550 Stiff Shifting When WARM ? | FerrariChat

550 Stiff Shifting When WARM ?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by mswiek, Nov 24, 2023.

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  1. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    326
    Odd situation with my 1999 550. Moving the gear shift lever becomes significantly stiffer/harder after driving about 15-20 miles when the gearbox warms up, requiring a noticeable bit of muscle to get it into any gear, going up or down, once it is fully warmed and driven. This has started over the last year or so. Car has 63,000 miles and is driven fairly regularly and modestly with lots of highway driving. Regular maintenance/fluid changes by respected indie Ferrari shop. This seems odd because usually a manual gearbox becomes a bit easier to shift after being warmed up. If car is left idling to warm up fully without driving, shifting is normal, but then gets quite stiff after driving the 15-20 miles or so.

    Have any of you experienced something similar, or have any thoughts as to causes and cures ? Thanks.

    Mike
     
  2. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    34,979
    Cowboy Capitol of the World
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Has oil been changed since this started or did it start after last gear oil change ?
    Sounds like an oil issue. Might try different brand.
    I have repaired a lot of 550 transmissions and this has not been one of their issues.
     
    Ferrari55whoa likes this.
  3. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    326
    The issue had been starting since before the last oil change. Continued after the last oil change. Same oil has been used in regular changes over past several years. Appreciate your reply.
     
    Ferrari55whoa likes this.
  4. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    34,979
    Cowboy Capitol of the World
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Products change without notice. Id try something else to see if that is the cause.
     
  5. ixlr8

    ixlr8 Formula Junior

    Aug 24, 2015
    317
    Eastern Shore- Virginia
    Full Name:
    Jim
    What oil is being used? I had a similar issue with my 550, oil was changed by one of the most respected independent shops in the mid-Atlantic area just before I purchased the car. I was a bit leery of what was used as they felt the need to add some modifiers. I had another shop change the oil in the tranny and the more I drive it, the easier it is to shift, hot or cold.
     
  6. Timmo

    Timmo Formula Junior

    Aug 26, 2017
    446
    Continental Europe
    Mine does the same with fresh oil but only in 2nd gear which feels butter smooth when cold but almost spongy when warm. I have found that going into 2nd gear asap after declutching solves the issue, by not letting engine speed fall. It took a bit of getting used to but with a lightened stock flywheel it makes for sharp and quick gear changes and improve the driving experience dramatically. It seems to me that these synchros just do not like lazy gear changes and all 550s I test drove before purchasing mine felt somewhat similar.
     
  7. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    326
    Oil being used is Redline, with MGC gear oil additive. Same as what has been used for the past 10 years or more. Problem started to appear about 2+ years ago with no difference between pre and post oil change. Change in feel has been somewhat gradual over that time period. Now after driving 20+ miles or so, it takes noticeably more force to push the gear lever around than when cold and much stiffer than it has ever been in my many years of ownership.
     
  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    34,979
    Cowboy Capitol of the World
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    #8 Rifledriver, Nov 24, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2023
    All gears the same more or less?

    I have seen the shifter shafts internal to the transmission bind in 360 and 430 transmissions but never 550. The shaft in the shift box itself I have seen bind in a lot of Ferraris. Sometimes removal, disassembly and lubrication fixes it and I have had a few where I have had to perform mild machine work to the aluminum bore the shaft rides in.

    A shift box issue really doesn't seem like temperature should affect it but internal shaft binding could be.

    Cannot picture in my mind right now what the external shift shaft looks like but the stainless exhaust in those expands a lot when it gets good and hot. Tail pipe protrusion is noticeably different cold to hot. Might be sure when it gets hot the pipes cannot possibly foul the rod.

    Also in 360 the shift assembly on the side of the trans has a centering detent ball assembly. 550 has a very similar part. Those have been known to fill up with muck from old gear oil and not want to compress. That deserves consideration.

    Id consider taking the box off the side, taking it apart and cleaning it all out. Old thick gear oil does collect there.
     
  9. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    326
    Yes, equally stiff when warm going into any gear, either up or down. No crunching, just harder to move the shifter in any direction.

    Thanks again for your attention and any insights/comments.
     
  10. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    38,423
    Clarksville, Tennessee
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    Terry H Phillips
    Brian- Is it possible he has too much LSD additive in the gear oil and that is not allowing the synchros to work properly? Too slippery?
     
  11. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    34,979
    Cowboy Capitol of the World
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I suppose its possible. Always hard to judge based on someones description alone. Problem would have had to be repeated at oil changes. Changing oil and leaving it out would tell you. have to drive it 100 or 200 miles to be sure. His problem does fit description of issues I've seen in 360/430. Never 550 but they're getting older and there is always a first time. Maybe just put Mobile 1 gear oil in it.Usually works very well in them.

    Maybe I am more tolerant than others but I drive very few Ferraris with no additive that have enough LSD chatter to bother me. I just don't use it in my cars. I ignore the chatter and enjoy the better shifting. Live axle rear ends can be really bad with big long axles that wind up. Ferraris don't have that. My Buick Grand National was really bad.
     
  12. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    34,979
    Cowboy Capitol of the World
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I just read up on MGC additive. They are bragging about characteristics that are contraindicated for use with synchronizers.

    Quit using it.

    May not fix the problem but for sure it is not the product you want to be using.
     
  13. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    326
    This is all very, very helpful and gives some god places to start. Muchly appreciated.

    Mike
     
  14. Timmo

    Timmo Formula Junior

    Aug 26, 2017
    446
    Continental Europe
    Just bumping this thread to mention that my shifting issues when hot are now gone after replacing the oil. The Motul Gear 300 LS 75W90 was replaced with Red Line 75W90 NS, often recommended on here. I feel like driving a whole new car.
     
    F456M likes this.
  15. F456M

    F456M F1 Rookie

    Jan 8, 2010
    3,673
    Oslo
    Full Name:
    Erik
    Sounds like an inexpencive way to get a whole new car! I will try it too. My 550 have a few times been a bit hard to get into first from standstill after longer periods of going fast on Autobahn. But not always.
     
  16. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    13,396
    MO

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