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View Full Version : gears not engaging while racing


Lthl Venom 03
10-24-2004, 06:59 AM
Whenever i'm racing or getting on it at high RPMs the car won't shift for some reason it just gets stuck and won't go in and if i try to put it back in it'll grind and i have to this a couple of times before it engages. This mostly happens to me going 2nd to 3rd and it never happens when cruising, shifting fast, or even power shifting while short shifting, it only happens at high rpm's when i'm racing. :(

At first i thought it was just me and needed to improve my driving but i let a couple of friends run it at the track, one of whom has an '03 cobra as well (and ran 12.7's stock so he isn't a bad driver) , and they both had the same problems. They kept missing 2nd and 3rd gear as well. So now i know it's my car and it's not just me. Now as far as i can remember this car has had this problem since i got it. This is the first manual car i've owned so i never labeled it as a problem, i thought it was just me. Someone suggested that it might be the synchros? Ford gave me a new tranny for a bad throwout bearring so i don't think it's the tranny... something clutch related perhaps? i have no clue... Has anybody had this problem? Or does anybody know of any solutions? :doubt:

oh and i dont know if this is related but about once a week it won't go into 1st gear when i'm stopped at a light and try to putting it into first coming from neutral.


I'll also add this since i have a feeling i will get a number of responses saying it's the shifter...
I don't have an aftermaket shifter but Richard at strictly performance took out the rubber bushings and put some u bolts in the stock shifter so it feels just like an aftermarket shifter only without the short throw. I can bang gears and even powershift all night as long as i'm shortshifting. So i don't think it's the shifter thats my problem. I never miss shifts while i'm daily driving but the problem is so bad that at the track last night only 2 out of 12 runs in my car did not have missed shifts. :(

ausie
10-24-2004, 09:52 AM
That seems to be an issue with my 04 as well. Only on occasion did my 01 express the "I won't let you shift" syndrome. One thing is for sure, the 01 required more leg muscle to disengage the clutch when compared to the 04.

I have noticed that when the tramsission is cold I have no problems, but as soon as it warms up it becomes harder to shift. I could think of several things that come to mind that would cause the clutch to retain friction when it should not. Expansion of the aluminum flywheel, clutch is overheated, or insufficient amount of fluid in the transmission.

One other thing that would cause overheating of the clutch would be a loose clutch tensioner. The cable may be too long to allow enough clearance to break the friction between the clutch components. I have pulled up on the clutch pedal probably 20 times yesterday and that seemed to fix the shifting problems. The clutch pedal seemed a bit harder to push down, but I believe that only corrected the problem for a short time since it only took 150 miles before it felt soft again.

NewFoundPower
10-24-2004, 12:06 PM
Well, its nice to know that I am not the only one. Like you Stang, I thought I was doing something wrong. For me, the car won't allow me to go into 2nd when I am getting into it. It seems at high rpms, the car denies access to other gears. Very frustrating. Happened to me twice yesterday in front of a bunch of people. Looked like I didn't know how to drive. Extremely embarassing. I think I am gonna make an appointment to take it bad to Ford this week. Something has to be done because it is making me very unhappy.


-D_

SVTcobra04
10-24-2004, 07:41 PM
i dont know much about racing but maybe your hitting the redline and the rev limter kiks in and it wont let you shift.I probably dont know what im talkin about but its an idea.

NewFoundPower
10-24-2004, 09:57 PM
Thats what I had thought as well with the rev limiter. Is this a reality on the Cobra? Will the rev limiter actually prohibit you from changing gears?

-D-

InfamousSVT
10-24-2004, 11:10 PM
Here's my $.02!

I think when you run the rpms up so high that the rev limiter kicks in and the car doesn't allow you to go from 2nd to 3rd, cause you've run the redline out of 3rd! I think the car wants you to go to 4th, I'm not sure but sorta makes some sense!
You can probably get a tune done and prohibit this from happening! I'd go with the Diablo Predator Tuner:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

SVTcobra04
10-24-2004, 11:26 PM
try shifting at 6 000 rpm and if it doesnt do it then its proably the rev limiter.

SVTcobra04
10-24-2004, 11:28 PM
or it may be the linkage on the shifter is messed up.ive heard that its not very strong.

