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Stiff shifter detent for 2/3 (I think)

Discussion in '308/328' started by s219, Jan 16, 2022.

  1. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    So on my 328, there is frequently a bit of stiffness during a 3-2 downshift, where I feel two distinct and stiff clicks in the shifter (not a warmup/synchro behavior, happens even with engine off and not moving). After studying the diagrams in the workshop manual, I think it's got to be the detent mechanism. That's really the only thing that would create such a specific behavior.

    Has anyone run into this before and found out the cause? Can these get sticky or could the spring have broken? Maybe someone lost the original 2/3 ball during previous work and replaced it with the wrong size?

    It looks like I can drain the fluid, drop the transmission pan, extract the detent springs and balls, and then diagnose, but it would be good to get some advice first.

    If I was to tear into this, where can I find a parts diagram with part numbers, and where is the best place to order parts? I will need a new gasket for sure, and I figure it would be good to have new springs and balls on hand in case they need to be replaced for some reason.

    Oddly, it doesn't always do this -- maybe about 20% of the time the shifts are smooth. The R-1 and 4-5 movements are never stiff though. They are always easy 100% of the time.

    Thanks,
    219
     
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  3. Milkshaker0007

    Milkshaker0007 Formula Junior

    Sep 22, 2012
    376
    Midlands,uk
    Full Name:
    Paul
    when i did my pan gasket changes, before hand i ordered a set of springs and ball bearings just in case they flew off and i couldn't find them.
    But i didn't need them after all.
    got mine from SF https://www.superformance.co.uk/328/gearbox.html

    they were the same as originals
    cheers
     
  4. theunissenguido

    theunissenguido Formula 3
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    Jan 21, 2004
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    Guido
    One or more missing balls ?!
     
  5. Brian Harper

    Brian Harper F1 Rookie
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    Feb 17, 2006
    4,009
    San Jose area
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    I think you're looking in the wrong place for your symptoms.

    If a spring was broken it simply wouldn't push the ball as hard into the detent. I don't think you can get a ball too big into the bore. I suppose you could put a smaller ball in the bore, I'm not sure what those side effects would be.

    In my experience I didn't even notice much difference in the action with the pan off and all the springs and balls removed. I think most of what you feel in normal operation is synchros and the shaft slider bits.
     
  6. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
    76,094
    Houston, Texas
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    Bubba
    Check to make sure your slotted gate has not been installed upside down.....

    There's a profile on the bottom that does not work so well, "wrong side up"......
     
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  8. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    Thanks Brian, that is good advice. I have to admit I am going by the way many other fork rails operate, where there is very little resistance except for the detent, and sometimes the detent is what holds the gear. If these shifters and internals are stiff/notchy even without the detent then that's all together different.

    Another thing that occurred to me is that maybe the R-1 and 4-5 detents are abnormally weak, and the 2-3 seems stiff in comparison. I rarely get any resistance or feedback from R-1 and 4-5, almost like there is no detent, whereas 2-3 takes a bit of force to operate.

    I think a smaller ball would probably lead to a sticky feeling, but I agree a bigger ball wouldn't or would not fit.
     
  9. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    Is there a way to tell by looking at it? Before I bought the car, the interior was restored with new leather on the console, so I am sure they would have taken the gate off for that. This is the best picture I have showing the gate at the moment:

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  10. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula 3
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    Oct 9, 2016
    1,390
    Replace the motor mounts , I did on my 328, and the car shifts like it just came off the factory floor. With that being said, blipping the throttle between ups and downs always helps, now that I have the new mounts, that isnt even necessary, my car has 104,000 miles. I dont care if you dont think it will help, do it anyways.

    Thank you
     
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  11. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    Better picture of gate this morning -- it is definitely installed correctly as you can see the reverse lockout slot is in the correct place.

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  13. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    One other thing I noticed this morning when taking the picture is that there is a definite "rubbery creak" sound coming from under the console when moving the shifter fore/aft. Makes me think I should check/lube some of the joints in the shift linkage.

    Are there any particular joints/slides/bushings along the shift linkage that would benefit from lubrication? I highlighted some obvious points to check below:

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  14. thorn

    thorn F1 Rookie
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    Aug 7, 2012
    3,200
    Tallahassee, FL
    I've not replaced motor mounts on a Ferrari, but done it many times on other cars.

    To diag failed mounts, there was a test involved to see how much the motor was moving on the mounts under load. Is this sort of test also applicable to the 3x8?
     
