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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not sure if I'm the only who may notice this. But of all the manual cars I've driven, my Focus ST is the only one that has some sort of mechanism that guides the shift, especially during downshifts.

For instance, if I'm downshifting from 5th gear or 6th gear to 2, I notice once I bring the shifter gear to neutral, and try to shift into 2, often it will shift into the 4th gear. It's kind of annoying as the lack of power from 4th gear to 2nd gear is noticeable. There seems to be some sort of spring or something that prevents a direct shift from 5th or 6th gear to 2nd gear.

Does anyone else notice this? Is there a way to disable this? I don't want a nanny mode that tries to dictate how I shift.
 

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I'm not sure if I'm the only who may notice this. But of all the manual cars I've driven, my Focus ST is the only one that has some sort of mechanism that guides the shift, especially during downshifts.

For instance, if I'm downshifting from 5th gear or 6th gear to 2, I notice once I bring the shifter gear to neutral, and try to shift into 2, often it will shift into the 4th gear. It's kind of annoying as the lack of power from 4th gear to 2nd gear is noticeable. There seems to be some sort of spring or something that prevents a direct shift from 5th or 6th gear to 2nd gear.

Does anyone else notice this? Is there a way to disable this? I don't want a nanny mode that tries to dictate how I shift.
Try rev matching. If you are in 5th or 6th and you're going 50+ mph the car doesn't go into 2nd because that's how to damage your car. That's gonna shoot it up to over 5.5k rpm and you'll make little to no power past that number anyway. 3rd would be the proper gear in that case.

Edit: I say about rev matching because just trying to put it into 2nd at higher speed might not let you since it's such a big jump in rpm...but if you rev match and put your rpms similar to where it will jump to it might let you go into the gear.
 

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I've never noticed that before.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Try rev matching. If you are in 5th or 6th and you're going 50+ mph the car doesn't go into 2nd because that's how to damage your car. That's gonna shoot it up to over 5.5k rpm and you'll make little to no power past that number anyway. 3rd would be the proper gear in that case.

Edit: I say about rev matching because just trying to put it into 2nd at higher speed might not let you since it's such a big jump in rpm...but if you rev match and put your rpms similar to where it will jump to it might let you go into the gear.
I do rev match. Typically I'm doing this when slowing at a light, going from 5th gear to stop to put the car into neutral. The RPMs are very low. Then the light turns green before I fully stop. I shift into 2nd gear (no jerking of the car at all as the RPMs are very low) and have enough torque to accelerate.

My revs are completely smooth, as I have 3 vehicles and they are all manual, and I have been driving a manual for over 20 years, and have never once had a clutch wear out on me yet as my driving is very smooth. I was able to drive over 250k miles on a 1990 Honda Accord and it never needed a clutch replacement when I sold it, and the clutch still worked great. I'm amazed that in over 20 years of driving manuals I have never once had to take a car in for a clutch replacement. In addition, my brakes last well over 40k miles as I'm very gentle on them, and I've never needed any major auto work for any of the cars I've owned. I think that's a testament to my smooth driving style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never noticed that before.
Give this a try today if you can, without traffic of course if you're worried. Try slowing down from 6th or 5th gear (40mph - 50mph), slowing down to near stop (say 5 mph), then try to downshift to 2nd gear to accelerate again. I notice that the car will put me into 4th gear, and not 2nd gear... and I lack torque to accelerate so I have to downshift again to 2nd gear... very annoying.
 

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I do rev match. Typically I'm doing this when slowing at a light, going from 5th gear to stop to put the car into neutral. The RPMs are very low. Then the light turns green before I fully stop. I shift into 2nd gear (no jerking of the car at all as the RPMs are very low) and have enough torque to accelerate.

My revs are completely smooth, as I have 3 vehicles and they are all manual, and I have been driving a manual for over 20 years, and have never once had a clutch wear out on me yet as my driving is very smooth. I was able to drive over 250k miles on a 1990 Honda Accord and it never needed a clutch replacement when I sold it, and the clutch still worked great.
Ah, in the event I'm slowing down at a light and have to do this I usually end up double clutching out of habit. Clutch in, car in neutral, clutch out. Then clutch in, car in 2nd, throttle blip, clutch out. The feature can be annoying in these events so I know what you're talking about now. Just got used to the workaround so now I don't notice anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah, in the event I'm slowing down at a light and have to do this I usually end up double clutching out of habit. Clutch in, car in neutral, clutch out. Then clutch in, car in 2nd, throttle blip, clutch out. The feature can be annoying in these events so I know what you're talking about now. Just got used to the workaround so now I don't notice anymore.
Thanks for confirming. I've never had this feature in any manual cars I've ever driving before. What is this feature called?

I've never downshifted incorrectly so I find this feature to be more of a hinderance than helpful... In fact I complained about 2nd gear being too low on power when I first got the Focus ST because I thought I was in 2nd when I was in 4th gear... now I think I know what the issue is but it doesn't seem to be widely discussed here.
 

