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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought an 03 miata ls 5 speed. Sometimes when i shift into 3rd gear it sounds like grinding before locking into gear. It only happens in 3rd though and only when i'm stepping on it and blow through the first two gears. I've heard miata's can have clutch chatter but i'm not sure what the difference between chatter and a bad clutch.

If it is the clutch i know there are alot of replacement preferences out there but is a FM stage one clutch good enough? Do i need to replace the flywheel also?

http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?dept=10
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It does grab late, but only when shifting into 3rd. I talked to my dad and he said if its the clutch then it would catch late in every gear.
 

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I am leaning toward synchronizer. I agree that if the clutch was failing or the clutch hydraulic system was leaking it'd be noticeable in more than 3rd gear.

I think the reason it's doing this only when you are "getting on it" in 1st and 2nd is because you tend to run the RPM up higher when driving aggressively, which causes a higher difference in transmission shaft speeds. The 3rd gear synchronizer has to then work harder to make the intermediate shafts turn the same RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mileage is 85k. I have it in the garage today to get the timing belt kit done because the previous owner neglected to. I asked my mechanic for an assessment so i'll let you know what his verdict is. Does a bad syncro just mean they will have to completely rebuild the transmission? I looked a a diagram of a transmission and the synchro looks like the main gears. Blah i was hoping it would just be the clutch or my sh*tty driving.
 

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Why does everyone condemn a 85,000mi syncro? You obviously don't understand how transmissions wear, or have never seen inside an abused transmission. Modern syncros are not the same that were in your dads old chevy 4 speed. They can last hundreds of thousands of miles. Unless you abuse the trans severely, or clutchlessly shift everyday without knowing how to do it properly, the syncros are fine. Generally bent shift forks are what cause trans issues.


OP: Your slave is probably the cause. Also try adjusting the catch point on the clutch pedal assembly. For normal driving, I'd use an OEM clutch. For aggressive driving, I'd use an OEM Mazdaspeed Miata clutch. Machine the stock flywheel to be sure it is flat. Does double clutching affect the grind? Does it occur going up to third and down into third?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just up into third. I've never noticed the grind when downshifting.

I just got back from the mechanic and he said the transmission fluid was extremely low. I just bought this car, so i blame the previous owner(although i should have checked it. duh!!) He mentioned syncro could be the problem too.

Note to self: Always buy my own parts and bring them to the garage. I totally got ripped off.
 

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Just up into third. I've never noticed the grind when downshifting.

I just got back from the mechanic and he said the transmission fluid was extremely low. I just bought this car, so i blame the previous owner(although i should have checked it. duh!!) He mentioned syncro could be the problem too.

Note to self: Always buy my own parts and bring them to the garage. I totally got ripped off.
Low fluid was most likely your core issue. Your syncro wear will have been accelerated by the low fluid level, but it should be fine for years to come.



As a mechanic, I'll give you this advice: Buy one of Kieth Tanners Miata Maintenance books, a cheap set of tools, and do your own work. You'll save a lot
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After topping of the fluid it already seems somewhat smoother. Well see how it does after a week or so.

I intend to do my own work once i buy a house and have my own garage, but i live in an apartment complex and i don't think my neighbors would appreciate my car up on jacks.

Thanks for your input guys.
 
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