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Old 09-20-2011, 02:53 PM   #1
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Boxster S 2nd gear experiences

Hey Guys,

After 3 years of living without 2nd gear in my 2003 986 S (shifting 1st to 3rd and vise versa), I am thinking about taking the plunge and either getting my tranny rebuilt or replaced. I'm just wanting to get some advice from any of those that have had the same problem and had it dealt with.

When the problems started it would pop itself out of 2nd gear. As of 3 years ago it just simply wouldnt engage the gear at all. just grinding and resistance.

How did you resolve the issue? How much did it cost?

Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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When I first got my 2000S it would not shift into 2nd very well and would pop out of gear on occasion. Replaced the front motor mount and the shifting got a lot better and it doesn't pop out of gear anymore, but I still have to be careful to pause slighty between shifts to let the synchros catch up before shifting. The second gear is a common problem with the 6 speed tranny and you never know how the previous owner(s) treated the tranny. Check the shifting cable adjustment and the motor mount first before looking into replacing/rebuilding the transmission. If your car has a lot of miles, the front mount is most likely shot. It will be a lot cheaper than the tranny.
I used to do the 1 - 3 shift also, to avoid the 2nd gear issues. Still have to be careful most of the time going into 2nd, but at least I can still use it.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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I would sell my S if I couldn't use 2nd gear. It's my favorite by far.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
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Same BS with my trans. I had it rebuilt this winter at 142,000 miles. Synchros were replaced and I had a Guard torque biasing differential installed. I also had the stock detent swapped for the G-Box unit. I pulled the trans and took it in to the shop (Lufteknic in Richmond, VA), so all they had to do was the internal work. $4000. UGH!
But it works absolutely perfectly. Also did the LW flywheel and Spec stage 3+ clutch. Nice additions.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:29 PM   #5
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I had my transmission repaired by G-Box also. It would occassionally pop-out of second gear but was not as bad as yours sounds, syncros, cones, pinions and seals with 10 hours labor ran $3,050 with shipping ($300 for Shipping, they aranged pick-up from my work's dock). I hated to spend the money also but not having the tranny right was worse.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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You drove on a boken transmission for how long?
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Last edited by DenverSteve; 09-21-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:58 PM   #7
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I have a similar problem which only occurs BEFORE the car gets to operating temp. Once it reaches operating temp, shifting into 2nd is buttery smooth. But before it reaches temp, if i want to use 2nd gear, I just have to pull a little bit harder to keep it in 2nd and it never pops out if I use a little bit of muscle.

Thoughts on this?
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:35 AM   #8
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Second gear synchro has been an issue as long as I have owned my Boxster.

I have not been able to downshift from third to second for two and a half years. It has actually taught me to be a better driver. I can shift from first to second normally except for the occasional crunch. The whole thing is quite usable even in its compromised condition.

The biggest reason I have not repaired it is $3000 for rebuilt gearbox + $1500 labor + $800 IMS Retrokit + $800 new clutch

So for $6100 I can live with it just fine until the clutch needs to be replaced and then I will do it all.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered View Post
Second gear synchro has been an issue as long as I have owned my Boxster.

I have not been able to downshift from third to second for two and a half years. It has actually taught me to be a better driver. I can shift from first to second normally except for the occasional crunch. The whole thing is quite usable even in its compromised condition.
Funny, for me it is the exact opposite. If I shift too quickly from 1-2, I might get a grind out of the box (heart drop and a wince every time), but it's pretty rare that it does happen, as I usually just force myself to take my time going from 1-2. Going from 3-2 I've never had a problem no matter how fast I try to go through the gear change.

I've never had the shifter come out of gear, the only thing I've noticed is that when coming on/off the accelerator, the shifter displays its greatest amount of movement in 2nd gear. Linkages, maybe?
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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ditto Overdrive's experience. Occasionally grind going into 2nd if I do it too quickly, or come off the clutch a smidge too soon. Otherwise no 2nd gear issues.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:03 AM   #11
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You drove on a boken transmission for how long?
I did the same thing. No second gear for a year so far in my Mazda. It still runs fine with 160,000 miles. Too many labor hours involved in synchro's. In my opinion, there is no need to fix it if you only use your car for daily driving and not racing.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:16 PM   #12
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Reading all of your experiences ... I'm glad that I have a 5 speed

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Old 09-22-2011, 07:01 PM   #13
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Mine is a base 5-speed, too, sasha, but I still get an occasional grind when the synchros can't keep up for 2nd.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Highlow (Robo-Top) View Post
I would sell my S if I couldn't use 2nd gear. It's my favorite by far.
Mine too.. nothing like taking off in first on a rainy day and kicking it sideways when you throw it in 2nd.. Although running 65-70mph and throwing it back into 3rd is also pretty awesome too.

My question is that besides pausing between shifts and all that, is there a good way to prevent any 2nd gear problems from happening later since mine is working perfect currently?... knock on wood
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:24 PM   #15
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Can't say. When I traded my 2001 in it had 90,000 and shifted like new.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:16 AM   #16
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Mine too.. nothing like taking off in first on a rainy day and kicking it sideways when you throw it in 2nd.. Although running 65-70mph and throwing it back into 3rd is also pretty awesome too.

My question is that besides pausing between shifts and all that, is there a good way to prevent any 2nd gear problems from happening later since mine is working perfect currently?... knock on wood


Yes there is......Gbox has an upgraded 2nd gear detent:

2ND GEAR POP-OUT UPGRADE-GBOX Transmission
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:47 AM   #17
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here's something i've been thinking - why do we even have a 6-speed on the S? the driveshaft offsets with the longer tranny are poor, and the ratios seem a bit wonky. the 3.2 should have enough torque to work great with the taller ratios. what are the benefits? has anyone put a 5-speed in an S? cheaper and appears to be a bit less prone to the 2nd gear issues.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:16 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ohhh my View Post
I have a similar problem which only occurs BEFORE the car gets to operating temp. Once it reaches operating temp, shifting into 2nd is buttery smooth. But before it reaches temp, if i want to use 2nd gear, I just have to pull a little bit harder to keep it in 2nd and it never pops out if I use a little bit of muscle.

Thoughts on this?
Your syncro is going but not yet gone.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:18 AM   #19
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here's something i've been thinking - why do we even have a 6-speed on the S? the driveshaft offsets with the longer tranny are poor, and the ratios seem a bit wonky. the 3.2 should have enough torque to work great with the taller ratios. what are the benefits? has anyone put a 5-speed in an S? cheaper and appears to be a bit less prone to the 2nd gear issues.
The 6-speed is a little more robust than the 5-speed. But totally unnecessary. It was a marketing check box. Now with 7 speeds, the new ones will have two pointless gears.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:44 PM   #20
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I wish...

Sure wish first, second, and third were a bit lower. The other 3 don't really make a difference.
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