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Hard Shifting? Come In!! The Fix!!

Discussion in 'Driveline' started by DaveMan, May 11, 2009.

  1. DaveMan

    DaveMan COBRA COMMANDER Established Member

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    Well I've been trying to find out why my car has been shifting hard for a while now. I was about to order a new clutch even though it wasn't slipping. After hours of research looking for the right fluid I decided to put in Amsoil synthetic ATF to see if it helped, it didn't. I ordered a quadrant and fire wall adjuster and played with the adjustment for hours, didn't help either.

    I found a few threads on here by a user named "Helomech74" saying to add a 4oz bottle of Ford friction modifier, the stuff you'd put in a rear end. And damn it worked perfect!

    The syncros don't work correctly with fluid that's too slick or slippery. They need to be able to slow down and match speeds before the shift will complete. The friction modifier does just that and it worked wonders for me!

    Now it's time to go back to the track so I can see what I can actually run with a good shifting transmission.
     
  2. jm@ReischePerf

    [email protected] Owner & Operations Mgr Premium Member Established Member

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    This could also be why the Sychromesh product works so well in these transes.
     
  3. DaveMan

    DaveMan COBRA COMMANDER Established Member

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    Yeah I know. I searched a lot before i changed to Amsoil ATF and decided to go with it because I thought sticking with a ATF would be the answer since that's what is recommended. I even called the Tremec tech line before I put it in and they said it was a good choice. I guess not lol
     
  4. jiggen01

    jiggen01 Member Established Member

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    the friction modifier wont hurt anything in the trans at all?
     
  5. DaveMan

    DaveMan COBRA COMMANDER Established Member

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    Not from what I've been told. Ford has done this in the past on some transmission that were hard shifting.
     
  6. UptonMustang

    UptonMustang The FASTER Cobra Established Member

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    That is because the friction modifier you are adding acts as a counter effect to the syn that you are running. The full syn is not slippery, but instead sticky. All the expensive stuff's claim to fame is that it coats all metals with a film that is supposed to prevent excessive wear. However, in doing so, it actually causes you blocking rings to stick to the gears and prevent proper operation. If you simply go with what Ford calls for, DEXIII, you'll get the same effect, for a little less dough. Check my other thread that was recently posted. It took me over a year to figure this out. Either way, glad to hear you fixed yours, too.
     
  7. EvilTwins

    EvilTwins I can't find my pulley! Established Member

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    I also just run Dexron III and I have no complaints, shifts great.
     
  8. GA Terminator

    GA Terminator New Member Established Member

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    My car always shifted hard from first to second. I changed my fluid to GM sychromesh and the hard shifting went away. Maybe I was just lucky on this one.
     
  9. Jomo1994z71

    Jomo1994z71 Can I get a KB WooWee! Established Member

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    So are we saying GM Syncromesh has some friction modifier in it?
     
  10. LBCobra

    LBCobra LONG BEACH TERMI Established Member

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    this is good info thx
     
  11. UptonMustang

    UptonMustang The FASTER Cobra Established Member

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    Yes, GM Syncro does have a type of FM additive, but that's not the idea. Let's say for instance, you're running Redline ATF. It has another additive in it that coats the gears to reduce the amount internal wear, like Lucas Oils. That coating on the gears is sticky and causes the blocking rings to stick to the gears, preventing you from shifting easily. The friction modifier counteracts the effects of that sticky additive in Redline and Royal Purple and basically turns it into straight atf. So, in short, if you simply just use DEXIII like the book calls for, you'll save money and headaches.
     
  12. DaveMan

    DaveMan COBRA COMMANDER Established Member

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    So the only thing I wonder now is, is syncromesh or plain dex III better for quick shifts?
     
  13. 03cobra#694

    03cobra#694 Want to play a game? Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I`ve been running RP Synchromax for a while now,made a huge difference in the way mine shifts.
     
  14. gmsux

    gmsux Denial ain't just a river Established Member

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    Amsoil syncromesh here (the bottle says it's for tremec's including T56), changed from RP syncro, to Dex III and now the amsoil. the Amsoil shifts the best in my trans and it runs the quietest as well.
     
  15. DaveMan

    DaveMan COBRA COMMANDER Established Member

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    Mine shifted very bad...

    It seems some people can get away with some of the fluids they run and others have problems.
     
  16. UptonMustang

    UptonMustang The FASTER Cobra Established Member

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    Been doing a little research and grinding through some of the old shop manuals. Apparently, the 03's blocking rings aren't the same as the 04's. The sticky substance in hi-performance liquids adheres itself to the 03's because they are an organic based material. They're not just simply metal, unlike the 04's which are plain old cast. The organics are pourous and soke up the sticky fluid and prevent movement. That's all I've been able to come up with but I hope this shines some light on the difference.
     
  17. GA Terminator

    GA Terminator New Member Established Member

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    A mechanic at Ford told me that the blocker plates were made from a carbon fiber base + other materials. Some fluids cause these plates to swell which equals the harder shifting. I do not know of all of the good or acceptable replacemnet fluids that are on the market for out transmissions, but he told me that GM syn. is one of the best. Of course it is used in the ZO6's and is the same fluid useed in the Vipers. JMO
     
  18. D-Rock

    D-Rock I got my swim trunks... Established Member

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    I've been dealing with the hard to shift issue since getting the car 6 months ago ('04 w/31k on the odo). 3rd gear was just plain silly. I was thinking the clutch, TOB, etc. was to blame and was dreading having to drop the tranny in the garage. Figured I would go cheap and easy first and drained the tranny fluid and replaced with plain, cheap Castrol Dex 3 ($14/gal is how plain it is). Old fluid came out dirty gray/red, but no shavings, material, etc. Shifts like butter now...so much so that I've been finding excuses to see how quick I can slam gears. This stuff may need to be replaced every year, but for $14 and 30 minutes, I'll do this anytime. YMMV, but when in doubt, I always go back to the basics first.
     
  19. ReCoil

    ReCoil Let it eat! Established Member

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    My 04 shifts like a turd. I am thinking about just trying different fluids until it gets better. Mine shifts okay, but it feels like when I shift that it hits a wall just before slipping into gear, I am not sure if that's just the way it is or if I can do something about it.
     
  20. ZZR

    ZZR Kickin it in a Termie Established Member

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    Just went to Amsoil syn-mesh in my '04.............very nice improvement in shifting / noticeably smoother / less notchy. Bonus to it all, trans is much quieter.
     

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