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Old 11-10-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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986S 02 Gearbox problem - 2nd gear grinding

Hello all,

My 02 986S has some problem with the gearbox since yesterday. I get some grinding from 1st to 2nd, or 3rd to 2nd, especially when car is cold. I can't get second gear most of the times. The problem goes away when engine gets hot.
Is it a synchro issue ? Can this be repaired, or I need a new box ???

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Old 11-10-2007, 01:47 PM   #2
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This seems to be a common problem on the 6 speed box. Mine has done it a few times, but it's not a regular thing...at least not yet. I'm not sure what people are doing to alleviate this issue, but I'm sure someone can chime in with more info/help.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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Have the shifter cables checked. Sometimes misadjustment manifests as grinding.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:19 PM   #4
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I've also read that, at least among the 996 crowd, changing the fluid can help with issues such as this.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:50 PM   #5
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What's the mileage?
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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I've noticed that since I got a S that the 2nd gear is a lot more demanding compared to the 5-spd gearbox. The 2nd gear on the 6-spd makes you pay attention, otherwise you may grind it, not like the other 5 gears on the tranny.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:47 AM   #7
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All 6-speed gearboxes have problems with 2nd when cold. Mine is loosening up a bit now (but not much) when getting at 60k km (got car from new).

- let it warm up, and be patient and carefull until warmed up. Don't let it grind, just shift slowly and carefully
- I've read that new oil/fluid can help
- I've read that adjusting the shifter cables can help

Anyway, it's a good idea to run the car carefully anyway until warmed up. First 15 minutes is below 3000rpm and very, very careful shifting anyway.

Afterthat, rev and shift the hell out of it ;-)

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Old 11-11-2007, 06:19 AM   #8
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Mileage is about 50k miles (85k klms)

What is the best advised gearbox lubricant ?
How much does it take ?

Last edited by stv951; 11-11-2007 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:40 AM   #9
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I have an 02 6spd with 52k and have not experienced any of these problems which makes me think it's likely an adjustment issue.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by funster
I have an 02 6spd with 52k and have not experienced any of these problems which makes me think it's likely an adjustment issue.

+1

The shifter/gearbox on my '02 S is among the best I've ever driven.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:27 AM   #11
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Ill change the gearbox oil. Anyone knows what is the best oil for my grinding 2nd gear ? Mobil ? Is it 75W90 grade ?
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by stv951
Hello all,

My 02 986 S has some problem with the gearbox since yesterday. I get some grinding from 1st to 2nd, or 3rd to 2nd, especially when car is cold. I can't get second gear most of the times. The problem goes away when engine gets hot.
Is it a synchro issue ? Can this be repaired, or I need a new box ???
I recently bought an 04 986 Boxster S with 25k miles on the clock. Like you, I have experienced the same problem engaging 2nd gear when cold.

When changing up from first or down from third into second there is either no drive or a worrying grating noise as the gears try to mesh. It has been very hit or miss as to whether you can actually engage 2nd at all when the car is very cold in the first couple of miles or so. The problem progressively goes away after 10 minutes of running but has been happening every time I use the car.

After 300 miles of living with this I couldn't tolerate it any further and it went back to the dealer for investigation this week. After initially telling me it was normal, they have now advised me that it will need a new gearbox. Fortunately, I bought the car from a franchised Porsche dealer and the replacement is being covered by the Porsche extended warranty. Phew!

BTW, just to add insult to injury, the day before my car went back to the dealer it I noticed the reversing lights were staying on. This has been diagnosed as a faulty switch and will be changed when the new gearbox is fitted.

If you're fortunate enough to have a warranty talk to your Porsche dealer pronto. If not, it's probably worth changing the gearbox oil first and see if this improves matters.

As a footnote, I'm just amazed at how accepting some owners seem to be of what feels like a lousy piece of engineering.

Last edited by Archimedes; 01-04-2008 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:52 AM   #13
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Just to update anyone that is following this thread, finally, after three weeks, I've now got my car back complete with a new gearbox and reversing light switch - thankfully all covered by Porsche's warranty. We've had a few very cold mornings this week and, touch wood, so far the gearchange is now as it should be - positive and slick.

