View Full Version : trannys are weak sauce

07-02-2006, 02:36 AM
1997 cobra, if i pull her hard she grinds going into second. I'm 90% sure it's the synchro, does anyone have any tips for me? Full tranny rebuild/Replace the synchro/buy a new transmission? Just replacing the syncrho would be fine, but if it involves ripping apart the tranny it's going to cost me A LOT so i figured I might spring for some extra stuff since it won't cost much more. And if you have estimates on how much those things might cost that would be great. Thanks for your help.

07-03-2006, 12:46 PM
if it is the transmission it would probably be difficult to repair it yourself due to the amount of work and special tools needed. I have seen D&D used over and over in MM&FF magazine.


Before you jump into replacing the transmission, perhaps replacing the transmission fluid would help the issue. However I doupt that would improve the issue much. Not related but it could be is the clutch quadrant if the cable or quadrant is not providing the proper throw of the clutch, it may still be grabbing which would make shifting almost impossible. This is just a thought and probably a long shot: Another source for shifting issues is the applied torque from the motor. If the motor mounts have become worn out (spongy) the torque generated from a hard pull in first would throw off your shift when going into 2nd gear since the point where you want to shift into has literally moved with the motor and transmission. Depending on how much torque is applied to the shifter housing it may cause a missed shift if you did not get the shifter into the sweet spot and the gear did not fully engage either due to improper movement of the shift fork.

If you are going to replace the transmission you may as well revamp the clutch and pressure plate,,,,etc.... if you have not replaced any of those parts yet (also if the new transmission has a different spline count on the input shaft 31 vrs 28 )

07-03-2006, 02:57 PM
thanks! i appreciate the help, i've only had the car for 4 weeks, and it had 3 previous owners...so all sorts of things could be wrong with it. Damn used cars anyways, thanks again

07-05-2006, 08:25 AM
Don't dispair these are great cars. Once you get it right you will love it.

07-05-2006, 12:50 PM
oh i absoultely love it, no question about that, even with my semi large list of stuff I need to fix with it: 1 of the spark plug covers is broken and a large chunk is missing, negative battery terminal cover is MIA, one of the fog lights it BADLY misalligned, I need either new 02 sensors or MIL eliminators, i've got the P1443 code so I have to figure out which part of my Evap. Emission control system is messed up, a gasket is missing on my intake, the radio doesn't work, and that synchro....But oh well, I love working on it, and it's one HELL of a step better then my last car: 1995 Ford Explorer 4.0, 5-speed

07-06-2006, 11:25 AM
I do not ever recall having a negative battery terminal cover on any of the Cobras that I have owned. I did find the positive battery terminal cover all but it was not on the battery terminal (more like one of those shrinkydink things stuck to the dirvers side header). Replacing the O2 sensors can bring life back into the motor once they go bad. Trick to removal is to warm up the motor first to get the pipes hot (best to spray PB penetrating catylist on the O2 sensors first when cold and allow PB to work before warming up the motor). I would agree that working on the Cobra is much better than the Exploder since I have one of those as well (96 ), just recently replaced all three O2 sensors and what a difference that made to it (has 170k miles on it). There are replacement spark plug covers available. Billetflow has some that are anodized aluminum.

07-06-2006, 08:20 PM
hmm...then maybe I don't need a neg. battery cover, i'll keep looking though. And how would new o2 sensors bring life back into a motor? And Insetad of warming up the motor, could I maybe heat up the section of the pipes where the o2's are? Seems like that would give me a lot less chance of burning myself :P As far as those spark plug covers, I want these http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=7545 kinda pricey but sexy as hell

07-07-2006, 08:12 AM
I have similar ones on mine but they are for the 99-04 model year. $219.00 seems a bit pricey. I do not remember what mine cost but it may have been a bit more than that. The issue with polished aluminum is that it will show the slightest scratch but will polish up nice with aluminum polish.

