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Let's get shifty!!

 
Old 07-09-2019, 11:09 PM
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rusty76
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Default Let's get shifty!!

Some of you may recall I recently purchased '93 Coupe with a 6 speed. I wouldn't have it any other way. Been drooling over a manual Corvette for years, now I have it.

Today I was driving it and thinking about the other manual cars I've owned. There have only been 3 listed in the order that I owned them; a 1968 Austin Healey Sprite, a 1971 Gremlin with a 304 V-8, a floor mounted 3 speed with a 3.54 rear and a 1997 S-10 pickup with a 4.2 and a 5 speed.

I started comparing them in my mind in terms of how enjoyable it was to go through the gears, to operate the tranny. Here they are in order best to worst (yea, subjective, my opinion).

1. Austin Healey: Hydraulic clutch, short throw box with an internal shift mechanism, no contest.

2. Gremlin: Surprise! Surprise! My Gremlin's tranny was a joy to operate. Always positive, easy shifting. Only clutch effort and longer shift throws separated it from the Sprite

3. '97 S-10: A nice tranny and clutch, just not as much fun as the first 2.

4. Yep, my ZF is a stinker. I don't care that the clutch is a bit heavy, not an issue for me, but the gear box doesn't work well. Either my tranny is toast, my clutch needs work or this tranny is a POS by design. Hard into 2nd, a little less so into 3rd and 4th. The spring loading on the shifter is excessive and there's no need for the amount of effort required to move through the gate for 5th and 6th. The box is notchy and I'm getting way too much feedback from the sychronizers. Double clutching seems to ease the effort of up shifting somewhat which makes wonder if it's my clutch.

I'd love to hear from others that have the six speed. Is any of what I'm experiencing typical?
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:16 PM
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Kingtal0n
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So which 6-speed is this, the LT-1 T-56 with 0.5:1 sixth? and how many miles
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:19 PM
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1993C4LT1
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C4s never got the t56.
OP, you may need clutch hydraulic work. My experience bleeding it sucks.

Last edited by 1993C4LT1; 07-09-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:21 PM
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My "new" '89 ZF6 is the first stick shift since I was a teenager and I freakin' love it.

Yes the clutch seemed a but "heavy" at first but, after 5 months it feels "natural".

I do think the throws are a bit "long" but is fine for my non-racing needs.

Overall I love rowing through the gears in the '89.

Maybe try changing the clutch and tranny fluids, though I doubt that will change the "feel" much.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:40 PM
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rusty76
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To the clutch maintenance suggestions, I did a search on the forum about this problem and saw a couple of references to shifting problems being caused by the clutch. Once I get this thing up in the air that's among the first things I'm going to look at. Having said that I doubt this gear box will ever be the joy to use compared to, for instance, a used 5th gen. mustang I test drove that had a V-8 and 6 speed. I think the ZF is handicapped by the decisions ZF made with regard to the spring assists on the shifter - I'll let you know better later.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:52 PM
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95LT1ZF
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I feel about the same way. I have always had a manual vehicle and the ZF is probably my least favorite. Still would MUCH rather have it over an auto though. We had a 69 Austin Healey when I was younger and I agree, great clutch and shift feel. Since we are making lists, I might as well throw my two copper coins in there as well.

1. 1969 Austin Healey Sprite
2. 1985 200SX non-turbo
3. 1979 RX-7
4. 2006 GTO
5. 2006 G35 Sport Sedan
6. 2001 Nissan Maxima 20th Anniv.
7. 1998 Nissan Maxima SE
8. 1992 S-10
9. 1995 Chevrolet Corvette
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:10 PM
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mtwoolford
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61 corvette with Muncie close ratio M21 "rock crusher" and Hurst 4 speed completion shifter. The standard by which all others are judged

with that said, my 96 with the shifter mechanism rebuilt and the lever shortened by ZFdoc and a SPEC stage 3 plus clutch and a 22 pound billet steel flywheel is a very nice combo

Last edited by mtwoolford; 07-10-2019 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Sounds like you need a slave/master assy.
Those are real nice shifting trannies. That clutch is anything but heavy

The old muncies with a Hurst comp+ was the best shifting ever
Dont care for the T56 hydraulics....the B&M ripper is THE notchiest shifter ever
Even had the trans rebuilt thinking something was wrong. Nope, shitty shifter.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:55 PM
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Tom400CFI
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Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
So which 6-speed is this, the LT-1 T-56 with 0.5:1 sixth? and how many miles
I agree w/the others who say hydraulics. Trans should shift like buttah!
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:24 PM
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rusty76
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
I agree w/the others who say hydraulics. Trans should shift like buttah!
The weather is too nice to take it off the road. I'll live with it as is till I sell off a couple motorcycles and the weather cools off before I put it up on jack stands. I may take off the ECM and have a look at the fluid and if I do that I'll probably just suck out the fluid and replace it at a minimum. I broke down and bought one of those Mightvacs so that should make it an easier job.
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