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2nd Gear when cold--The riddle?

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by JoeZaff, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. JoeZaff

    JoeZaff F1 Veteran
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    #1 JoeZaff, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
    Like the vast majority of Mondial/308/328 owners, my car has never been fond of engaging second gear when stone cold. I've read tons of period articles and spoken to countless Ferrari mechanics, and this problem has existed since these cars were new and no real solution has ever been found...until now?

    After getting my car's clutch, throwout bearing, flywheel, pressure plate, pilot bearing, rear main seal, and other assorted seals replaced, my car suddenly has no problem engaging second gear from stone cold.

    Prior to this most recent workorder, I also replaced the shift shaft seals, had the linkage aligned, changed the gear oil to redline NS, replaced the bushings, and the clutch slave cylinder.

    I don't know what combination of the above (if anything) and the most recent service conspired to cure my car of the second gear problem, but I am deeply intrigued. I am also wondering if the time my mechanic put into the above jobs resulted in a better setup than the factory effort and resulted in a car more closer to the true specs than the factory. I mean, maybe the factory production methods allow for looser tolerances that causes some installations to be slightly out of spec. If so, it could explain why F-cars such as Newman's 308 were also cured of the second gear problem once the entire mechanism was overhauled.
    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. davebdave

    davebdave Formula 3
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    #2 davebdave, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
    "Stone Cold!"...In this heat wave???? Write back next month when it's cooler than the surface of the sun... ;)

    I think all of the things you did help. My theory has always been that cold thick oil (or perhaps old worn parts creating more friction) cause the input shaft to spool down too quickly between engagements and the second gear syncro just can't spool it back up. With hot oil there is less drag on the shaft when freewheeling between shifts.

    When cold, a double clutch helps because it allows you to spool the input shaft way up in neutral and then allow the second gear syncro to slow the shaft as you engage second.


    dave
     
  3. dailyferraridriver

    dailyferraridriver Formula 3
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    Agreed - I can get into second gear fine the past few weeks - it's 90+ degrees when I leave the house.

    In the cooler months, I did have the 2nd gear issue as well.

    Erik
     
  4. Beau365

    Beau365 Formula 3

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    Redline in the box helps a great deal too.
     
  5. JoeZaff

    JoeZaff F1 Veteran
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    #5 JoeZaff, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
    Wow, this is really interesting to me.

    I assumed that the ambient termperature doesn't really play a part in the second gear issue, after all, when an engine is "warm" it is substantially hotter than the hottest summer day. Moreover, we have owners in Florida and Texas who can't get into second when stone cold.

    Nonetheless, I could be wrong and maybe second gear will only be a summer option from cold. My car is kept in a climate controlled/dehumidified garage. It is pretty much within a relatively narrow temperature window all year round (65degrees to 80 degrees), with the exception of the coldest days of winter when it can drop down into the 50s, but maybe pulling out into the hot summer air is making a difference. Since the clutch was recently replaced, I really don't know how my recent round of maintenance will affect second gear accessibility in the winter. Maybe my assumption is wrong?

    I would love to hear how many owners have suddenly found second gear accessible this summer?
     
  6. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
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    Bingo. ;)
     
  7. dailyferraridriver

    dailyferraridriver Formula 3
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    To be honest, I did it by mistake. I always go 1-3 leaving my house - one day I forgot and went 1-2 and it just worked. Ever since then, I've been going 1-2 without issue. As soon as it gets cool again, I'll know exactly if it acts up again.

    Erik
     
  8. JoeZaff

    JoeZaff F1 Veteran
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    LOL---This is exactly how I discovered my second gear was suddenly accessible.
     
  9. PV Dirk

    PV Dirk F1 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2009
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    My second gear is easier in the summer. I have no climate control so my transmission oil is in the 30's in winter, 90's in summer when the engine is cold. It may be that is the only difference that is required. When it's 30 degrees out second gear comes in after a few miles. I can't imagine the oil get's that hot before the trans gets smooth. Only a guess. But with the redline it has gone from impossible to merely difficult on those 30 degree days.
     
  10. maestro8

    maestro8 Formula 3
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    I'm curious about the conditions in which this helps... as I've tried double clutching to no avail.

    I'll be overhauling my clutch slave and switching over to Redline NS shortly, gonna keep my fingers crossed!
     
  11. davebdave

    davebdave Formula 3
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    #11 davebdave, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
    If you watch our top video (around the 5:00 minute mark), I demo the second gear double clutch upshift.

    http://youtu.be/Mq_vyfBeMfo

    Try this experiment....when cold instead of shifting to second or skipping it and going to third, go to neutral with the clutch pressed and give the input shaft time to spool all the way down (10 seconds.) Now try third...if it is cold, I'll bet third won't engage. The reason third works when cold is it requires a lower shaft speed than second for the syncros/gear dogs to engage (less work for the syncro). If you double clutch (let go of the clutch in neutral and blip throttle) you can spin the shaft up (3000rpm min when really cold) and then quickly de-clutch and grab second before the shaft spools down.

