The Infamous 2nd Gear Crunch

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Irlkev

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New FK8 owner just picked one up last week used, about 3700mi 2018. So daily driving it and gave it some hard shifts 1st to 2nd and have had about 3 notchy crunches in the space of a week, wouldn’t call it a grind just crunch. Was thinking of starting with the rod adjustment and transmission fluid.

Kevin





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Zukoh

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I changed to amsoil trans fluid... Way less grind... And like everyone else is saying, it's always when you turn left and shift... Of anyone can explain why it's always left and shift or gunning it hard from first... I had 3 of my friends do.thr same thing and my wife.. so it's surely not user error..

Amsoil synchro is mint though.. way less
I have a raceseng shift knob so haven't tried with stock in a really long time, the raceseng is way heavier, but I do still get the crunch sometimes. I noticed that when you shift into second you have to try to not pull down and to the left which feels natural. If I pull straight down from 1st to 2nd (and even a little to the right its smooth).
 

TheSnakeJake

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I have a raceseng shift knob so haven't tried with stock in a really long time, the raceseng is way heavier, but I do still get the crunch sometimes. I noticed that when you shift into second you have to try to not pull down and to the left which feels natural. If I pull straight down from 1st to 2nd (and even a little to the right its smooth).
Interesting that you say this because my trans is totally opposite. 2nd gear changes are only smooth if I pull to the left when shifting (up or down).
 

un1coRn

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Does anybody know if this was 'fixed' on the 2019s?? My badge number is 34844. Thanks
 

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They will never "fix" this. K Series manual transmissions have had on and off issues since they came out, most prevalent since 2006 with the 8th Generation Civic (Si model).

Over the years the best solution I've found is using the AC Delco/GM Synchromesh Friction Modified transmission fluid. My old 2007 Civic Si felt reborn after I made the switch, and have put it in every K Series transmission I've owned since then with great results.
 

un1coRn

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They will never "fix" this. K Series manual transmissions have had on and off issues since they came out, most prevalent since 2006 with the 8th Generation Civic (Si model).

Over the years the best solution I've found is using the AC Delco/GM Synchromesh Friction Modified transmission fluid. My old 2007 Civic Si felt reborn after I made the switch, and have put it in every K Series transmission I've owned since then with great results.
Good to know. Thanks.
 

Ziaro7

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I got my 2019 Type R about a month ago, and have had about five 2nd gear grinds within 800 miles. I'm going switch to the GM fluid sometime next week

but I'm curious if anyone's transmission been completely damaged to the point where it doesn't drive properly anymore? Having it grind has felt embarrassing when it happens, but I do want to be able to enjoy the vehicle I just recently purchased without worrying that the transmission is going become unusable.
 

Brooksumw89

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I’ve had a few grind here and there. Mine is a 2018 with 3500 miles. I’m the 2nd owner and I bought it at 2000 miles. Definitely happens the most when turning left and shifting at around 2500-3000rpms. I’m taking it into the dealership this week to get it documented and hopefully have them change out the trans oil. Maybe I’ll see if they know about the CMC part in the 2020s.
 

BoostedDreams

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Another 2019 here with less than 2,000 miles and 4 grinds total. Been driving manual for 18 years. I’ve found that you can’t be slamming it into second. If I finesse it, it’s okay. I am curious about making that adjustment though. I’ve only encountered the issue at redline when being aggressive.
 

tinyman392

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Another 2019 here with less than 2,000 miles and 4 grinds total. Been driving manual for 18 years. I’ve found that you can’t be slamming it into second. If I finesse it, it’s okay. I am curious about making that adjustment though. I’ve only encountered the issue at redline when being aggressive.
I stopped ripping gears entirely in the car. The lever gives me resistance in two spots during each shift (as you hit center line and as you go into gear). I've started not trying to force the shifter through either of these areas and let the resistance play me through the shift. So the shift goes dunk-dunk instead of dudunk (really bad way of explaining it I know). I've heard from others that some tranny's simply don't like to be shifted fast; this might fall into that list.
 

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To everyone experiencing a second gear grind, the first thing you should do is adjust your clutch pedal free-play. This has been said many times in this thread and I haven't come across a single person who's done it and still reports grinds.

(See my note in the tips below about increasing clutch pedal travel as this was a crucial step in eliminating my grinds.)

So while you may be tempted to throw money at the problem, don't. Grab the necessary tools, get on your hands and knees, and adjust the free play. A different manual transmission fluid, a modified master or slave cylinder, a new shift knob, etc. aren't going to fix it.

