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Poor gear selection - PMS shifter



Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Had a poor gear selection for a while now and its getting a bit tiresome so thought i'd post up a thread.

I was running a custom scenic shifter with the standard linkage and it felt quite 'notchy' into gear and sometimes was tough to get into first. Often when stopped in traffic I had to go into 2nd then 1st in order to get the gear. I had tried to adjust it but it still always felt the same and just didn't give me much confidence through the gears. Ended up being slower through the gear change just to make sure it was going in without feeling rough.

Partly put this down to a potentially damaged linkage so I then got hold of a PMS shifter.

Since fitting this is it still feels exactly the same. Still slightly notchy into gears and i feel like I have to be careful into gear, it's hard to explain but it just doesn't feel great.
Now when the car isn't running/stationary it feels fine, and when setting up on a ramp it also felt fine.

Do I just need to play around with the linkage setup some more? Seems odd it feels the same as the previously removed scenic shifter. Box is also recently refurbed under a year ago and i'm concerned i'll be damaging the box on each gear change, not that its crunching into gear at all.

Another thought is potentially the box/engine isn't in the optimum position? But sure all adjustment in the linkage would resolve this. I'm on vibratechnic mounts that were all fine on gearbox swap.

Appreciate any help/advice.
 

dann2707

ClioSport Club Member
What was refurbished when the box was done? Wonder if at the time the syncros looked fine on 2nd and 1st so weren't changed?
 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
What was refurbished when the box was done? Wonder if at the time the syncros looked fine on 2nd and 1st so weren't changed?
I can’t remember if I replaced 1st/2nd synchros or if they we’re swapped out tbf, but I go off how they feel when the mainshaft is on the bench when checking their operation. If they don’t feel right at that point, in the bin they go.

@Louis is it notchy in all gears? Or just 1st/2nd? What oil you running it on? I’m pretty sure it’s mtl isn’t it?
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Might be an obvious one but how old is the clutch?
Clutch was a new valeo unit when the gearbox was fitted, from GSF so not 'genuine renault'.
What was refurbished when the box was done? Wonder if at the time the syncros looked fine on 2nd and 1st so weren't changed?
I can’t remember if I replaced 1st/2nd synchros or if they we’re swapped out tbf, but I go off how they feel when the mainshaft is on the bench when checking their operation. If they don’t feel right at that point, in the bin they go.

@Louis is it notchy in all gears? Or just 1st/2nd? What oil you running it on? I’m pretty sure it’s mtl isn’t it?

Might be in my thread somewhere actually or in our pms but i'm not sure off the top of my head!
I dont know if notchy is the right word, it just feels like i'm right on the edge of every gear as it goes in. Such a peculiar feeling as it doesn't stop the car from being driveable and to be pushed on but just removes some of my confidence I guess? As I say, it doesn't crunch at all.

I have noticed i'm getting a tiny amount of rocking through the shifter when on/off throttle but its so marginal. Running evol dogbone which looks fine then the vibratechnic mounts. Even running a new valeo subframe mount for the box.

Correct, MTL 75W80, I just bought some more from OPIE actually.
 
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NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
Clutch was a new valeo unit when the gearbox was fitted, from GSF so not 'genuine renault'.



Might be in my thread somewhere actually or in our pms but i'm not sure off the top of my head!
I dont know if notchy is the right word, it just feels like i'm right on the edge of every gear as it goes in. Such a peculiar feeling as it doesn't stop the car from being driveable and to be pushed on but just removes some of my confidence I guess? As I say, it doesn't crunch at all.

I have noticed i'm getting a tiny amount of rocking through the shifter when on/off throttle but its so marginal. Running evol dogbone which looks fine then the vibratechnic mounts. Even running a new valeo subframe mount for the box.

Correct, MTL 75W80, I just bought some more from OPIE actually.
Push the box a bit more mate and see if you get any issues. See if it brings back any confidence in the shift itself. Sometimes when the engine and box are mounted solid, they can feel strange - I didn’t like how mine felt on the pms shifter compared to the yanoo tbf. Can’t explain why either, it just didn’t feel right.
Dog teeth on selector rings worn?
I imagine it’s feeling more pronounced with the PMS as there is less slack in the linkage.
I very much doubt they were worn when I did the refresh mate tbf as I supplied the box. I treat each one as if I was fitting it in my own car, so they get everything that’s needed. It may well be a synchro issue that’s baulking.
 

frayz

ClioSport Club Member
Push the box a bit more mate and see if you get any issues. See if it brings back any confidence in the shift itself. Sometimes when the engine and box are mounted solid, they can feel strange - I didn’t like how mine felt on the pms shifter compared to the yanoo tbf. Can’t explain why either, it just didn’t feel right.

