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  #1  
Old 04-12-2011, 08:03 PM
IndIMINICS IndIMINICS is offline
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Is smoother shifter feel possible?

Hello!
This is my first post so go easy! SO, I have a B&M short shifter and I noticed that it's a struggle to get my mini into just about any gear. Now, I am not talking about completely muscling it into gear but it is in no way smooth or effortless. I have replaced shifter linkages before (on other cars) and thought that maybe the salty winters have started to corrode and stiffen them up. What made me ask this was the smooth effortless shifter feel of a Volvo S40. I want that..

Any ideas?
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:18 PM
Mr Silverblood Mr Silverblood is offline
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Not sure at all, but I will say that I think the tightness or sharpness of the R53's gearbox is just fabulous. I had the chance to test drive a bunch of R56's last year, and the "floppiness" of the gearbox on those stunned me to the point of hating it.

I know this reply didn't help, sorry for that. I hope you're able to get some info on it, but I have a feeling that it's just how the transmission is setup. I could be wrong though. lol
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2011, 09:27 PM
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TSR53 TSR53 is offline
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I just fixed mine with some white lithium grease. Works better than new.

First you need to remove your airbox, this gives you access to the shifting mechanism attached on the gearbox below. I have the JCW airbox and once the top is removed, I can rotate the bottom half 90 or 180 deg without unhooking the ECU.

Have a friend shift through the gears inside (or you can do it yourself at the gearbox) grab the two cable ends and get familiar with how the shifter parts function. This gives you an idea of where lube is needed.

- Pack lithium grease underneath the ball joints at the shift cable ends.
- Smear on weighted shifter part where the large rod is (this can be accessed from the drivers side wheel area with wheel removed).
- Put lithium grease on pivot points.
- Pull up shift boot cover on the inside of the car and lube the shifter ball
- Pack grease into the right side where it shifts into reverse.
- Reinstall airbox
- Test drive
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:16 PM
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Vollgas Vollgas is offline
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A+
You might look a NM shift cable cover.
With a quick shift lever linkage is exposed to elements.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:19 PM
IndIMINICS IndIMINICS is offline
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-Mr Silverblood, I agree 100% the gear box feels sturdy and tight. I just feel like the shifts could be just a bit smoother!

-TSR53, thanks! This is just what I was looking for. I did the exact same thing to my old focus zx3 and it helped a ton. I wasn't sure where the linkages connect on the mini or where to grease. I know the focus had a special cover over the shift mechanism. I am going to assume that the mini does also. I am going to do this tomorrow, any type of grease you would recommend? Also, I have greased under the shift boot before and it made an annoying sticking sound when shifting, would that be the case with lithium grease? I think high temp ball bearing grease was used so that might be the reason.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:20 PM
IndIMINICS IndIMINICS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vollgas View Post
A+
You might look a NM shift cable cover.
With a quick shift lever linkage is exposed to elements.
I have read about this in the forum but wasn't really sure what they were referring to, care to elaborate?
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:21 AM
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ggcadc ggcadc is offline
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Originally Posted by IndIMINICS View Post
I have read about this in the forum but wasn't really sure what they were referring to, care to elaborate?
http://www.nm-eng.com/nm668855-nm-en...box-cover.html

google is your friend

I like marine grease for this, maybe time to dig in a bit.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:02 AM
Mini_Crazy Mini_Crazy is offline
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Smoother shifting is possible. . .

In addition to lubing the shift cables as TSR53 suggested, the shifting also improves when you switch your gear lube to Redline. The transmission's synchros work more smoothly and gears engage slightly more quickly.

I begin using MTL (Manual Transmission Light) in 2005, which was their recommendation at the time, but it was slightly lighter than stock, so I would add a partial quart of MT90 mixed with 2 quarts of MTL for just the right feel. Now Redline is making a similar blend, and it's called MT-85.

Your choice: MTL or MT-85, or blend your own. (It works well with the limited-slip differential if you have it.)
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:59 PM
IndIMINICS IndIMINICS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggcadc View Post
http://www.nm-eng.com/nm668855-nm-en...box-cover.html

google is your friend

I like marine grease for this, maybe time to dig in a bit.
I saw that, but where does it install? do you have to drop the exhaust?
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:01 PM
IndIMINICS IndIMINICS is offline
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Originally Posted by Mini_Crazy View Post
In addition to lubing the shift cables as TSR53 suggested, the shifting also improves when you switch your gear lube to Redline. The transmission's synchros work more smoothly and gears engage slightly more quickly.

