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> Synchro in 1st gear?
Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 07:08 AM
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Please forgive me in advance for asking a stupid question:

Did the new/original 914 tranny have synchro in 1st gear? Got mine with 60k original miles and it did not, nor have I ever driven one that did have a synchro 1st.

But somewhere I read something that said synchro in 1st went out quickly - and then synchro in 2nd would go out.

I have no synchro in 1st, but if it existed originally, that alone wouid be worth my rebuilding the tranny. Maybe Dr. Evil will do another one of his rebuild sessions at Scotty Burnett's?

Synchro in 2nd has a mind of its own. 1st to 2nd - it works 60% of the time fine. 30%, I get a tiny crunch. 10%, I get a bad crunch. Tried everything - nothing I do seems to affect whether it will crunch or not.

Downshifts into 2nd are another thing. 60% of the time, downshifts are perfect. Like a new tranny. 40% of the time, they are a horrible crunch. No idea why. Yes - clutch pressed all the way down.

No problems with any other synchros, tho 3rd, coming from 2nd, takes some additional physical effort to get into gear for some reason.

TIA,

GN
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Shivers
post Nov 23 2021, 07:34 AM
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"The 901 transmission has a synchro-mesh mechanism which allows the gears to be shifted when the car and the transmission are spinning at different speeds. There are 6 main components used in 1st gear. These are the slider, shift fork, synchro ring and brake band, dog teeth, and 1st gear. "

I don't shift into 1st moving. If it is being stubborn, I shift into 2nd then slip it into 1st. 50 year old trans may need some love.

https://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/9...anny_repair.htm
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Superhawk996
post Nov 23 2021, 07:46 AM
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Many of these transmissions are well past their prime, not properly adjusted, and abused from wanna be racers trying to speed shift them.

Side shift or Tail Shift makes a big difference in shift quality. There was a reason the design changed. Even with a side shift, 914 transmission isn't up to modern standards with long throws and lacks detent precision. Shift technique has a lot to do with gear clash. Even with good syncros, trying to shift fast and not giving the synchro's time to equalize gear shaft speeds will result in clash, and will wear out the synchro's even faster and the reoccuring gear clash rounds off the gear dog teeth futher compounding problems.

Verify all shift rod bushings are in good shape and shift rods are properly adjusted.

Firewall bushing
Trans shift housing guide bushing
Bushing cup (sideshift) - at end of shift rod.
The shift rod coupler at firewall needs to be in good shape too, with proper conical fastener, and tight.

Takes time to get shift linkages aligned properly but makes a massive difference.
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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 07:48 AM
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Wow. over 4 years as a 914'er and no one ever told me this. As I grew up driving stick with no synchro in 1st it was quite normal to me.

Thank you.

Now to figure when I can find time to rebuild tranny......will have to wait - 924 Turbo is my main focus now.

Will be so wonderful to drive my 914 with a synchro in 1st.........

GN

QUOTE(Shivers @ Nov 23 2021, 08:34 AM) *

"The 901 transmission has a synchro-mesh mechanism which allows the gears to be shifted when the car and the transmission are spinning at different speeds. There are 6 main components used in 1st gear. These are the slider, shift fork, synchro ring and brake band, dog teeth, and 1st gear. "

I don't shift into 1st moving. If it is being stubborn, I shift into 2nd then slip it into 1st. 50 year old trans may need some love.

https://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/9...anny_repair.htm
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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 08:04 AM
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Thank you. I replaced all shift linkage bushings long ago, even improved on linkage by doing special things to reduce slop. RickB45 says my car shifts much better than his '72 that also has all new bushings. Rods are adjusted about as perfectly as they can and car shifts like new I am told by other 914 owners who have driven it. Linkage is VERY tight.

All bushings were shot when I got the car. One at firewall was completely destroyed.

Having been a precision driver for over 50 years (friend who tracks/races his Porsches rode with me - "Where did you go to driving school?"). I never try to speed shift a Porsche. I do precise shifts always waiting on the synchronizers.

With any manual transmission, I first familiarize myself with the tranny itself and learn its ways, always focusing on slow, precise shifts.

Problem is not in my linkage or my shifting. It is in the tranny.

BTW, for me, my goal is always the perfect shift, in every shift. Like a golfer always seeking the perfect swing, the perfect sweet connection with the club head and the ball. i focus on precision - not on speed.

When I told my Porsche dealer about buying my 914 in 2017, the service guy said, "Oh! I remember that car! We don't service many 914's....... I has a bad synchro in 2nd gear, right?"

