly, even with the clutch in, when I shift into reverse it's makes a clunk and sounds like I'm grinding the gears. Does the clutch act differently for the reverse gear or is that something I need to look at?
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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There is no locking mechanism. First gear is a pretty low, and you have to be moving at an appropriate speed to downshift into it. If you have been forcing it at higher speeds, you have probably trashed your synchronizer.

Same for reverse, but I don't think reverse is synchronized at all. You need to be stopped or moving very slow to shift into reverse. Is this your first manual transmission??

edit: This transmission does not take well to downshifts made without RPM matching. The lower gears are the most sensitive. That is especially true if you are not using proper lubrication in the gear box.

Unfortunately, what you are describing is improper shifting, so changing lube won't help unless you change those habits.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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In most manuals you sometimes can't get into first easy and the best thing is to come off the brake and roll a little and try again. Very similar to the older floor shifter 4x4 engagement process. Be firm but never force it. Keeping light pressure and rolling will allow the gears to slide in when they can.

Reverse should never be when rolling backwards clutch on or not. Always come to complete stop.

This is a more a commercial style truck transmission and isn't like that Corolla with 200,000 miles we all first learned on. You could slap into any gear at will with that thing.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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Reverse is a non-syncronized gear. you need to be at a complete stop to SAFELY engage reverse. Forward gears are synchronized and over time these syncros can wear (it is usually the brass cone) and can cause difficulty getting into gear. If you are at a complete stop and have trouble engaging 1st, you may need to change out your manual transmission fluid, as over time it can make the syncros a little sticky, making it difficult to slip into first when stopped.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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Pretty much every manual I've had would sometimes not want to go into 1st after you come to a complete stop and I do like jassco said and let it roll a little bit or most the time I just put it back into 2nd or 3rd gear than back to 1st and 99% of the time it pops right into 1st after that. Pretty normal but as far as the going into first while the truck is still rolling every vehicle is different and it has a lot to do with gearing and what not. I've noticed that my tacoma does not like to go into first while moving very fast at all so I usually downshift through the gears to 2nd but then i dont put it into 1st until i'm going about 2 mph or until i've come to a complete stop. It reminds me of some of my old chevys and fords with the granny gear lol.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger View Post
Is this your first manual transmission??
Yes it is.
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Originally Posted by badger View Post
edit: This transmission does not take well to downshifts made without RPM matching. The lower gears are the most sensitive. That is especially true if you are not using proper lubrication in the gear box
When Iím coming to a stop, Iíll push the clutch in, put it in first and only use the brakes. I donít let the clutch out until Iím completely stopped and ready to go again. I will change my technique.
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Originally Posted by BamaToy1997 View Post
Reverse is a non-syncronized gear. If you are at a complete stop and have trouble engaging 1st, you may need to change out your manual transmission fluid, as over time it can make the syncros a little sticky, making it difficult to slip into first when stopped.
Thatís what I needed to know about reverse, thank you.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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first gear etc

I would suggest this :

Coming up to a hard stop (red light or stop sign)
1. Depress clutch, shift to neutral just after you begin to brake.
2. Let clutch out immediately.
3. When ready to take off, release brake, depress clutch, shift to 2nd then 1st. If on a hill slightly release brake to get into gear to reduce rollback.

Any time you have clutch depressed, you're causing wear on the throw-out bearing. I never have clutch depressed any longer than necessary.

On step 3 above, doing 2nd then 1st often makes it easier to get it into gear.
This is how you can get 200k miles or more on a clutch.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron172 View Post
Yes it is.
.
Ah, no problem. You didn't pick the easiest gear box to learn on. First gear is best treated as though it was non-synchronized. Don't attempt to get into it until you are stopped or barely rolling. Same with reverse. You will find downshifting in other gears much easier if you learn how to rev match. It is easier on the whole drivetrain too. Here is a link that explains some manual shifting techniques: http://www.drivingfast.net/car-control/rev-matching.htm

For coming to a simple stop I second edm's post below. You can leave the clutch engaged as you stop and depress it as the engine rpm approaches idle. That way you get the full benefit of the engine braking on the way down. You will feel when it wants the clutch depressed. As edm says, never hold the clutch down while you are sitting or coasting. The clutch is for the change of gears only. Holding the clutch in kills the throw out bearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edm3rd View Post
I would suggest this :

Coming up to a hard stop (red light or stop sign)
1. Depress clutch, shift to neutral just after you begin to brake.
2. Let clutch out immediately.
3. When ready to take off, release brake, depress clutch, shift to 2nd then 1st. If on a hill slightly release brake to get into gear to reduce rollback.

Any time you have clutch depressed, you're causing wear on the throw-out bearing. I never have clutch depressed any longer than necessary.

On step 3 above, doing 2nd then 1st often makes it easier to get it into gear.
This is how you can get 200k miles or more on a clutch.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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Thank you badger, that link has a lot of good info. I know how to drive a manual but I'm still learning the technique and nuances of efficiently driving one.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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It might be fucked like mine is (again). I have to push the clutch in and shift into third, second, first, then reverse to get it to engage. Time for another trans...I might swap in a TH400R this time, dunno.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:43 AM   #11
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It might be fucked like mine is (again). I have to push the clutch in and shift into third, second, first, then reverse to get it to engage. Time for another trans...I might swap in a TH400R this time, dunno.
How many miles have you gotten on the first transmission?
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron172 View Post
How many miles have you gotten on the first transmission?
30,000. That was on the autobahn though. Second one lasted about the same amount of miles, but that was with 37" tires and probably 20,000 miles in the dirt. Toyota should pay me to be a destructive tester.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:41 AM   #13
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On all the vehicles I have ever owned that were manuals, I only had one fail me in the lifetime of the vehicle. Others have lasted me into the 200k+ miles range. Change your fluid as required, and drive it properly and a manual transmission will normally last you the life of the truck. (There are some exceptions of course as every mechanical device can break) There are many ways to drive a manual transmission, and lots of good suggestions were mentioned here. The reason why most manual transmissions won't shift into 1st when slowing down is that when you press in the clutch, the output shaft will be turning at the RPM is was at speed, and when trying to shift it into 1st, the syncro has a difficult time bringing the input shaft up to speed to allow the gear to engage. The job of the synchro is to allow smooth engagement into gear without grinding. It does this by matching input shaft speed and output shaft speed via the blocking ring which acts like a braking device. your output shaft is turning at an RPM based on vehicle speed and rear-gear ratio.

