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grinding gears (help!)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by captain j, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. captain j
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 124

    captain j
    Member

    I currently got my car on the road, 53mercury flathead with a 50 ford 4 speed. I realized it's a non-synchro transmission, reverse is all the way to the right and down. I really don't use the 1st gear because it's a granny gear so I start off in 2nd gear. I read on here to double clutch it when upshifting. I tried that and I still seem to really grind the hell out of the gears. it's really bad from 2nd to 3rd. sometimes i can get it into 4th with no problems and sometimes I grind it a little.
    Now it has a new clutch, flywheel and pressure plate. the throw out bearing is used but seems to be nice and smooth. the first time I took the car out i started out with maybe 1-2 inches of clutch travel. by the time i was done driving it it turned to be twice as much travel. I just adjusted it again back to 1-2inches so well see next time i drive it.
    I wanna know what kind of tricks there is to double clutching in case i'm taking to long to do it or not waiting long enough. What works for you all????
    is there something else i'm overlooking?
    thanks, josh
     
  2. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    Me thinks your problem is some buddy of yours poured you into a 2 ton truck transmission which is one step away from a boat anchor. All the practice in the world wont help you speed shift that unit. You will find that if you switch to an earlier version car floor shift 3 speed, life will be much easier but you still wont be speedshifting unless you want to get really good at transmission swaps. One other note a properly designed clutch arrangement doesn't change adjustment by double during operation, something else is wrong. The gears should not grind on an upshift unless the clutch is not fully disengaging so you will need to recheck your clutch linkage.
     
  3. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,885

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Well, grinding is the nature of the beast, especially when non-adept drivers have been shifting it badly for miles..Once the gears are hammered its hard to shift around the "set"..Be sure you have the right gear lube, I recommend gear oil for a stock Model A trans..It is labeled at 600w [not really 600], has enough viscousity to slow the gears down when up shifting; getting used to how fast you shift and at what rpm/mph will help..Double clutching is best used for down shifting; again it matters at what rpm/mph and speed of shifting and how much rpm you use while double clutching in neutral..Believe me, practise and experimenting will help..
     
  4. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,095

    flynbrian48
    Member

    X2, although the granny gear may come in handy if you want to haul a hay wagon or pull a house down...:D
     

  5. 55nailhead
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 61

    55nailhead
    Member

    Do you know and old time truck driver? Let them drive the vehicle and if they can drive it without grinding. Then get them to teach you, If it still grinds maybe you have a problem with the clutch.

    When up-shifting a straight cut trans you still have to double clutch but dont touch the throttle with the clutch out in neutral unless maybe you have taken so long that the engine has come to an idle. But when down shifting you will have to give the engine a little rev after you take it out of gear and have the clutch disengaged in neutral so that you engine and gear speed will come up to that of what it will be when in the next gear.
     
  6. chubbie
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,311

    chubbie
    Member

    I'll never understand, that people call this transmission a 4 speed! i know.. there is another tread about misused lines:rolleyes:
     
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    There really are 4...it just takes a while to notice that the vehicle has moved when you use first!
    Seriously, as DS says learn the clutch adjustment procedure, then think about this:

    On upshifts, engine speed will be LOWER when it matches the next gear up, but not all the way down to idle

    On Downshifts, engine needs to go a bit faster to match speed of the next cog down.

    Matching'em up is the point of double clutch maneuvers, and learning right throttling requires some time and sensitivity. And near perfect matching is possible, allowing some trickery if you can master it.
     
  8. 86 that 4spd and find a T5! your gonna go nuts messing with that truck 4spd. in my youth i used one and my buddy was going nuts when he had to borrow my car when his broke down and found a replacement, what a blessing!
     
  9. I put a new in the box clutch and pressure plate in a car with a full syncro 4 speed once and could get it to shift worth a flip. yea you could finess it but it wasn't that kind of tranny. So I pulled the tranny apart to look at the syncros. they were fine as well as the bearings and gears, shift forks etc.

    I ended up pulling the pressure plate and laying a straight edge across it. The pressure "new" plate was warped.

    OK that's just something to think about. You should actually be syncro from 2nd to 4th. Two things to remember one is that your are using a 60 year old tranny that has already been thrashed by everyone else. The other is that it is not going to shift like a Nissan Stanza it is going to shift like a bread truck. Take your time between gears and instead of trying to snick it between gears just pull it against the other gear until it pops in after a while you'll get a feel for it and you'll be able to shift it a little faster.
     
  10. captain j
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 124

    captain j
    Member

    I would go with the T-5 but I don't feel like spending $400 for the adapter and then prob another 200-400 for the t5 and clutch. Id do c4 auto trans but thats close to $1000 by the time i'm done.
    I adjusted the clutch again and i'm gonna take it out after work on some back roads and try shifting at different speeds and rpms and see if it's any better. It may just take a while to learn it.
    How long with this 4speed boat anchor hold up if I keep grindin gears?
     
  11. captain j
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 124

    captain j
    Member

    I don't mind shifting slow and taking a long time. I'm never gonna race it or take off where I have to shift fast.
     
  12. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

    yeah, truck trannys are just super slow shifts. id find yourself a car trans, i see them on ebay for cheap. theres a guy selling a 36 trans for $250 on ebay says its all free ect.
     
  13. Bigjake
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 278

    Bigjake
    Member

    If it's a truck trans they may shift slow but they are damn near indestructable.
     