He never mentioned 1st gear, but it's never had synchro in 1st.

GN

QUOTE(Superhawk996 @ Nov 23 2021, 08:46 AM) *

Many of these transmissions are well past their prime, not properly adjusted, and abused from wanna be racers trying to speed shift them.

Side shift or Tail Shift makes a big difference in shift quality. There was a reason the design changed. Even with a side shift, 914 transmission isn't up to modern standards with long throws and lacks detent precision. Shift technique has a lot to do with gear clash. Even with good syncros, trying to shift fast and not giving the synchro's time to equalize gear shaft speeds will result in clash, and will wear out the synchro's even faster.

Verify all shift rod bushings are in good shape and shift rods are properly adjusted.

Firewall bushing
Trans shift housing guide bushing
Bushing cup (sideshift) - at end of shift rod.
The shift rod coupler at firewall needs to be in good shape too, with proper conical fastener, and tight.

Takes time to get shift linkages aligned properly but makes a massive difference.

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Superhawk996
post Nov 23 2021, 08:10 AM
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QUOTE(Gatornapper @ Nov 23 2021, 08:48 AM) *

As I grew up driving stick with no synchro in 1st it was quite normal to me.



As a generalized statement, almost all transmissions since 70's have had syncrhronized 1st gear. Don't want to get into the age thing . . . (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Not aiming this at you but over the course of my career, I've had the opportunity to drive with hundreds if not almost a thousand people including automotive journalists, most can't drive a manual transmission worth a (IMG:style_emoticons/default/stromberg.gif) even if they think they can. There's a reason so many manual transmissions have bad gear and/or fried clutches every 50K miles.

1st gear is only used for getting off the line. . . that's it.

Trying to shift from 2nd to 1st at anything other than a brisk walk is folly. Even modern transmissions prefer to be shifted from 2nd to 1st when just barely rolling before the stop, even with a synchronized 1st gear.
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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 08:24 AM
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I am usually in neutral at stoplights. I rarely shift from 2nd to 1st and don't miss that.

My only desire is to got from neutral to 1st w/o the crunch at a stoplight. Of course, I do that by first putting the tranny in 2nd, using its synchros to stop the tranny gears from spinning, and then I go from neutral to 2nd then to 1st which is no problem as I always did that when young with 3 speed trannies.

The PO of my 914 raced both 911's and 914's, and while he got my car as a gift for his girlfriend who was a professor at UVA, I'm sure he probably man-handled the shifting and messed up the synchros long before I got the car.

GN



QUOTE(Superhawk996 @ Nov 23 2021, 09:10 AM) *

QUOTE(Gatornapper @ Nov 23 2021, 08:48 AM) *

As I grew up driving stick with no synchro in 1st it was quite normal to me.



As a generalized statement, almost all transmissions since 70's have had syncrhronized 1st gear. Don't want to get into the age thing . . . (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Not aiming this at you but over the course of my career, I've had the opportunity to drive with hundreds if not almost a thousand people including automotive journalists, most can't drive a manual transmission worth a (IMG:style_emoticons/default/stromberg.gif) even if they think they can. There's a reason so many manual transmissions have bad gear and/or fried clutches every 50K miles.

1st gear is only used for getting off the line. . . that's it.

Trying to shift from 2nd to 1st at anything other than a brisk walk is folly. Even modern transmissions prefer to be shifted from 2nd to 1st when just barely rolling before the stop, even with a synchronized 1st gear.

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Superhawk996
post Nov 23 2021, 08:45 AM
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QUOTE(Gatornapper @ Nov 23 2021, 09:24 AM) *

I am usually in neutral at stoplights. I rarely shift from 2nd to 1st and don't miss that.

My only desire is to got from neutral to 1st w/o the crunch at a stoplight. Of course, I do that by first putting the tranny in 2nd, using its synchros to stop the tranny gears from spinning, and then I go from neutral to 2nd then to 1st which is no problem as I always did that when young with 3 speed trannies.




There are pro's and con's to being in neutral at stoplights. Not sure I really want to go into all that here. The quickies.

The downside of doing that is:
1) Lost ability to go from 2nd into 1st as you roll to a stop minimzing wear on the synchro. Avoids the problem of using the 1st gear synchro with high differential shaft speeds at every stop.

2) If the light changes unexpectedly you'll be "speed shifting" from neutral to 1st, stressing the 1st gear synchro, and in a 901 gearbox, the dog leg doesn't help things to get a quick smooth, quick shift to 1st. As it stands now, you're just wearing out the 2nd gear synchro instead of the 1st gear synchro.

