1st 2nd and 3rd gear hard to shift from cold start Mazda B2500 - Mazda Forum

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:08 PM
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Dear Experts

I am finding it hard to shift between gears 1st,2nd and 3rd gears particularly from a cold engine/cold gear box.

Model: Mazda B2500
Engine: Diesel 2.5liter Turbo
Year: 2003
Gear Box: 5 speed manual 4x4
Country: Ireland

I recently changed the gearbox in my B2500 LWB. I lost 5th gear. It was replaced with a 2005 Ford Ranger gear box. Mechanic said the new gearbox had around 30000 miles done ( out of crashed vehicle but not totalled as he was able to use the engine for someone else)

I find it hard to get it into gear. It will go in when forced. No gear noises or grinding so not that kind of forced :-)

I find after the engine warms up I can shift up from 1st to 3rd more easily and downward more easily than on a cold engine.

However, shifting downwards from 3rd to 1st gear is not as easy as shifting up. Sometimes I find I nearly have to be stopped before it will get into 1st gear.

I am just wondering if the mechanic did not adjust the pressure plate correctly or perhaps there is some sort of selector issue.

Note I have no problems with 4th or 5th gear.

Any comments are welcome.

I'd like to have something concrete to say when I contact the mechanic again.

cheers,
Will.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Dear Experts

I am finding it hard to shift between gears 1st,2nd and 3rd gears particularly from a cold engine/cold gear box.

Model: Mazda B2500
Engine: Diesel 2.5liter Turbo
Year: 2003
Gear Box: 5 speed manual 4x4
Country: Ireland

I recently changed the gearbox in my B2500 LWB. I lost 5th gear. It was replaced with a 2005 Ford Ranger gear box. Mechanic said the new gearbox had around 30000 miles done ( out of crashed vehicle but not totalled as he was able to use the engine for someone else)

I find it hard to get it into gear. It will go in when forced. No gear noises or grinding so not that kind of forced :-)

I find after the engine warms up I can shift up from 1st to 3rd more easily and downward more easily than on a cold engine.

However, shifting downwards from 3rd to 1st gear is not as easy as shifting up. Sometimes I find I nearly have to be stopped before it will get into 1st gear.

I am just wondering if the mechanic did not adjust the pressure plate correctly or perhaps there is some sort of selector issue.

Note I have no problems with 4th or 5th gear.

Any comments are welcome.

I'd like to have something concrete to say when I contact the mechanic again.

cheers,
Will.[/b]


do you know if they replace the oil in the tranny?
with what?
not 80w90 i hope, the newer mazda/ford manuals use atf dextron 3 or mercon.

80w90 with be to thick in the cold/cool weather and cause drag on the internals till it warms up.

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Old 12-04-2009, 12:08 PM
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Change the oil to a lighter one as said, but don't use a detergent type as this will froth up and cause all sorts of problems. Make sure that the hydraulic clutch has been bled properly and adjusted correctly to fully disengage the clutch. In some rare cases the flexible line in the system between the engine and firewall is old and soft, the pressure on the old line causes this to give, causing these symptoms. When bleeding a clutch system; a very useful tool is a vacuum pump. It comes with all sorts of fittings and clear lines. You can see any air bubbles that may be trapped.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:25 AM
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Hi Guy's,

I am going to get new gearbox oil on Monday.

I am not sure what oil is in the gearbox, it may be the correct oil but I'll refill to be on the safe side. I see in the user manual that a manual transmission takes SAE 75w90. (It also states that it can take 80w90, but it says that the 70w90 works in all temperatures so I'll get that one). Does it mater if it is synthetic or semi-synthetic? Where I am based the auto shops don't sell dextron, mercon or dexelia brands.

I have a question as to how to refill. I will need to purchase a syringe to slowly inject the oil (3 litres of it) into the refill hole as I have no room to pour in the oil directly from the can without having to drop the gearbox.