I very much doubt they were worn when I did the refresh mate tbf as I supplied the box. I treat each one as if I was fitting it in my own car, so they get everything that’s needed. It may well be a synchro issue that’s baulking.
Ah I didn’t know you’d built the box Mark.
I only suggested the selector rings as I had the same issue with my freshly rebuilt box, except mine was on 5th gear.
 

Luke_Exc

ClioSport Club Member
  V6 255, 172 cup, ph1
Doesn't sound like it's happening here but I suppose it's worth a look.

The plate that you need to lift over to get reverse on my PMS shifter was ever so slightly bent over meaning I couldn't set it up to reliably get both first and reverse in all situations. A few raps with a hammer made it perfect. Also a ph1 cat can cause some interference with the linkage when selecting in 1st, 2nd and reverse.
 

Touring_Rob

ClioSport Club Member
Could the release bearing be getting caught up on splines/input shaft a little? If it feels fine when engine ins't running etc... Or potentially clutch not fully releasing a dragging a little?
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Doesn't sound like it's happening here but I suppose it's worth a look.

The plate that you need to lift over to get reverse on my PMS shifter was ever so slightly bent over meaning I couldn't set it up to reliably get both first and reverse in all situations. A few raps with a hammer made it perfect. Also a ph1 cat can cause some interference with the linkage when selecting in 1st, 2nd and reverse.
No issues with actually engaging the gears, it's all straight and OK. There is some paint off the top of the reverse plate but it never pops out.
It does knock on the tunnel when going into reverse, i was going to change the orientation of the bolt as think thats the only issue there.
I've no cat to worry about, loads of space underneath!

You know what mate, I was only thinking today that it could be clutch drag.
Cheers guys, how do I check this? I've not experienced clutch drag before to compare it. As I say it was a genuine valeo, was the original I removed.
 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
No issues with actually engaging the gears, it's all straight and OK. There is some paint off the top of the reverse plate but it never pops out.
It does knock on the tunnel when going into reverse, i was going to change the orientation of the bolt as think thats the only issue there.
I've no cat to worry about, loads of space underneath!


Cheers guys, how do I check this? I've not experienced clutch drag before to compare it. As I say it was a genuine valeo, was the original I removed.
You need someone to press the clutch whilst you look in the hole where the clutch fork boot is. Just pop it out so you can see in there. Get the other person to press the clutch pedal down and watch to see if the input shaft slows down. It won’t stop completely, but it should be obvious that it’s not spinning as fast. You may need to do it a couple of times to get the box spinning up internally. 👍🏻
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
You need someone to press the clutch whilst you look in the hole where the clutch fork boot is. Just pop it out so you can see in there. Get the other person to press the clutch pedal down and watch to see if the input shaft slows down. It won’t stop completely, but it should be obvious that it’s not spinning as fast. You may need to do it a couple of times to get the box spinning up internally. 👍🏻
I'll give this a go.
Nightmare if the clutch is faulty after so little time.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
So I'm hoping to finally getting around to checking this over this weekend. Weather has been absolutely tragic recently and i've had zero motivation! Only been driving the 20 minutes to work and back everday along 30s and 50's so its had no abuse.

What I have noticed is that 4th and 3rd are not directly opposite each other? 3rd is almost up and slants right, and 4 is down and slants right? Very weird, is this normal? Can't say I noticed it with the standard/scenic shifer! I'll have to video it.
 

Tim.

ClioSport Club Member
I’ve been meaning to draw a picture of my shift pattern, it’s certainly anything but straight! Be interesting to see how yours compares...
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
I’ve been meaning to draw a picture of my shift pattern, it’s certainly anything but straight! Be interesting to see how yours compares...
It's horrible and I think is one of the reasons the gear changes feel off too!
 

gambit

ClioSport Club Member
  182 Trophy
Did you ever get to the bottom of this?

I'm running a PMS shifter with similar and am considering going back to stock shifter, with new pivot bush at the bottom of the gearbox to see if it sorts it.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Did you ever get to the bottom of this?

