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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #16
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

I have been poring over this, as well as the manual and even the youtube video a user posted on the clutch heel toe thingy and the non-synchro gearbox. But still clueless...

Starting from the beginning, ie yesterday, I went for MOT and took the car for the longest drive she's had since purchase. Egads it was stressful, to the point I almost turned back.

Essentially I cannot change gears without a crunching sound and an awful feeling that something bad is happening transmitting up the clutch pedal. I am double clutching on downshifts to no avail, and slowing markedly trying to gently ease it into gear. Admittedly I haven't tried the accelerating a little while in neutral as this seemed counterintuitive to rev up when trying to change down. But the crunchiness is on both up and down shifts.

I pulled the carpet back to rule out any restriction on clutch being depressed all the way, but that failed, and so as a first step I'm keen to adjust the cable - but I have no idea how! The manual is, to me, totally cryptic

I've looked at these pictures and wonder if I adjust the nut one way or another that Peter had been playing with, then I'll have some luck?

http://www.fiatforum.com/500-classic...nt.html?426161
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #17
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Not sure if this is the issue - comparing mine with the post from @fiat500 there's no spring
Although this seems to be more to serve the purpose of re-engaging the clutch.

Also I have oil everywhere! Will have to replace the sump gasket and see if it's that, hoping its not gearbox oil
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #18
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Not sure if this gives a better view. Hmmmm
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

It could be the clutch cable needing tightening as in my post, it might be the position of the gear lever needing adjusting at the side of the internal tunnel, the clamping of the clutch cable has cropped up many times on here, but my guess is that the rubber "lollipop" connection from gear rod to gearbox actuating rod is damaged or loose or too tight. The MOT man may have pulled on an already weak component to test it or inadvertently been a bit rough with gear-changing through unfamiliarity.
It is least likely to be an internal gearbox issue.
Fiddle around with it or at least upload some images of the underneath arrangements for our perusal. Good luck.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #20
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

Thank you @fiat500 does the lack of spring on the clutch lever underneath as in the pics seem a concern.
The gears have been iffy since I got it, but I hadn't got it above a few trundles around the street so it didn't really alarm me, so thankfully it wasn't the garage.

Would I access a view of the internal tunnel accessed from inside the car, or underneath?
Thanks again!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #21
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

The spring stops the whole lot, including the pedal, from rattling. It also keeps the release bearing from repeatedly bouncing on the clutch....you need it.
Pull the lever at the gearbox as far as it will go towards the rear of the car...the direction that the spring would pull it in. You should feel the pedal being pulled upwards from the floor. Then slowly push it towards the front of the car until you feel definite resistance. It should need only a small amount of travel to achieve this. If the movement is significant, this equates to a lot of pedal travel before the clutch even starts to work, so slacken the small locknut on the cable and try to wind the larger one in the direction of the front of the car. This may be challenging if things are seized, but if you can keep going until there is just a small amount of free movement before the clutch lever reaches a resistance, you will have the clutch pedal roughly where it should be and it can be fine-tuned later; but at least then you may have some improvement.

Your images hadn't uploaded when I first replied but one of that gear linkage area and the part where the clutch cable is clamped to the gearbox would be useful.
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Last edited by fiat500; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:12.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #22
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

Brilliant thank you for the simplified explanation. There is a lot of movement I think, it would take a big spring to get the lever back to where I recall I could pull it. Something to check when the sun is up tomorrow on this side of the world
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #23
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

If you can catch your nearby 500 owner, and he has the original gearbox, maybe ask him to take your car for a drive.

Also you have to rev the engine as you change down gears as putting it into second from third etc means the engine has to be moving faster to match the speed the car is going in that gear.

Do not rev going up the gears but take your time, start off in first gear, in, neutral clutch out, clutch in again then second and so on.

My uncle taught me this in his 500 many years ago and it has not let me down.

Cheers

Geoff
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #24
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

When I took your car for a drive here in Christchurch the gearbox seemed normal. As far as I could tell in the 100' I managed to get it before it ran out of fuel anyway! I wouldn't stress about the gearbox condition just yet.

My wife is struggling with the gearbox on our new 500F for the same reason as you. My advice is to change gear s...l...o...w...l...y. Geoff's suggestion of going for a ride with your neighbour is a great one and would be the best way of learning.

Once you get the hang of how to drive these cars, they really are very satisfying and fun to drive.

The oil leak you have looks like engine oil to me. Maybe a pushrod tube, leaking oil pressure sender or dipstick? The best way of finding it is to clean the engine to within an inch of it's life, then run it for a short while. Then the source of the leak should be obvious.

Chris
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #25
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

Thanks Chris! I was actually thinking of your drive just now and wondering how it was.
I will grab my local buddy and see if he can show me how it's done, but I feel like I'm easing into the gears so slowly I'm almost stopping before it gets in!
Finding a spring and seeing if I need to lift the clutch should be some simple ports of call as well first up. I think the gearbox is great as once it's in gear it feels sweet!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #26
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

The secret is to match the speed of the shafts in the gearbox before you select the gear. That is what the engine rev in neutral on the downshift is all about.