    So the question is "what is the difference between double clutching to 3000rpm and normal shifting at 3000?" With a normal shift you have to get through the gate and it slows you down...With the double clutch you are already in neutral with the shaft spooled so you can instantly clutch in and grab second before the shaft can spool down.

    Having said this, when it is below freezing, it's just not worth the trouble, go to third.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Edit: In the next scene of our video I try to shift to second at redline before the car is fully warmed up and it balks. I try to double clutch it in with no luck and have to settle for third and a shot to my ego...my daughter is not happy because I let the tail slide.

    I remember from the movie "Scent of a Woman" the kid driving the Mondial t can't hit second and AL schools him on how to double clutch it in (except that the Hollywood writers get it wrong.)

    Second Edit: the second gear double clutch is not my discovery but was taught to me by the salesman from Shelton Ferrari during my test drive (reminiscent of the scene from "Scent of a woman" except that I was the grey ghost and the salesman wasn't blind.


    Dave
     
  12. jgoodman

    jgoodman F1 Rookie
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    I think it's from all of those hot shop lights under there warming up your tranny oil! ;)

    Actually, this summer, I've had little trouble shifting into second from cold start. Probably an ambient temperature thing in part, as I certainly have not had a drivetrain rebuild this year. Ambient temps have not been really all that far below operating temps.
     
  13. davidgovett

    davidgovett Karting

    Apr 9, 2010
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    Very interesting.
    On my car, I never had a real bad 2nd gear when cold, it would just be a bit stiffer but never bad enough to not be able to use 2nd gear.

    However, immediately after changing the gear oil (Ferrari supplied me some standard Agip gear oil) 2nd gear shifts very smoothly cold or hot. I'll be interested to see if it gets back to its formerly stiff second gear over time. Well see.
    Dave
     
  14. Lino

    Lino Formula Junior

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    I have the same issue when I take her out. It is not that bad but it helps if i drive on 1st for a while before shifting. I will try double clutching and will let you know.

    Lino
     
  15. Brian420

    Brian420 Formula Junior

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    I have a slightly different observation. First of all, I always warm my car up for about 15 minutes before the drive in any season. That's enough to get a little temperature to show on the oil gauge, or soon after I leave the house. Hot or cold, mine goes into second gear easily as long as I'm not iin a hurry to shift. In other words, if I'm racing up through the gears, it might not go into second even if I've been driving all day. But if I make sure to push the clutch all the way to the floor and count to 1 before making the shift from first to second, it always works, even when cold.

    Regards,
    Brian
     
  16. Ney

    Ney F1 Veteran
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    Just skip 2nd for the first few minutes of driving. it is free!
     
  17. rkljr

    rkljr Formula Junior
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    2nd is stiffer at first but it has shifted in without a problem. I have never driven it below 35F as I pretty much only drive it with the top off.

    The transmission was recently tuned. New clutch, seals, and even adjusting the forks.
     
  18. Bad Dogg

    Bad Dogg Formula Junior

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    redline gearbox oil. Problem solved.
     
  19. mwr4440

    mwr4440 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    There is a mechanical fix for this that by all accounts works. I have NOT done it.

    Check the DIY threads above or Google to find the article.


    The fix involves drilling a small hole between two chambers within the tranny to allow the gear oil to move more easily.
     
  20. gsfent

    gsfent Formula 3

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    I think this is the thread you are looking for:

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=140646907

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  21. davidgovett

    davidgovett Karting

    Apr 9, 2010
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    Same here. Since I replaced the gear oil (Also Ferrari Agip) the problem has been gone since. Did this mid summer so the summer heat made no difference either way. They may just like the official brand gear oil. Who knows.
    Dave
     
  22. mwr4440

    mwr4440 Four Time F1 World Champ
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  23. hank sound

    hank sound F1 Veteran

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    #23 hank sound, Dec 2, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
    What we want to hear - with an ice cold second gear .......
    Is a big fat grinding noise - just like all the other boys .......

    We need to get over it. We can't, nor do we want to, turn a Ferrari 5 speed tranny into a Nissan tranny. It's a Ferrari box - - and like a special woman, she likes to be warm and cozy, and be treated to respectful and loving foreplay. She's not all that demanding. Just....... "go slow, at first". It's as simple as that. Then, LOOK OUT" !!!!

    True, one brand of oil may seem to solve the "problem" more quickly than another - - but honestly guys and gals, within a very few minutes, talk of second gear difficulties become a quickly forgotten, moot point:)

    December is here, so - - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

    Hank
     
  24. JoeZaff

    JoeZaff F1 Veteran
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    Happy Holidays Hank!!!!! :)
     
  25. hank sound

    hank sound F1 Veteran

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    #25 hank sound, Dec 2, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
    So, Joe .......... aside from "try this oil instead of that oil", do you agree with the perception that this second gear issue is simply, "the nature of the beast"??

    Be well,

    Hank
     

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