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MT-82 strengths and weaknesses

pufferfish

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So, I finally got all the necessary tools to dissect my original transmission that ground 4th gear. I got it apart over the weekend and what I found was a very sophisticated piece of mechanical meshing inside. I don't see a cheap piece of chinese junk at all. The gears are all broad faced with excellent surface machining. The bearings are good sized and the fits are tight. That's the good...now here's the bad.

The synchro teeth are tiny by comparison to even the old T-5. There is more of them, which is a good thing, but being so small, they are subject to no being very tolerant of less than perfect shifting. I had some issues learning how to shift 1-2 in the early days of ownership and since then, i get the "nibble" on occasion. well, i found out the 2nd gear synchro teeth faces were broken off on about 1/3 of the teeth. so, its my fault they got that way, but the T-5 would have been much more forgiving. I wouldn't necessarily call it a ford mis-step though. lots of teeth make for a transmission that can actually shift at 8000rpm. you can't ask a t-5 to do that. it simply will not. My 4th gear synchro was, much to my surprise, perfect...which leads me to the next issue.

I am sure you have all heard about plastic shift fork pads and its true. You have also heard they are weak and that is also true. one of my 3-4 shift fork pads was broken. That is what caused my 4th gear engagement issues. liberty gear sells brass pads for $25 each. this is a must if you ever have your case torn apart! You actually can't even buy just the pads from ford (they come with the forks), so its nearly cost neutral.

Lastly, the shift rail stop. WTF were they thinking? you have a round shaft with a deep notch cut into it about 1" wide. Then a hardened steel pin with a step down at the end. on that stepped end is a piece of plastic. the plastic hits up against either side of the notch...a hardened steel flat banging against a round plastic part. the issue of plastic is of course first, but after that, who puts an impact force on a point load, such as banging a flat part against a round one? the pin should have flat faces to distribute the load! mine was obviously crushed. it went from a 12mm diameter to an oval shape that is 10.5mm wide. so, my shift forks were over-extending by 0.75mm in each direction. maybe thats not a ton, but its enough to put a huge strain on the shift fork pads! revolution auto sells a reworked pin that has a brass piece on the end in place of the plastic. its kind of expensive (don't recall the price off hand), but is worth it. its a part that comes out without taking the case apart. i wonder if its accessable?

So, to conclude, its got "good bones". it should be able to reliably transmit way more power than ford advertises. but ford cheaped out on the little things that will grind these things to a halt. To prevent issues on your OE trans, rowing the gears accurately is essential.

and, no, i didn't take any pictures. i wish i had. i will try to do that when i rebuild trans #2...5th gear is the issue here. wanna bet its shift fork pads again?
 
Do you think they chose plastic to cut down on noise? Besides saving $1 per transmission, I can't think of any reason to go plastic instead of brass. Even then, there are lots of plastics out there that are very robust. I bet they just used good 'ol nylon...
 
Also check third gear for any hairline fractures between the gear and shift fork groove. I hear they break there. ;)

I've always thought most of the trans issues are actually the clutch not fully disengaging at high RPM's.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
13
Connecticut
pufferfish said:
So, I finally got all the necessary tools to dissect my original transmission that ground 4th gear. I got it apart over the weekend and what I found was a very sophisticated piece of mechanical meshing inside. I don't see a cheap piece of chinese junk at all. The gears are all broad faced with excellent surface machining. The bearings are good sized and the fits are tight. That's the good...now here's the bad.

The synchro teeth are tiny by comparison to even the old T-5. There is more of them, which is a good thing, but being so small, they are subject to no being very tolerant of less than perfect shifting. I had some issues learning how to shift 1-2 in the early days of ownership and since then, i get the "nibble" on occasion. well, i found out the 2nd gear synchro teeth faces were broken off on about 1/3 of the teeth. so, its my fault they got that way, but the T-5 would have been much more forgiving. I wouldn't necessarily call it a ford mis-step though. lots of teeth make for a transmission that can actually shift at 8000rpm. you can't ask a t-5 to do that. it simply will not. My 4th gear synchro was, much to my surprise, perfect...which leads me to the next issue.

I am sure you have all heard about plastic shift fork pads and its true. You have also heard they are weak and that is also true. one of my 3-4 shift fork pads was broken. That is what caused my 4th gear engagement issues. liberty gear sells brass pads for $25 each. this is a must if you ever have your case torn apart! You actually can't even buy just the pads from ford (they come with the forks), so its nearly cost neutral.

