second gear grind
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  1. #1
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    second gear grind

    2004 1.8t 5mt 72k

    this morning i grinded (ground?) second gear 3 times. that's never happened. i've driven a manual since I was 16 and havent done that once in maybe 5-6 years.

    yesterday i heard some odd clunking that i couldnt replicate, thought it was maybe control arms or upper strut mount. now i'm remembering that I have a leaking PS motor mount.

    is it possible that the motor mount maybe reached a point where it's starting to cause a misalignment with the motor/tranny?


    thanks in advance

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  3. #2
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billcosbywagonstylz View Post
    Is it possible that the motor mount maybe reached a point where it's starting to cause a misalignment with the motor/tranny?
    I suppose that's possible. Sounds like the mounts need to be replaced even if they aren't the cause of the trans problem.

    Whith my original 5-spd manual, the second gear synchro started to fail. It would grind going into second gear. All other gears were fine. The colder the trans was, the worse it would be. At its worst, at morning start-up I almost couldn't get it into second unless I double clutched and rev-matched. As I drove and the trans warmed up, it would start to behave normally. I tried switching to one of the recommended after market gear oils (I forget which) with no improvement. I then switched to genuine VW gear oil with only some improvement. In the end I found a used trans at a good price.

    Is your problem the same no matter what temperature the transmission is at or is it worse at cold-start? Check the gear oil level and perhaps try changing it for fresh.

  4. #3
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    i'm buying new mounts today, totally forgot to get them after i changed my oil and saw leaking.

    the 3 grinds were at different temps - 1 cold when i was pulling onto a main road, 1 half warm when i was pulling from a light, and 1 warm when i was driving through the parking garage.

    i'll check the fluid level when i get home. i was under the impression that vw tranny oil was a "lifetime" fluid?

  5. #4
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billcosbywagonstylz View Post
    I was under the impression that VW tranny oil was a "lifetime" fluid?
    Yea, they like to say that. "Lifetime" is sort of ambiguous. Is it ten years and 100,000 miles? Is it one hundred years and 100,000,000 miles? Is it the limit of the manufacturers warranty period? The chemistry of the gear lube will change over time and with use. Even if the fluid does last forever, if you've got a leak somewhere, low gear oil level can cause problems.

    If you're having shifting issues, the gear oil level is a good thing to check first and less expensive than replacing/rebuilding the transmission.
    Last edited by Steve in Chicago; 05-08-2011 at 06:38 AM.

  6. #5
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    k, drove the car home, now every shift into second grinds. wonderful.

    dumb question, but how do i check the tranny fluid? i dont see a dipstick or cap?

  7. #6
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    There's a fill plug above the left axle where it attaches to the tranny. It's a big allen. Fluid should be at the bottom of the hole.

  8. #7
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    dumb question number 2 - if the fluid were the problem, wouldnt every gear grind?


    and if we're talking about a syncro replacement, is it easier jsut to source a new tranny and bolt it in instead of opening up the housing and replacing parts?

  9. #8
    PZ
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    2nd gear syncro would be the 1st to go bad under almost any circumstance. The fluid level might help, but I would expect the sycro is shot. It's often easier to just swap the trans, but there is always risk with a used one too.

  10. #9
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    yeah i'm a bit leary of sourcing a used tranny for that reason - i'd hate to swap it and have the same problem down the road.

  11. #10
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    I would replace thr motor mounts and change out the tranny fluid (use GL4 synthetic) and see how it is then. My GTi had a 2nd gear grind and was slow to go into all gears, and putting in new gear oil made it shift like new. Not a guarranty for your situation, but cheap and easy enough to try before something drastic.

  12. #11
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    i posted on the local forums on vortex and a guy who rebuilds trannys pmed me with this:

    " if it's just second, you may just need to adjust the linkage. Also, check the front back cable under the car, and have a friend shift while y6ou watch it. If it bows out while shifting, the casing has broke/melted, and that is you issue. Have seen this happen a few times on cars with aftermarket downpipes, and no heat shield"


    i had my downpipe replaced about 1500 miles ago. got it from ecs, cant remember if it's the oem piece or not.

  13. #12
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    There is no cable on the passat, learn to match your revs closer(like you are shifting with out the clutch) and you won't even notice it, my car was like what steve described except up here in the cold you can't get in to second unless you do what I mentioned above.

