Tips on keeping a Manual shifting well

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I recently acquired a 2000 Honda Civic. I retired my old 91 civic from daily driving duties to only weekend trips and such. That transmission had well over 300+k miles on it however, I think those miles had more highway miles than what my car has. The 91 gearbox still shifts great however, I do get some resistance here and there and the 4th gear syncro kind of scrapes. My transmission I feel like it had a lot of city driving in its past life and my daily commute for 6 or 7 months out of the year is mostly town/city. I do not abuse the transmission and rarely take the engine above 3-4k. However, when I do, especially in 1st gear, I notice heavy syncro resistance going into 2nd gear. So I'm not 100% sure on the health of the 2nd gear syncro.. Is there any tips on prolonging the transmission life? I just recently changed the fluid for Genuine Honda MTF on my last oil change. Should I follow the maintenance guide and change it when they say (20-30k if I remember correctly) or do it sooner? Thanks for advice!
 
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About the only thing I can tell you is that I have now owned 2 Hondas both with manual trans. For whatever reason these cars prefer frequent MTF changes to keep shifting well. My Saturns were lifetime and they shifted fine for years on the same fluid. I recently put Pennzoil Synchromesh MTF in my Civic SI and I am loving the shifting performance. I am thinking with how fast the shifting performance degrades, and for the cost, I may replace it every 2nd or 3rd oil change... Without any scientific data that is the best I've got for you.
 
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Whatever damage was done is done. All you can do is try to not to make it worse. You could try double clutching: let the clutch out in neutral, with the engine at the speed about the speed it will be after the shift. So, let's say you rev'd up to 4k in first, and 2nd gear will require say 2k. Clutch and shift to neutral, let out the clutch, and as the rpm drops to around 2k hit the clutch and shift into 2nd. Now the transmission input shaft is spinning at about the right speed, and the syncro does not have to work as hard.
 

bk7794

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Yes, I was thinking of possibly every 3rd or so oil change. However, I was expecting atleast a few days of good shifting with the new MTF like I got with my 91. However, this was not the case. One day if I ever get the space, I'd LOVE to do a transmission restoration. I've wondered about Amsoil/Syncromesh/Redline MTF. However, I don't think it's a mere fact of fluid. Regardless. Thanks for the response.
 
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Going up is usually not too bad. The worst synchro wear is from slowing down... like to turn... then going for second. Double clutch going DOWN but shift normally going up. Most of my cars only wear out 1st and 2nd gear synchros, so I don't really bother double clutching anything higher. Flipside, I've driven so many junkers that NEED double clutching, it's a habit I carry over to everything.
 
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I always found some cars had a sweet spot where they shifted nice at a certain RPM . I don't see the need for changing gear lube so often , just drive it .
 

bk7794

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It is so difficult double clutching the 1-2 shift. I have a hard enough time catching the revs single clutching let alone if I double clutched it. But maybe if I rev it up I'll definitely try double clutching. Whats really funny though is that I can downshift to 2nd easier and better than in my 91. Yet in high rpms in only 1st it's much easier in my 91. When downshifting I generally now try to make it a habit to double clutch if I Can.
 
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You are used to your 91 ,give the new one some time . I really believe that if you are consistent in your shifting style the transmission adapts to you in time (or the other way around) laugh
 

JHZR2

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Good MTF is all you can do, besides a rebuild. Maybe a synchro is bad or dirty? Drive it gently and carefully, watch your technique.
 

bk7794

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Originally Posted By: nitehawk55
You are used to your 91 ,give the new one some time . I really believe that if you are consistent in your shifting style the transmission adapts to you in time (or the other way around) laugh
I actually have been driving this for almost 5 to 6 months. I am pretty much used to all its quirks and such but here and there I kind of get annoyed with the random problems that I get. Of course it could and probably will happen on all manuals.
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Good MTF is all you can do, besides a rebuild. Maybe a synchro is bad or dirty? Drive it gently and carefully, watch your technique.
Any recommendations? Honda MTF should suffice, right? Possibly, or I was wondering if the linkages could be screwed up. Possibly a sagging mount or something. I remember in my 91 I'd be sitting at a light and I could not get it engaged in first to save my life. Infact I don't think I could get it engaged in 2nd either.
 
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Try some AC Delco FM(friction modified) mtf in there. It's what Honda recommended in a tsb for 3rd gear grind in the Accords. Shifts like a hot knive through butter apparently.
 

bk7794

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Hmm, I never heard that before. I'll have to look into it. Thanks!
 
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