Boxer gear change characteristics

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by evlgt2, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. evlgt2

    evlgt2 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2005
    Hello all
    Having lusted after a BB for a long time, I finally got to drive one a few days ago. A well looked after driver, it's a carb car, which started right up and quickly settled into a steady idle.

    Cold start was accompanied with a fair bit of oil smoke which ceased after a few minutes.

    After acquanting myself with the interior appointments and controls, I set off for a 20 mile countryside drive. Though it was a hot day, the transmission took maybe 8-10 min to warm up. During this time, gear changes (especially 1st to 2nd) were ponderous, and I tried not to rush things. Thankfully the car is geared quite long, and as I eased into things, I took stock of the steering (direct and surprisingly light at even low speeds) and the delicious throttle response. I did note a slightly sticky throttle pedal on initial application... which wasn't all that surprising given the 4 big carbs it was actuating. That said, is it normal?

    With the engine and transmission warmed up, I exercised the car a bit more, but was still respectful, given that it was due a belt service soon. The sound at 4-5000 rpm -while mellifluous- was rather subdued, despite the installed aftermarket exhaust.

    Throttle response was impressively crisp, the engine windup delightfully snappy on heel - toe downshifts. My biggest disappointment however, was the gearchange: keep in mind I was still learning the car and barely scratched the surface of its eccentricities. I didn't want to rush anything or be at all mechanically unsympathetic.

    However, I really found the gear shift quality to be rather balky, if I'm being kind, especially from 2-3. The shift from 1-2 wasn't much better. However 3-4 was wonderfully fluid and could be dispatched quickly and consistently. There was never a need to shift to 5th, so I didn't bother. And the press down to access Reverse took some heft!

    So my question for those of you with Boxer experience- are my impressions of the gearbox typical?

    Thanks for your feedback!
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008
    southwest germany
    Full Name:
    romano schwabel
    check the bushings from the linkage, may be replace?
    with my BB I only have problem to go from 2nd into 1st as long as the car is rolling, all other is fine
  4. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    No they're not all like that.
    wlanast likes this.
  5. 4right

    4right Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    In those instances when 2nd is being difficult, when it’s cold, I shift from 1st to 3rd. Within a few minutes though, all of the gears shift freely though without issue. As far as the exhaust sound is concerned, mine is anything but subdued. The beauty of these cars is that you get great sound from both the engine and the exhaust. Not sure what exhaust is on the car that you drove, different owners have different taste. You can hear mine coming that is for sure.
  6. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008
    southwest germany
    Full Name:
    romano schwabel
    same problems are usual at the 308 cars
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. MerlinTech

    MerlinTech Formula Junior

    Mar 5, 2010
    Full Name:
    Wade Williams
    I have rebuilt many Boxer / TR gearboxes and getting the forks and shift mechanism set up makes all the difference. It is very possible that the gearbox and syncros are fine and it just needs some loving care and setting.
    Like Newman said, no, they are not like that.
    turbo-joe likes this.
  9. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    One other simple test that you can do is just try starting the car in first gear on a level surface with the clutch pedal depressed and no brakes applied (ensuring that you have room in front of the car in case it moves) -- if it lurches forward when the starter motor cranks = sign that the clutch is not disengaging well (and a double disc clutch has twice the chance that a clutch disc isn't moving freely along the splined input shaft) and that will (negatively) impact the shifting behavior, too.
    willrace and MerlinTech like this.
  10. c4b4the04

    c4b4the04 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 9, 2017
    Northern Virginia
    Full Name:
    The BB and the TR gearboxes are very similar. I had that vague feeling before my overhaul and afterwards I don't have it at all. Crisp, clean gear changes. I'd suspect silentbloc bushings, as what you describe is in multiple gear forks. Its a few hours labor and well, well worth the time to set up properly. Not a single other thing I have done to my car improved my experience more than setting my shifter up correctly.
    Newman likes this.
  11. John B

    John B Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    May 27, 2003
    My '79 BB512 shifts nicely. When the gearbox is cold the 1-2 shift is difficult and I avoid it by going 1-3. After a few minutes, a double-clutch 3-2 downshift gets it into 2nd easily. Once it's turned a bit in 2nd it then does the 1-2 upshift smoothly. Many cars are like this, my Ford GT and Carrera GT do the same thing. It's just something to get used to, and part of the charm.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008
    southwest germany
    Full Name:
    romano schwabel
    to get used to something what is not working right is not a good solutions when you know there are other owners not have this problem

Share This Page