Shift linkage

Aug 17, 2001
Corvallis, Oregon US of A
I bought a 1997 NSX last year because I wanted a 6 speed transmission and the 3.2 engine. A review in, I think, Autoweek in 1997 raved about the car except for its shifting. That is my experience too; no nice "snick snick" with the shifter, especially 1st to 2nd. When the car is cold, any effort at a rapid 1st-2nd shift results in the gears grinding(!) My questions: Firstly, is my experience typical? Next, I read that the only change made for the 2001 model year was an improved shift linkage...does that help, can it be fitted on older cars, how much does it cost, and is it worth it? Lastly, any other suggestions?

[This message has been edited by Bob in Oregon (edited 17 August 2001).]
Apr 16, 2001
Irvine, CA
I have a 2000 NSX, 1st to 2nd is very notchy "even more so before the car warms up". The rest of the gears are very smooth. I have decided that this is jut normal, as noone I ever have look at it finds anything wrong.

Jul 13, 2001
Woodstock Ga. N of Atlanta
Originally posted by Bob in Oregon:
My questions: Firstly, is my experience typical? Next, I read that the only change made for the 2001 model year was an improved shift linkage...does that help, can it be fitted on older cars, how much does it cost, and is it worth it? Lastly, any other suggestions?

Bob, The linkage is the same actually. The difference's in the late models (2000 and later) are improvements (questionable, IMO)
to the second gear synchro assembly, and minor change to the design of the teeth on the gear shoulder where the synchro entry point is. The second gear synchro on the NSX has been a double synchro design since day one, which makes for a much heartier shift capability. By this I mean you could pull it much harder and faster into second without wear or damage to the synchro. This system has worked well with low failure rate so I have no clue why they would have changed it.
Having two synchros does cause a slightly vague shifter feel- maybe they were trying to eliminate that.
There is no way to retro fit any of these changes to your car, short of putting a new tranny in. However, your complaint is not typical. (grinding is not typical, other complaints about late model shifting is) If the problem is much worse cold than hot, it is possible you may need to change the tranny fluid. I would install either Honda brand MTL, or a good brand of
REAL motor oil (not syn, IOW) and see if you notice an improvement. Another possibility is that your clutch is not engaging fully when cold. If it is excessivly worn, or has insuffient or the wrong grease on it, you will also experience a worse-cold shifting problem. The wrong grease is only possible if the clutch has been replaced. Is the clutch pedal very stiff when cold? This would be an indication that it may not be engaging fully which will cause gear clash
(grinding) on the 1-2 upshift.

Let me know the following, and I will try and help additionally
Is the clutch original?
How stiff is the pedal?
Does pedal feel change as it warms up?
Does it engage close to the top?
Close to the bottom?
Has either of the above two items changed at all that you aware of?
And lastly, if you shift HARD once, will the clutch slip at all??

Mark Basch
[This message has been edited by Bob in Oregon (edited 17 August 2001).][/B]
Apr 4, 2001
Sarasota, FL, USA
I too have the grind problem on an intermittent basis in my 2000 NSX. There was a short thread here about 3 months ago ( maybe under sticking revs) in which 2 other guys were having similar trouble. I have 6k miles and the problem started around 2k. I doubt it is the clutch. Seems worse when cold and is very intermittent, and perplexing. Dealer wants me to leave car so tech can drive it home and back for a few days to find it. I suspect the gearbox is faulty in some small way.
Nov 9, 2000
I bought a '97 NSX-T earlier this year with 25,000 miles, and have had similar intermittent problems with the 1-2 shift. I can't reproduce it on demand, and each time I have the tech in the car it refuses to act up. The symptoms are the same - on some 1-2 shifts I feel a grind as if I was beating the synchros, and other times it hangs coming out of 1 and has to be forced into 2. Very intermittent but concerns me that there is a problem with the second gear synchro. The Acura rep drove the car also, but it refused to act up. Help?
Mar 9, 2000
Novato, CA, USA
I had this problem on my 97 first thing in the morning when the car was cold on the very first shift of the day. I started making sure the clutch was fully depressed and i smoothly shifted and it's never happened since. it could be just coincidence and the synchro just needed to "break in" over time. i haven't had this problem in a year or two now.
Nov 10, 2000
Northern California
I bought my 99 new and it now has 12,500 miles. From day one it has been notchy going into second gear but I've never heard a grinding sound - the resistance is greater when the box is cold. After the first 10 minutes it gets much better but it never goes away. It used to bother me but today I hardly notice it anymore. If your box is grinding, I suspect you have a problem.
Mar 19, 2001
Dublin, CA USA
I bought my 97 6-speed last year w/ 20K miles and have had no problems. Afterreading this post I decided to go out for a drive and really concentrate on how the gears felt as I worked my way from 1st through 6th. Starting with mild around time driving each gear snapped into the following with the same click and the ease of entry very nearly the same all the way up. By 5th & 6th gear ease of entry was slightly better but no really big difference. Then I decided to try it with a little more aggressive driving. Shifting up into 2nd gear a shade past redline but before the limiter kicking in
it drop in with the same snap I felt earlier. I have noticed some difficulty dropping down into 2nd from 3rd when I didn't get the revs kicked up before dropping down (Hate when this happens going into a tight mountain curve). Any way, there is no grinding at all. It sounds from you description that it's time to have it looked at. Good luck and hope it is just a minor issue.

97 NSX-T, 6-spd, Red/Onyx, SP9000's, rest is stock
Jul 24, 2000
Well now that i've read all these posts about 2000 nsx's having this problem it makes me really wonder!

My 91 NSX has the close ratio gears, dali clutch and light weight flywheel... I actually bought the whole tranny from the nsx tech that worked on my car while I had it in the shop getting a new clutch and he talked me into buying it. He assured me that this tranny was good with new synchros, gears and it had only 8k miles on it. So I bought it.

I've only experienced this problem discussed in this thread with my short gears and light weight flywheel. Is it possible that the revs are dropping too fast while I quick shift into 2nd gear from an 8k rpm redline shift?

It only does it when I rev it all the way to 8k full throtle and quick shift... I couldn't really tell a difference from the stock flywheel and the light weight one as far as how quickly the revs drop and rise... but its supposed to be different. I just cant tell a difference....