I begin using MTL (Manual Transmission Light) in 2005, which was their recommendation at the time, but it was slightly lighter than stock, so I would add a partial quart of MT90 mixed with 2 quarts of MTL for just the right feel. Now Redline is making a similar blend, and it's called MT-85.

Your choice: MTL or MT-85, or blend your own. (It works well with the limited-slip differential if you have it.)
Sounds good! I think it's time I switch out the gear lube. I have the limited slip also. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:19 PM
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TSR53 TSR53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndIMINICS View Post
-Mr Silverblood, I agree 100% the gear box feels sturdy and tight. I just feel like the shifts could be just a bit smoother!

-TSR53, thanks! This is just what I was looking for. I did the exact same thing to my old focus zx3 and it helped a ton. I wasn't sure where the linkages connect on the mini or where to grease. I know the focus had a special cover over the shift mechanism. I am going to assume that the mini does also. I am going to do this tomorrow, any type of grease you would recommend? Also, I have greased under the shift boot before and it made an annoying sticking sound when shifting, would that be the case with lithium grease? I think high temp ball bearing grease was used so that might be the reason.
I use white lithium grease because I've had a little tub of it for like the last ten years. You can also use it on all moving points, door hinges, door stops, bonnet clasps, etc. A moly type of grease or other type of grease that will stay put can work as well. Don't use a spray, unless you have some Wurth HHS 2000 on your shelf which will work, but not as well as the lithium. I use the Wurth HHS 2000 exclusively for the rear boot hinges.

I hope this helps, post back your new shifter feel.

Cheers, Thompson


Unfortunately, the MINI doesn't have a protective cover over the linkage on the gearbox, it is exposed.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:23 PM
Mr Silverblood Mr Silverblood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndIMINICS View Post
-Mr Silverblood, I agree 100% the gear box feels sturdy and tight. I just feel like the shifts could be just a bit smoother!
Oooooh, I understand what you mean now! Yeah, you're right, especially when it's cold out, the gearbox feels VERY tight and a bit tough. I can almost feel the teeth of the gears as I'm shifting.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:32 PM
IndIMINICS IndIMINICS is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Silverblood View Post
Oooooh, I understand what you mean now! Yeah, you're right, especially when it's cold out, the gearbox feels VERY tight and a bit tough. I can almost feel the teeth of the gears as I'm shifting.
Thats exactly what I was feeling! It's odd actually, the shifter will get in gear it just seems for a second there is some friction almost like a breaking away feeling.


So I got the grease:
http://www.amazon.com/10-each-Lubrim.../dp/B002LUMNB6

This is the best I could find; for some reason this is what the auto parts stores near me carried. I couldn't find any white grease. So I went home and started with my new can O lube.
-I began by taking the air box off and cleaning everything while getting to the shift linkages I generously applied it to the mechanism and (to my my surprise it was completely dry and had signs of corrosion..thanks upstate NY ) I would shift into each gear then go back and apply it to places I couldn't get to to make sure of complete coverage.

-After it was all greased and put back together I noticed the shifter felt much more free and would center without sticking. I also greased the shifter under the shift boot as TSR53 recommended and it worked great!

I would recommended anyone with a mini and less than perfect shifter feel to grease up their cars!
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Last edited by IndIMINICS; 04-14-2011 at 12:06 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-13-2011, 11:42 PM
dannyhavok dannyhavok is online now
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Interesting.. I have occasional sticking, maybe I will give this a shot while I am installing my CAI. Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:08 PM
4wheels 4wheels is offline
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I've found the ball ends of both shift cables & pivot points need regular lubrication or the shifting slowly gets worse over time (especially the side under the airbox, although the ends under the shifter need some occasional love too). I was using lithium grease, but have changed to dry lubes to avoid the affinity for dirt that grease has.

Also with regard to gearbox oil, I used to use Redline MTL and found it made next to no difference. I switched to the Ford Synthetic MTF recently as I needed a higher vis fluid and it seems to be working quite well.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:40 PM
OreoPanda OreoPanda is offline
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I know this is an old thread but can some one post some pictures of where this is. I have my stock air box off as I have the DOS CAI. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:56 PM
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Quitman Rhinehardt Quitman Rhinehardt is offline
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Its directly under the airbox. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:56 PM
 
 
 
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