  14. That's absolutely right about that. But the truck tranny behind the flatty is overkill. I suppose it was just the tranny that was available in the budget.

    Nothing wrong with that either, I used a granny 4 speed in a '55 Ford once so I could have a full syncro 3 speed until I could afford a different tranny. It worked like a champ, of course that was 40+ years ago and the tranny was late model.
     
  15. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

  16. Hank
    Joined: Feb 18, 2005
    Posts: 234

    Hank
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Based on my experience the clutch with a non synch trans is only for getting going. Once you're moving let of on the throttle a little and slide it out of gear (no need to touch the clutch). Once it's out, let off the throttle more and listen for the rpm to drop. Then slide it into the next gear and gently get back into the throttle. The trick is getting familiar with the engine and knowing when it's ready. Basically YOU are the synchro. Once you figure it out the shifts are extremely smooth.

    As stated above... there is no way to speed shift a non synch trans

    Good luck.
     
  17. Hawaiianstyle
    Joined: Jul 8, 2009
    Posts: 114

    Hawaiianstyle
    Member


    Just what I was going to say. The same holds true for downshifting. Once your out of gear just feather the throttle a little to bring your RPMs up and slide it into the next lower gear. The key is to identify the Speed's you need to shift at and the RPMs that the engine needs to be at to make those shifts. After a while you wont need the clutch unless starting from a dead stop. Just about any old truck driver know's how to work this trick.
     
  18. OK then any granny 4 speed I ever played with was syncro from 2nd to 4th. Now I never pulled one part from the early 50s but I have owned a few F-1s and a couple of Jail Bar Fords I don't recall ever double clutching any of them for anything but getting into grandma. I really don't drive that well.

    I don't need the drama with you. You try and help the kid.
     
  19. you stuck a truck tranny in a car!
     
  20. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Ain't no drama. You just knew how to shift, as a person who actually understood the process of getting speeds matched...I think synchro on uppers became a Ford truck option about '52. The earlier ones were pure sliding gear. Basic trans was first used by Ford in some AA's.
    AND they have big time racing history, oddly enough: Two gears worth of those innards were used in Offenhauser transmissions built for Indy cars. Those were of course meant only to get the car out of the pits and were not shifted in the normal speed range of the cars. How's that for the old stump pullers??
     
  21. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    And if you get comfortable with the trans...is it in the olde Buick?...your car will probably be nearly theftproof. Only elderly truckdrivers will be able to get it above 3 miles per hour, or whatever first is good for...
     
  22. Thanks that's the Bruce I remember. :cool:
    As far as matcing gears its all luck with me. I'm just not a driver, never have been.

    I wasn't aware that 52 would have been the breaking point or the Offy trannies using Ford gears. I may get lucky and get an old Indy car some day or know someone who has one that I can get greasy on.

    The Speedo in my '46 always registered about 6 when I had to shift out of Double Gramma. Of course the flatty sounded like it would come apart about that time.
     
  23. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    So if you need some new gears for your dump truck, just find Roger Ward's old heap and get out the wrenches; it's good to have an easy parts source for an elderly clunk.
     
  24. killerbee
    Joined: Mar 19, 2009
    Posts: 23

    killerbee
    Member
    from new jersey

    ill sell you a leaky junk-o-matic cheap
     
  25. captain j
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 124

    captain j
    Member

    Yeah it's in the buick, i'm sure it's theftproof. first of all you have to fit in it, theres not much room at all. then you leg has to hold up to the hard-a$$ clutch pedal, then you gotta be able to shift it. so the probability rate of it being stolen is about 5%
     
  26. captain j
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 124

    captain j
    Member

    I took it out last night and it seemed much better. I would drive the gear up to about 2000rpm and then double clutch it. I waited till the rpms dropped to 1000 before putting into next highest gear. Big difference!
    The only problem now is that after adjusting the clutch back to 1inch of play, it's back to having 2-4inches of play in it again. WTF?
     

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  27. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    That a lot better pictures!, You still cant have that much play, some issues, you are adjusting the clutch release incorrectly, the clutch lever adjusting link is too short , the bushings in the clutch pedal are too worn our you are missing the split ball bushing in the left side of intermediate linkage.
     
  28. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,545

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Or you are riding the clutch way too much. That clutch pedal is not a foot rest and I have seen more clutch wear early simply because people rested their foot on the clutch pedal. My sister was the notorious one to to that in my family.
     
  29. Droppedhatch
    Joined: Jun 17, 2010
    Posts: 37

    Droppedhatch
    Member

    Those old truck trannys are bullet proof, as long as yours is in good shape it will shift fine. Once you get good at shifting you only need the clutch to get going. But there is no speed shifting that kind of tranny. You have to be more in tune with what's going on so you know when to to shift and at what speed. I know my old truck tranny I only use the clutch to get going and to stop. And I can up and down all the gear with out grinding.
     
  30. captain j
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 124

    captain j
    Member

    when I first set up the clutch I had approx 1/2 to 3/4inch of thread sticking out the other end of the clevis. Now i'm on the last handful of threads barley holding it on. I don't ride the clutch and I dont hold it down when at stop lights, it's usually in neutral, the bushing in the clutch is new and there is no play there. Is it possible to twist the lever that goes from the bellhousing clutch shaft that connects to the ball pivot on the frame? Or does a new clutch and pressure plate break in and end up giving you the extra play?
     

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