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Old 12-10-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
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Why is it so hard to shift from 1st to 2nd?

I have a hard time shifting from first to second gear, all other gears are perfect but to get my jeep to go into second gear is quite difficult. It is more difficult when it is cold, i know this shouldn't have any effect at all on my transmission but as soon as my jeeps warmed up it slides into second gear effortlessly. Any ideas??

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Old 12-10-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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The easiest and least expensive attempt to fix it is to first change the fluid to see if that helps.

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Old 12-10-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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I was asking myself the same question but then read the following in the manual and stopped worrying

During cold weather, you may experience increased
effort in shifting until the transmission fluid
warms up. This is normal.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #4
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Ya, mine does the same thing. Nine degrees this morning on the way to work. Hard shifting into second. Extremely hard shifting into second when down shifting. Double clutching seems to do the trick though...it fell right into gear either up or down shifting.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
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I'm going to chime in too on this one. My 2010 JK does exactly the same thing when shifting between 1st-2nd. I hear a clicking sound and its like the shifter doesn't just go straight down into 2nd gear. I feel like I have to move it a more forcefully to get it into 2nd and this is most apparent when its cold. After 20 minutes or less of driving all is well. I'm glad that someone else has this issue. I've been telling myself "it's a Jeep and its probably normal" but it made me wonder.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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Hah I been having the same thing happening to me with these cold days. I was close to calling the dealer once I got into work. Boy am I glad I'm not the only one.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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Ditto. Same thing. There's a slight hitch pulling into second gear, particularly when it's cold. When it warms up, all seems fine.

Clearly, we all should have gotten Toyota Priuses.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:32 PM   #8
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Mine is difficult and I don't consider it to be abnormal. When it warms up it is OK. I don't think that the transmission is built like a passenger car so it would be difficult to compare. I think the synchros are not the same. The gear oil is pretty thick and gets thicker as the temperature plummets. I'm sure this has an effect. I just shift more carefully. If it doesn't get better as you continue on your way (15 to 20 minutes), then it may be warranted to make a warranty call to the dealer.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:36 PM   #9
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My '98 has the same problem but the '05 doesn't seem to. The '98 also has issues going into reverse when it's cold but fine when it's warm. I've been told it's normal and have been driving the '98 since it was brand new and it's never given me a problem.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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Clearly, we all should have gotten Toyota Priuses.
Or read the manual.

Sorry, couldn't resist since I just came from the other thread about "RTFM" and you were a poster.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #11
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The same things been happening to me, but I recently put penzoil syncromesh oil in it and it doesn't heat up any more (you can't feel the heat through the floor)

I guess it applies to all Jeeps old and new
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #12
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Or read the manual.

Sorry, couldn't resist since I just came from the other thread about "RTFM" and you were a poster.
Actualy, I was going to bring it to a dealer to "have it looked at" for this issue a while ago but, you know what I did first?? Yup, read the manual. Figured out that it was just fine and have been happy ever since!
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:30 PM   #13
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Mine shifts like crap too. It seemed a little better after switching to Royal Purple, but then it got even colder out. I always make sure the stick is pulled firmly to the left and then use steady pressure going from 1st to 2nd. It crunches the first few times, but after a mile or so it already seems easier. Almost feels like you're damaging it.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:43 AM   #14
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Sweet I feel better knowing Im not the only one! I at first thought it was because i was shifting at too low of an RPM (2700-3000). Its been worryn me but if everyones is doing it then no worries ha shoulda read my book thanks for the feedback!
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:02 AM   #15
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This worked for me even though its a TJ it should for you as well.

When your warming up your Jeep, put the transfer case in 4 wheel neutral. Then shift the transmission into 2nd gear and let out the clutch. Your trans then spins and gets everything moving inside. When you leave, put it back in 2 high and away you go. Your cold shifting should improve considerably. I know mine sure did. This is now a regular ritual for me.

Just my $.02
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:09 PM   #16
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First and second gear are triple cone synchronizers..
With very cold oil the viscosity will delay the synchronizer in doing its job and the triple cone will make it even worse because of the additional friction in the synchro lining..

A hard or shift block into first is because there are NO moving parts in the transmission.(the thick oil keep the input shaft from spinning at all)

Therefore I always double clutch before shifting into first..(Don't force it) If first is still hard to get into.. make a shift into the other gears first.. Double clutch one more time and you should be able to go into first....

Once you get moving the shift to second is easier as you have movement in the output shaft, but in very cold conditions you have to double clutch as well.. This will align the synchro rings much better allowing the coupler dog teeth to engage..After 1/4 mile all will go much smoother..

Letting your Jeep warm up (in neutral with clutch released) will help as this will warm up the oil the quickest....Then perform a few shift cycles with the clutch depressed..

In summary the hard 1/2 shift in cold condition is somewhat inherent to triple cone designs..
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:58 PM   #17
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^ now THERE'S an answer.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:59 PM   #18
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Ya, Antigoon is our resident transmission expert. Cool huh?
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:06 PM   #19
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I don't double clutch. When it's cold out I start out as normal. When I shift into 2nd I do it a little slower than normal. I just press the lever until it slides in with gentle pressure. I then drive down my street in 2nd gear causing me to go a little slower than normal. (20 in a 25) Then when I stop and turn out of my street, I'm able to shift into 2nd as normal.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:14 AM   #20
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1st and 2nd gear shift issues

Why would I be having a hard time shifting into 1st and 2nd gear, cold or hot outside? I have read a lot of threads but im not really seeing an answer. should I Change the oil to that I think redline mt-90, sorry if im wrong, or 10w-40? What should I do? Can anyone help?
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:58 AM   #21
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Why would I be having a hard time shifting into 1st and 2nd gear, cold or hot outside? I have read a lot of threads but im not really seeing an answer. should I Change the oil to that I think redline mt-90, sorry if im wrong, or 10w-40? What should I do? Can anyone help?
What year is your Jeep?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:35 AM   #22
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my jeep is a 97 tj sorry that it took so long to answer you!
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #23
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First and second gear are triple cone synchronizers..
With very cold oil the viscosity will delay the synchronizer in doing its job and the triple cone will make it even worse because of the additional friction in the synchro lining..

A hard or shift block into first is because there are NO moving parts in the transmission.(the thick oil keep the input shaft from spinning at all)

Therefore I always double clutch before shifting into first..(Don't force it) If first is still hard to get into.. make a shift into the other gears first.. Double clutch one more time and you should be able to go into first....

Once you get moving the shift to second is easier as you have movement in the output shaft, but in very cold conditions you have to double clutch as well.. This will align the synchro rings much better allowing the coupler dog teeth to engage..After 1/4 mile all will go much smoother..

Letting your Jeep warm up (in neutral with clutch released) will help as this will warm up the oil the quickest....Then perform a few shift cycles with the clutch depressed..

In summary the hard 1/2 shift in cold condition is somewhat inherent to triple cone designs..

Thanks for the info man! awesome. I figured it had something to do with synchronizers. Can you elaborate more on how you double-clutch?

My Jeep also violently pops out of first gear every now and then..
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:50 AM   #24
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If you have never checked or replaced the transmission oil, it's very possible you're over a quart low. Since this recent discovery.. I'm overjoyed with how much better this transmission performs. Unbelievable.

Drives perhaps better than ever before. Smooth Driving characteristics. smooth shifting. No grinding, some of the notchyness remains, but a huge improvement over the starving state it once was.

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