(One more) 1st Gear Problem
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This is a discussion on (One more) 1st Gear Problem within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; 1st off I have searched / researched, but still have a question. Many people seem to be having the same ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Red Ride's Avatar
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    (One more) 1st Gear Problem

    1st off I have searched / researched, but still have a question.

    Many people seem to be having the same problem:

    -Sometimes 1st Gear won't engage when I'm stopped
    -Sometimes when I shift into 1st I get a grinding sound
    -Most of the time I have no problems at all.

    IS THIS A PROBLEM?
    Meaning, should I take it to the dealer or use driving/shiftinig techniques to counter it?

    Syncro or Clutch problem?

    Thanks.
    '02 Sedona Red Sedan
    Stage II, 115k Miles 10/13

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  3. #2
    Registered User Red Ride's Avatar
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    bump
    '02 Sedona Red Sedan
    Stage II, 115k Miles 10/13

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    Registered User TBomb's Avatar
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    Push in the clutch or wait for the engine to get to a lower RPM noob!
    It's all about rally racing, nothing more.
    On second thought maybe its all about Rally Racing and Auto-X


    '06 Steel Gray WRX (Stock)

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    Re: (One more) 1st Gear Problem

    Originally posted by Red Ride
    1st off I have searched / researched, but still have a question.

    Many people seem to be having the same problem:

    -Sometimes 1st Gear won't engage when I'm stopped
    -Sometimes when I shift into 1st I get a grinding sound
    -Most of the time I have no problems at all.

    IS THIS A PROBLEM?
    Meaning, should I take it to the dealer or use driving/shiftinig techniques to counter it?

    Syncro or Clutch problem?

    Thanks.
    This isn't a problem and it isn't one more. This exact same behavior has been posted dozens of times.

    1. Depends on how the teeth lined up when the shafts stopped moving. Odds are that occasionally the gaps won't be lined up. Just hit another gear (Like 2nd) the go back to first and it should be fine. BTW, you will probably experience the same thing in reverse occasionally.

    2. You have to be going really slow to shift back into first - almost stopped to stopped. You can overcome this by a technique known as double-clutching, but that will take a lot of typing and it has been explained well in the past.
    I made it idiot-proof and they went and hired a better idiot.

  6. #5
    Registered User tubbytreats's Avatar
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    I agree with the above post, but would like to chime in about transmission oils.

    I ran the stock WRX oil until 20,000 miles and changed it out for NEO HD Synthetic Oil. This oil is VERY slippery which is good for gas mileage and for the gears, but bad for the synchros and for shifting. During the winter, this oil really caused serious problems with me getting back into 1st after decellerating or even from a stop.

    Just this week, I went out and got 1 gallon of Red Line Synthetic Shockproof Lightweight oil (the same stuff used by Group C Rally drivers) and replaced the NEO oil. (I'm at 32,000 miles now)

    MUCH better with shifting from gear to gear. I really like the new oil and am very pleased with the results.

    I'd suggest changing out your gear oil and going to something different. I WAS having 3rd - 4th gear grinding under "spirited" driving conditions, but that has gone away with the new oil.

    2002 WRX Mods:
    AP Stage2/93, ScoobySport Up, Dp, & Muffler, SS AutoChrome TMIC, Hawker PC680T Battery, Injen CAI, ACT Stage2 Clutch, Gruppe-S 13.8lb Flywheel, Mobil1 and Redline oil, NGK BKR7EIX plugs, Goodridge SS Lines, Motul RBF600, Hawk HPS pads, 35% 3M tint, Koji Headlight Mod, SilverStar Bulbs, Blaupunkt MP3000 headunit, Infinity BassLink Sub, Kenwood KFC-1689ie speakers (6.5"F / 5.25"R), Rota Downshift (Black), Yokohama AVS ES100 (225/45/17)

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    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    Lots of people have good luck w/ shockproof - including myself.

    Group C? LOL, I think you mean Group N. THIS is Group C - as you can see it probably wouldn't make it down an asphault rally stage, let alone gravel:

    "Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me." -Jesus

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    Definatley worth a try. I had the same characteristics as u. I swear by this stuff and am converting people everyday.
    Check out my post@:

    http://i-club.com/forums/showthread....threadid=57291
    G'luck
    --"Dude I just got a new Subaru!"

    --"Subawho?"......"Why?"

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    Hammerdown Mod of Thunder josnroh's Avatar
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    Re: Re: (One more) 1st Gear Problem

    Originally posted by OldGuyVa
    This isn't a problem and it isn't one more. This exact same behavior has been posted dozens of times.

    1. Depends on how the teeth lined up when the shafts stopped moving. Odds are that occasionally the gaps won't be lined up. Just hit another gear (Like 2nd) the go back to first and it should be fine. BTW, you will probably experience the same thing in reverse occasionally.

    2. You have to be going really slow to shift back into first - almost stopped to stopped. You can overcome this by a technique known as double-clutching, but that will take a lot of typing and it has been explained well in the past.
    Good advice
    Joe/Flyin' Under The Radar
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    2015 Buckeye Boxer WRX Lightning Red

  10. #9
    Registered User wake2snow5's Avatar
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    I have been having grinding problems for the longest time and it has been driving me crazy. Grinding while shifting into first from second or even from a dead stop. I found the i-club thread posted above about using some gm or penzoil synchromesh transmission fluid and some vavoline 75w90. Today I drained the transmission and put 2 quarts of gm synchromesh and 1.7 quarts of vavoline 75w90 in and miracously the grinding is gone!!!! Just testing the stuff out I was able to downshift at 30mph. I didn't try any faster, but I am sure it would do it. I would recommend this to everyone!!!!!

  11. #10
    Registered User Retro's Avatar
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    You can downshift into 1'st at 30mph!?!?!

    I've never had grinding problems shifting into 1'st, I've just had it refuse to open the gate and let the stick in. I don't consider it a defect, but perhaps a design flaw that does not cause damage, just aggravation.
    clutch, shift, gas, clutch, shift, gas, shift, clutch, gas, clutch gas, shift... oops!

  12. #11
    Registered User wake2snow5's Avatar
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    I've had it refuse 1st gear a few times before I put the synchromesh in, but 9 times out of 10 it would grind instead. You still have to put a little effort to get into first but I have yet to face any grinding or refusing. The synchromesh is awesome!

  13. #12
    Registered User CAP-E-TAN's Avatar
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    zero grinding in first with GM, must buy for subarus

  14. #13
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    1st gear grind after changing to Amsoil

    I am having the exact same symptoms as Red Ride. And the problem started occuring a few hundred miles after I had the oil changed from whatever the stock oil was to Amsoil (same oil weight).

    Wake2snow5 mentions having the car "refuse" first gear. Does that mean that it just won't let you put the stick in (for example when you're rolling slow and try to put it in first - and it won't go)? If we're thinking the same thing - my car used to refuse first gear all the time - but lately it does more grinding.

    The more reading I do on the site the more I think it is the gear oil and that I should either a) add syncromesh, or b) change oils. So what is happening? Are the syncros just not matching speed with the transmission because the oil is creating less friction?

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