  15. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula 3
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    Oct 9, 2016
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    Im not qualified to answer that, but it does not matter these cars are at best 33 years old, replace the motor mounts period, I promise the shifting will improve, and so will the handling !! lol Just do it, its not a major undertaking, or cost , and the improvement on my car was much more noted than when I rebuilt my entire suspension , Im telling you, Im no Brian Crawl, but I have logged 84,000 miles in my 89 since I bought it, so I know the car inside and out when it comes to the way it runs, handles, and whatever knowledge I have gained over 22 years .

    Thank you
     
  16. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    28,967
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    I agree with Brian. The detents contribute little to the feel of the shifter. The detents in any transmission only hold in gear when there is no load on the transmission.
    The dog teeth are dove tails and that holds it in gear. During the very brief moment the trans is tranistioning from drive to coast and the dovetails are not loaded they prevent it from drifting out of gear. Porsche type syncros do that differently but that does not apply here. It sounds to me like a minor shifter adjustment issue or a bad shift bushing.
     
  17. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Good advice no matter the shifting issue. They get very overlooked in the 308/328.
     
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  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    28,967
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    Brian Crall
    Shifter boxes collect a lot of crap and never get lubricated.
     
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  19. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Brian Crall
    More easily done just observing how sagged they are statically. Kind of needs to know what good looks like though.
     
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  20. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    When the "silent block" bushings deteriorate, is there a any symptom like stickiness or resistance, or just loose/sloppy feel?
     
  21. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    28,967
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    Brian Crall
    In a Ferrari with a shiftgate the alignment of the shifter in the gate has to correspond with the positioning to a pretty fine degree of the internal finger within the selector forks of the transmission several feet away With old softened shift bushings and the flexing allowed that becomes less and less likely.
     
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  22. mwr4440

    mwr4440 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 8, 2007
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    Mark W.R.
    My silent blocks in my '81, looked to be about 100 yrs old.

    Replacing them was cheap, but a PITA.

    Well worth it though in my estimation.
     
  23. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Brian Crall
    They are not cheap anymore.
     
  24. mwr4440

    mwr4440 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    You are probably right. :(
     
  25. s219

    s219 Karting

    Aug 26, 2021
    223
    So I had a chance to get under my 328 yesterday for a general inspection and got a good look at the shifter rod and shaft. First thing I noted is that the shift shaft seal is dribbling engine oil. It hasn't amounted to much on the garage floor (and haven't had to add any oil to engine since I got the car in October 2021) but it was enough to form a new drop pretty quickly after wiping things up. So that will be on my near-term to-do list -- probably save it for the summer months when I'll be glad to get out of the heat and into my shop with AC.

    I noticed two peculiarities -- first, there was a wire harness connector hanging down onto the rear shift shaft boot. It was for a single yellow/green wire (can't remember which was predominant color and which was stripe) that seemed to bridge between two sections of the wiring harness right in that area. It really seemed conspicuous right there on the boot, and when I moved the shifter I could see the clip cause pressure on the boot when the shaft moved back rearward. I suspect, but cannot confirm, that the connector was impeding the boot flex which in turn caused the front part of the boot to resist against the ring on the shaft. Seems unlikely to cause major shifting resistance but it was really conspicuous. So I tied that connector out of the way.

    Second thing is that there was a lot of drag on the rod from the front boot, where the boot and rod were goobered up with undercoating. Maybe it's been that way for 35 years, but it was for sure causing resistance and was the source of a noise I could hear when shifting with the engine off. So I cleaned that up and put some fluid film (lanolin grease) between the boot and rod to allow more freedom.

    The rear silent block bushing had no noticeable play. However the front of the shift rod had a lot of slop so I suspect the front silent block is shot or something in the shifter box is worn out. Before I do the shift shaft seal repair, I'll remove the console and take a look at everything else. I figure that will be a good time since it will let me pull the shift rod out of the way to ease removal of the shift shaft.
     
  26. moysiuan

    moysiuan F1 Rookie
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    Nov 1, 2005
    2,722
    Canada
    The shift shaft seals have probably been replaced at least once before, and once one has the rear shaft stub removed, replacing the silent block bushing has little incremental labour, so that one was probably replaced. It is also prone to getting leaking seal oil on it and therefore deteriorating more quickly. The front silent block replacement would require the whole shift box to be removed, not a big deal to do that and dismantle and clean/lubricate everything in there. But it may well have never been done before, and a worn silent block would prevent the optimal location of the shift shafts in the 2/3 shift axis.

    You can just clean and lube the shaft that runs through the shifter case without removing the shifter case, the shaft rotates in the shifter casing.
     

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