  14. #13
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    oh that's right, dbw.

    i dont have a problem rev matching on downshifts, never thought of doing that on upshifts.

  15. #14
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billcosbywagonstylz View Post
    oh that's right, dbw.
    DBW is how the throttle is controlled. The connection between the manual trans and the shifter on the B5 Passat is done with linkages, not cables.


  16. #15
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    well i'm learning new things every day

    thanks guys! i was quoted $550 to replace second gear syncro, rear main seal, install new clutch, new fluid/hardware/etc, 1 day turnaround. might just do that.

  17. #16
    PZ
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    That's a very good price for all of that work.

  18. #17
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    that doesnt include the clutch, but good to know it's reasonable.

    now i need to find a clutch

  19. #18
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    Worn tranny and motor mounts will create a misalignment and can absolutely amplify shifting resistance (worn syncros, gate misalignment). It was to a point in my car that during winter season second gear was impossible, after replacement second has a bit of resistance when it's -22 ºF but that's about it, without a doubt 1000% better. And that's without topping off or changing the fluid

  20. #19
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    you're saying you replaced just the mounts?

  21. #20
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    yes.

    But keep in mind I never had a grind when shifting to 2nd. With the new mounts shifting became that much more effortless.

    Baiscally what I'm saying is that if you have a pre-existing condition (worn syncro's for example) having mounts that have failed or on their way out can amplify the issue.

  22. #21
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    When I had my Eagle Talon, I had a lot of warranty work done on the transmission. Even after all was fixed, the shift to second would sometimes have a bit of resistance and grind (sometimes more audible than others) to it. After a year I learned to live with it, but I decided to replace the stock shift knob (~5" long!) with an aftermarket short knob (~3" or so). The grind and resistance was GONE. I swapped the knobs back once because I wanted to be sure, and the grinding came back with the stock shifter. And this was just the knob itself, no changing of the shaft or linkages... Shouldn't have done anything, but it did...

    Double-check and maybe bleed your brake/clutch fluid as well. It could be that 2nd gear is more sensitive than the others...

  23. #22
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    ppppphhhh...

    i'm half tempted to just replace the mounts, change out the fluid, and see where that gets me.


    i'd like to avoid doing more work than i have to lol. in the last 5k, just to replace worn crap or maintenance i've done:

    -pads and rotors
    -ds axle
    -2x ccms
    -hatch internals
    -hood release cable
    -suspension
    -car painted
    -downpipe
    -timing belt and water pump
    -mats
    -headlight assemblies


    i still have to do:
    -replace spring in ds front caliper
    -valve cover gasket
    -cam chain tensioner
    -motor mounts
    -tranny mount
    -power steering fluid
    -front fender liners

  24. #23
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    I think that's a good starting point, mounts and fluid.

    I feel you, it's a money pit upkeeping and upgrading old cars

  25. #24
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    it's an 04 with 72k on the clock lol, never had this many problems with my previous vws/bmws that i took to 120k+

  26. #25
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    Question Gear Selector Problem - VW Passat 1999 (Automatic) 1.8

    My VW in recent times have been have problem with gear selection. I sensed that though it's Automatic selector, transition between 2 to other level of gear has become impossible hence very slow and difficult to climb bridges or hilly terrain.

    I've had the nozzle checked and cleaned, I'm thinking of changing the gear oil and the mount.

    Does anyone have any solution to this please....Thanks

  27. #26
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billcosbywagonstylz View Post
    I'm half tempted to just replace the mounts, change out the fluid, and see where that gets me.
    That's probably the most practical thing to do first. If your mounts are bad, you need to change them anyhow. Changing out the gear lube isn't too expensive or difficult. Once you get those out of the way you'll be able to tell if you need to go further.

    I suggest you use the OEM gear lube.

  28. #27
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    it's supposed to rain this weekend so that'd be a good project for saturday.

    ordering some v6 mounts and a new tranny mount. will get some oem gear oil.




    thanks for the help!

  29. #28
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    Royal Purple Syncromax, don't bother with OEM.

    This stuff is just as good/better as Redline and won't cause issues with cold weather.

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.K. View Post
    Royal Purple Syncromax, don't bother with OEM.

    This stuff is just as good/better as Redline and won't cause issues with cold weather.
    Gearmax, you mean. That's what i used in my B5 A4 and my GTi. Good stuff.

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