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Is my 348 gearbox worn?

Discussion in '348/355' started by SFchallenge, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
    11,930
    Sgp, KL, HK & London
    Full Name:
    Jon Wijaya
    Hi,

    I finally got my 348 going again after I broke the gear-shift lever weeks ago. I posted my plight & a few F-chatters helped me source for parts. Thanks guys!

    Just a general question, my gears are a bit tricky at times to engage. Especially, the 1st gear while moving off. I need to de-clutch a few times to engage the 1st gear (I'll probably break the lever again if I force!) but sometimes it just engage without problems. It happens while changing up & down gears at times but I'll just put a bit more force into them. The reverse gear is always easy. The gear box is leaking lightly but my mechanic says it's well & oil is topped-up. Is this normal on Ferraris or a worn gear box?

    I'm a first time Ferrari owner. I'll be keeping it for a while so I would like to tune it properly. I'm also shopping for suspension, exhaust, engine, brake upgrades. Any 348 owners care to help?
     
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  3. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Mar 3, 2001
    7,794
    LA
    Full Name:
    Frank

    Mine also is sometimes difficult to engage first gear but is I let off the clutch and reengage the clutch it goes into first gear no problem
     
  4. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    1,837
    it is tricky even when warm? If so, I'd GUESS maybe your synchro's are getting tired. I just had mine fully rebuilt and it is a bit stiff when cold, but like butter once warmed up.
     
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,072
    USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    When was the gear fluid last changed?
     
  6. RAYMAN

    RAYMAN Formula Junior
    BANNED

    Mar 10, 2004
    315
    Oklahoma
    Full Name:
    Raymond Santilli
    I've only got 6,700 miles on my 92, and it shifts terriblly...A little better when warm. It's just a fact they're not verry good in this department.
     
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  8. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
    547
    Tejas/Europe/Desert
    Full Name:
    shanb
    Mine shifts like butter after a little adjustment. When was the last time you adjusted the shifter cables? They do stretch over time.
     
  9. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    1,837
    Once mine is warm, it also shifts beautifully.
     
  10. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
    11,930
    Sgp, KL, HK & London
    Full Name:
    Jon Wijaya
    Synhcro? What is that or where shall I find it? Well, I just took it for a drive after about 5 miles & 15minutes in urban. It's alright sometimes but a bit tight once a while even when shifting to 2nd gear. Otherwise, I'll just clutch in 1-2 times before moving off in 1st gear (When it does get stuck). I read in the archives that clutch/flywheel may give such problem?

    Well, it's not too difficult to drive & can be "Butter" at times. Just a bit erratic. My shift cable has just been adjusted when my mechanic changed the shift lever. Thanks!
     
  11. kenyon

    kenyon F1 Rookie

    Oct 7, 2002
    2,836
    East Yorkshire
    Full Name:
    Justin Kenyon
    No prblems from cold or hot. The car has convered 30,000 miles and oil changed every year or 6,000 miles..
     
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  13. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    19,283
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Jon -- A simple test you can try (with the car already warmed up and stationary) is to select 3rd gear before starting the engine, then push the clutch in and start the engine (with the shift lever still in 3rd -- this fully stops the clutch output side from rotating), then try selecting 1st gear (quickly, but not harshly) from 3rd. If it's easier/better to select 1st gear under those conditions, it's another indication to suspect all is not well in the clutch area -- just a thought (and it's a free test;))...
     
  14. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,032
    socal
    Most mechanics are too lazy to adjust these properly because you have to take the car on and off the lift to test gearbox under actual conditions. Most do a on the lift gearbox shift test which IMO is basically useless except to get you in the ballpark. So just because your mechanic said he adjusted the linkage I would ask him how he did that. The 348 is a bit more tricky because of the shift cables vs rods. Also, like all Ferraris they are individuals and subject to great variation in shift quality depending on the gearbox oil you use. Before you do anything go the cheap way and change gearbox oil. The most popular that Ferraris seem to like are: mobil 1, amsoil, royal purple, GM's corvette gearbox oil and redline. The wrong oil can make these cars impossible to shift like you have a serious gearboc problem.
    Personally mobile 1 always did it for me except one gearbox that like redline 75-140 wt mixed with some redline MTL. I have never used royal purple and the vette oil was worse than dino oil in my hands. Ferraris are the only cars I have ever had to worry about oil brands. As an interesting story I rebuilt my gearbox and it loves mobil1. I rebuilt byron's 348C gearbox the same way i did mine yet it did not like mobil1. It liked the redline mtl mix but never was as smooth as my box. Perhaps royal purple or something else may have works. I do not know what Ferrari does wrong but trust me these cars run differently on different gearbox oils.
     