Lastly, the shift rail stop. WTF were they thinking? you have a round shaft with a deep notch cut into it about 1" wide. Then a hardened steel pin with a step down at the end. on that stepped end is a piece of plastic. the plastic hits up against either side of the notch...a hardened steel flat banging against a round plastic part. the issue of plastic is of course first, but after that, who puts an impact force on a point load, such as banging a flat part against a round one? the pin should have flat faces to distribute the load! mine was obviously crushed. it went from a 12mm diameter to an oval shape that is 10.5mm wide. so, my shift forks were over-extending by 0.75mm in each direction. maybe thats not a ton, but its enough to put a huge strain on the shift fork pads! revolution auto sells a reworked pin that has a brass piece on the end in place of the plastic. its kind of expensive (don't recall the price off hand), but is worth it. its a part that comes out without taking the case apart. i wonder if its accessable?

So, to conclude, its got "good bones". it should be able to reliably transmit way more power than ford advertises. but ford cheaped out on the little things that will grind these things to a halt. To prevent issues on your OE trans, rowing the gears accurately is essential.

and, no, i didn't take any pictures. i wish i had. i will try to do that when i rebuild trans #2...5th gear is the issue here. wanna bet its shift fork pads again?

Steve - you are confirming what I was guessing is true - If someone made a good rebuilt kit that addressed all of the marginal parts it would not be a bad tranny.

-Pete
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
WinterSucks said:
Do you think they chose plastic to cut down on noise? Besides saving $1 per transmission, I can't think of any reason to go plastic instead of brass. Even then, there are lots of plastics out there that are very robust. I bet they just used good 'ol nylon...

Plastics are used almost exclusively for shift fork pads. These just seem to be cheaper quality. The metal "spine" of the pads is just bent steel. It doesn't look very robust, but I don't believe that's the biggest issue. I think it's the fact that a piece of plastic (in the stop pin) is trying to prevent over travel, which the plastic shift fork pads cannot handle. I think if the stop is addressed properly, the pads would be OK.

I took a look at the position of the stop pin and it's on top of the transmission. Not at all convenient. They require a slide hammer to remove them, which requires about 24" of free space above the pin. Seems silly to me that the stop pin and detents are all pressed in, but the shift for pivots are screw in! If only they had made the stop pin screw in, it would be an easy changeout for a much improved transmission longevity.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
13
Connecticut
pufferfish said:
Plastics are used almost exclusively for shift fork pads. These just seem to be cheaper quality. The metal "spine" of the pads is just bent steel. It doesn't look very robust, but I don't believe that's the biggest issue. I think it's the fact that a piece of plastic (in the stop pin) is trying to prevent over travel, which the plastic shift fork pads cannot handle. I think if the stop is addressed properly, the pads would be OK.

I took a look at the position of the stop pin and it's on top of the transmission. Not at all convenient. They require a slide hammer to remove them, which requires about 24" of free space above the pin. Seems silly to me that the stop pin and detents are all pressed in, but the shift for pivots are screw in! If only they had made the stop pin screw in, it would be an easy changeout for a much improved transmission longevity.

And that's why they didn't.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
NFSBOSS said:
Also check third gear for any hairline fractures between the gear and shift fork groove. I hear they break there. ;)

I've always thought most of the trans issues are actually the clutch not fully disengaging at high RPM's.
I never had the clutch issues some have had, so I can't speak to it, but I will say having my spec clutch didn't change the shifting characteristics one bit. I am very curious of the clutch issues though...it's in my blood to analyse and I have to do it from the outside. I see some labeling the gear lockout as the clutch not disengaging under high rpm. This, I believe, is a misunderstanding of what is happening. The lockout is precisely what I am trying to resolve and my research indicates it's the shifter. The one I can't wrap my head around is the pedal stuck to the floor. I see two possibilites: 1)the clutch hangs open under centrifugal load of high rpms. 2)the clutch fluid is cavitating. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means when a fluid is under vacuum and it creates vacuum voids (looks like bubbles) in the fluid. This is cause by rapid changes in fluid pressure, which may occur when actuating the clutch very quickly. The really dangerous part of this is when the vacuum cavity collapses, it hammers the surrounding components and does really serious damage. If this is actually true, the larger diameter CJ clutch line should help alleviate this...if that's actually the restriction in fluid flow.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
Pete, I would love it if someone would step up with a rebuild kit...actually ANY rebuild kit. The ford parts have to be ordered ala cart. But a beefed up synchro set, brass stop pin and shift fork pads would be fantastic! There really is no better gearbox for these engines. I poured over shift chart data and the torque curve of this engine demands these gear spacings. Every other trans has some sort of a mismatch that causes a pretty drastic drop in wheel torque after every shift.

