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Old 03-24-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
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Stiff 2nd Gear actuation when cold on manual 6 Speed of FRS/BRZ? There's a reason!

For those who are wondering if it was normal for the FR-S/BRZ 6 speed manual's 2nd gear to be at times, stiff on a cold morning start-up...

Don't worry, it's not a malfunction or a defect. I just got off the phone with the design team for the FT86 which include the Team 86 lead by Mr.Tada as well as specialists from AISIN.

What they told me was that this was a design constraint of two choices.

To make a superbly crafted actuation and interface for a manual transmission that's slick and sporty, with positive engagement feel, the various components were machined closer to that of a racing transmission in terms of clearance.

While that results sometimes in stiff actuation when cold, it is what gives the Toyota 86 siblings, the most sportiest, precise feel when it is at proper operating temperature.

So the bottom line was either to make a shifter with looser feel and have it perform loose and lazy at all temps, or to make something super precise at proper temperature and live like a sports car fanatic. They chose the latter and I am glad they did.

So fear not. It was intended and it was the choice the engineers made, to make this car with less compromises than ever before. See?

They thought of everything! And didn't cater to people who aren't into sports cars.

So next time, don't be embarrassed, as this is also the case with Porsche 996 GT3 and most exotic track-capable manual transmissions as well!! Brag about it instead.

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
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Great to know, thanks!
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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Hmmm I'm inclined to doubt that. With current technology a smoother second gear shift seems absolutely doable along with maintaining the "precise shifting." There are plenty of cars that shift well and don't have this issue. I don't mean to sound like a downer but I think that answer is a crock. It just doesn't make sense in an engineering perspective to make something overall better and sacrifice something else. No offense.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:10 AM   #4
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This is a common complaint with the RX-8 and NC MX-5 gearbox. Very interesting.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:36 AM   #5
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I know gear grinds and extreme reluctance to pull out/put into gear when cold are also features of this modern manual transmission. For a car that put down less than 165HP to the wheels the "race" spec gibberish used by manufactures to play down design problems is laughable.

But in all fairness, this has been an issue on plenty of Aisin transmissions. Fluid swaps help but don't eliminate the problems.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norsamerican View Post
Hmmm I'm inclined to doubt that. With current technology a smoother second gear shift seems absolutely doable along with maintaining the "precise shifting." There are plenty of cars that shift well and don't have this issue. I don't mean to sound like a downer but I think that answer is a crock. It just doesn't make sense in an engineering perspective to make something overall better and sacrifice something else. No offense.
Perhaps, but that was the answer I got from Aisin and Toyota's engineers and not the Public Relations staff so though it is 'unofficial' it may very well be a more accurate description of was/is on the decision table. I am sure they can make it better, but at what costs, and what timeframe? Perhaps this was the best choice, within constraints of a $25,000 car?
I really don't think this is an issue, as long as it operates fine when warm and at proper temperature where it is designed to be optimal.

At least we don't have to play with choke levers and learn how to drive a racing carburetor for engines with this much compression?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:49 AM   #7
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I just got off the phone with the design team for the FT86 which include the Team 86 lead by Mr.Tada as well as specialists from AISIN.

Haha, Moto you're so awesome. :happy0180:
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:52 AM   #8
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Meh, doesn't bother me. My Suzuki SX4 6MT doesn't want to get into 2nd (not sure if Aisin makes it) when cold. I think my Celica GT-S was the same. Anyone ever try shoving it into 1st gear while moving faster than parking lot speeds? Shoving it into 2nd when cold feels similar. Maybe because the gear that is most similar and closest to 1st is 2nd gear.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:11 AM   #9
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At least we don't have to play with choke levers and learn how to drive a racing carburetor for engines with this much compression?
Exactly. Remember, when "warm-up" meant a different set of plugs entirely? It was not that long ago!

In our world, a little stiffness from a cold gearbox is to be expected. Many great cars exhibit this characteristic. Our Supra has been like this since it was new (15 years ago, wow!) and that is without Aisin gearbox or $25k pricetag. Owners of 2000GT probably deal with a bit of stiffness too. (Good for them -- enjoying early morning runs!)

Once everything is warmed up, it will be consistently good every single time, this is the Toyota truth. Take solace knowing some of the finest sports cars in the world have a bit of this. It is part of the experience.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Allch Chcar View Post
This is a common complaint with the RX-8 and NC MX-5 gearbox. Very interesting.
This, we also use the same style of gears that they use which is another reason for it. They knew alot of people would drive these cars hard and they don't want to constantly replace gears under warranty.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:50 AM   #11
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celica transmission was like this too, didnt help i was running ultra high viscosity race fluid in it either on days when its 10F i would have to put the car in second turn the car on and drive around the block in second 2-3 times before leaving, then everything was dandy lol...
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:51 AM   #12
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Or you could be more proactive and switch to a thinner transmission fluid. 3 quarts of pentosin synthetic 75 - 80w and your golden.
I'll even take it a step further. If your in orange county can and want to see for urself pm me. It's been kind of rainy/cold off and on last few weeks.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #13
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nice info!
As long the gears don't grind I am fine with more workout to my hands. LOL.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:43 AM   #14
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well when I start the car, with it stopped I usually use all gears like 2 times each, and let car get warm before go to any place when It's cold( like mornings, or when car is some hours parked) and that not happens anymore.
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