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Thread: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

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    Darth Vader AUSMHLY's Avatar
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    Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Is there an easy way to determine if I have a stock or lightened flywheel in my BJ8, without taking the car apart to see.

    When shifting from 1st to 2nd, RPM drops so quickly that I'll need to increase the RPM when the clutch is in to get it into 2nd. And even then the car needs to drop in speed for that to happen.
    Other Healey's, 1st gear, clutch in, slides right into 2nd, no drop in speed, no gas on the pedal until after it's engaged.

    Transmission was rebuilt and I helped the professional do it. Even after the rebuild, it doesn't always want to go into 1st every time.

    Complete stop, shift into 2, 3 or 4th, then into first. Sometimes it just will not slide in. Makes me very nervous when someone is behind me at the light. While waiting, I'll test it a couple times, works fine, then when it's time to move, it will not go into 1st and I end up starting in 2nd. But every time, going into 2nd, RPM drops very quickly and once in 2nd the car has slowed down for that to happen. If I try and force it in with more gas, the car will buck once in. A friend drove my car yesterday and mentioned, that's not right. I think you have a lightened flywheel and that's why you aren't carrying momentum thru to 2nd.

    On an up note, very happy with the way the car speeds up very quickly on the freeway, when in 3, 4 and 4th overdrive. Really a fun drive. Maybe that's what Healey's do, or maybe because I have a lightened flywheel?

    Is this a flywheel or transmission issue?

    Thoughts?
    1964 BJ8 phase II

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    A

    Maybe it is the clutch ?????
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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Lightened flywheel or not , you have no sychro on first gear so the easiest way to get it into 1st is engage second then go to first while at a light . It should slide into first every time no problem if you do it this way .
    Maybe the push rod on your slave cylinder is worn out and your not quite reaching the correct engagement point with the clutch as the rod or the clevis pin is worn .
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    Darth Vader AUSMHLY's Avatar
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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    Lightened flywheel or not , you have no sychro on first gear so the easiest way to get it into 1st is engage second then go to first while at a light . It should slide into first every time no problem if you do it this way .
    Maybe the push rod on your slave cylinder is worn out and your not quite reaching the correct engagement point with the clutch as the rod or the clevis pin is worn .
    Getting into 1st, already addressed. Shift into 2, 3 or 4 first. It does not slide into 1st every time, no problem. I'm sure a lot of Healey owners will back me up on this.
    I will look into the slave cylinder push rod.

    Thank you Healey Nut.
    1964 BJ8 phase II

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    My transmission sometimes balks when shifting from second gear to first at a red light. I always thought it was due to lack of synchronizer for first gear. The solution that works best for me is to shift back to second gear, let out the clutch enough to roll the car an inch or two, then shift back to first gear. Works every time.
    Good luck.
    Douglas

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Hi Roger,

    I think I understand your issue and its not difficulty shifting into first or second but how fast the engine RPMs drop during the short shifting process with the clutch in. From your description is appears either something is dragging the RPMs down (i.e. within the clutch mechanism, transmission, or elsewhere) or a light weight flywheel is not maintaining engine momentum sufficiently through the short period of shifting.

    In most cases, I understand lightened flywheels are favored to improve engine responsiveness (quick increases and decreases in engine RPMs). Since a heavier flywheel is meant to help maintain RPMs during gaps in the application of power (i.e. when shifting), your quick drops in RPMs during the process of shifting from 1st to 2nd seem an indication of your having the lighter flywheel. However, how quickly does your RPMs drop when shifting from 2nd to 1st gear, or from 3rd to 2nd? If, during these shifts the RPMs also drops quickly (but maybe not as quickly), it is more likely you do have a lighter flywheel then standard.

    Keep in mind that you will need a known standard flywheel Healey to compare to and you will also need to rule out other causes for quick RPM reductions (i.e. dragging clutch, other). But from my perspective of shifting my Healey with a standard flywheel from 1st to 2nd, I experience moderate or even slight drops in RPMs during the short period during the shift when I am not on the accelerator Ö though I commonly wind out each gear to 4K to 5K RPMs before shifting to the next.

    Roger, you can hypothetically accept that you have the lighter flywheel but you will never be absolutely sure until pulling the trans and examining the unit.

    All the best,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Hi Roger, again,

    I have found that sometimes trying to go to higher gears and then slide back into first may not always be as easy as you would expect or some seem to imply. Yes, if I do have any difficulty shifting into first, I sometimes go to second and then back into first and most times it works. However, there have been times when this also does not seem to work for me and I just move off in second. Since my transmission works quite well most of the time and all inside is original, how could I expect a 55 year old transmission will shift as smoothly as it did the day I picked it up from the dealer in my new Healey.

    Shifting is not as smooth as in the 5-speed of my TR7 and feels notchy, sometimes requiring more force to slide in gear. This condition, however, may be a condition of ware but does not show any sign of malfunctioning so, I am quite satisfied as it is. From your description, it sounds to me as though your transmission is performing as one would in a 1964 Healey and, although a rebuild could help, the result may not produce the dramatic benefit equivalent to the price of the task.

    Just my thoughts,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    A couple of thoughts. Do you know what double clutching is? What is you slow idle speed?

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    Hi Roger, again,

    I have found that sometimes trying to go to higher gears and then slide back into first may not always be as easy as you would expect or some seem to imply. Yes, if I do have any difficulty shifting into first, I sometimes go to second and then back into first and most times it works. However, there have been times when this also does not seem to work for me and I just move off in second. Since my transmission works quite well most of the time and all inside is original, how could I expect a 55 year old transmission will shift as smoothly as it did the day I picked it up from the dealer in my new Healey.

