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Not sure what cars you're referring to. My 1990 VW, 1993 Toyota 4Runner, 1994 Porsche 968 and my 2011 Lotus Elise all have synchros on first gear. So did my 1972 VW Bug, my 1985 Chevrolet Chevette and my 1977½ Porsche 924 and my . . . shall I go on? (Okay, not the Bug, but we had to go back 46 years to find something without a synchro on first. First and reverse were on the same shaft.) I drive in the mountains and routinely have to shift into first gear on the fly for some very steep grades. It's not a problem with rev-matching and I have yet to wear the first gear synchros out on any car I own or have ever owned (and first gear synchros are usually the first to go). Just for reference, I'm downshifting into first in my Porsche at about 15 mph on a hairpin turn. The Porsche has very tall gearing because it has lots of torque, but second is too tall for the ensuing hill.
Sure, but my 2009 Subaru Legacy's 6spd didn't. With the gearing/torque it was also unnecessary to downshift into 1st, and so it was designed that way. You could drive away in 2nd at a <5mph roll no problem. I've tried it on my Evora several times, and it definitely feels like 1st gear doesn't have a synchro in, or if it does, it's very small/insufficient. Without rev matching at anything 5mph or up, it won't go down into 1st at any level of force I care to push on it with. 2nd is not like this in any way though, and is quite smooth from any gear.

Remember this is a 3.5L V6 with a close ratio box - going down into 1st just really isn't necessary, so no reason to fight to make it so. You can double clutch it fine to drop it down into 1st, but the results are likely not what you want if you do anyhow.

I do agree that problems getting into 2nd is not a good sign though.
 

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Hmmm,I kinda doubt that 09 Subaru doesn't have synchro, I mean Jaguar changed in ~1964


Lousy synchro, sure.

I am pretty sure an ex girlfriends geo metro circa 1985 was non synchro first, but it could have been awful synchro also, drove it one time and it ground trying to downshift into first everytime, and it was newish

nonsynchro grinds instantly loudly, like reverse does.

hell some cars have synchro in reverse these days
 

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That's entirely plausible - insufficient synchro isn't strongly distinguishable from no synchro on 1st. It'd grind loudly for sure if you push it hard, but mostly it just won't go. Very similar to the feeling in the Evora - but not similar to reverse gear on my 01 Subaru. My understanding was that this was partially due to straight cut reverse gears vs helical 1st as well as synchros. I believe one time someone told me it was actually single cone synchros often used on 1st gear, where 2nd gear often uses a double cone synchro - so it's not a complete absence of a synchro (so people don't go around breaking the dogs) but that the single cone is not sufficient for actually getting you into that gear without a double clutch.

Either way - the result is the same: Trying to downshift into 1st and it not wanting to go without a double clutch would be "normal", but 2nd gear should not feel that way.
 

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I have had to have cable adjusted at dealership about six months ago. Works great after. Takes an hour of labor. Mine is sitting in the garage right now, as I write this, without first gear, waiting for a trip to Jacksonville. I had a new shifter and cables from Shinoo with Inokinetic installed right after I bought the car last year.
 

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I have read several post on here about the transmission gear box fluid causing this issue. I am not saying it is, but it could be. I would think if the car shifts fine sitting still then the cable should be ok. The only other suspect would be the clutch master cylinder or slave cylinder is starting to go bad, you may not be fully disengaging the clutch as others have said. I know on my 2014 I was having a simialar issue with changing gears and it ended up being the clutch master cylinder. If I pulled the clutch pedal up with my foot it would work fine for a while and then start agian, I had the clutch/brake fluid changed and that worked for a while and it started doing the same thing agian till it finally dropped to the floor. If your clutch/brake fluid is clean and you are sure the clutch is disengaging, the gear box fluid change may help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Had it happen again on Monday while coming back from work. This time at a stop light. The car wasn't moving and was idling, when the light turned green it would not go into 1st gear, tried 2nd, again wouldn't go in. It would go into third just fine, even reverse. Just for the hell of it I put it in reverse backed up a bit, then tried 1st again and it went into gear. At this point I strongly suspect the cables are binding. Am taking it to the dealer next week to have them adjusted as I'm still under warranty.
 

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. . .Am taking it to the dealer next week to have them adjusted as I'm still under warranty.
Just a suggestion . . instead of telling the dealer what repair to perform, tell them you want the inability to select first or second fixed (intermittent or not). That way you unambiguously establish the problem under warranty and obligate them to fix it, even if their efforts have to extend beyond the initial warranty period.

Glen
 

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That sounds like cables to me
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Quick follow-up here. Looking like the issue was the cables binding. Had to have my yaw sensor replaced and the folks at Park Place adjusted the cables for me while it was there. No repeats since. Seems to shift a bit smoother now as well, but hard to tell if that's just the placebo effect or if there's really a difference.
 
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