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I don't notice any difference downshifting in my ST compared to any other manual trans car I've driven.
 
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Thanks for confirming. I've never had this feature in any manual cars I've ever driving before. What is this feature called?

I've never downshifted incorrectly so I find this feature to be more of a hinderance than helpful... In fact I complained about 2nd gear being too low on power when I first got the Focus ST because I thought I was in 2nd when I was in 4th gear... now I think I know what the issue is but it doesn't seem to be widely discussed here.
It's just like when you get above like 30 mph and can't put the car into 1st. The car sees it as impractical and dangerous and does it to protect your transmission. If you don't release the clutch the car's transmission continues to think you are going faster. Once you release the clutch it realizes you're in neutral going 5mph and you can put it into 2nd. Not sure the technical name of it other than your syncros not liking what you're doing haha. Once you get used to it you don't notice it anymore.
 

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I don't notice any difference downshifting in my ST compared to any other manual trans car I've driven.
I shifted my old cars the same way as my ST, so I didn't know what he was talking about either. On older manual cars would it let you put the car into 1st going 50 down the highway? The ST definitely won't. That's what he's referring to, only in 2nd.
 

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You arnt pulling the shifter over for 2nd, our shifter neutrals in the 3-4 area. So just pull it over a little more. Sounds like it is you, not the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You arnt pulling the shifter over for 2nd, our shifter neutrals in the 3-4 area. So just pull it over a little more. Sounds like it is you, not the car.
What I tend to do is shift to neutral for a brief sec, let the shifter reset, and then shift down to 2. Works in every other car I've driven. This is the first car I've driven where it seems to actively try to guide to 4th gear instead of 2nd gear.

I suppose it might be me, but I've driven Porsche's, 370z's, S2K's, NSXs, to manual trucks and lowly Accords & Civics and this is the first car I've driven that has this unusual behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's just like when you get above like 30 mph and can't put the car into 1st. The car sees it as impractical and dangerous and does it to protect your transmission. If you don't release the clutch the car's transmission continues to think you are going faster. Once you release the clutch it realizes you're in neutral going 5mph and you can put it into 2nd. Not sure the technical name of it other than your syncros not liking what you're doing haha. Once you get used to it you don't notice it anymore.
I understand, but I'm trying to shift to 2nd under 10mph, usually around 5mph, and it's not letting me easily go to 2nd gear. I noticed this on a Focus ST I test drove as well, and my buddy who also has driven manuals all his life commented how how weak 2nd gear was, and we both didn't realize it at the time we were in 4th gear, not 2nd gear.
 

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I understand, but I'm trying to shift to 2nd under 10mph, usually around 5mph, and it's not letting me easily go to 2nd gear. I noticed this on a Focus ST I test drove as well, and my buddy who also has driven manuals all his life commented how how weak 2nd gear was, and we both didn't realize it at the time we were in 4th gear, not 2nd gear.
I can't comment on the whole "guiding you into 4th" thing because I don't have that issue. I've never missed 2nd and hit 4th in this car. I have a short shift bracket if that makes a difference.
 

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I understand, but I'm trying to shift to 2nd under 10mph, usually around 5mph, and it's not letting me easily go to 2nd gear. I noticed this on a Focus ST I test drove as well, and my buddy who also has driven manuals all his life commented how how weak 2nd gear was, and we both didn't realize it at the time we were in 4th gear, not 2nd gear.
At 5mph, you should be shifting into first gear. At 5 mpg in 2nd gear, you would be at like maybe.... and I say maybe 1k rpms and you would get the rattles for stalling.
 

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What I tend to do is shift to neutral for a brief sec, let the shifter reset, and then shift down to 2. Works in every other car I've driven. This is the first car I've driven where it seems to actively try to guide to 4th gear instead of 2nd gear.

I suppose it might be me, but I've driven Porsche's, 370z's, S2K's, NSXs, to manual trucks and lowly Accords & Civics and this is the first car I've driven that has this unusual behavior.
Manual driver for 17 years here. I have owned 6 BMWs (e30s, e36s, e46), two MK3 Supra turbos, an MR2 turbo manual, Mazdaspeed 6, and a handful of other cars. Every single one of them has been manual. I've got somewhere around 350,000 miles of manual driving experience in my own cars (100k alone on one of those e30s).

In addition, I've driven several Hondas (civics, s2000s, accords), a bunch of Subarus throughout the ages, a 350z, a couple of Mitsubishis, a 4th gen Camaro SS, some Miatas, a couple Audis, a couple old pickup trucks, a Wrangler or two, a FiST and a mustang or two. I'm sure I missed a few. All of the above with manual transmissions.

Every single one of those cars has centered neutral between third and fourth. Every one of them. Each has required a slide to the left of neutral before pulling rearward in order to locate 2nd gear. Directly back from neutral in every one of these cars has been 4th gear.