Can you verify I have identified the correct drainage and refill holes. The photo is the original gearbox that I kept.

Mazda B2500 Gearbox Refill Oil Query

The only line I could see going to the gearbox was from the clutch refill container to a piston that moves when I depress the clutch inside the cab. The rubber parts look fine.

Should I be asking the mechanic to bleed the clutch lines? Note , I see the clutch reservoir container is overfull so I presume the mechanic refilled it after putting in new gearbox. I see a little nipple on the piston on the gearbox that is used for the clutch. I presume thats where its bleed from.


Many thanks in advance,
Will.

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Old 12-05-2009, 02:01 PM
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Before changing the oil ( which is a bit of a bother ). Get your self a vacuum pump. The bleed nipple is the one on the slave cylinder mounted on the bell housing.(the one with the rubber nipple on it) I live here in Canada and I picked up a pump for 30.00$ Can. It's plastic and cheap, but it gets the job done. It would not stand up for commercial use, but it's good for occasional use. The reason it's a good idea to use a vacuum pump is the air in the line gets trapped in the up hill parts of the line itself. When you bleed the system in the normal way the master cylinder does not push enough fluid through to force the air out in the problem areas. Pass enough fluid through so you have to fill up the master cylinder reservoir at least three times.

Right now it doesn't seem like the oil is the problem because you're having troubles shifting in most of the gears. Also if the oil was the too thick, even after the transmission has warmed up it should shift fine. So that would point to the clutch system itself. When you use the vacuum pump put some Teflon tape around the bleed nipple to seal the threads. This is done so when you apply vacuum it does not suck air around the threads making you believe there is air in the system when there is not. To note: have another bleed nipple handy and prepare that one withe the Teflon tape so you don't loose too much fluid. Some times it's easier just to start from scratch and go through the entire system making sure all the parts are serviceable and CLEAN. This needs to be done especially if the fluid is dirty (gray to black). I have helped many people with things like this. They put in a new clutch and now the master and slave cylinder system has to deal with the new clutch. Full travel of the slave cylinder is needed here. It may work with a clutch with a lot of miles on it, but not with a new one.

Another thing to consider is the slave cylinder slave itself. If it has never been replaced or it's old, that also may be part of the problem. They seep fluid and they can suck air back into the system giving the appearance that there is too much fluid in the system. Does your pedal feel vague and spongy or almost go all the way to the floor before it releases the clutch ? There is a mechanical adjustment under the dash to get more travel to properly disengage the clutch. This is the only adjustment. Just another thought: You said you put a Ford trany in your Mazda. Your Mazda master cylinder may not be matched to the Ford slave cylinder on the bell housing. The Master cylinder may not be able to push enough fluid in the Ford slave cylinder to disengage the clutch. Your pedal would have a lot of travel if this were the case.

If you want to change the oil. Drain the oil out while parked on a level surface. The fill plug should be on the side of the transmission. That is also an overflow indicator. You know there is enough oil in it when the oil come out this plug. I find the easiest way to fill mine is to go inside the cab and simply remove the consul and take off the stick shift. You can gain access through the top of the trans. from there for filling. I am using just straight 10/30 weight motor oil in mine. (non detergent)
Last winter the temperature dropped to -15 and it made it impossible to shift or at least until the gear box warmed up. I am still running this oil in the summer time. You may want to use 20/50, it depends what your climate is like. You are in Ireland so I can't see this being a problem here. How cold does it get ? It will be a little stiff at freezing, but it should not effect the gears from 1 to 3 anyway.

Let me know what you are going to do and how you made out.

Jeff
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:08 PM
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Hi Jeff and all,

I'm away until Saturday. I'll change the oil then and will report back.

Just so I am clear, have I the following correct?

http://www.williamfitzgerald.net/maz...500Gearbox.jpg

Cheers,
Will.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Hi Jeff and all,

I'm away until Saturday. I'll change the oil then and will report back.

