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There shouldn't be any permanent damage so long as you didn't bend anything in your attempts to free up the shift linkage. If it's working fine now, then there's very little chance that you need to do anything else.
No I didn't force it in any way. I didn't have the time to sit there and warm up the engine with my foot on the clutch so I left it sit all day and once the temp came up I guess it loosened up. By the time I got home from work it was fine. I drove it pretty vigorously last night and everything seems fine.

I guess my concern/question is this: I've driven front wheel drive vehicles with manual many times before (and had them sitting in cold temps colder than 25 degrees) and also have a truck with a manual RWD tranny and I've never had a shifter to "freeze" like this one did so I am a bit perplexed. I guess I am wondering if it is the combination of how low the ST sits to the ground (making it easier for water to get up under the car) and the fact that I didn't drive it for 2 or 3 days (hence it didn't heat up) OR if there is something else going on that rendered it more susceptible?

Also, brings up the question of leaving the car in second gear when parked on a flat driveway. I've never been comfortable leaving any vehicle I own in neutral in case of e-brake failure, but is it better to leave it in first or second gear? or doesn't it really make a difference in this situation.
 

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I've never had that happen before. I would think the lining on the bottom of the engine bay would keep that from getting soaked.


Sent from the jPhone using Tapatalk
 

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blackbird, I am experiencing the same exact issue you are right now. Tonight I decided to take the car out for a spin and during a hard acceleration from 1st to 2nd it seemed like I had some wheel hop, but I also am pretty sure I hit a lip in the road. This caused a pretty big bang during my shift (bad timing I guess). I am also running with the stock mount, which makes since that it could cause this issue, but the fact that I was in a hard shift from 1st to 2nd and unfortunately hit a significant lip in the road causing a big bang seems similar to your issues, but kinda in the reverse. I did completely let of immediately after the bang sound, but it was too late because I couldn't shift into the top row of gears right after. It is R, 1st, 3rd, and 5th for me that do not engage, but I tried rowing through everything on my way home, but it was only 2nd and 4th the whole way. Fortunately I only had a few miles to go so it wasn't bad.

I am going back out to try a few things you tried to get my gears back, but if it doesn't work I am off to the dealer to get it working. Actually I will probably still take off work tomorrow even if I get the gears back so that I can take it in to the dealer. I want them to check it out to see if any of the cables are bent or anything else is damaged.

I am pretty confident something either had to pop off or some of the cables got bent, but like yourself I can freely and easily row 2nd, 4th, and 6th, but when I go into any of the top gears it is like it halfway gets there and then it is a stiff stop like something is in the way of getting all the way engaged.

I am hoping nothing is too damaged. I am definitely going to get an improved rmm because the amount of engine movement and wheel hop is so bad and fierce under hard acceleration that I am affraid something is going to seriously break, and thinking about it, I guess something probably did break because now I am seeing this problem. Well, I am hoping something just popped loose here, and hopefully nothing else broke. On the way home everything seemed to function properly minus the top row of gears so I am optimistic there are no other major issues here.

Anyone have any ideas on some other aftermarket parts outside a rmm that could improve on this? What about the Steeda shifter bracket? Not sure if this would make any improvements, but was just curious. I am pretty sure replacing the rmm would make a significant improvement it if limits the amount of engine rock.

-Ryan

Update*** After waiting about 1 hour reading through this post, I went back to my ST and was able to right away row through every gear. Taking the car back out for a test drive I found that every gear was back to normal. This leads me to believe that during the hard acceleration and hitting the uneven patch of road that the engine probably rocked very hard caused the cables to over extend somehow and after some time they slipped back into place. I am not sure if some bracket in the chain is now loose or even broken, but now everything is fine with the gears. I am almost certain that the rmm is probably the root cause of this happening, so it seems to me that this is a must replacement and not just one of the first mods someone should get around to installing. At least this is just my 2 cents.
 

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If true then its more evidence for ford to rethink the RMM.

Eric, did you replace yours yet? I seem to remember that you were going efocus. Interested to know if it fixed this shifter issue. I still wonder if something else is going on. Ive driven many manual trannys (most fwd) and never experienced frozen shifters and the problems with the transaxle that has been described here.
 