3) Inability to move forward quickly if someone is going to rear end you (assuming traffic is clear and allows that forward move)

As a motorcyclist, I almost always stay in gear. Always need to be prepared to move if needed to stay alive.


The advantages of being in neutral at light:
1) Less wear and stress on throwout bearing, clutch cable, clutch disk, pressure plate. Personally, I think these are preferrable to replace vs. a transmission rebuild.

2) Get to relax left leg.

3) In some rare instance that clutch cable breaks without warning, no possibility of car lurching into traffic. Pretty low risk. At idle, dumping the clutch will usually just stall the car but agree that it might move a foot or so.

To each his own, each approach has it's own problems.
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BeatNavy
post Nov 23 2021, 08:49 AM
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S'Hawk is much more experienced here than most of us, so I defer to his knowledge.

I've done 2 901 rebuilds using Dr. Evil's CD. More specifically, in one case I sent the gear stack to Mike for HIM to redo, while I did everything else. In the other case I replaced everything myself. It's not terribly hard with the right tools. The hardest part is for someone like me with untrained eyes to judge whether a slider or synchro is serviceable or not. I ended up buying just about everything new because of that. It's a good winter project if you don't drive your teener after the brine hits the roads.

In terms of behavior: everything I've always heard about these transaxles is consistent with what Superhawk says. Specifically that Porsche didn't put much thought into 1st gear as it was only for getting off the line and around the paddock. My favorite term for describing 1st gear behavior (coined by a member here) is "bitchy," even when rebuilt. At a stoplight it sometimes will go straight in, other times not, sometimes better when slightly rolling, and sometimes better when going initially into 3rd and then 1st.

Having said all that, I never have a problem with 2nd or the other gears. So again, it may be a good winter project for you or someone else to look into it.
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rfinegan
post Nov 23 2021, 08:58 AM
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I just rebuild My #1 pack on my 901 here:
http://www.914world.com/bbs2/index.php?sho...056&st=120#


POST 140 +. Bottom of page 7
...this may help with what is involved
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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 11:35 AM
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SH -

Known all these for many years, and I'm a serious biker too - about 12k miles/yr. on bikes.

I am a serious in neutral at stoplights guy and that's never going to change. Even on my bikes. But always alert to my surroundings and ready to go in gear a a seconds notice. I don't buy the "always be in gear to speed off" as that scenario is extremely low odds-wise as usually you are blocked from moving by other vehicles/traffic. Yeah, dinged me on MSF course for that - a deep instinctive habit.

The shift into a sychro 1st I do slowly so as to not stress synchro. I am almost never caught by a light, but in gear just before it changes. In fact, even in modern 4, 5, or 6 speeds, I still have the habit of hitting 2nd before first after neutral.

Secondly, I live in the country and avoid suburbia/city driving / riding as much as possible. Little time at stoplights/in traffic.

QUOTE(Superhawk996 @ Nov 23 2021, 09:45 AM) *

QUOTE(Gatornapper @ Nov 23 2021, 09:24 AM) *

I am usually in neutral at stoplights. I rarely shift from 2nd to 1st and don't miss that.

My only desire is to go from neutral to 1st w/o the crunch at a stoplight. Of course, I do that by first putting the tranny in 2nd, using its synchros to stop the tranny gears from spinning, and then I go from neutral to 2nd then to 1st which is no problem as I always did that when young with 3 speed trannies.

GN




There are pro's and con's to being in neutral at stoplights. Not sure I really want to go into all that here. The quickies.

The downside of doing that is:
1) Lost ability to go from 2nd into 1st as you roll to a stop minimzing wear on the synchro. Avoids the problem of using the 1st gear synchro with high differential shaft speeds at every stop.

2) If the light changes unexpectedly you'll be "speed shifting" from neutral to 1st, stressing the 1st gear synchro, and in a 901 gearbox, the dog leg doesn't help things to get a quick smooth, quick shift to 1st. As it stands now, you're just wearing out the 2nd gear synchro instead of the 1st gear synchro.

3) Inability to move forward quickly if someone is going to rear end you (assuming traffic is clear and allows that forward move)

As a motorcyclist, I almost always stay in gear. Always need to be prepared to move if needed to stay alive.


The advantages of being in neutral at light:
1) Less wear and stress on throwout bearing, clutch cable, clutch disk, pressure plate. Personally, I think these are preferrable to replace vs. a transmission rebuild.

2) Get to relax left leg.