Don't move the gear lever slowly. On the up change use a positive movement into neutral, pause, then when the revs are right, another positive movement into the next gear. The down change needs a double de clutch of course.

It will take a while to learn, but when you get it right, it is quite fun. I used to get out of my Fiat 500 and straight into big linehaul trucks with 13, 15 or 18 speed Road Ranger gearboxes in them and pedal them down the road with no worries. The technique is exactly the same.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #27
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

A member of this forum, I believe Adriano, posted an interesting video explaining how to drive the car properly. I recommend showing her the video as it's pretty straightforward.

But yes, move slowly, and if you're having trouble getting her into first (from standstill) just put her into second and then you should be able to get it into first again without grinding.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #28
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

I completely agree with Peter---I think that a large part of your gear-change problem is down to incorrectly adjusted clutch pedal free-play. (the movement of the pedal before it has any effect on clutch engagement/dis-engagement). The lack of return spring won't help the situation and MUST be replaced--on the gearbox the spring hooks into a notch on the edge of the bell-housing. It might also be adventageous to leave the adjusting nuts over night after spraying them copiously with a releasing agent (e.g. WD40).
Geoff's suggestion to ask your 500 'neighbour' to give you a demonstration of double-de-clutching is very sensible--he may also be able to advise you as to how much clutch-pedal free-play you have/need.
A piece of advice---only engage first gear WHEN THE CAR IS STATIONARY as 1st has no synchro.
Double-de-clutching is basically very simple--once you become proficient, you will probably catch yourself doing it as a matter of course on all the manual-shift cars that you drive--I know, because I do! As Geoff has pointed out, UP shifts are basically a case of gently moving the gear lever, as you would in any manual-shift car. Changing DOWN however definitely needs double-de-clutching. When it comes to down-shift, lift your foot off the throttle pedal, depress the clutch pedal and pull the gear-lever out of the high gear position. Then, lift your foot off the clutch pedal and give the throttle a little 'blip'. Remove foot from throttle, depress clutch pedal and put the gear lever into the lower gear position--when in gear, take your foot off the clutch pedal and depress the throttle enough to match road speed and the new (higher) engine speed. The point of giving the engine a gentle 'blip' is to match the speed of the gear-box internals with the new higher engine speed.
If you are having to brake as you change down a gear at the same time (quite a common situation) you use a technique called "heel and toeing". This is a bit of a misnomer because you don't actually use your heel! What you do as you are pushing down on the brake pedal is to roll your braking foot onto the throttle pedal to 'blip' it at the appropriate time. This is nowhere difficult as it sound as the pedals on the 500 are perfectly placed to allow you to do this technique.
Once you have mastered the techniques of double-de-clutching and 'heel and toeing' you will be surprised how fast you can down-shift the 500 box. It is a matter of practice, and so, in the words of "Lone Watie" (Chief Dan George in 'The Outlaw Josie Wales')---"endeavour to persevere"
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #29
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

Thanks for the fantastic and wise discussion!

I managed to adjust the clutch pedal a little. Too much at first as it sort of whirred a little when the pedal was depressed, but then just right. It did drive much better after that but still a little clunky/grating. Then funnily enough on the test run I drove the little blue past my italian 500 neighbour's place and he was out in his garage, so he waved me in for a chat about our little pieces of history as he calls them.

Things got onto my clutch concerns and into the driver's seat he hopped, and I got a master class. This guy was changing gears smoothly without using the clutch at all (hopefully that is ok), just using his 20 years of 500 driving to know the sound of the engine. Heel-toeing perfectly of course. Anyway, he made it look like great fun, and the car sounded beautiful.

Probably the number 1 lesson out of it was that I am changing up gears too late, and that the gearing is very different to what I'm used to with other manuals. 1st is definitely only from stop and 2nd isn't much beyond that, then 4th one isn't going nearly as fast as I would be in a modern car. Of course I still messed up on my way home but over time, I shall learn.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #30
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Re: Clunking and grating while shifting

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
The spring stops the whole lot, including the pedal, from rattling. It also keeps the release bearing from repeatedly bouncing on the clutch....you need it.
Sigh. So amongst some other parts I received my clutch spring thingo last week. Today after washing the car I thought, "let's spend 5 minutes putting that spring on".

Jinxed myself.
1.5 hours later the spring is back in the box it came in.

Essentially when I fit the spring to a correctly adjusted clutch cable, the pedal ends up almost at the roof of the footwell. Ie I have about 20-30cm of free travel before the clutch engages! Obviously if I adjust the nuts on the cable so the 'lollypop' sits closer to the spring, I end up with a clutch that doesn't ever disengage and I can't change gears.

Probably at the point of leaving well enough alone, but curious if anyone else has had something similar?
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