  15. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
    11,930
    Sgp, KL, HK & London
    Full Name:
    Jon Wijaya
    Steve, I've tried your way earlier. Even did from 4th to one. It went around smoothly! When I free it to neutral for a while (While engine is running) & try to engage to 1st, I always have problem, sometimes even into 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. I have to clutch-in once or even a few times to get the gear in. This really stresses the shift stick & I reckon it'll break again. It's either I drive with care or have an expensive bill on fixing it.

    I'll try to drain & change my gear oil on the coming week even though my mechanic said it's unnecessary. Perhaps I should change an honest & hardworking mechanic who would tell me the truth! I just wish I have a proper garage & time to do all the work like some of you guys can. It just amazes me to hear some of you guys actually strip the engine & rebuild it from scratch without experience!
     
  16. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    19,283
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    I appreciate your concern about costs -- we b*tch and moan about it enough here in the US, but it seems you guys in Asia have it even worse (on both initial purchase and servicing).
    Still, I think you'll be paying for it anyway when you sell the car -- i.e., needing to give a significant discount because of the problem, and limiting your buyer pool because most buyers want "perfect" (which is an oxymoron IMO on any 10+ year old car like a 348). So (if your cash flow can handle it) I'd opt for fixing it now just to improve my own Ownership enjoyment -- but I'm a Hedonist ;)...
     
  17. spider348

    spider348 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,139
    MA
    Full Name:
    John
    Do not know if this will help but I had the exact same symptoms with my 348 spider. At times, stopped, the car would not shift into 1st, 2nd etc. Pump clutch and the box would eventually shift, smooth and with no resistance or sound. When the gearbox was reluctant to engage 1st etc I could detect a subtle mechanical sound, a whirring sound, and very slight motion, forward for 1st, backward for reverse.
    My problem was my input shaft seals were leaking. The gearbox oil combined with clutch disc dust to form a sticky compound that resulted in the clutch disc “sticking” to the flywheel. Surprising the amount of force the disc would adhere to the flywheel. Replaced the seals when I rebuilt my gearbox. Subsequently cleaned the entire clutch assembly with solvent and the problem was solved. Now engages 1st, reverse etc as easily as any car I have driven.
    For reference, I use Redline 75-90 NS GL-5 gear oil with approximately ½ bottle of Redline friction modifier. Gearbox shifts fine.
     
  18. millemiglia

    millemiglia Formula Junior

    Jan 14, 2003
    925
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Full Name:
    Peter B.
    How did you do that?
    I thought it was made of steel and practically unbreakable!

    // Peter
     
  19. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
    11,930
    Sgp, KL, HK & London
    Full Name:
    Jon Wijaya
    Hi, thanks to all. I had the ex-chief mechanic from the agent checked on my car on Sunday. Initially, he thought the gear box was worn but decided to take a few rounds with it.

    The verdict, my clutch & gearbox is fine :) The shift cables are not aligned properly like what F.Billybob said. On the shiftgate, my lever didn't sit in the centre & was a bit low. It didn't spring back to the centre when moving between gears (could be my new shift box assembly problem as well) This results in great difficulty engaging gears as its not sitting properly & we'll need to force it in. It actually grinds the synchros & gears as the gears are not sitting properly. It has the "Whirring" sound as well, mentioned by John & it's actually the cables. My situation is, it works smoothly sometimes so the gearbox is fine. I'll check on my clutch as well since we don't need to drop the engine.

    The gear oil could be wrong as well. Old cars need a thinner grade to smoothen it. I'll try what you guys recommended here. This is how he would fix it. He'll jack up the car, release the cables from the shift box. Then, work from the cables' connector under the engine/gearbox. This is the primary source of alignment which must be corrected & many mechanics miss it. There are two bushings which always wear & he'll change them to teflon bushings?

    Then back to the shift box & align them. This is a troublesome job which will need some help from another person in the car to test the gear selection while he watches/adjusts from below. Or he'll jack up & down the car (If he's alone) till it's smooth to engage in all gears. As said by Billybob, many mechanics are too lazy to aligh these properly resulting gear wear & even snapping the shift cables. In my case, the lever.

    @ the moment, my gears are still sticky but manageable. It's the first time he saw a broken lever as well. 355 upgraded this common problem to rods.

    All those owners out there who has my symptoms may want to check out their shift cables first! I'll try to pose some pics if possible.

    FTI, my mechanic likes a properly tuned but raw 348 compared to a more civilised 355 as it's a fun car which he loves to throw on the tracks.
     

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