I'm running a PMS shifter with similar and am considering going back to stock shifter, with new pivot bush at the bottom of the gearbox to see if it sorts it.
Nope! I spoke to nick and he suggested maybe the rod is slightly bent?

I've been thinking about having a solid metal rod made up anyway which should eliminate the resonating more.

I still have the clutch cable to fit then I'm going to adjust the engine mounts. I live with it feeling crap for day to day but it's frustrating
 

gambit

ClioSport Club Member
  182 Trophy
Nope! I spoke to nick and he suggested maybe the rod is slightly bent?

I've been thinking about having a solid metal rod made up anyway which should eliminate the resonating more.

I still have the clutch cable to fit then I'm going to adjust the engine mounts. I live with it feeling crap for day to day but it's frustrating
What’s the best way to adjust the engine mounts? I have just placed a jack under the sump and loosened off the drivers side and gearbox side and tried to slide it to the drivers side but do I need to undo the bottom gearbox mount in the subframe and the gearbox dogbone ?
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
What’s the best way to adjust the engine mounts? I have just placed a jack under the sump and loosened off the drivers side and gearbox side and tried to slide it to the drivers side but do I need to undo the bottom gearbox mount in the subframe and the gearbox dogbone
You can get a bar down the back and move the engine forward. You wont have loads of adjustability but definitely some!
 

gambit

ClioSport Club Member
  182 Trophy
OK i have moved the engine back and forward to get it into a new position, which is more to the drivers side. However since doing that it throws out the alignment for the entire PMS linkage so have to start fresh with a new alignment of the linkage. Yet to do that.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Mine feels w**k still. Touching the limiter in 2nd and shifting to 3rd it just doesnt go in easily and I end up missing the gear. 5th then feels toss as it's almost like it's at the end of the bearing travel.

Going to have a play this weekend but failing that I'll take it to someone. This cant be right as I just have zero confidence in the shift 😂
 

Touring_Rob

ClioSport Club Member
Mine feels w**k still. Touching the limiter in 2nd and shifting to 3rd it just doesnt go in easily and I end up missing the gear. 5th then feels toss as it's almost like it's at the end of the bearing travel.

Going to have a play this weekend but failing that I'll take it to someone. This cant be right as I just have zero confidence in the shift 😂
Sorry Louis if this has been mentioned, wonder if there is an issue with detents or something? Even with slop my standard setup feels fairly positive - i don't miss gears and feel when a gear has properly engaged etc.

What does it feel like gearbox end? with the shift rod disconnected and changing gears under the car its very snicky/positive.
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
Mine feels w**k still. Touching the limiter in 2nd and shifting to 3rd it just doesnt go in easily and I end up missing the gear. 5th then feels toss as it's almost like it's at the end of the bearing travel.

Going to have a play this weekend but failing that I'll take it to someone. This cant be right as I just have zero confidence in the shift 😂

That is indeed ‘not right’ so I’d say it may be a case of the setup being w**k rather than the shifter itself.
 

Usr117063

ClioSport Club Member
Very small adjustments needed at the gearbox end, it changes a lot at the gearstick. I made clear marks of where it needs to be and have taken the subframe off a few times since then, just put it back together and its perfect every time.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Very small adjustments needed at the gearbox end, it changes a lot at the gearstick. I made clear marks of where it needs to be and have taken the subframe off a few times since then, just put it back together and its perfect every time.
Rotation changes or linkage lengths into the sleeve? Its fine for day to day driving but when pressing on I'm not confident.

Sorry Louis if this has been mentioned, wonder if there is an issue with detents or something? Even with slop my standard setup feels fairly positive - i don't miss gears and feel when a gear has properly engaged etc.

What does it feel like gearbox end? with the shift rod disconnected and changing gears under the car its very snicky/positive.
Its felt fine I think, I'm confident the box is fine as mark built it.
 

Usr117063

ClioSport Club Member
Rotation changes or linkage lengths into the sleeve? Its fine for day to day driving but when pressing on I'm not confident.

More so rotation, I cut mine down to bring the stick closer to me and that didnt have any negative effect to gear changes. I found that Id try a position, the reverse might be easy but 5th not, so Id know to move it ever so slightly closer to 5th, I did this a few times until it was perfect then marked it.
 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
The best way I found to set the pms shifter up was as follows:

Select reverse gear and have an assistant hold the shifter fully over to the left with pressure on.

Undo the collar at the gearbox end and allow the shifter on the box to return to its natural position within the box, whilst still in reverse inside the box.