Just so I am clear, have I the following correct?

http://www.williamfitzgerald.net/maz...500Gearbox.jpg

Cheers,
Will.[/b]

looking at the pic that tranny looks the same as my 91's..must have swapped the bellhousings for the newer trucks.....
yes that the fill and drain for the tranny the other 2 are for the transfer case or what i used them for fill/drain...
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:39 PM
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Nice clear photo ! That is correct.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:21 PM
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Hi Guy's,

I changed the gearbox oil yesterday.

This morning I noticed some improvement but still hard to get into gear when oil is cold.

By the time the engine heats up (temperature gauge rises) the gears flow more smoothly as the gearbox oil has warmed up by this time. Note 4th and 5th gears are always ok.

When I mentioned the problem to the mechanic originally he said it my be the pressure plate but said he was sure he done it correctly. He shyed away from having to drop the gearbox again and said he'd grease the selectors. When I got it back he convinced me it was fine ( a bit sticky but nothing to worry about).

The Oil that came out of the gearbox looked thicker than the 75w90 I replaced it with. So I was sure I was onto a winner, until I started it from cold this morning. While not as hard to shift it is still not correct. But either way, once oil was hot both gearbox oils have the same effect (that is gears more more smoothly).

Sometimes I noticed if I give quick/short gear changes rather than longer more drawn out depressing of clutch that it shifts more easily. Not sure if this information will be helpful.

Could it be a selector issue or a pressure plate issue?

Can selectors be tweaked in some way?

I wonder would the little clutch piston that connects to the gearbox be pushing the lever close to the gearbox bell house far enough. I was thinking of placing a washer in between lever and clutch piston to see it that helps.

Next weekend, what I'll do is bleed the clutch fluid myself and see it that helps. I see a little nipple down by the clutch piston near the bell house. I'll get someone to depress the pedal and hold down while i let fluid drain. I'll repeat the process for each depressing of clutch pedal until the new clutch fluid I have added comes out with no bubbles.

Brake fluid dot 4 would do for the clutch, I think. I better double check.

Failing that I'll need to go back to the mechanic, but I'd like to have some suggestions that may avoid him having to take out the gearbox again.

I'll also get him to do the vacuum test on the clutch pipeline as suggested.

Any comments or possible ideas are greatly welcomed.
regards,
Will
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:34 PM
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Will
Using the vacuum pump is not a test, but a procedure to bleed the air out of the clutch system. It's a much more reliable way for this procedure as you can do it your self and it's far more effective than having someone inside on the clutch and you opening and closing the bleed nipple at the right times. If you buy the vacuum pump there are instructions in there on how to use it or your mechanic should have one and he can do it for you.

The pressure plate is not a adjustable or any of the components inside the bell-housing. The only adjustment is the rod from the pedal to the master cylinder or on the slave cylinder itself, but most hydraulic slave cylinders are not adjustable, the only adjustment being in the master cylinder where it connects to the pedal. That's under the dash and it will be a bit awkward to get at, but not impossible.

Unlikely it will be a selector issue. If the trans. sat around outside in the wrecking yard for a time some moisture may have made its way in there causing the selectors to become sticky, but a transmission is designed to use the oil in itself to lubricate the forks, the selectors and the selector shafts.

When bleeding, make sure to keep the reservoir in the master cylinder topped up so that no air gets into the system. I am telling you this because you don't seam to quite understand what is going on here.

DOT 3 or 4 is fine, they are all interchangeable, even the synthetic stuff. They are all alcohol based products and are hydroscopic. (absorb water) DOT 5 is silicon fluid and should not be mixed with the others. It's dyed purple so one can't confuse it with the others.

Ounce the system is properly bled and the master cylinder is adjusted, it should be fine. That's assuming that the seals on the master and slave cylinder are good.

One more thing. You should not be giving quick and short gear changes. You need to give the syncros. inside the gear box to do the job. Forcing a transmission to do quick shifts may bend the selector forks and wear out the transmission prematurely. It's not a sports car.
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