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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 99 SE V6 5spd that I bought new. I installed a TRD quick shifter about a year after I bought the car. When trying to start out, or coming to a stop sign, I thought that the car was difficult to shift into 1st gear when cold. However my driving style was such that I would put the car into neutral when approaching a light or stop sign and not shift into 1st until I was completely stopped so this wasn't much of a problem. With the V6, 1st gear didn't seem necessary unless you were at a dead stop. I brought the car into a dealership and they said it was fine and I even had them install Redline transmission fluid to help the situation.

The past couple years I have been autocrossing the car. Since then I have also been downshifting more when coming to a stop. It seems that it is impossible to shift this car into 1st gear unless the car is stopped. When I try to put the car into 1st gear while the car is moving, I get this terrible grinding even when the clutch is fully depressed. Rev matching does not work either. The only way to get it into 1st without grinding is by coming to a complete stop. Has anyone else seen this problem?
 

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Most manual transmissions are this way, in the "old" days you wouldn't have been able to shift into 1st unless you were completely stopped.

I guess my question would be why you're downshifting into 1st on such a regular basis, it's not really a good practice if you're trying to get the maximum life out of your tranny. If it's for engine braking, remember that brakes are much less expensive than transmissions. If you're doing this so you can accelerate in the event of an emergency (I know the WRX guys talk a lot about this), then I would think 2nd gear would be sufficient (especially with the V6)...


HTH -

DJ
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can't shift into first

I agree that brakes are much cheaper than a tranny and that is why I don't regularly downshift into 1st but there are times when I would like to be able to do it. Most autocross events are on courses that are at relatively low speeds (1st and 2nd gear). For most courses, 2nd does well but there are some courses where downshifting into 1st would definitely help.

It just doesn't seem right to me. My wife's Saab 900 shifts into 1st just fine, my T100 shifts into 1st just fine. I could understand having a hard shift from 2nd to 1st due to bad rev matching but the shifter won't go into position unless the car is stopped completely even with the clutch depressed completely.

It is also really annoying now because we just moved and I can turn into our driveway in 2nd gear but I have to shift into 1st to get up into the garage. This means I have to stop the car then shift into 1st before I get to the garage. The other alternative is to slam the shifter into 1st without stopping but that can't be good for the transmission.
 

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that's weird.. All of the manual transmissions I've ever driven (mazda, ford, nissan, VW) aren't like that.

All I can say is it seems like it's built in, so you'll have to live with it.
 

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Sounds normal. I expect they don't put all the synchromesh parts onto first gear to save money. Back in the real old days,
there was no synchromesh, and every shift had a bit of a grind
to it. The sound you hear is the dog clutch teeth hitting each other. You might consider changing your gear oil to remove those little metal flakes that are coming off.

PS: All the gears are in mesh all the time, they are just not
connected to their shaft all at once.
 

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my 96' Does this too. I thought it was an issue, but my mom's 5spd 96' does it as well. It I really need to, I can usually rev match it in, but I don't do that very often at all.
 

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Call Me Evolution Racer
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All Mazda cars won't allow you to shift into first unless you are under 20MPH. Why are you downshifting into first anyway, its not a good idea...
 

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TRDCamryCL said:
All Mazda cars won't allow you to shift into first unless you are under 20MPH. Why are you downshifting into first anyway, its not a good idea...
my 03 camry se can down shift to first gear no problem, i think i've tried it no greater than 10mph, probably the clutch parts are still new

my 93 and 99 camry don't like it, probably the clutch components are nearly worn out, but i am ok with 2nd gear from rolling through stop sign
 

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I occassionally have this problem if, like, i'm trying to park somewhere, i'm halfway into the spot, and not moving fast enough. I have a 4 cyl so if I tried to creep forward in 2nd, it wouldn't work. I can get it to go into 1st, but it takes some muscle, and makes a horrible crunch sound... All the cars i've driven with 5spds are this way, except the ones that are like 1-2 years old.

There are two ways to get around this. First, double clutch. I don't know why it works, but it does about half the time.

What I usually do, however, is put it into second, then slide it up into first. Because the first and second gears are on the same shaft, putting it in second basically matches the gears up, or so i've heard. Even if that's not technically how it works, putting it in second then first has always worked for me...

Just be careful, 1st gear is for extremely low speeds, so if you misjudge the speed by even a little your engine will jump out the hood, flip you off, and find a better driver. :lol:
 

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Call Me Evolution Racer
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Try not to downshift into 1st, its not that great for the tranny. What I mean by not allowing you to shift over 20 is there is pretty much a locking mechanism that even if you throw it in neutral then shift into first above 20 it won't let you.
 
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