07-07-2006, 08:16 AM
Well since it is just a spark plug cover there's no hurry for me to get anything, so I have some time to shop around and see what's out there. It's not very high up on the fix-it list. I want to get those sensors fixed along with that 1443 code and it will hopefully get some better gas mileage.

07-07-2006, 09:14 AM
And how would new o2 sensors bring life back into a motor? And Insetad of warming up the motor, could I maybe heat up the section of the pipes where the o2's are?
When the O2 sensors age, so do their response times. Since they are exposed to the exhaust gasses the element inside will tend to become less effective and the readings will begin to drift as will the effect of A/F ratio. Since the 02 sensors are used to adjust the A/F ratio, you would gain more performance if the fuel ratio is maintained rather than operating in a fixed rich mixture. I did a quick search and found the following to be of some interest. If you have difficulty removing one of the sensors I found it best to heat the pipes up by running the motor. You do not have to warm up the exhaust to operating temperature, just warm so that the metal has a chance to expand a bit.


07-07-2006, 07:24 PM
Oh sweet, thanks man, that's a lot of help. I need to fix those ASAP then.

07-08-2006, 07:46 AM
I do not have my list of codes anymore,,,,, the link to them went defunct.
Your gas milage will not suffer all that much but the throttle response should improve after replacing them. You may need to reset the EPROM by disconnecting the battery for 30 minutes (do this after you have replaced them and verified that the error code you got does not reappear, best if you have a scan tool to reset the codes, and once you are satisfied, do the EPROM dump.
It probably would not hurt just to leave the old data as is but once you change parts like the sensors, spark plugs, air filters, and exhaust it sometimes improves things. Also, this may cause you to discover other issues that may surface if the ECU has issues readjusting. Some issues may mask other problems so expect at most that you fixed the original issue and nothing turns up. If you have idle issues following the EPROM dump, it may be related to the EGR system if you let the first issue go for too long. (one of the weak components is the EGR valve which may tend to become leaky even when it is closed) Sometimes it may be too late once the ECU triggers the fault since a rich condition may lead to issues in the long run. I would not be surprized if other things pop up, hopefully they will not.

07-08-2006, 08:27 AM
Nothin serious better not be broken, aaah that would suck. What sorts of problems would a bad valve on there cause do you think? I'm almost certain my car is running really rich, it makes lots of popping noises when i lay off after hard throttle, and it smells like delicioius gasoline...bah

07-09-2006, 12:29 PM
Nothin serious better not be broken, aaah that would suck. What sorts of problems would a bad valve on there cause do you think? I'm almost certain my car is running really rich, it makes lots of popping noises when i lay off after hard throttle, and it smells like delicioius gasoline...bahMuch of what I am responding to is pure speculation and if I am dead on great, most of this is based on what I found but does not mean it is or will be an issue for your vehicle:

The poping noises may be a normal issue if you have an aftermarket cat-back exhaust, The SLP Loudmouth is notorious for that which almoust sounds like a back fire but also sounds really cool when going down hill. If you still have the factory exhaust then I would be thinking about that, probable cause may be a collapsed baffle in the muffler which may cause one side to flow differently than the other.
The issue I am referring to probably will not be a serious problem, just one that may baffle you a bit. I helped work on a 2001 cobra with almost 100k miles on it. Cleanded the throttle body, IAC, replaced spark plugs, replaced an air filter that was bleached white (had no more oil in the paper element), etc.....Lets just say the motor was so black (covered with almost 100k miles of suit) I could not even see it. Since it had been a while since I drove one of those I almost forgot about its temperment. I wanted to replace the PCV plumbing since I had the original plastic pipe and almost new rubber connectors (removed from my 01 to install an oil separator and swapped the breather line and pcv locations so that the oil separator stays cool.) Replacing the vacuum lines would have ruled out the old one's once the battery was reconnected. The car developed an idle issue which meant it was recieving unmetered air from some source. All the seals were installed and no leaks could be detected however the PCV rubber lines as well as both grommets on the valve covers were extremely dry which is more likely the probable cause. The owner of the car would not let me replace them. Also the most noticable issue was the EGR valve since I did not hear it cycle on and off on a cold start (this was noticed before we disconnected the battery) I had the same problem with my 01 and the issues it caused did not surface until it had about 18k miles on the clock. The other car ran great but the owner complained about a pop she heard some time ago and after that the exhaust when loud. I did a complete inspection of the mid pipe and all looked good but you could smell the exhaust from the top of the engine. The EGR tube may have been corroded. Needless to say I could not cure the idle issue but I did make it better with a new IAC valve that I had purchased for the 01 since I had a simialr issue. Once after replacing the EGR valve on my car the problem was cured (pinging and detonation) and it idled like it should and never surged beyond 1k rpm at start up after that (I did this after it went in to Ford service who could not cure the problem, they told me that was normal and I did not drive the car hard enough). Surprised? I had a bad EGR valve that did not work and the on board sensors did not detect a fault :eek: . Since I replaced the EGR valve on my 01, I reinstalled the original IAC valve and all was well. The EGR valve is not a perfect part and will leak to some extent (probably enough to cause idle speed issues especially if the diaphram is damaged or not operating properly). On the flip side, if the EGR valve does not open when it sould it will cause issues since the EGR flow will cool down the intake temperature to some extent. I thought quite the opposite at first since I suspected it was the cause of the pinging issue I had, it was but in a different manner since the injectors lean out when there is EGR flow due to the rich mix prior to the EGR activation. Since the EGR valve is part of the emmisions system and works in sync to the changes in A/F changes when the O2 sensors voltage changes when a rich mixture is detected, and if it is not operating properly the motor would run too lean. As a result you burn pistons and valves along with the cats. That is one of the reasons why your motor runs in open loop when one of the O2 sensors has a fault since it is better to run rich than lean although that has its down side as well as loss of performance. Needless to say, I told the owner of the 01 Cobra that if the problem persists it may be related to the EGR valve since I did not hear it working like it should be. The owners mechanic was baffled to the point they decided to replace the ECU. That may make sense if the EPROM would not store data after the battery disconnect but I do not buy it. More or less it was related to either the EGR valve malfunction or the bad rubber seals on the breather line and the PCV line. Suspected the grommets since the seals were disturbed when the intake was removed to replace the spark plugs on the passenger side as well as cleaning the PCV valve, however my bets were on the EGR valve more than the grommets. A simple process of elimination would have solved the problem (block off the PCV port on the intake as well as the breather line and if the idle issue did not fix itself it would be related to something else). Who ever worked on this car did not know what they were doing since the battery terminals were coated with antisieze greese (the stuff you use on spark plugs which is not the best for battery terminals). Also they kept disconnecting the battery every time they did something..... I assume they did not have a scan tool to reset the IAC idle code..... which will compound the issue since the ECU will adjust idle air speed which may take a bit of time considering the motor has to go through a complete heat cycle as well as operating the accessories and pulling in vacuum with a good force on the brake pedal. I went down that road once and I know where it leads too. Getting a good understanding of the nature of the 4.6L motor is a good thing and will take some time. Hopefully not tiral and error but fixed or repaired right the first time. I must have spent countless hours in research on several things like what causes pinging and how to fix it,,,,,etc.... I may not know everything but at least I will look into what I do not understand so I can prevent unessesary replacement of parts that were fine to start with. Alot of times forums like this one or even other's may identify issues or fixes as well as associated problems. Research always helps to formulate a hypothesis as well as find a solution to the problem. Not all advise is good advise, so just take it into consideration. Too many things may have common symptoms so what may be stated may not be the fix for all problems similar. Sorry for the book, must have been the pot of coffee I just consumed. :cool:

07-09-2006, 02:16 PM
haha I don't mind the book, the more information I have the better...hell, I just ordered $160 in books (shop manuals) for my car to help me fix everything. Thanks for the tips man, I've got some research/troubleshooting to do. Oh and my exhaust is a Magnaflow, no cats, offroad H-pipe :)