Make a donation

Author Topic: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...  (Read 1054 times)

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« on: March 02, 2022, 02:06:33 pm »
I bought my car last year with the hope of enjoying driving a manual, after a long break driving variants of automatic (including DSG). The car I bought was a 2006 GTI that clearly had money lavished upon it, but it very definitely wasn't an 'enthusiast' car. Lots of receipts from specialists, but none of the fixes that you read about on forums, if that makes sense. It had 145k on the clock and I strongly suspect the gearbox, shifter and everything else were the same parts that left the factory.

I'd describe the original shift as being OK but definitely at the 'stirring porridge' end of the spectrum. The car went into gears smoothly, but there was a massive amount of play in the shifter.

I wanted to tighten the shift up to reduce play and have already done all of the following:
- Bar-Tek Aluminium shifter bracket bushings
- Bar-Tek Aluminium shifter cable bushing inserts (the type that slot into the ends of the shifter cable)
- Dieselgeek upgraded shifter bush bearings
- VW shifter slider (the white plastic part at the gearbox end)
- Meyle/Febi engine and gearbox mounts
- Powerflex dogbone insert
- Check for end shaft float (there was none - https://www.mk5golfgti.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,132441.0.html)
- Alignment using a proper T10027 alignment tool

Although a lot of the play has been removed, what I am left with is a shift that is a bit reluctant to go into some gears, particularly first and second. I'd describe all shifts as a being a bit notchy and not that enjoyable. Warming up the oil doesn't really have a massive impact. It's a shame because the car was bought for me to enjoy driving a manual.

I think what has happened is that the play in the shift has been masking some underlying issue. I've now removed that play and that is causing a problem. A number of the changes I have made will contribute to some degree of notchiness (like the aluminium parts) but that said, I haven't fitted a short shift kit, which is probably the greatest contributor to notchiness.

I'd really like to get to the bottom of the shift quality although I must admit, anything that requires the box to come out will probably wait until I need a clutch.

Possible causes:
- Gearbox cables are misaligned (although I did follow the Dieselgeek video)
- Bushes at the shifter end - there are quite a few underneath the shifter that I haven't touched. I'm confident that they are past their best
- Gearbox oil needs to be changed - I have three bottles of VW stuff in the garage
- Something inside the gearbox - this is probably the worry. Selector forks could be it.

In terms of function, the box works fine through the gears and doesn't make any untoward noises. No crunches, which often points to a synchro issue. Clutch is working perfectly and is not slipping. I'd describe the issue as being in the selection of gears.

Thoughts?

As in my other thread, 145k isn't terrible for a gearbox, but I must admit I am hoping it is something else!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2022, 08:40:39 pm by breeze »

Offline Pudding

  • Global Moderator
  • Just look at my post count
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 614
  • Posts: 7207
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2022, 03:07:10 pm »
Don't waste your money on all that stuff, just fit MK6 parts.

2.0 Scirocco/MK6 TSI gearbox = ~ £300ish for one <40K miles.
New clutch (whilst you're in there) = OEM if no power hikes planned.
New bowden cable ends = OEM, £15 each or something.
Overhaul the shifter bushes and ball socket etc = Cheap
S3/ED30 short shifter = OEM, pretty cheap.
Better dogbone mounts = OEM torque link, BJ part no. suffix and either an insert or upgraded large bushes.

That will completely transform the shift.

Don't get me wrong, it will never be a Honda shift, but it's better than the MK5's standard shift.


2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline ald1717

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 14
  • -Receive: 2
  • Posts: 177
  • My Ride: mk5 gti
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2022, 04:52:35 pm »
on the verge of ordering dogbone mount and upgraded shifter bushings myself, been advised this will improve the engagement with very little cost,

Offline GVK

  • Won't Shut up.
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 1
  • -Receive: 38
  • Posts: 593
    • GVKmotorsport
    • Email
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2022, 05:49:48 pm »
Big fan of the S3/Ed30/TT shorter shifter mod here , Fitted one to my Scirocco.

It's about £70 from UK dealers
Scirocco TDI GT---- VAG scans in South Lincs/Cambs/West Norfolk.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/gvkmotorsport

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2022, 08:36:28 pm »
Don't waste your money on all that stuff, just fit MK6 parts.

2.0 Scirocco/MK6 TSI gearbox = ~ £300ish for one <40K miles.
New clutch (whilst you're in there) = OEM if no power hikes planned.
New bowden cable ends = OEM, £15 each or something.
Overhaul the shifter bushes and ball socket etc = Cheap
S3/ED30 short shifter = OEM, pretty cheap.
Better dogbone mounts = OEM torque link, BJ part no. suffix and either an insert or upgraded large bushes.

That will completely transform the shift.

Don't get me wrong, it will never be a Honda shift, but it's better than the MK5's standard shift.

Replacing the box is a tricky choice to make when it is otherwise good. I’ve been reading lots of threads with people replacing for whining noises, slipping out of gear, inability to get gears etc. all pretty terminal issues. Notchiness doesn’t feel like it is in the same league. All apart for a clutch I think I would probably go for a mk6 box at that point, whether I fit it or get somebody else to do it.