    Shifting is not as smooth as in the 5-speed of my TR7 and feels notchy, sometimes requiring more force to slide in gear. This condition, however, may be a condition of ware but does not show any sign of malfunctioning so, I am quite satisfied as it is. From your description, it sounds to me as though your transmission is performing as one would in a 1964 Healey and, although a rebuild could help, the result may not produce the dramatic benefit equivalent to the price of the task.
    Just my thoughts,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

    I agree with Ray. I don't believe any non-syncro transmission can be expected to go into 1st gear smoothly all the time. Touching another gear before attempting to go into 1st gear sometimes works but it all depends on how well or how closely the input shaft is lining up with 1st gear. Sometimes it is necessary to put the trans in nuetral, let the clutch out then reclutch and go into 1st. This is all for the purpose of spinning the input shaft again to hopefully line up with 1st gear better. Putting the car in second gear and moving the car a tesch then going into 1st gear works because with the car drifting a tesch you are turning the main shaft hoping to line up with the input shaft. It's a touch and go situation. Pardon the pun.
    About the loss of RPMs during the 1-2 shift. Please forgive me but I found it funny that the loss RPMs was described as "DURING THE SHORT SHIFT TIME " (paraphrased or something to that effect) of shifting from 1st to 2nd. I don't think any shift in a standard Healey transmission least of all the 1-2 shift can be described as a short shift time.
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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Not sure I remember how much of the flywheel you can see with the starter removed but it might be enough to see if the flywheel is stock.

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Hi all,
    thanks for replying to Rogers post. I’m jeff and I drove Rogers car over the weekend. The car shifts like a non synchro transmission should shift. There is no binding or apparent slippage of any kind it accelerates well 2nd through 4th and the overdrive engages and disengages smoothly. The only issue is that shifting from first to second it decelerates rapidly. I suspect that there is a large gap in the ratio between 1st and second and the flywheel doesn’t have the momentum to make the bridge between the distance in ratio. It down shifts nicely but again a big drop in ratio between 2nd to first. I only have driven one other healey. The one I bought off BaT for about 2 hours before I tore down to the frame so I’m hardly an expert. I noticed there was another thread discussing flywheel lighting options. There was some discussion about increased acceleration and deceleration which made me suspect Rogers flywheel may have been lightened.

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Hi all,
    thanks for replying to Rogers post. Iím jeff and I drove Rogers car over the weekend. The car shifts like a non synchro transmission should shift. There is no binding or apparent slippage of any kind it accelerates well 2nd through 4th and the overdrive engages and disengages smoothly. The only issue is that shifting from first to second it decelerates rapidly. I suspect that there is a large gap in the ratio between 1st and second and the flywheel doesnít have the momentum to make the bridge between the distance in ratio. It down shifts nicely but again a big drop in ratio between 2nd to first. I only have driven one other healey. The one I bought off BaT for about 2 hours before I tore down to the frame so Iím hardly an expert. I noticed there was another thread discussing flywheel lighting options. There was some discussion about increased acceleration and deceleration which made me suspect Rogers flywheel may have been lightened.

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Roger, after reading this thread, I drove my BT7 today and watched the drop in RPM during a normal shift between 1st and 2nd. By normal I mean regular crusing type acceleration shift, not a speed shift. Accelerating to 3000RPM the upshift caused the RPM to drop about 1200 RPM. (From 3000 down to 1800). Accelerating to 2500RPM, the upshift caused the RPM to drop about 800 RPM. (From 2500 down to 1800). Don't know if that's heplful but aleast it a data point.
    Rob Glasgow

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Hi Rob,

    Good observation. To be clear, is the drop in RPMs your quoting the revolutions in the upper gear of the loss in revs before entering the ger?

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Unlikely to be caused by a lightened flywheel. I have one and it only weighs 13 lbs compared to the 28 of the original. I have no problems shifting from 1st to 2nd.

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Bleed the hydraulic clutch? Air in the line?

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Ray, the way I did the test was to accelerate in1st up 2500 rpm and then push in the clutch, let off the gas pedal and shift into 2nd. By the time I let out the clutch again and started to push the gas pedal, the rpm had dropped to 1800 rpm. Again this was not a hurried speed shift, just a normal driving around town type. It seems when I began the shift process at 3000 rpm, the drop was also to 1800 so it seems like the engine rpm drops faster if you shift at a higher point. I don't know if that's by design or what.
    Rob Glasgow

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    Obi Wan RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    H
    Hi Rob,

    Since our cars are matching (both 1964 BJ8 P1), I used your directions and matched your results. I also downshifted from 2nd to 1st without issue and with some relative smoothness (still easier to go the other way). Although I had never noticed, my RPMs when and during the shift, I also found RPMs to drop to approx. 1800 RPM when depressing the clutch and before releasing onto the next gear. I usually raise RPMs in gear to between 4K and 5k before shifting and without thinking, quick-flip the accelerator before downshifting to raise RPMs to help bring engine speed close to what would be required in the lower gear to match the speed.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    Ray, how far do your RPMs drop if you take the RPM to 5000 before you shift from 1st to 2nd? Like I said earlier, I was surprised mine went from 3000 to 1800 just the same as shifting at 2500. Seems like the higher the rpm, the faster it falls.
    We've probably beat this rpm drop issue to death. Hope Roger finds a solution to his issue.
    Rob Glasgow

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    Jedi Knight nevets's Avatar
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    Re: Shifting into 2nd, problem because of the Flywheel?

    I'm somewhat mystified by references to downshifting from 2nd to 1st. With 1st being nonsyncro, isn't there a risk of grinding gears? I've heard that some race cars had 'crash boxes' requiring the driver to equalize speeds with the accelerator in order to shift. Is this what some of you do to downshift into 1st while moving? Just wondering.

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