Lthl Venom 03
10-25-2004, 04:05 AM
That seems to be an issue with my 04 as well. Only on occasion did my 01 express the "I won't let you shift" syndrome. One thing is for sure, the 01 required more leg muscle to disengage the clutch when compared to the 04.

I have noticed that when the tramsission is cold I have no problems, but as soon as it warms up it becomes harder to shift. I could think of several things that come to mind that would cause the clutch to retain friction when it should not. Expansion of the aluminum flywheel, clutch is overheated, or insufficient amount of fluid in the transmission.

One other thing that would cause overheating of the clutch would be a loose clutch tensioner. The cable may be too long to allow enough clearance to break the friction between the clutch components. I have pulled up on the clutch pedal probably 20 times yesterday and that seemed to fix the shifting problems. The clutch pedal seemed a bit harder to push down, but I believe that only corrected the problem for a short time since it only took 150 miles before it felt soft again.


Okay now this would make a lot of sense. I think it very well maybe overheating transmission problems because otherwise i don't understand why it only happens at high RPMs. I know i wasn't hitting the rev limiter so i know thats not the case. I also highly doubt it's the shifter thats the problem. I was messing around with the car today and i did find that it had no problems at first while it was cold. I guess by the time i get to baytown or drive somewhere then it's all messed up. So if this IS the case.... how would i go about fixing it?

Lthl Venom 03
10-25-2004, 07:03 AM
okay and i just read in the "Clutch noise" thread that clutch heat can damage throwout bearrings. I had to have my tranny replaced a while back because of the TOB so it's really starting to sound like it's a heat issue.

SVTcobra04
10-25-2004, 08:07 AM
take it in to the dealer.the 03-04 cobras have a transmission oil cooler it may not be working.

ausie
10-26-2004, 08:08 AM
I thought the oil cooler was for the engine oil. I have adjusted the clutch by the suggested method (pull up on the pedal) which seems to fix it. If it is a heat issue, perhaps the transmission is lacking fluid. Since it is the syncro's that govern when the gear goes in, lack of gear oil will cause them to heat up along with the gears. There are several things I am planning on checking but will have to wait until my winter transportation gets repaired and inspected.

If the transmission has a cooler it would also require a circulation pump. If this is the case, there should be a fuse for the pump. I doubt that it is driven by the tramsmission machanically. I could be wrong, just expressing my thoughts on this. More than likely, the shifting issue may be due to the torque applied to the transmission. Since the shifter is located at the output shaft at the end of the transmission casing, it is probable that there may be some tensional stress transferred along the length of the transmission enclosure. It is probable that this may pinch down on the shifter which would cause issues when power shifting. Somehow I think the transmission brace may be in the wrong place which does a poor job in relieving the tensional stress. If this seems to be a common issue with the 03/04 Cobras then it may just be that. Since I am not a mechanic, or a specialist, it is just a random thought. It may sound like good reasoning, but is it? Hmmm, I think that chevey (corvettes) and dodge (viper) uses the same T56 transmission. Perhaps sneaking in on their forums may have this issue solved or at least beaten to death. Time for research on this topic.

crunchit
10-26-2004, 09:24 PM
Interesting. A few months ago I drove my cousins 02 vette and it automatically blocks you out of third if your rpms are too high. Actually forces you into 4th.

04SVT
10-27-2004, 12:39 AM
Hey guys,

I just bought my 2004 Cobra last week and it has only 200 miles on it and I noticed the same shifting problem. I noticed if I shift it at or above the 6500 redline it locks me out from shifting from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd. However if I shift at 6400 or lower it shifts fine. I'm not a mechanic or speciaslist by any stretch of the imagination but I am experienced with Trans AM's and Vettes and have experienced the same problems on occasion with them. I can't help but try to squeeze the extra few rpms in there before shifting because I like seeing the speedometer at 80mph coming out of 2nd to 3rd. Anyways just my .02 .

Damn , I love this CAR!!!!!!

ROB
2004SVT Cobra

ausie
10-27-2004, 07:36 AM
:( this is a bit long, and does not prove anything except that I may be an idiot :D

My first unofficial quarter mile run and did not have any shifting problems. Although it is not accurate in distance but close enough 0.2 miles on the odometer. Just your average straight back road with a long fence which is close to a quater I am going to find. I have used this as a bench mark in the past with my 01 and have usually achived 100 MPH from a dead stop. With 1500 miles on the clock, it was now time to see how the 04 compares to the 01.