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I would say that the weak stock RMM is definitely what ultimately caused this to happen. I have been thinking about this even more and since it is so fresh in my mind after just happening this evening. If we think about the scenario in which this happened and what the immediate outcome was, it has to be the RMM that allowed this to happen.

From a standing start I was launching fairly hard in 1st from a stop light. I was not launching hard enough on first to cause wheel hop or spin, but upon shifting fairly hard into second gear and pressing firmly on the accellerator I unfortunately happened to hit a significant lip in the road and it cause the engine to rock hard and bang into the firewall and some severe wheel hop. At that very moment I completely let off the throttle and started to slow down comming up to the next light. When I was stopped, I then tried shiffing into first and it was completely blocked from engaging completely into first. It was like the cable was stretched to far and wouldn't go any further. At the light I tried to row all the gears and found all the top row to be only getting about halfway before it would be like it was hitting something in the way. I then limped home with 2nd and 4th (which was a pain) as the only ones I had available. No need for sixth at this point because it was all city driving. After finding this post and researching for about an hour I went back down and was immediately able to row all gears with ease.

So, with all that said and the above scenario and symptoms explained, it seems to me that one of the shifter cables got extended too far and somehow bent, slid to far through, or broke a connecting bracket which basically stopped me from being able to pull the shift lever far enough to get to the top row of gears. Now I do not pretend to know how the shifting mechanism works on this car, but this does make a lot of sense as to how this happened. So after waiting for an hour the shifter cable must have slide back or got uncaught and went back to it original position. I just hope no pieces were broke in the process so that it isn't easier for this to happen again more often.

With all this said, I feel strongly that the root cause was from the severe engine movement in this scenario, which was able to happen because of the weak RMM. Long story short, I am going to replace the RMM way sooner than I originally thought. I am going to be ordering a new one this week.
 

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I was fiddling around the engine compartment on my car with the engine cover off and noticed a harness running from under the air box to the block was rubbing the counter weight on the shift arm. My car had been less precise on shifts to 1, 3, 5 than 2, 4, 6. I repositioned this harness (I was more worried about wearing through and shorting) so it didn't rub and it made an improvement in the preciseness of the 1, 3, 5 shifts.

Wondering if the shifter arm is actually catching on that harness.
 

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when hitting a bump though wouldn't the engine go side to side due to the up down motion of the tire / shock instead of rotating along the front to back motion ?
I still feel that the RMM is probably more likely to have allowed my issue, but I am sure the passenger side umm might have contributed as well because in this case I did hit a pretty big lip in the road.

I was fiddling around the engine compartment on my car with the engine cover off and noticed a harness running from under the air box to the block was rubbing the counter weight on the shift arm. My car had been less precise on shifts to 1, 3, 5 than 2, 4, 6. I repositioned this harness (I was more worried about wearing through and shorting) so it didn't rub and it made an improvement in the preciseness of the 1, 3, 5 shifts.

Wondering if the shifter arm is actually catching on that harness.
You make a good point. I was actually going try and pull the airbox this coming weekend to see If I could see anything that was catching or if something is now loose after what happened yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Been off the forums for a little bit but no, I haven't put the torque strut mount from the Focus Electric on yet and I haven't had the issue return. I also haven't had the circumstances repeat yet so I can't say for sure what is preventing the shift action but it is likely due to excessive powertrain movement as the root cause. Hearing someone else had this happen and those circumstances kind of make me wonder if a cable is binding up in its housing/sheath. I didn't see the harness or anything else preventing the counterweights on the shift selector from moving through their range of motion but I also didn't pull the air box to do a close inspection.
 

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I can't use my 2nd gear at all - started grinding about 200 miles ago, it would engage at first, but about 2 days ago, nothing. So bummed.. going to dealer monday when a tech can look at it. :(
 

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Bad news indeed. My ST has been at the dealer for a week and a half awaiting a replacement transmission so I can sympathize. It would occasionally pop out of first gear, but I didn't have issues with any other gear. Hopefully your condition won't require replacement, but please keep us informed on the outcome.

