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Clutch/tranny questions/problems

Joined
24 May 2002
Messages
2,451
Location
Dana Point, CA USA
I've searched both the FAQ and the board in general and found a lot of good information. And while I haven't found exactly what I'm encountering, I've found some folks with similar issues. However, I'd like to open this up to everyone in hopes of getting the input from some of you more knowledgable and car savy guys as to the issues that my specific NSX is experiencing.

I have a 1998 NSX-T with about 44K on the odomoeter. It's either the original clutch or an OEM replacement. Since I bought the car a few months ago, I've experienced "notchy" shifting but Autowave says that's normal.

I know I'm driving the car a lot more now (more than I ever expected to because it's so damn fun to drive) and I don't know if that's the reason why it's becoming more noticable or if the issues are becoming worse but, here's what I'm experiencing.

1) Clutch "chatter". I know from searching that this is somewhat normal but... my NSX "chatters" quite a bit from a standstill when accelerating in first gear. But here's the kicker... it is much, much more pronounced when the car (not necessarily the motor but the gearbox, etc.) are relatively cold. (ie when first driving after starting in the morning, etc.).
2) Notchy shifting. If I'm not super careful, my car will grind when going into second gear the first time I shift into second while driving. I've now learned to double clutch and/or shift very, very slowly the first few times. This issue gets a lot better as the gearbox warms but second remains much more "notchy" than any other gear.
3) "Grabby" gear box. I'm not sure how to explain this. Again, it's worse when the gearbox is cold. Sometimes I can almost feel the gear lever being grabbed at when downshifting. It's almost like the car doesn't want to let the gear come out of say third and into second. It feels very direct and mechanical and I'm not sure how else to explain it.

That's it. These problems all seem weird to me. The tranny isn't slipping (have tried the hill test, etc.), isn't popping out of gear, and doesn't smell funny or anything.

Some other things that might help you help me diagnose.

1) The car had all the fluids changed when local specialists Autowave did the timing belt, water pump, hoses, valve adj., etc. when I bought the car at 42K miles a few months ago.
2) The clutch pedal is being completely depressed and I have some play at the top of the pedal range (which I understand is normal).
3) I've really only owned MT cars my whole live and have always driven a stick since being licensed some 17 years ago. I'm no Ayrton Senna but I do know how to properly drive a MT and my experience driving trucks, 4X4s, sedans, sports cars, and motorcycles tells me that this isn't something I'm doing wrong.

Your thoughts/insight/help would be greatly appreciated.

Much mahalos -

Christian
 
You mentioned you have had the car serviced at Autowave. They happen to be very competent and respected NSX mechanics. Did an Autowave tech drive the car for an adequate period to experience the symptoms you describe? Or at least ride with you while demonstrating them? :confused:

Clutch "chatter" or "shudder" is somewhat normal, as is "notchiness" in the gearbox, but the grinding you describe may be more serious. Clutch pedal play at the top is also somewhat typical, I believe.

In addition, am I correct in assuming that the "grab" you describe is more of a "resistance" moving the gearshifter out of gear into neutral, seemingly requiring a little too much effort to simply move the shifter out of gear with the clutch depressed? :confused:

Preliminarily, I'd recommend trying a tranny fluid replacement with the GM Synchromesh formula which has many rave reviews and see if those two areas improve at all:

http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36761&highlight=synchromesh

When I did the fluid change I felt it improved the "notchiness" AND most significantly was the improved ease of moving the shifter out of gear into neutral. If I interpret your description of the "grab" as the same issue I had, try the fluid. You'll be amazed. :biggrin:

If the problems persist, have an Autowave tech drive the car for long enough to experience any issues. If you have any real problems, they'll find them.
 
I have a 1997, with 16k on the car....All of the things you have experianced are normally (just like my car). I must say that the 5 speed seems to be a bit less notchy than the 6 speed. I read this have something to do with the more syncro's on the 6 Speed box's

The grinding going in to second, I did do this a few times as well, but this is because I was use to driving 5 speed MT. When shifting into 2nd you need to keep the lever to the left a bit, this will ensure that the gear don't grind.
I think it is something you have to get use to when driving a 6 sp MT car. The return spring on the NSX (I'm not sure this correct description) seems to be a bit stiff on the 6 Sp compared to that on the 5 Sp.

You have already change the MT oil, this should help.

Bottom line I don't think there is anything wrong with your NSX transmission.

Bram
 
Bram said:
I have a 1997, with 16k on the car....All of the things you have experianced are normally (just like my car). I must say that the 5 speed seems to be a bit less notchy than the 6 speed. I read this have something to do with the more syncro's on the 6 Speed box's

The grinding going in to second, I did do this a few times as well, but this is because I was use to driving 5 speed MT. When shifting into 2nd you need to keep the lever to the left a bit, this will ensure that the gear don't grind.
I think it is something you have to get use to when driving a 6 sp MT car. The return spring on the NSX (I'm not sure this correct description) seems to be a bit stiff on the 6 Sp compared to that on the 5 Sp.

You have already change the MT oil, this should help.

Bottom line I don't think there is anything wrong with your NSX transmission.

Bram

Thanks Bram. I hope you're right and I hope to hear from more of you out there.

BTW - I'm still puzzled about your explanation of the 5 speed vs. 6 speed. I understand the 6 speed has more synchros but I thought that would make the shifting "better" and less prone to grinding. Also, this isn't the first 6 speed I've driven. My old Legend Couple LS was a 6 speed and both my S2000s were 6 speeds (still the best gearbox I've ever had the pleasure to row) and those are only the cars I've owned and driven a lot. I've driven lots and lots of other cars with 6 speed MT.
 
You sure have driven more 6 speed MT cars than I have, so shifting and getting use to the 6 Sp is not your problem.

I read about the double Syncro being a bit notchy on prime...I'll try and located the tread if I can.

Maybe you can arrange to drive another 6 SP NSX in your area.

Bram
 
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