It’s just has a Stage 1 map put on it (regular GTI) so maybe the clutch will be sooner rather than later.

Hmmm…

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2022, 08:38:28 pm »
Big fan of the S3/Ed30/TT shorter shifter mod here , Fitted one to my Scirocco.

It's about £70 from UK dealers

Honestly I’d be happy with the standard throw if it were a smoother change.

Offline Pudding

  • Global Moderator
  • Just look at my post count
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 614
  • Posts: 7207
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2022, 08:49:10 am »
Unfortunately a lot of the shift quality is down to the gearbox itself.


2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2022, 11:50:01 am »
All sorted.

I think the issue for me was one of two things. Either the insert in the fore-aft was taking too much play out of the system or the fore-aft cable end had slipped on the cable (because there was so little play).

To fix, I bought two new VW cable ends and ended up only fitting the fore-aft end. That and a good alignment has completely transformed the shift; it is now shifting beautifully. I think my gearbox is fine and that is before changing the fluid.

Notes for the community:
- The shifter mechanism has two halves, fore-aft and left-right. In my case (with the parts listed in the first post) my notchiness was only fore-aft.
- The current VW parts for the cable ends are 1K0 711 761 B (fore aft) and 1J0 711 761 C (left-right). Looking at them there is a clear difference. The fore-aft cable end is very flexible but the left-right cable end is much stiffer, with a big steel insert. I think that is because VW knows that too stiff a fore-aft cable end risks notchiness
- The Bar Tek cable ends replace both cable ends with solid inserts that are exactly the same stiffness.

Edited to add: The shift arm on the gearbox was a little loose so I tightened that down a little too (making sure to leave some play).
« Last Edit: March 05, 2022, 12:58:41 pm by breeze »

Offline LC5F

  • Won't Shut up.
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 68
  • Posts: 914
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2022, 12:35:26 pm »
After so much effort - That's great news

Offline Pudding

  • Global Moderator
  • Just look at my post count
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 614
  • Posts: 7207
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2022, 12:18:19 pm »
Good stuff.  I'd say either the cable alignment was off, or the bush in the cable end was completely shot.

You can't eliminate 100% of the F-A play without overhauling the bushings under the gearstick, and/or the white plastic ball/socket, but if you're happy with it now.....  :happy2:


2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2022, 06:14:31 pm »
After so much effort - That's great news

Thanks, got there in the end. I actually replaced left-right with the factory cable end as well.

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2022, 06:30:21 pm »
You can't eliminate 100% of the F-A play without overhauling the bushings under the gearstick, and/or the white plastic ball/socket, but if you're happy with it now.....  :happy2:

For sure, there is some play still present, but to me it is in the acceptable range. For various reasons it does seem like the car has had an easy life. IIRC, I am third keeper and the second just sat on the motorway.

That said, I have also been looking at the bushes at the shifter end. The issue for me is that dieselgeek doesn’t make it easy to buy online and ship to the UK any more and I’m not desperate to drop the exhaust or drill the tower even if they would post.

The only easy-ish thing remaining is the part that dieselgeek describes as the ‘first gear getter’. Factory part looks to be some kind of rubber but the dieselgeek part is a stiffer material, possibly delrin. All of the aftermarket parts on eBay are rubber but I have noticed some sellers on AliExpress selling a stiffer part (just search ‘first gear getter’). At £7.68 delivered it feels worth a shot and wouldn’t need anything other than removing the trim around the tower.

Offline Pudding

  • Global Moderator
  • Just look at my post count
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 614
  • Posts: 7207
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2022, 04:27:21 pm »
Mine didn't need the 'first gear getter' (so American :grin: ) when I checked it at 150K+.  I can only imagine some hefty old ham fisted ape caused the damage to that bush in Dieselgeek's pics.  And yep, getting stuff from America is annoying these days.  It used to be a lot quicker and cheaper.

America always gets the good stuff, like FCP Euro.  Gigantic warehouse of oem parts for all German cars, with lifetime replacement warranty on everything.  All online, next day shipping.

Whereas over here, we have to trundle into an indifferent dealership, with a list of (probably out of date) internet part numbers, and hope to god they can come up with something.  Or it's garbage websites like AutoDoc which is mostly Chinglish knock-offs, or OEM brands that actually cost more than UK dealer prices  :stupid:

Anyway, rantasaurus rex over and done with.





2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline breeze

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 20
  • -Receive: 4
  • Posts: 117
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2022, 07:58:31 pm »
Updating to say I did change the oil in the end. 3 bottles of G052171A2.

It made a good improvement. I’m almost certain the oil was original.

I’d definitely recommend it if your car hasn’t had a change in the past. Easy job with the Draper 26327 oil funnel. £7 on Amazon well spent.

Offline Nick78

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 1
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 47
    • Email
Re: Getting good shift quality from a manual gearbox...
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2022, 09:42:43 pm »
Thanks for the info  :happy2:

This is on my to do list amongst other things !