I'm not sure how our experiences, in many of the same cars, have been so very different. I can assure you, even with worn out linkages, sticky parts, reverse in various locations - every one of the above listed cars operates neutral to 2nd gear in the same exact manner. My FoST is no different.
 

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Manual driver for 17 years here. I have owned 6 BMWs (e30s, e36s, e46), two MK3 Supra turbos, an MR2 turbo manual, Mazdaspeed 6, and a handful of other cars. Every single one of them has been manual. I've got somewhere around 350,000 miles of manual driving experience in my own cars (100k alone on one of those e30s).

In addition, I've driven several Hondas (civics, s2000s, accords), a bunch of Subarus throughout the ages, a 350z, a couple of Mitsubishis, a 4th gen Camaro SS, some Miatas, a couple Audis, a couple old pickup trucks, a Wrangler or two, a FiST and a mustang or two. I'm sure I missed a few. All of the above with manual transmissions.

Every single one of those cars has centered neutral between third and fourth. Every one of them. Each has required a slide to the left of neutral before pulling rearward in order to locate 2nd gear. Directly back from neutral in every one of these cars has been 4th gear.

I'm not sure how our experiences, in many of the same cars, have been so very different. I can assure you, even with worn out linkages, sticky parts, reverse in various locations - every one of the above listed cars operates neutral to 2nd gear in the same exact manner. My FoST is no different.
Agreed, like when I downshift on the highway 4th is usually what I downshift to whether I'm in 5th or 6th because it's plenty of power unless I'm going like 45mph then 3rd...and I'm so accustomed to it being easy to go into 4th because I either flick up from 6th and pull straight back into 4th or I flick down from 5th and pull straight back. If you don't exert force to the left before pulling back you definitely won't go into 2nd.
 

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Give this a try today if you can, without traffic of course if you're worried. Try slowing down from 6th or 5th gear (40mph - 50mph), slowing down to near stop (say 5 mph), then try to downshift to 2nd gear to accelerate again. I notice that the car will put me into 4th gear, and not 2nd gear... and I lack torque to accelerate so I have to downshift again to 2nd gear... very annoying.
I think you are of a handful of people having this problem and i could put into 1st as need be or 2nd from 6th/5th
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think you are of a handful of people having this problem and i could put into 1st as need be or 2nd from 6th/5th
Interesting. Mine is completely stock, not sure if any of the mods you guys have done affects any of this behavior.

Good to know though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Manual driver for 17 years here. I have owned 6 BMWs (e30s, e36s, e46), two MK3 Supra turbos, an MR2 turbo manual, Mazdaspeed 6, and a handful of other cars. Every single one of them has been manual. I've got somewhere around 350,000 miles of manual driving experience in my own cars (100k alone on one of those e30s).

In addition, I've driven several Hondas (civics, s2000s, accords), a bunch of Subarus throughout the ages, a 350z, a couple of Mitsubishis, a 4th gen Camaro SS, some Miatas, a couple Audis, a couple old pickup trucks, a Wrangler or two, a FiST and a mustang or two. I'm sure I missed a few. All of the above with manual transmissions.

Every single one of those cars has centered neutral between third and fourth. Every one of them. Each has required a slide to the left of neutral before pulling rearward in order to locate 2nd gear. Directly back from neutral in every one of these cars has been 4th gear.

I'm not sure how our experiences, in many of the same cars, have been so very different. I can assure you, even with worn out linkages, sticky parts, reverse in various locations - every one of the above listed cars operates neutral to 2nd gear in the same exact manner. My FoST is no different.
Very interesting. This has been a subtle issue so it was not obvious to me for a while. Now that I've pinpointed the issue it stands out to me much more than before.

Perhaps you can pay more attention to it when you drive your FoST and let us know if you do notice it happening in the future.

I've been able to replicate this issue consistently now so I'm pretty sure it's not just me. It could have a lot to do with driving styles and such, but the issues is definitely there, on at least 2 FoST's I've driven - mine, and the dealer tester.

Also - this guy's driving style is like mine : http://www.focusst.org/forum/focus-...ike-hitting-wall-post1519169.html#post1519169

I gently push the shifter into the gear, I don't force the shifter at all. So I gently push the shifter into neutral for a fraction of a second, then gently push it towards 2nd gear. I find it consistently being in the 4th gear, and then I shift again (double clutch) and shift into 2nd gear and it works. This is pretty consistent behavior. If on the other hand I aggressively pull on the shifter hard to 2nd gear, I might be able to overcome whatever the "guide" (resistance) is and get it go into 2nd gear.

I don't like aggressive handling of the shifter, I move it smoothly and gently to get into the right gear, so I notice this issue more probably than a lot of other drivers who may be more aggressive on the shifter, or have modded shifter plates, etc. My philosophy is slow (shifter handling) is smooth, smooth is fast (this is also the Navy Seals creedo). I don't like jerking / jamming the shift lever.

Try this on your FoST, be very gentle shifting down from 5th to 2nd, and I'm sure you'll notice it behaving as I describe.
 
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