3) In some rare instance that clutch cable breaks without warning, no possibility of car lurching into traffic. Pretty low risk. At idle, dumping the clutch will usually just stall the car but agree that it might move a foot or so.

To each his own, each approach has it's own problems.

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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 11:39 AM
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Thanks Rob. Best thing for me would be to go to Dr. Evil's tranny class.

Was at one not far away when he was at Scotty Burnett's place a few years ago.

Not sure I'd want to tackle it myself for the very reasons you list.

Right now my winter project is my 924 Turbo.......maybe next winter........

GN

QUOTE(BeatNavy @ Nov 23 2021, 09:49 AM) *

S'Hawk is much more experienced here than most of us, so I defer to his knowledge.

I've done 2 901 rebuilds using Dr. Evil's CD. More specifically, in one case I sent the gear stack to Mike for HIM to redo, while I did everything else. In the other case I replaced everything myself. It's not terribly hard with the right tools. The hardest part is for someone like me with untrained eyes to judge whether a slider or synchro is serviceable or not. I ended up buying just about everything new because of that. It's a good winter project if you don't drive your teener after the brine hits the roads.

In terms of behavior: everything I've always heard about these transaxles is consistent with what Superhawk says. Specifically that Porsche didn't put much thought into 1st gear as it was only for getting off the line and around the paddock. My favorite term for describing 1st gear behavior (coined by a member here) is "bitchy," even when rebuilt. At a stoplight it sometimes will go straight in, other times not, sometimes better when slightly rolling, and sometimes better when going initially into 3rd and then 1st.

Having said all that, I never have a problem with 2nd or the other gears. So again, it may be a good winter project for you or someone else to look into it.

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Wew
post Nov 23 2021, 11:54 AM
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Second the Dr. Evil DVD.
I did my rebuild last winter and followed the dvd step by step.
Transmission is like new.
Pay close attention to how he determines the health of the syncros.
When in doubt buy new. You only want to do this one time and will be bumming if you skimped on a couple of questionable things that leaves you with a less than optimal 901 shifting.
It's not that hard. Time consuming but totally doable.
Mine shifts like butter.
First gear as stated, can be occasionally finicky at stops.
Nature of the beast.

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DRPHIL914
post Nov 23 2021, 12:03 PM
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i get the habit of sitting in neutral, like you, my dad grew up with air cooled cars, VW's in the 50's and 60's. here is what he did and i think i do as well- and similar to superhawk, as i am rolling to a stop i always slip from 2-1 and its always smooth like butter, then if i think its going to be very short stop i am staying in first and then i am ready and off the the races. if its going to be awhile i will go in neutral, and 99/100 its going to go smooth back into 1st IF i went from 2-1-neutral, if not the sometimes its difficult to get that 1st back in easily. it was that way with my '73 BMW R90S too.

i have rebuilt 2 901's, one a few years back at Scotty B clinic and the other this past winter myself. - did new syncro and dog teeth on#1 and #2 back at the first one, didnt need it this time i was just changing out the #4 and #5. I have never worn out a clutch and i have always had a manual car in the garage. I agree with the others here that while the #1 has syncros i still never go straight into 1 from any gear but 2., and i dont use 1 unless i am sitting still. and its a habit i dont even think about it , its always 2-1 as i am coming to the stop. i am sure you have already flushed the trans and put new gear oil in so if that has not helped its time for that rebuild .

if i were you, just get the dr evil dvd(i have it you can borrow it) and rent the tools i know someone that has them.

Phil


QUOTE(Gatornapper @ Nov 23 2021, 12:39 PM) *

Thanks Rob. Best thing for me would be to go to Dr. Evil's tranny class.

Was at one not far away when he was at Scotty Burnett's place a few years ago.

Not sure I'd want to tackle it myself for the very reasons you list.

Right now my winter project is my 924 Turbo.......maybe next winter........

GN

QUOTE(BeatNavy @ Nov 23 2021, 09:49 AM) *

S'Hawk is much more experienced here than most of us, so I defer to his knowledge.

I've done 2 901 rebuilds using Dr. Evil's CD. More specifically, in one case I sent the gear stack to Mike for HIM to redo, while I did everything else. In the other case I replaced everything myself. It's not terribly hard with the right tools. The hardest part is for someone like me with untrained eyes to judge whether a slider or synchro is serviceable or not. I ended up buying just about everything new because of that. It's a good winter project if you don't drive your teener after the brine hits the roads.

