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Old 10-27-2017, 10:42 PM   #1
Mike85212
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Default Will not shift into second

Hello everyone, my name is Mike. I purchased my first Model A today....it is a 31 Slant window with the Murray body tag. It isnt my first old vehicle, I have a 51 Ford F1 that has been modified, I also have a 66 Mustang V8 with auto and air that is my daily driver.
Now for my problem, I bought the car a little less than ten miles from my home. When I drove home I could not get the car to shift into second gear...I tried the double clutch, I even tried triple clutching it, I was patient....I could shift into first and reverse no problem, after figuring out that I was not going to get it into second I tried skipping second and was able to fast shift it into third with a little force.
I have watched many videos on how to start and drive the Model A, but maybe I am missing something...I am by no means an expert.
Please help me...I am sincerely hoping that someone is going to say that she is just a little low on fluid....and Im hoping that I was not an idiot and bought a car with a junk transmission.
There are a few other problems but this is the biggest one and I would like to get it taken care of right away.
My goal with this car is to drive it a lot...not my daily, but close. I also want to keep it close to stock with the exception of a few safety modifications.
Thanks for your help.

Here are a couple of pictures for you guys.....I am sure that likethe other websites I KSU scribe to everyone loves photos
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:24 PM   #2
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Sounds like the shift tower needs to be looked at.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:35 PM   #3
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Also, make sure the idle is not set too high. That will also cause grinding between gear shifts.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:38 PM   #4
daveymc29
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Do you have a Model A club close by. That should be your first line of defense. Get an old boy to come drive it around a bit with you. Watching a video is great, but having someone with you in your own car is tough to beat. Just after you get it moving, maybe 5 mph start your shift into second. Just put in the clutch,count to two and push it into 2nd gear. Then go into 3rd while still around 8 to 10 mph the same way. This is assuming the tower isn't the problem. If it is you'll still need that old boy to steer you along with fixing that. That is why the club is such a great first move. We should all join the club then go shopping for the car, but we do it backward. Great looking car
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:43 PM   #5
Mike85212
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Thank you....I might have had the idle too high ...that is the right one correct? Also I think I had the GAV too high also...had to adjust it down, when idling down from speed it backfired a couple of times, I adjusted it a little then it seemed to be better.
I did join Mafca and intend to join the local club, I talked with Sammy Guthrie before buying and another local club guy.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike85212 View Post
Thank you....I might have had the idle too high ...that is the right one correct? Also I think I had the GAV too high also...had to adjust it down, when idling down from speed it backfired a couple of times, I adjusted it a little then it seemed to be better.
I did join Mafca and intend to join the local club, I talked with Sammy Guthrie before buying and another local club guy.
OK, so you're in Arizona. It will help if you add that info to your profile. Sammy has forgotten more about Model As than most of us will ever know. Same with his father. Good move joining a club.
I second looking at the shifting mechanism.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

So your using the right lever to control the engine speed? There's a foot pedal that maybe more handy! With the right lever all the way up, the idle shound be nice and slow.
The sweet spot for shifting 5-8 mph for 1-2, 12-15 mph for 2-3.
Wecome to the model A club and enjoy :-) Very nice looking car!
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Old 10-28-2017, 05:41 AM   #8
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Good info above. Have you tired shifting nice and slow, take your time and carefully work thru the 'H' pattern. The upshift shouldn't need a double-clutch, but, won't hurt either.

If that doesn't help then I'm thinking the shift lever may be too worn requiring fixing or replacement. Removal of the transmitter top will show if thats the problem or maybe a shift fork has an issue.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Will it go into second when you are stopped. Try starting out in second.
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Old 10-28-2017, 08:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Nice looking car! It will take a little while to get accustomed to it and get things ready for the road. Just part of having one so just keep at it. It will help when you get an experienced Model A person to check it out and point you in the right direction.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:14 AM   #11
Dino's A
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Welcome to the barn.....When you drove it for the 10 miles, did it go into second?
And, describe "it won't go into second" more in detail? Is it grinding so bad you can't? OR does it not allow the shift lever to even go there? Hopefully, its merely a clutch adjustment
to fix things.

I would suggest buying Les Andrews Model A handbook Vol I. Good book that explains things well.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

If you bought it from someone only ten miles away, I'd recommend that you drive back over in your Mustang and ask the seller about it.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Just curious. Did you not 'Test Drive' it before you bought?
When I bought my first Model A the seller took me for a 'Test Drive', showing me all the finer points and controls. Then he turned it over to me, with him as co-pilot, and gave me numerous pointers. Still took me awhile to get used to all the nuances of owning a Model A, including shifting.
Good luck and enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:32 AM   #14
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Minerva had real "CRISP" shift detents, from neutral, into a gear, I had to SLAP it in, with an open palm. Try that.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:53 AM   #15
Mike85212
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Update.... I drove it again this morning for about three miles to my work. Unable to get it to shift into second. After getting to work I started out in first waited a few seconds going downhill with the clutch in coasting shifted into second and realized that it probably was going into second gear all along...when I shift I continue to push the shifter and then it grinds ... if I gently shift into gear it has no problem it is when I continue the shift process....does this sound normal?
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #16
Mike85212
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Y-block...No I did not drive it before buying it. I had talked to several people that had known the car and the owner and placed a lot of faith in their advice, coupled with my ignorance on Model As and the price of the car I felt safe. If it needs a new transmission I am safe price wise. I did hear it run and I believe the engine is fine.
Bill.... I did go back to the previous owner and ask him about it ...his response was that it had never done that to him.....at first I questioned him and myself but after this mornings drive I am unsure???
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Old 10-28-2017, 02:01 PM   #17
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

I would ask Sammy githrie to take a
Look.
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Old 10-28-2017, 02:02 PM   #18
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

[QUOTE=Brentwood Bob;1545004]I would ask Sammy githrie to take a
Look before I did anything more.
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Old 10-28-2017, 03:38 PM   #19
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Sometimes when shifting, you have to learn to WAIT, for that "perfect" time to shift. Takes lots of PRACTICE!
SOON, you'll learn how to downshift from HIGH to SECOND @ 30 to 35! Be SURE to master this, before doing MOUNTAINS. RUNAWAYS can be DEADLY!
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Old 10-28-2017, 03:55 PM   #20
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Will not shift into second

Good afternoon...I would suggest that you ask the fellow that you purchased the 'A' from to go for a ride with you. See how he shifts it. If it needs work, then Sammy will know what needs to be done. He might send you around the corner to John Cook if he is over busy. I would also invite you to join the Model A Restorers Club of Arizona. You can do that at Sammy's shop. I'm the 2017 President and you will find lots of help as a club member. Ernie Vitucci
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