Fellow forum-member Lust posted a very helpful video for the FK8 Type R:



There are a bunch of other videos that give you different perspectives that are also very useful to watch:





Some tips I can offer having personally done it myself:
  • Grab something soft to kneel on to protect your knees. Also, throw down a towel on the bottom of your door sill to protect the paint from scratches from your jeans, zippers, etc.

  • You might feel better marking the original position of the rod with a marker in case you ever want to return to factory spec for some reason. You'll want to use a good quality permanent marker as the rod is pretty greasy and can wipe the marker off if you're not careful.

  • Once you've found the point of resistance on the clutch master cylinder rod, tightening the lock nut will likely undo some of the adjustment you just made. You might want to turn the rod a bit further past the point of resistance to compensate for any undoing that might happen.

  • Important: In my case, I still had a grind shortly after adjusting just the rod. It took lengthening the clutch pedal travel for them to completely go away. I loosened the clutch pedal stopper two one full counter-clockwise turns. You'll need to re-adjust the rod to the new point of resistance after lengthening the travel, so best adjust the pedal travel first before you do the initial rod adjustment so that you don't end up having to adjust the rod twice in total.

  • The bite point of your clutch will inevitably now be higher from the floor. It's something you'll have to get used to.

  • One other thing I did after I adjusted my clutch pedal free-play and travel was turn off auto rev-match. I noticed that all my grinds had happened with it on and it resulted in smoother shifts in all gears when I turned it off.

It's beyond me why Honda dealerships all the way up to R&D in Japan haven't figured this out.
 
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To everyone experiencing a second gear grind, the first thing you should do is adjust your clutch pedal free-play. This has been said many times in this thread ................
(See my note in the tips below about increasing clutch pedal travel as this was a crucial step in eliminating my grinds.)....................
What a great share!!! I applaud the detail of your post!!!🤙
Aside from some '17 MY, others that followed should still be covered by the factory warranty. Suggest exhausting that approach prior to doing your own remedial actions.
That said, I have driven a '17 and a '19 previously. Personally, never came across this "crunch" issue. The '19 is an SGP belonging to the Service Mgr. of where I send our GK Fit. He tracks his car with other local CTR owners. They haven't had this issue, nor has he seen complaints at his dealership since the '17's were introduced.
As last resort quick solution would be to learn double-clutching into second. Another dying art!!!
 

davemarco

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I can confirm that, having driven several different Type R's, there are units out there that have zero resistance with 2nd gear. The first time I got behind the wheel of one, my mind was blown. Sadly, mine is not such a unit.
 

zeppelin2

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What a great share!!! I applaud the detail of your post!!!🤙
Aside from some '17 MY, others that followed should still be covered by the factory warranty. Suggest exhausting that approach prior to doing your own remedial actions.
That said, I have driven a '17 and a '19 previously. Personally, never came across this "crunch" issue. The '19 is an SGP belonging to the Service Mgr. of where I send our GK Fit. He tracks his car with other local CTR owners. They haven't had this issue, nor has he seen complaints at his dealership since the '17's were introduced.
As last resort quick solution would be to learn double-clutching into second. Another dying art!!!
Thanks Rottboy. Yes, the first thing anybody experiencing regular gear grinds should do is bring their car in to their dealership and have it recorded. Don't expect the problem to show during a test drive. The goal here is to have them document it and contact Tech Line or Honda Corporate to get instructions on what to do. It seems they're not getting bothered enough by people that actually have the problem.

To be clear on what I'm calling a gear grind, see the video below. Ignore the fact that it has a big "Crunch bar" logo in it or that this thread has "crunch" in the title. A grind is not the same as what I believe many others are experiencing in the form of a crunch or notchiness while shifting. A gear grind is prolonged, sounds like death, and usually does not let you into gear. A crunch or notchiness is a noticeable lack of smoothness experienced when going into gear. If you've ever grinded, you'll know.

If you are not experiencing any sorts of grinds or even crunches/notchiness while shifting, I do not recommend you do this adjustment. However, if you are unfortunate enough to have this problem, I consider it to be less risky than swapping MTFs, modding CMC/CSC, etc. This is the one thing that has consistently been shown to work. And if you mark the original positions of both the CMC rod and clutch stop, you can easily return it to your factory defaults at any point.

In my case, I experienced 12 first-to-second gear grinds over a 9000 km (5500 mile) period. I bought the car new, broke in the engine, transmission, and brakes in as per the manual, and always made sure the fluid temps were warm before driving hard.

As an added bonus from making the aforementioned adjustments, almost all other gear changes are now smoother too. Not only have there been no second-gear grinds in 4000 km (2500 miles), but any gear crunch/notchiness has also pretty much been fixed. The difference in my case was night and day and immediately made a difference.

 
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