Staging the run: I needed to come to a complete stop before continuing but could not sit still for long since another vehicle decided to turn onto the road behind me. I did not want to wait and let them pass me since the road ahead was clear and probably would not be for long since it was rush hour time. Right after noticing the vehicle was just an Audi and not a local or state enforcment vehicle, I took off with the launch. First gear was taken to red line just to the point of a hickup in the exhuast tone, second gear engaged perfectly but had a little bit of wheel spin, up to 6500 RPM and into third gear. I was shifting gears so fast I don't remember if I shifted into 4th before the end of the fence. Speed was just past the first line after 100 so approximately 106 or 107. Not bad since it was cold out (hard to grip the road surface) and most of it is uphill on a low increasing grade. Had to slow it down to a safe speed since I was approaching a trailer park and other dirveways in another half mile down the road. The point was to see if I could punch the gears without having any problems. Sure enough the transmission worked as it should and let me get every gear I wanted. I was not as agressive as I could have been since I was doing this on a public road. The audi probably moved about 30 feet by the time I got to the end of the fence which marked a quarter mile. If it was a heat issue with the transmission it would have given me the same grief at that time since I had driven for over 1/2 hour prior to taking the leap. I know it is difficult to determine issues over one run. There were other straight line areas on that road where I repeated the 1st to 2nd shift close to red line without error. I have also tested the shift issue when merging onto the highway at a different location. For some reason or another perhaps the shifting issue was related to the clutch adjustment and part driver error as I ocassionally tent to shift to the between gears location and not directly into the gear itself. Since I have driven the 01 for some time, 1st and 2nd gear positions in the 04 feels like 3rd and 4th positions on the 01. I must forget the past and re-learn how to drive again. I have some catching up to do before I take it down the track in the spring. Looks like the only practical place to practice shifting technique is on the entrance ramps to the highway. You almost have to punch it since the average speed most drivers are going is 80mph. I am not fond of racing on public streets and I try my best not too, but in a Cobra, it is very hard to avoid the temptation to see what it will do on an open road without traffic.
I was not concerned with what speed I hit at the end of the quarter mile, but rather than what occurs when shifting at high RPM. My initial problem was shifting into any gear at any speed since before adjusting the clutch cable, the transmission would not even shift into 1st or 2nd gear at a stop. Now everything is back to normal and hopefully will stay that way. At least I avoided having to go back to the dealer this time. :)

Lthl Venom 03
10-27-2004, 10:09 AM
I was not concerned with what speed I hit at the end of the quarter mile, but rather than what occurs when shifting at high RPM. My initial problem was shifting into any gear at any speed since before adjusting the clutch cable, the transmission would not even shift into 1st or 2nd gear at a stop. Now everything is back to normal and hopefully will stay that way. At least I avoided having to go back to the dealer this time. :)
well i'm glad to hear your problem has been solved :thumbsup: i had no trouble getting into gears when i was racing a vette last night... :D :bounce: but i can't dismiss the problem just yet....

Coy
10-27-2004, 04:39 PM
So tell about the race with the vette.well i'm glad to hear your problem has been solved :thumbsup: i had no trouble getting into gears when i was racing a vette last night... :D :bounce: but i can't dismiss the problem just yet....

Coy
10-27-2004, 04:51 PM
I think I hit the wrong button a while ago. I hope I am not sending this messege again.
Ausie, you got me interested in my snake with your shifting problems. I have an 04 with 2k. I took the snake out to an (unofficial) 1/4 mile. Now, I did not shift at near the rpm's that you attained. I shifted around 5500 to 6000 hoping to gain more ground (relying on sound of the motor). I looked down at the end of the 1/4 and reached 118 mph. I have taken out the silencer and added a K & N filter, added magnaflow mufflers everything else is original and of course a Hyper-tech programmer. My next project is adding the MGW short throw shifter. I don't want to mess with the waranty of my car. My top speed so far is 165 mph, I know that she has more. My job requires me to drive at speeds of 130 plus on a regular bases almost every day. So, that kind of speed for me is really not that big a deal.
:( this is a bit long, and does not prove anything except that I may be an idiot :D

My first unofficial quarter mile run and did not have any shifting problems. Although it is not accurate in distance but close enough 0.2 miles on the odometer. Just your average straight back road with a long fence which is close to a quater I am going to find. I have used this as a bench mark in the past with my 01 and have usually achived 100 MPH from a dead stop. With 1500 miles on the clock, it was now time to see how the 04 compares to the 01.

