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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I finally broke down and put the exotic European Unicorn Tears (Ford ) in my manual trans yesterday. Only 20 miles driven since but it does seem to have helped a bit (placebo effect?). Hopefully it will smooth out a bit more as the miles add up. The only thing I’ve found on my little Spider that bugs me is the notchy transmission, esp on the 1/2 shift. Really, Mazda’s been building sports cars for 3 decades- you’d have thought they’d have figured out how to build a smooth shifting box. My old GTI’s were slick as could be. Why not the Spider/Miata box?
 

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Received mine a couple of days ago. Making the change this afternoon in the driveway. Based on the price I was expecting it to be delivered on a golden pillow not a ups box.
 

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I used the less expensive Amsoil Solution -- Worked quite well.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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Amsoil Synchromesh got rid of the notchy feeling immediately. I won't use any other brand in my car, front to back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don’t You have wonder “why” modern sports cars would have this issue in the first place?
 

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Of all the things I dont love, the gearbox isnt one of them. Mine is silky smooth with the factory oil. Have no reason to change it.
 

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Of all the things I dont love, the gearbox isnt one of them. Mine is silky smooth with the factory oil. Have no reason to change it.
Ditto, and.....The MX5 NC gearbox was/is lauded by almost everyone as the ideal unit when the MX5 ND gearbox failed to impress....I read about this Amsoil stuff a lot and when the time comes to change "diff"oil will use it I think (Opie Oils, Cornwall supply it) but as all our Spiders were built in the same factory I do wonder if it is the American driving style (no offence lads) just that used to automatics "some" guys may be holding the gear knob whilst driving or not fully engaging correctly so causing their own problems...just a thought, whereas, we in the UK born and bred on manual gearboxes do not seem to have these problems.....unless...UK members now report otherwise ? Cheers
ron
 

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Ditto, and.....The MX5 NC gearbox was/is lauded by almost everyone as the ideal unit when the MX5 ND gearbox failed to impress....I read about this Amsoil stuff a lot and when the time comes to change "diff"oil will use it I think (Opie Oils, Cornwall supply it) but as all our Spiders were built in the same factory I do wonder if it is the American driving style (no offence lads) just that used to automatics "some" guys may be holding the gear knob whilst driving or not fully engaging correctly so causing their own problems...just a thought, whereas, we in the UK born and bred on manual gearboxes do not seem to have these problems.....unless...UK members now report otherwise ? Cheers
ron
Have to agree with Ron that the gearbox in my Spider is about the best Ive come across in 35 years of owning VW's, a Peugeot, a Citroen,(neither my finest hour) a Volvo, a Honda, BMW's, Audi's and an Alfa Romeo. The VW's/Audi's were almost too smooth with no feel/resistance what so ever to confirm engagement, through to the Alfa where I ended up changing the gearbox oil to try and improve 1st to 2nd shift which more often than not became a test of strength! On the other hand, I've found the Spider to have great balance between the VW/Audi's and the Alfa with a "feel" of precision and positivity.
 

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The manual shifter on my Spider is among the slickest I’ve ever owned. My Abarth has 7,600 miles at the moment and the factory fluid still; the transmission shifts as smoothly now as it did when I bought the car 14 months ago.

I agree with the others: MX-5 manual transmissions are renowned for their easy, smooth, slick shifting. If you got something else, you should have it checked.
 

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I must add, the manual shifter on my 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT had a heavy clutch and notchy shifter, but that felt reassuring on a 500 hp, 4,500 lb beast. The manual shifters on my prior Jeep Wranglers had a “Soviet tractor” slushy feel, but as strangely as it sounds, that worked well when you were trying to shift gears on a tough trail, crawling at 3 MPH with no inches to spare.

The slick shifter on my 170 hp, 2,300 lb Spider matches its nimble purpose.
 

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'18 124 Abarth mt
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I
Don’t You have wonder “why” modern sports cars would have this issue in the first place?
For the NC transmission, it was a combination of material composite and lubrication design issues. Mazda tried to take care of the former by coating the gear tooth surfaces beginning with the second iteration of the transmission in 2009. They never did much with the lubrication issue, but Ford had a similar problem with their own MT's, and the solution - a light synchromesh produced by Fuchs - worked well enough in all NC MT's.

The big difference was the type of friction modifiers in the additive package, which determine the profile of the polar chain molecules that provide the interface between metal and lubricant. It's a bit of an art to determine what works best, and manufacturers sometimes "miss".
 

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I’ve heard that the best manuals are S2000 and Porsches
 

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Maybe I missed something in the forums about the manual. Mine is flawless (2017) and didn't know anyone had issues. Its using the factory fluid. I never had a Miata but did have 5 speed Protégé, Mazda3 and a 6 speed Mazdaspeed6 and they were all amazing shifters.
 

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I’ve heard that the best manuals are S2000 and Porsches
My friend's sister got a Civic Si about 15 years ago that I got to take for a spin. That was a nice transmission. Snick snick snick, slicker than snot. IIRC that one was derived from the S2000. Right? I used to know these things lol.

I really like this NC box though. Not only does it allow you to play really hard, but it is light and forgiving enough that I found it is a great car to teach someone how to drive a stick. Like my teenage daughter :rolleyes: oh boy lucky me.

Since I got my car used, I wanted to give it some TLC before I modded it. So far that is a lightweight knob (my only toy so far), oil changes, paint correction, and fresh transmission fluid. With the lightweight knob I noticed some notchiness down low in 1 and 2 and went with the 75W-90 rather than the synchromesh as it gets pretty hot here in SoCal. It helped quite a bit but not entirely, and is definitely better when warmed. At least the fluid is fresh and there are no metal shavings on the drain plug anymore.

I think tomorrow I may throw on the stock knob to see what I am missing since the fluid change. I like the feel of the shifts but not necessarily the feel of the knob, and half my hand or at least my pinkie is on the shift boot and I hate that. I could switch to stirring it overhand, but...nah.
 

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I’ve heard that the best manuals are S2000 and Porsches
The Honda I've owned in the past was the S2000 and can confirm that the gearbox was pretty good - a little more "positive" bordering on slightly notchy compared to the Spider, hence its the Spider's gearbox that gets my vote as the best I've used. I've driven a Boxster a couple of times and again the gearbox was really good but a just a bit too positive for my taste - I guess its all about personal taste
 

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I never had a Miata but did have 5 speed Protégé, Mazda3 and a 6 speed Mazdaspeed6 and they were all amazing shifters.
Interesting. I also owned a Protege and a Mazdaspeed3 and found both manny trannies to be meh. The speed3 in particular was vague. I had a TWM short shifter and bushings which cleaned up the slop.
 
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