How long have you had your ST and how many miles?
 

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Bad news indeed. My ST has been at the dealer for a week and a half awaiting a replacement transmission so I can sympathize. It would occasionally pop out of first gear, but I didn't have issues with any other gear. Hopefully your condition won't require replacement, but please keep us informed on the outcome.

How long have you had your ST and how many miles?

I picked up my car in Sept 2012, I now have 83xx miles.. It started acting strange about 7800 - I really had to hold the shifter hard in 2nd, but I could still drive mellow and use gear, by 8000 it was completely gone. (worked the night before, gone in the morning) I had the clutch replaced at 2000 miles, this is strike 2 on my drivetrain. I have had some pressing work this week so I wasn't able to drop it off. Monday for sure.
 

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I was fiddling around the engine compartment on my car with the engine cover off and noticed a harness running from under the air box to the block was rubbing the counter weight on the shift arm. My car had been less precise on shifts to 1, 3, 5 than 2, 4, 6. I repositioned this harness (I was more worried about wearing through and shorting) so it didn't rub and it made an improvement in the preciseness of the 1, 3, 5 shifts.

Wondering if the shifter arm is actually catching on that harness.
I decided to try the JBR solid bushings to see if it would firm up my 1,3,5 shifts. After I got the console apart the first thing I noticed was the shifter cable jacket WAS NOT attached to the shifter frame. When i push the lever forward there was nothing restraining the cable jacket and when you shift into 2,4,6 the jacket would bare on the frame giving you a firm precise feel. No wonder the 1,3,5 shifts didn't feel good and I missed an occasional shift into 3 or 5.

It was a simple fix; I just had to lift the cable jacket up and onto the slot in the frame. There is a spring loaded collar on the jacket that locked into place once it was in place.

The 1,3,5 shifts are now just as firm and precise as the 2,4,6 shifts plus the lever travel forward is shorter (the movement of the jacket doesn't have to be overcome).

If you want to check yours just pop of the drivers side console trim and you can see and get at the cable.
 

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Ok so I ran into this problem again during a hard break a stop sign. Imediately after breaking I was back in the situation where I no longer could shift into the top row of gears.

This confused me a little bit as the last time it happened was during a hard acceleration. Rowing the gears did nothing to help get the top row of gears working again, but eventually I was able to kinda force it into the top gears, but it felt like something might have been bent or being impeded by something.

This is what I found out and it might be the same for anyone that is or had the same issue.

So after taking off the Intake filter box this is what I found right in the way of the shifter linkage and counter weight.


It was sitting right here impeding the counter weight from moving fully forward. This image is a close up of the shifter in the forward position (3rd Gear). Notice the part of the counter weight next to the orange piece on the left to right shifter lever and cable. Basically because of the plastic hose hook, the shifter counter weight couldn't go fully forward like this image.


These 3 images below are the three positions forward for R,1,3,5 gears middle for N and rear for 2,4,6 gears.

Forward (towards nose)


Middle


Rear (towards firewall)


I hope this helps everyone.
 

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That's really strange. What did that clip go to? Also, in the picture can you draw where it was sitting?

I feel like this should be its own thread if it can be determined that's the actual cause. Removing/adjusting a single clip seems like a much better alternative to getting a transmission replaced.
 

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That's really strange. What did that clip go to? Also, in the picture can you draw where it was sitting?

I feel like this should be its own thread if it can be determined that's the actual cause. Removing/adjusting a single clip seems like a much better alternative to getting a transmission replaced.
Here is an updated image highlighting where the plastic hanger was lodged. Basically it fell off at some point, and I could not find where exactly it came from.

This is the right thread for this. Blackbird started this thread awhile back because he was experiencing the same issue where he couldn't shift into the top row of gears and eventually he was able to get it working again. This case might not be the same root cause for everyone having this issue, but some might be having the same issue as me so hopefully it is an easy fix like mine and not having to have the transmission worked on or replaced.

WP_20130521_007.jpg
 
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