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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
et al:

From the get-go on my '18, the one area that has been the most "intermittent" is the shifting and overall I've done most of my upgrades to try to get that to be consistent . . . and with what I've done it is improved, but still not super great.

You could read my sig line to see what I've done, but after having the experience of being passed by a Volt and trying to catch up on the freeway and failing to shift into the next gear while driving over freeway warpages . . . I started with mountune quick shifter, solid bushings, and then motor mounts, rear and uppers, figuring that getting that part more solid would solve the problem . . . .

And, for about 84% of the shifts it is like a crisp "pock" sound with each shift, but, suddenly a shift will be "queasy" sounding, and I have to take more time and attention to get the shift completed, otherwise it would miss the shift . . . it isn't consistent enough to know which of any gears are involved, but it has happened enough to post about it. If I had to pick I would say 2 -3 but couldn't prove it. The single worst episode was last Sunday after driving 40 miles or so so car was well warmed up, on starting from a red light, possibly shifting from 1 - 2 clutch well depressed and it felt like I was bending the tranny shift forks?? to get the shift done, a literal "bang" to get the shift done . . . and then after that bad shift, back to the "pock," like something in the process was not doing their job, took a short break and then got back to it???

I get that the shifting is done by cables, rather than link arms as it used to be, I read parts of the "Shifting wiki" . . . but that seemed to just show all of the many,many things you could do, rather than trying to diagnose and find the present or known weakness(es) and replace only what needs to be--rather than "fixing everything" . . . etc.

The car is mostly the daily driver, but weekends gets driven through the canyons driven at "the pace" style, maintain as much speed through the turns as is safe vs top end hits . . . for the most part driving it exceeds the buy in cost substantially, it's just the shifting that gets the fickle-finger-of-fate . . . different moments striking intermittently to remind me . . . o yeah, budget bomber . . . .

What would or could be the next upgrade to try to the "pock" back in every single shift, shift after shift, every day??
 

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Get some Motul DTCF fluid in the tranny and it may help. The shift forks have a delrin "plastic" mating surface to push on the syncros, forcing them will likely lead to issues later. If you want to be a shift ninja I would look into getting the carbon fiber lined syncronizers because they will legitimately help the most. You may already have some synchronizer damage causing your inconsistency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Get some Motul DTCF fluid in the tranny and it may help. The shift forks have a delrin "plastic" mating surface to push on the syncros, forcing them will likely lead to issues later. If you want to be a shift ninja I would look into getting the carbon fiber lined syncronizers because they will legitimately help the most. You may already have some synchronizer damage causing your inconsistency.
@Icedragon

Thanks for the thoughts . . . forgot to mention, miles are at 26.6K . . . not quite time for the transmission fluid change. But, the issues have been there from mile 50?? Grinding gears has happened, but I'm not new to manual transmissions . . . there is something that comes and goes . . . . If it was happening every shift then, OK . . . change the syncros??? still under warranty, I'm sure the motor company would take care of it . . . . : - 0

Had you tried the neutral reset?
@STallion18

Have not played with that . . . for the same reason as above, miles still low and problem was improved with the various upgrades . . . it just didn't eliminate it . . . . Would that not be more for where each shift is problematic, and then resetting the cable, what, tension . . . would be appropriate?
 

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2018 Ford Focus ST1 with a 2867 gen 2
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Be careful with the little side tabs that hold the locking collar in place. They are very easy to break off. Barely hold them away from the shifter cable as you push the collar in so it disconnects. If you break them off (like I did) then just wrap a zip tie tightly around the locking collar assemble to keep it in place.
 

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I think there's a good chance that this shifter will really never feel as crisp and direct as some might want. It's a cable shifter, and you are trying to transmit linear motion through a flexible cable. There's some flexibility designed into the pushrods so that it can fit into the packaging. I think it's pretty good for what it is. I also own a Honda S2000- regarded as having one of the best feeling shift mechanisms on any car at any price point. The trans is located directly below the shift knob, so of course it's going to feel more positive and direct- because it is directly connected to the trans with metal linkage. My ST does not compare, and I don't expect it to.
 

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I own a few (3) Hondas with cable shifters. Smooth as butter all of them.
As much as everyone likes to bag on Honda, they do make some great manual gear boxes. I often regret not buying the Accord V6 manual coupe, and buying my ST instead. That Honda (and the Civic si I tried at the time) were exactly as stated avove. Like a big ‘ol stick of buttah! We’ve got clunky shifters, exploding synchros & glass ringlands! What was I thinking 🤔?
 

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As much as everyone likes to bag on Honda, they do make some great manual gear boxes. I often regret not buying the Accord V6 manual coupe, and buying my ST instead. That Honda (and the Civic si I tried at the time) were exactly as stated avove. Like a big ‘ol stick of buttah! We’ve got clunky shifters, exploding synchros & glass ringlands! What was I thinking 🤔?