According to the service manager, the 2nd gear synchromesh was failing and on its way out. He mentioned that after stripping it down it was considered too costly to rebuild the 'box, hence the new unit. To the dealer's credit they provided me with a 2.7 987 Boxster with 1000 miles on the clock as a loan car which went some way to negating the grief with my car.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:09 AM   #14
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I have the same issue on my 01 5 speed when its below 0 degrees outside. I just shift from 1st to 3rd until the car warms up.
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:23 PM   #15
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I've had/have the problem on a 2001 S 6speed as well, at 55k miles.

3-2 sometimes was impossible, and 1-2 would grind. First attempt to fix was a motor mount, which completely cured 3-2, and mostly fixed 1-2 when warm, but not when cold. Over time, 1-2 got worse again even when warm.

Second attempt was to readjust the shifter cables, which almost cured the problem when warm, but not when cold. 3-2 seems fine; 1-2 is the problem.

I shift first to third when it's cold, cold being 40F here in northern california. . .the synchros are clearly not doing their job sufficiently. I'm pretty sure I'll be having the box ripped into before too long. The problem really detracts from the fun of the car for me--it gets in my head that I'm never quite sure if I can get a clean 1-2 shift when I want to.

I'll post again if/when I do get the 2nd gear synhro replaced.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:04 PM   #16
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I have a theory about notchy shifting on 6 speed Boxsters.

I too suffered from not being able to shift into 3rd gear when the trans was cold. It was also notchy going into 4th all the time. 2nd Gear was occasionally notchy and sometimes it felt as if the gearshift lever was not making the full travel into the 2nd gear.

In an unrelated thread, I asked for opinions regarding a minor shudder under light acceleration through ~3K rpms. Several folks recommended I check my front engine mount. Sure enough, the front mount rubber was torn completely through and this on a 00S with 28K very easy miles.

BOTTOM LINE: replacing the front engine mount seems to have completely changed my shifting feel in all gears for the better.

Since you can't see the engine mount without removing it, I wonder just how many Boxster owners that have reported shifting problems have a bad front engine mount.

I also wonder, OUT LOUD, if there is any possible way that the stress on the mechanical equipment of engine and trans from a bad front engine mount could cause other problems, say for example a possible connection to rear main seal leaks.

YMMV
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:11 PM   #17
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Welcome to the nightmare of my life.

How many times do I drive this car which I love but the fun factor drops below zero with the gear changing. Especially from 1st to 2nd.

Well, I had enough, I've replaced the mount as well and it seemed to fix the problem but only temporary. I used to think its me as a driver but no way. Gear changes are too harsh and they almost feel to slowly break the car apart.

I went to the dealer and talked to a mechanic for 45minutes about the story. I got a phone call that they are replacing the transmission, especially for the 2nd gear but during the process they will fix everything else.

This is going to take a week and I am praying the gear shifting will be a bit smoother so I can enjoy this car the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:38 PM   #18
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I have an '02 S with 48k miles. The 6 speed, clutch, RMS were replaced under warranty at 15k. First to second is an exercise when cold---then fine. I experience the 'shudder' below 3k rpm, but only sometimes. Other times, the tranny is smooth as silk. I dunno... Regardless, I love my Box.
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:02 AM   #19
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Just my opinion....


As fun as downshifting is I avoid it now. It's much cheaper to replace and repair the Brembos than to have the transmission worked on, I would especially avoid 3rd to 2nd downshifts, that's a bad idea unless you are almost crawling.
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:20 AM   #20
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Just my opinion....


As fun as downshifting is I avoid it now. It's much cheaper to replace and repair the Brembos than to have the transmission worked on, I would especially avoid 3rd to 2nd downshifts, that's a bad idea unless you are almost crawling.
It's a bad idea not to downshift if your engine speed is under 2000 rpm and you want to accelerate. Learn to double clutch.

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