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2/13/14 7:04pm - Original Message: 'Hard to shift 1st and 2nd when cold'
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Colorado Springs, CO - USA

'68 (2), '75 (2), '86, '90, '98 (2), '06 (2), '10, '12 GS, '82 Collector Edition, '03, '90 C4 ZR-1

Joined: 10/11/2013
Posts: 108
I have a '68 L-79 327 ci 350 HT with a 4 spd close ratio.  It is numbers matching original to the car.  I have spoken to all the owners going back to 1997 and nothing has been done to the engine or trans since then.
Since its winter and I don't drive it much, I noticed when its cold getting it into 1st is difficult and also shifting into 2nd the same.
I haven't driven it in 3 weeks and my garage never gets below 35 even when the outside is -14.  Today it wouldn't go into 1st, but luckily since it's a close-ration I can easily start off in 2nd.  After a mile or so and several stop lights it started working normal.  Just needs to warm up I guess.
Anyway, is this an indication that the trans is starting to go?  Any and all suggestions are appreciated.  Works fine when warm up, just when it's cold it's difficult to get into 1st and between 1st and 2nd. Thanks in advance


God  Bless, rick

'75 Steel Blue Stingray Convertible
'90 Bright Red C4 ZR-1
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2/13/14 10:17pm - Reply: 'Re: Hard to shift 1st and 2nd when cold'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19545
I would suggest changing the gear lube, and checking the clutch adjustment. Not likely that your trans is going out, just needs a little servicing. Thumbs Up

Joel Adams
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2/14/14 1:10pm - Reply: 'Re: Hard to shift 1st and 2nd when cold'
aceinthehole Lifetime Member
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Valley Springs, CA - USA

1978,Metalic Money Green W/Gold emblems,TH350 w/gear splitter,black & grey interior.1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold ,Doeskin interior,auto. trans. 1981, Silver w/mirrored T-Tops,4 spd, charcoal interior.

Joined: 11/20/2005
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 I had the same problem when I put STP in my BW T-10 and went back to Ohio for a year. When the snow came I could hardly get her in gear. I forgot about my tranny fluid recipe, oops.

Jimmy B.
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2/15/14 11:06am - Reply: 'Re: Hard to shift 1st and 2nd when cold'
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Joined: 2/22/2011
Posts: 110
I am a little suspect that your clutch is not getting fully disengaged.  Check the linkage adjustment and be sure your floor mat is not getting in the way.  One way to check your clutch is try going into reverse when all is cold.  Here's what you do: Depress the clutch pedal all the way, then try 1st. gear.  If it doesn't want to go into 1st., try reverse.  If the trans grinds while trying to engage reverse gear, pull back to neutral, wait a couple of seconds and try reverse again.  If the trans still grinds, then for sure your clutch is in need of adjustment or replacement.

Here's another question.  When the car isn't moving, the engine is running, and all is cold, can you easily put the trans into 2nd, 3rd, and 4th?


1973 BB 4-Speed Coupe Project Car
2009 Z06 Mostly Stock
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2/15/14 2:05pm - Reply: 'Re: Hard to shift 1st and 2nd when cold'
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Carson City, NV - USA

Numbers matching 1972 350 4 speed, silver pewter body with blue interior

Joined: 12/4/2013
Posts: 239
Per the owners manual included with the car
"To engage reverse, while at a complete stop, first put the car into 2nd or 3rd gear and then while still depressing the clutch pedal, shift into reverse, otherwise repeated use may damage the transmission".

The reason is your shift into a forward gear will momentarily stop the spinning secondary shaft holding the gears. It is spinning due to the input shaft spinning and the viscosity of the gear lube is causing the 2nd shaft to turn. This allows you to engage reverse without grinding. If first is also grinding, either yoiur clutch is out of adjustment or your 1st gear synchro mesh is wearing out. Usually 2nd is the first gear to lose its synchro since it gets more shifts than any other gear and first is typically engaged with the car standing still. A worn out clutch disc will improve the above situation rather than aggregate it since the disc gets thinner providing greater disengagement gaps.

Now, my last thought would be to as suggested above, try changing the lube. I'd bump up to a full synthetic that will flow at the lower temps. No viscosity thickening like the mineral based oils when the temps drop. It also offers improved cushioning when hot. Your shifts will be smoother while extending the life of your synchros and bearings. Good stuff!

My Christmas present to ME! Bought Sat 11-30-2013. 72, 350 4 spd, Silver with blue interior...Can't you just hear Pablo Cruz playing in the background?

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