Maybe if I get more involved with these trannys, I will work on a proper solution to make this box work. Lord knows someone has to, since ford has stuck with it for the 2015!
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
13
Connecticut
pufferfish said:
Pete, I would love it if someone would step up with a rebuild kit...actually ANY rebuild kit. The ford parts have to be ordered ala cart. But a beefed up synchro set, brass stop pin and shift fork pads would be fantastic! There really is no better gearbox for these engines. I poured over shift chart data and the torque curve of this engine demands these gear spacings. Every other trans has some sort of a mismatch that causes a pretty drastic drop in wheel torque after every shift.

Maybe if I get more involved with these trannys, I will work on a proper solution to make this box work. Lord knows someone has to, since ford has stuck with it for the 2015!

There is a company that beefs them up - ask NFSBOSS
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
pufferfish said:
I never had the clutch issues some have had, so I can't speak to it, but I will say having my spec clutch didn't change the shifting characteristics one bit. I am very curious of the clutch issues though...it's in my blood to analyse and I have to do it from the outside. I see some labeling the gear lockout as the clutch not disengaging under high rpm. This, I believe, is a misunderstanding of what is happening. The lockout is precisely what I am trying to resolve and my research indicates it's the shifter. The one I can't wrap my head around is the pedal stuck to the floor. I see two possibilites: 1)the clutch hangs open under centrifugal load of high rpms. 2)the clutch fluid is cavitating. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means when a fluid is under vacuum and it creates vacuum voids (looks like bubbles) in the fluid. This is cause by rapid changes in fluid pressure, which may occur when actuating the clutch very quickly. The really dangerous part of this is when the vacuum cavity collapses, it hammers the surrounding components and does really serious damage. If this is actually true, the larger diameter CJ clutch line should help alleviate this...if that's actually the restriction in fluid flow.

I think the clutch issue is with the factory Boss clutch only. I don't think you'd ever see the problem with a GT clutch. Or at least I've never heard of a lockout problem from a GT owner. So I suspect the Boss clutch is at least part of the problem.

I have suspected the fluid being part of the issue with pedal when the assist springs are left in. With the spring removed, the pedal can't stick to the floor. But even when the lines were upgraded and clean DOT4 is used, some still have the lockout problem.

Changing the clutch and removing the assist spring seems to be a 100% cure. Although I'm pretty sure most of the guys chasing the problem already went to aftermarket shifter parts.


Thanks for posting all that info on the weak points in the tranny. I've been hoping that rev matching all downshifts and double clutching most of the higher rpm downshifts will keep mine from suffering the same fate.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
OK, so intrigued by the possibility of different synchros in the LS, i called Tasca...the transmission part number for a 2011 GT is the same as a 2012 BOSS LS. nope, nobody gets a special trans :'(

the clutch is verified as different from the GT to the BOSS (LS is the same as the regular BOSS). I can't say what is exactly different about it, but if its not an issue on gt clutches but is on boss clutches, it looks like the gt clutch is an "upgrade"...which i find utterly absurd. something else has to be going on there.

also, i stopped over at rev auto today to pick up one of their reworked shift stop pins. they are under the same theory that if the stop is fortified to not squish and allow for over travel, the fork pads will be just fine. they added that in cases where the plastic tip of the stop pin actually breaks off, the added 3mm of travel in either direction, will cause the synchros to be destroyed along with the shift fork pads. its really too bad its not serviceable without pulling the trans.
 
Anyone with half a brain sitting in the design reviews should have known a plastic part would be an issue... I will be avoiding Getrag equipped cars from now on since they are not making it right. Unfortunately that includes the 2015 Mustang... oh well.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
pufferfish said:
the clutch is verified as different from the GT to the BOSS (LS is the same as the regular BOSS). I can't say what is exactly different about it, but if its not an issue on gt clutches but is on boss clutches, it looks like the gt clutch is an "upgrade"...which i find utterly absurd. something else has to be going on there.