I had a RSX type S I bought with 3 miles. Shifter was amazing and so was the 8,600 RPM rev limit.

I did solid shifter bushings and a short throw plate as well as the motul DCT (Not time for me either but shifting improved) My ST shifts better than the Acura now.
 

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My ST has always shifted a bit balky, and all the Motul fluid did for me was to improve shifting when cold. I'm wondering if a good clutch bleed would help. I'm also at 26k miles on my 2018, so I really feel for the OP. Never a "snick-snick" shift on mine but never a "bang" either.
 
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I had a RSX type S I bought with 3 miles. Shifter was amazing and so was the 8,600 RPM rev limit.

I did solid shifter bushings and a short throw plate as well as the motul DCT (Not time for me either but shifting improved) My ST shifts better than the Acura now.
My shifter mods are as follows:
Mountune quick shift arm
Solid baseplate bushings
Solid cable bracket bushings
Alex the Machinists cable end bushings
RS shifter assembly
While it does shift better than it did stock. It’s still not nearly as smooth (imo) than most manufacturers gearboxes. I haven’t changed the fluid yet, but don’t expect that to work any miracles.
 

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When doing the neutral reset, JBR recommends maintaining some pressure on the shifter toward the passenger side while it is on fourth gear before closing the clip on the cable terminal. I did that and it was really smooth, downside, the reverse lock up wasn't working, so back to the notchy shifter then. Maybe, less pressure will get to the sweet spot that make it smooth, and the reverse lock up still works.
 

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'18 ST1+ Euro Sync3 Blue Recaros
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Always surprised when people are against, or slow to perform the neutral reset. Its free, completed in under 10 minutes and doesn't require any real disassembly or work. The only tool you "need" is a flashlight.

It's a factory authored re-calibration. Is 28k miles a lot? No. But any number of things affecting shifting can occur in that time. So.... Why not give it a shot? Especially if you're already interested in upgrades. Why not try the easiest activity first.

Try this trick big Ford doesn't want you to know about. The results may surprise you.
 
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I’ve performed the neutral reset a few times, and haven’t noticed that it helped me any. Not sure how you’d keep pressure to the passenger side while resetting. Sounds like another set of hands would be involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When doing the neutral reset, JBR recommends maintaining some pressure on the shifter toward the passenger side while it is on fourth gear before closing the clip on the cable terminal. I did that and it was really smooth, downside, the reverse lock up wasn't working, so back to the notchy shifter then. Maybe, less pressure will get to the sweet spot that make it smooth, and the reverse lock up still works.
Thanks for the replies . . . the quick shifter & solid bushing installs were done by mountune, so I assume that that was done . . . professionally. But, I'll take a look at doing the reset . . . .

In reply to the "being against doing it" comment, I'm not "against" it . . . my question is, why, if I do 70 shifts that go "pock" before having the either "queasy" weird feeling almost incomplete shift, or the foot in the clutch and shift acts like the clutch isn't even being used . . . for ONE shift . . . and then back to 50 or 60 shifts to get back home with the "pock" sounding crispy shifts . . . would that indicate an issue with requiring a manual reset???

If the shifts were like every five shifts with some kind of consistent problem . . . then it's easier to figure out what the problem exactly is . . . and a single fix would solve it. My previous car was also a Honda, '89 Prelude and that had 250K miles on it and still never had a shifting problem that seems to always be hanging around in the mix with the ST. Other than that problem the car is still a very fun car to drive . . . I'm a "Ford" guy going way back . . . . But, question on why would Ford use slack-a-lacking cables to shift a car that is supposed to be "Sporting" in nature . . . I recall my '67 Fairlane GT had a Hurst shifter and solid links . . . car had been beat down hard before I got it . . . but always shifted cleanly . . . even when stomping the Holley dual pumping 4 barrels with car weaving all over the road due to inadequate suspension--ah, the good old days of Detroit Big Iron . . . .
 

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Before the accountants and banks got involved. And before they were after broad market acceptance instead of true performance sales.

You are the buyer they "had in mind" but they needed to water it down in order to move more units.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My shifter mods are as follows:

Solid baseplate bushings
Solid cable bracket bushings

RS shifter assembly
While it does shift better than it did stock. It’s still not nearly as smooth (imo) than most manufacturers gearboxes. I haven’t changed the fluid yet, but don’t expect that to work any miracles.
@davesST

So you went with the RS shifter, which looks like it could be a modest expense to get to a better shifter . . . since I also did the mountune quick shifter and "solid bushings" . . . which I believe was only one end of the cables?? Then, what are the "baseplate bushings" and "bracket bushings" about, and who is making them??

Since sometime in the next 3K I'll be getting to the transmission fluid change, might be time to play with some other "solid bushings"????
 
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