Tighten the collar up and tell your assistant their services are no longer required lol!

It *should now feel a lot better.

This is the exact way I set mine up and I never had any selection issues. But, and it’s a big but, I never really liked the ‘feel’ of the shift. Always felt as though you were cheating the synchros when pushing on. EVERY gear and synchro was brand new in mine (at vast expense), so I wasn’t a fan a potentially scrapping them.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
The best way I found to set the pms shifter up was as follows:

Select reverse gear and have an assistant hold the shifter fully over to the left with pressure on.

Undo the collar at the gearbox end and allow the shifter on the box to return to its natural position within the box, whilst still in reverse inside the box.

Tighten the collar up and tell your assistant their services are no longer required lol!

It *should now feel a lot better.

This is the exact way I set mine up and I never had any selection issues. But, and it’s a big but, I never really liked the ‘feel’ of the shift. Always felt as though you were cheating the synchros when pushing on. EVERY gear and synchro was brand new in mine (at vast expense), so I wasn’t a fan a potentially scrapping them.
This is exactly what we did during the setup, might be its ever so slightly out of alignment.

It's a job I keep putting off as I'll be doing it by myself 😂 Its annoying me too much now so I'll get it sorted this weekend hopefully. Fingers crossed..
 

Rickymiller

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup
Was the PMS shifter brand new, or second hand? If it was second hand, check all the bearings and pivot bushes and if possible replace them for new (PMS do a refurb kit for the bearings)

I have a PMS shifter, and it took a lot of very small adjustments to get it so that reverse and 5th would both engage properly. Make sure the gear linkage and selector rods are both clean, and then clearly mark them so you can easily see any rotational and back/forth adjustments you make. Then, just do small adjustments (1mm at a time) until its sorted.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Was the PMS shifter brand new, or second hand? If it was second hand, check all the bearings and pivot bushes and if possible replace them for new (PMS do a refurb kit for the bearings)

I have a PMS shifter, and it took a lot of very small adjustments to get it so that reverse and 5th would both engage properly. Make sure the gear linkage and selector rods are both clean, and then clearly mark them so you can easily see any rotational and back/forth adjustments you make. Then, just do small adjustments (1mm at a time) until its sorted.
It was second hand but in VGC. I checked and cleaned all bearings aswell as replacing the bearing sat in the shifter tower itself.

Is there a depth recommended for the sleeve joint? Was unsure how far to go when first setting up.
 

Rickymiller

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup
It was second hand but in VGC. I checked and cleaned all bearings as well as replacing the bearing sat in the shifter tower itself.

Is there a depth recommended for the sleeve joint? Was unsure how far to go when first setting up.
Did you also fit a new, plastic pivot bush? The one that goes in the bottom of the gearbox and is held in place by a circlip? If that bush is worn, it can have a massive affect on the shift feel.

As for the sleeve joint, did you make a mark in the selector rod (the short rod that is attached to the gearbox) before you took the old gear lever off? If yes, use that as your starting point, and adjust from there. If not, then you are just going to have to pick a spot that looks right, and start from there.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Did you also fit a new, plastic pivot bush? The one that goes in the bottom of the gearbox and is held in place by a circlip? If that bush is worn, it can have a massive affect on the shift feel.

As for the sleeve joint, did you make a mark in the selector rod (the short rod that is attached to the gearbox) before you took the old gear lever off? If yes, use that as your starting point, and adjust from there. If not, then you are just going to have to pick a spot that looks right, and start from there.
Didn't see this. No, I didn't mark up the original but this never felt great either and with it being a completely different setup I just started from the beginning.

To update this, I replaced the clutch cable to see whether this would improve things. Old one was definitely well worn out with the inner being 'free' within the outer braid however the problem still occurs.

I noticed today that if you're at standstill and hold the clutch in then go between gears it feels fine... but if you lift off the clutch in neutral, press it down and then instantly go into a gear its no longer 'smooth'. Potentially looking towards the clutch release bearing? Does feel like its been getting worse. Not looked down onto the input shaft yet to see if it slows down, a job for tonight
 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
That sounds like clutch drag then as it’s not allowing the shaft to slow down. That in turn hammers the synchros as they have more work to do in slowing the gears down.

Did you put any grease on the input shaft splines at all? For possibly the first time ever, you’re better off going in dry with this. Not even a bit of spit on it.
 


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