The friction material is definitely different. The Boss clutch has always been 'grabbier'.

I have noticed that the Boss clutch feels lighter at the pedal in the higher RPM ranges even though I've never had the pedal stick to the floor. My Boss assist spring is still in. Never had that feeling in the GT even before the I removed the assist spring.

Absurd as it sounds, I actually would consider trying a GT clutch with the Boss if I have any issues.
 
All of this had been discussed in the thread below. There is only one proven fix for shifting lockout at high RPM's and that's an aftermarket clutch. The only fix for the pedal sticking is to remove the helper spring. If you go to the other Mustang forums you'll find many GT 5.0 owners that have had both of these issues and in fact enough complained that the NTSB opened an investigation. That investigation covered several issues related to shifting lock out.

The Ford Racing SS clutch line is for heat management especially with headers and does not solve any other issues. It will eliminate the possibility of the stock plastic line from melting though. If you don't believe that just call them and ask.

https://trackmustangsonline.com/index.php?topic=2934.0
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
WinterSucks said:
Anyone with half a brain sitting in the design reviews should have known a plastic part would be an issue... I will be avoiding Getrag equipped cars from now on since they are not making it right. Unfortunately that includes the 2015 Mustang... oh well.
Don't lose hope my friend! I hope to be able to provide relief for getrag owners for years to come! The bean counters may have poorly executed this trans, but as I said, it's got good bones. My doodad should protect the synchros by correcting shifting issues and a brass tipped stop pin should protect the fork pads. The doodad is easy to install. I just need to figure out how to make the pin easily serviceable...I love a good challenge! Stay tuned!
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
NFSBOSS said:
All of this had been discussed in the thread below. There is only one proven fix for shifting lockout at high RPM's and that's an aftermarket clutch. The only fix for the pedal sticking is to remove the helper spring. If you go to the other Mustang forums you'll find many GT 5.0 owners that have had both of these issues and in fact enough complained that the NTSB opened an investigation. That investigation covered several issues related to shifting lock out.

The Ford Racing SS clutch line is for heat management especially with headers and does not solve any other issues. It will eliminate the possibility of the stock plastic line from melting though. If you don't believe that just call them and ask.

https://trackmustangsonline.com/index.php?topic=2934.0

Well, let's agree to disagree then...I am of the "opinion" that my aftermarket clutch didn't solve my lockout...or even effect it one bit. Forum thread or not, that is my personal experience.

I hope the CJ clutch line is more than the heat management. It should increase the inside diameter to be effective against cavitation...maybe that's why some who have changed it have not seem positive results? And no way I am calling ford tech line again! Like can't get result better than I do when I call autozone. Guess I ask the tough questions?
 
You already stated you didn't have lockout issues before you installed the clutch so why would it fix something that wasn't an issue? ;). Many of us have had bad lock out issues on track that disappeared with an aftermarket clutch. Even my Ford regional service rep suggested to my local service manager that an aftermarket clutch would fix the issue and picked up the installation costs. I'm not the only one.

Cavitation is usually associated with a pump and is common issue in cooling systems. I don't think that's the issue with the pedal sticking.
 

OLOABoss

AKA OLOABoss
pufferfish said:
Well, let's agree to disagree then...I am of the "opinion" that my aftermarket clutch didn't solve my lockout...or even effect it one bit. Forum thread or not, that is my personal experience.

I hope the CJ clutch line is more than the heat management. It should increase the inside diameter to be effective against cavitation...maybe that's why some who have changed it have not seem positive results? And no way I am calling ford tech line again! Like can't get result better than I do when I call autozone. Guess I ask the tough questions?

I ran stock shifter up until I sold the Boss. I also did not remove the clutch assist spring. Changing the stock clutch to a McLeod twin disc cured both the sticking pedal and the lock out at high rpm when hot on the Track ;) Thems the facts whether you like them or not.

Peter
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
NOOO! I have lots of gate lockout issues. I never had the clutch stick to the floor. That is what I stated before.

Cavitation is not limited to fluid systems with pumps. It is a product of drastic and rapid pressure change in fluid flow. This can, in theory, happen in the clutch system as it is a closed system with fluid flow...and potentially very rapid fluid flow when actuating the clutch fast. I am not saying this is actually happening to the clutches that are sticking to the floor, but it does offer an alternate place to look when trying to diagnose.
 

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