Lets assume that your manual transmission has a 1:1 ratio in 4th gear. Lets also assume that at 45 MPH, your engine is rotating at 2500 RPM. When you push in the clutch you only disengage the engine from the transmission. The input shaft is still rotating based on vehicle speed. (Granted as soon as you push in the clutch your vehicle starts to slow down, but lets ignore that small decrease for now)
Then you pull the shifter out of 4th. The input shaft will begin to slowly spin down, but the output shaft is still being spun by the rear end (remember the output shaft is splined to the driveshaft) Due to speed decrease, let's assume output shaft is rotating at 2300 RPM. Now you go to push the shifter into 1st gear. The ratio of 1st gear is lets say 3.5:1 so when you go to slip the shifter into 1st, the synchro will not allow engagement into gear until the input shaft reaches 8050 RPM. (If you listen carefully, without the radio off, you can actually hear the input shaft running up in speed as you downshift into a lower gear with the clutch pushed in) It is difficult for the synchro and blocker-ring to get your input shaft spun up to that speed, so the synchro will not allow the shift fork to move the synchro sleeve over 1st gear spline.

I hope this helps to understand why it is difficult to shift into too low of a gear depending on vehicle speed. Now why it won't shift into 1st when almost stopped is like I mentioned before, a worn blocker-ring in the synchro, or old, contaminated fluid.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaToy1997 View Post
Now why it won't shift into 1st when almost stopped is like I mentioned before, a worn blocker-ring in the synchro, or old, contaminated fluid.
No, I think first sometimes just doesn't have the splines lined up well. If you put the tranny in second or third, it moves things a little bit and it will thereafter slide right into first.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edm3rd View Post
Any time you have clutch depressed, you're causing wear on the throw-out bearing. I never have clutch depressed any longer than necessary.
How much wear are we talking about here? When I'm stopped at a sign or a light, I always leave it in first with the clutch in and keep an eye out behind me.

It's saved me from being rear ended twice (once on the motorcycle, once in the taco) where I was able to get out of the way of someone who couldn't stop fast enough. Not sure if it's worth it if I'm changing bearings every 30K miles though.

I started doing this when I first started riding street bikes six years ago, but the only thing to wear out on that is my clutch cable. And then you can just adjust it out.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #16
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I started treating the clutch this way when I had a 73 Celica that needed a throwout bearing at about 30,000 miles. Clutch disk was hardly worn; had full disk, pressure plate, and bearing done while it was apart. Mechanic told me NOT to touch clutch pedal unless I was shifting or taking off from a stop, it's worked for me for 35 years; 6 vehicles with manual trans - all over 100k miles, 2 over 200k; never have had any other clutch work.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #17
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That being said, I have owned plenty of vehicles where I hold in my clutch when at a stop, and have put over 150k or more on a throwout bearing with no issues. It is an old wives tale that you never hold in the clutch. A throwout bearing can easily last 150k plus with this type of driving. My entire family drives the same way, and I think in the life of all our vehicles we have replaced a bad TOB twice. One was my truck with 300k, and the other was my brother's Nissan with 200k.

Parts will wear out, and even new parts will fail. It's part of dealing with mass-production parts.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyboy View Post
No, I think first sometimes just doesn't have the splines lined up well. If you put the tranny in second or third, it moves things a little bit and it will thereafter slide right into first.
What you're talking about happens to mine sometimes when I try to go into reverse. Let the truck roll back an inch and things pop into gear. I know what that feels like. My first gear issue is not that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaToy1997 View Post
I hope this helps to understand why it is difficult to shift into too low of a gear depending on vehicle speed. Now why it won't shift into 1st when almost stopped is like I mentioned before, a worn blocker-ring in the synchro, or old, contaminated fluid.
I just replaced the transmission oil a week or so ago. And the fact that it doesn't happen with any other gear...I think it might have to do with the synchronizer.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron172 View Post
What you're talking about happens to mine sometimes when I try to go into reverse. Let the truck roll back an inch and things pop into gear. I know what that feels like. My first gear issue is not that.



I just replaced the transmission oil a week or so ago. And the fact that it doesn't happen with any other gear...I think it might have to do with the synchronizer.
Just out of curiosity, did you use dino or synthetic? The syncro for 1st is the same for 2nd. It may be an issue with the blocker ring on that gear. If you have no issues with 2nd gear, then you may be looking at the blocker ring. Lower chance, but still possible of course is the rear edge of the syncro, or the splines of 1st gear engagement (Not the gear itself, but the engagement splines for the syncro.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:04 AM   #20
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These trannies take some time getting used to, some days even stopped mine does not want to go into reverse and I have to put it in first and let out the clutch a bit, and then try shifting back into reverse in order to get it to slide in. Gets better with more mileage as the thing loosens up. Lots of people here complain about them, but I have yet to see one break or go out entirely. The V6 manual has T/O bearing issues, but don't think the 4 banger does, mine has never started chirping thankfully.
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