Staging the run: I needed to come to a complete stop before continuing but could not sit still for long since another vehicle decided to turn onto the road behind me. I did not want to wait and let them pass me since the road ahead was clear and probably would not be for long since it was rush hour time. Right after noticing the vehicle was just an Audi and not a local or state enforcment vehicle, I took off with the launch. First gear was taken to red line just to the point of a hickup in the exhuast tone, second gear engaged perfectly but had a little bit of wheel spin, up to 6500 RPM and into third gear. I was shifting gears so fast I don't remember if I shifted into 4th before the end of the fence. Speed was just past the first line after 100 so approximately 106 or 107. Not bad since it was cold out (hard to grip the road surface) and most of it is uphill on a low increasing grade. Had to slow it down to a safe speed since I was approaching a trailer park and other dirveways in another half mile down the road. The point was to see if I could punch the gears without having any problems. Sure enough the transmission worked as it should and let me get every gear I wanted. I was not as agressive as I could have been since I was doing this on a public road. The audi probably moved about 30 feet by the time I got to the end of the fence which marked a quarter mile. If it was a heat issue with the transmission it would have given me the same grief at that time since I had driven for over 1/2 hour prior to taking the leap. I know it is difficult to determine issues over one run. There were other straight line areas on that road where I repeated the 1st to 2nd shift close to red line without error. I have also tested the shift issue when merging onto the highway at a different location. For some reason or another perhaps the shifting issue was related to the clutch adjustment and part driver error as I ocassionally tent to shift to the between gears location and not directly into the gear itself. Since I have driven the 01 for some time, 1st and 2nd gear positions in the 04 feels like 3rd and 4th positions on the 01. I must forget the past and re-learn how to drive again. I have some catching up to do before I take it down the track in the spring. Looks like the only practical place to practice shifting technique is on the entrance ramps to the highway. You almost have to punch it since the average speed most drivers are going is 80mph. I am not fond of racing on public streets and I try my best not too, but in a Cobra, it is very hard to avoid the temptation to see what it will do on an open road without traffic.
I was not concerned with what speed I hit at the end of the quarter mile, but rather than what occurs when shifting at high RPM. My initial problem was shifting into any gear at any speed since before adjusting the clutch cable, the transmission would not even shift into 1st or 2nd gear at a stop. Now everything is back to normal and hopefully will stay that way. At least I avoided having to go back to the dealer this time. :)

Butcher
10-27-2004, 05:23 PM
My job requires me to drive at speeds of 130 plus on a regular bases almost every day. So, that kind of speed for me is really not that big a deal.Jesus Coy...i wan't a job just like yours...heh.

Jimmie

ausie
10-28-2004, 07:31 AM
I passed that spot I checked for shifting on a daily basis. From where I launced to where I slowed down was exatcly 0.2 miles which is close to a quarter as I can get. On a good day I was able to get the 01 up to 120mph on the same stretch of road but that was from a moving start at 15mph. The only exception is that it is up hill. Another issue is that the speedometer is not correct due to tire size (spedo is approx 2% off) I have on the car since I swapped the factory wheels for the aftermarket wheels I had on the 01 (tires are 1/16 of an inch away from the wear bars which do not bite as well as when new). I probably eased off the throttle a bit early since I lost traction when shifting to 2nd gear. The only mod done to the car is an SLP cat-back. I still have the paper filter and silencer on the car. I am still trying to find the "GREEN" filter for the car, I guess I will have to order it. I know this car has more potential in the stock trim. Going up hill does not help either. Also in the back of my mind is the dreaded farm equipment that I usually stop me in my tracks about this time of year. I guess the fear of ramming into a giant monster machine hogging up the entire road slowed me down mentally. It is probably the huge spikes on the front of those things that kept me from pushing the car to the limits. As for the initial test, I had no problems shifting. I guess after you expeed the speed limit by a factor of 2 there is no point of return if you need to stop on a dime. I would probably feel more confident on a track since it lacks vehicles driving towards you while they gabb on their cell phones, and that unexpected driver who decided to pull out in front of you and maintain a 20MPH speed. I would benefit from new tires, and a good safe flat stretch of road surface to play on. It would also help if the road surface was a bit warmer than 50F.