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Missed 2nd gear at track

This is a discussion on Missed 2nd gear at track within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Hi Folks, Looking for some help. I have been reading thru the posts here about clutch master/slave cyl, synchros, spacers ...

  1. #1
    richieddd
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    Missed 2nd gear at track

    Hi Folks,

    Looking for some help. I have been reading thru the posts here about clutch master/slave cyl, synchros, spacers etc etc and am not certain about the right diagnoses for my shifting/clutch problems......seems like similar symptoms in a lot of cases.
    I have a pretty much stock 98 Formula Firebird LS1 6sp. The only tranny mod was to remove the skip shift annoying thingy. I have owned it since new but never ran it at the the Track until a few weeks ago(Epping).
    I have had problems in the past in cold weather with the clutch pedal not coming fully up(seems to go away when warmed up) and, it seems, intermittant problems with the clutch when just doing a burnout..one time it didn't grab at all with lots of burnt clutch smell as the result. I am running 315-35/17's on the rear so much more traction than stock.
    Anyways, I made my one and only run at Epping with no real wheel spin at launch(lots of traction compound on the track that day) and shifted near redline. I could not get the shifter to go into 2nd gear..had to wait for about 1-2 seconds before it would engage and then completed my awful 15.7 run. I also could smell much burnt clutch again so I parked it for the rest of the day.
    Does anyone have a good handle on what is going wrong with these 6sp setups? I am reading about the master/slave cylinder changeouts and drilling out a hydraulic line etc, but what does this fix and why is this only an issue at high rpm? Would this be the cause of my particular set of problems? I would lean more towards the synchros but am not sure. I left the track early that day and was able to do a nice burn out and catch 2nd no problem on the street(shhh:-) ) afterwards too.
    The car has 54k miles on it of very easy street driving, very few burn outs(and only recently) attempted since I have owned it(why I am only just now finding this problem..got the bug to go to the track again:-) ).

    thanks

    rich

  2. #2
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    Your clutch is definetly going out from the sound of it-it can't handle that much traction.But if you get a better clutch and hook up hard something else is gonna go.The drill mod will give quicker clutch action-update to a 01-02 clutch master and slave when you get a new clutch.If you want to play you gotta pay.

  3. #3
    redls1bird
    Guest
    do you have the stock shifter? that thing is notorious for being vague, especially 1-2 and 2-3. i missed 3rd at the track twice. no more of that, get a short stick and see if that helps you find the gears. clutch might be going out, but you would get a grinding noise too.

  4. #4
    richieddd
    Guest
    hi,
    thanks for the responses! Everything is pretty much stock. I did not get any grinding, but I caught myself and didn't release the clutch with the shifter only halfway into 2nd...might have stripped something if I didn't.
    The only mods to the car are the skip shift removal, a ram air kit, adjustable panhard bar(to center the chassis for the 315's out back) and subframe connectors and strut brace(I like these to keep the car solid...I keep my cars a long time...also own an 89 mustang since new and did similar things..its as tight and looks as good as a 2 year old car still).
    I guess the drill mod and an updated master/slave cyl is in order from what I have read from here and ls1tech.com. Also probably a new shifter. I don't want anything too radical for either the shifter or clutch. Any recommendation for a good street setup that will fix this problem but not make the car a beast to drive? I am looking into Cartech and Ram...I think someone said they have complete kits with the cylinders?

    rich

  5. #5
    Junior Member 00 Trans Ram's Avatar
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    As for the shifter, try out a Lou's Short Stick. When you look at the stock stick, you'll notice that the metal rod/handle actually connects to the shifter through a rubber grommet. With the LSS, it shortens the throw and bolts directly to the shifter itself. It makes the shifts MUCH more firm and sure.

  6. #6
    Killer
    Guest
    ouch! that sux

  7. #7
    Member keliente's Avatar
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    99 Firebird Formula

    Quote Originally Posted by richieddd
    Does anyone have a good handle on what is going wrong with these 6sp setups? I am reading about the master/slave cylinder changeouts and drilling out a hydraulic line etc, but what does this fix and why is this only an issue at high rpm? Would this be the cause of my particular set of problems? I would lean more towards the synchros but am not sure. I left the track early that day and was able to do a nice burn out and catch 2nd no problem on the street(shhh:-) ) afterwards too.

    rich
    It's not the synchros, it has more to do with your hydraulic system. The 98-00 cars got shafted with some crappy masters & slaves, and sooo many of us have the same problem as you. I have an '00 car myself, and when I was going down the track wide open, it would not let me shift into second gear, just completely locked me out. The problem is when under a high load you quickly stab the clutch pedal...however with the 98-00 master & slave, the fluid is not getting where it needs to be FAST enough, so basically you are trying to shift without a clutch. People do the drill mod to remove a small restriction in the line that connects to the slave cylinder, to help fluid move along. I did it to my car and it did not help at all.

    At 54k I'd bet that your clutch is still okay - at this point in time you could get away with just replacing the master & slave cylinders, unless you have a reason for a new clutch (i.e. it slips). Buy the master & slave for a 01-02 car, or you can go with an aftermarket unit like Macleod.

    Not only did my car lock me out of gears before, but the clutch slipped BAD, that's why I did everything at once. I put a spec stage 2 clutch in my car about a month ago, and upgraded my master & slave as well. The stage 2 is a wonderful clutch for daily driving - it feels like a stock clutch SHOULD feel (i.e. more firm but not on/off like a stage 3). I took it to the track last night and it was amazing, the clutch just sticks so damn good. Now going down the track ripping through gears with the 01-02 hydraulics I don't have to worry about missed shifts any longer.

    A new shifter will also help you with your shifting.

  8. #8
    richieddd
    Guest
    thanks for the input...so its just the fact of trying to shift fast thats the problem...the same thing should/would happen at low speed if I try to shift too fast for the hydraulics I guess. The stage 2 clutch..is that a mfg's name? I want to start specing out my changes and talking to a mechanic...I don't do my own wrenching, no garage..
    funny how I have never had this issue before..never pushed it/shifted that hard on the street

    thanks again!

    rich

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