In terms of behavior: everything I've always heard about these transaxles is consistent with what Superhawk says. Specifically that Porsche didn't put much thought into 1st gear as it was only for getting off the line and around the paddock. My favorite term for describing 1st gear behavior (coined by a member here) is "bitchy," even when rebuilt. At a stoplight it sometimes will go straight in, other times not, sometimes better when slightly rolling, and sometimes better when going initially into 3rd and then 1st.

Having said all that, I never have a problem with 2nd or the other gears. So again, it may be a good winter project for you or someone else to look into it.


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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 08:39 PM
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Thanks Gary - good advice.

But won't be happening for some time with the 931 project at hand.

GN

QUOTE(Wew @ Nov 23 2021, 12:54 PM) *

Second the Dr. Evil DVD.
I did my rebuild last winter and followed the dvd step by step.
Transmission is like new.
Pay close attention to how he determines the health of the syncros.
When in doubt buy new. You only want to do this one time and will be bumming if you skimped on a couple of questionable things that leaves you with a less than optimal 901 shifting.
It's not that hard. Time consuming but totally doable.
Mine shifts like butter.
First gear as stated, can be occasionally finicky at stops.
Nature of the beast.

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Rand
post Nov 23 2021, 08:48 PM
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Third to first. It will help you.
It's like the tooth.... you have to deal with it eventually.
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Rand
post Nov 23 2021, 08:48 PM
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Third to first. It will help you.
It's like the tooth.... you have to deal with it eventually.

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Gatornapper
post Nov 23 2021, 08:52 PM
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Phil -

Wow. If you were at Scotty's a few years ago, I saw you there - I was there one day for several hours watching - think it was Saturday. You were too focused on your rebuild and I did not interrupt the instructor. Was fascinating to watch.

My shifting is much like yours. I rarely need synchro in 1st, but there are a few times when I do. I would never go from any gear to 1st except for 2nd, and that at very slow speeds - like a walk.

That you have done one yourself is encouraging. I have a pretty well-equipped shop and probably have most of the tools except specialized ones.

My 914 is scheduled for a full repaint back to original Malaga Red next October (my restoration painter backed up a year - but I'm in line.) and I think I'll make the tranny rebuild #1 on the list after the repaint.

My tranny shifts great now - very tight - like in thick molasses. Yes, all new Swepco in tranny while engine was dropped last winter.

Only problem is with no syncro in 1st and an occasionally bad one in 2nd. Not so bad I can't live with it for a year. I'm used to none in 1st as I thought car was made that way & grew up shifting cars with no synchro in 1st.

Thanks.

GN

[quote name='DRPHIL914' date='Nov 23 2021, 01:03 PM' post='2961929']
i get the habit of sitting in neutral, like you, my dad grew up with air cooled cars, VW's in the 50's and 60's. here is what he did and i think i do as well- and similar to superhawk, as i am rolling to a stop i always slip from 2-1 and its always smooth like butter, then if i think its going to be very short stop i am staying in first and then i am ready and off the the races. if its going to be awhile i will go in neutral, and 99/100 its going to go smooth back into 1st IF i went from 2-1-neutral, if not the sometimes its difficult to get that 1st back in easily. it was that way with my '73 BMW R90S too.

i have rebuilt 2 901's, one a few years back at Scotty B clinic and the other this past winter myself. - did new syncro and dog teeth on#1 and #2 back at the first one, didnt need it this time i was just changing out the #4 and #5. I have never worn out a clutch and i have always had a manual car in the garage. I agree with the others here that while the #1 has syncros i still never go straight into 1 from any gear but 2., and i dont use 1 unless i am sitting still. and its a habit i dont even think about it , its always 2-1 as i am coming to the stop. i am sure you have already flushed the trans and put new gear oil in so if that has not helped its time for that rebuild .

if i were you, just get the dr evil dvd(i have it you can borrow it) and rent the tools i know someone that has them.

Phil

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Gatornapper
post Nov 24 2021, 09:29 AM
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Rand -

GREAT IDEA! Will do! Will try today!

Thanks!

GN

QUOTE(Rand @ Nov 23 2021, 09:48 PM) *

Third to first. It will help you.
It's like the tooth.... you have to deal with it eventually.

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Gatornapper
post Nov 24 2021, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Robert!

Now you've got me interested in doing the tranny work sooner rather than later......

GN

QUOTE(rfinegan @ Nov 23 2021, 09:58 AM) *

I just rebuild My #1 pack on my 901 here:
http://www.914world.com/bbs2/index.php?sho...056&st=120#


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...this may help with what is involved
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- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 1st December 2021 - 07:24 AM