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Stiff Shifting When Warm

Aero_MK7

New member
Location
Florida
When I first start my car shifting feels smooth and effortless. As the car starts to warm up at around the 10-20 minute mark (depending on outside temperature) the shift lever becomes noticeably more difficult to move. It is a much stiffer feeling that could best be described as "mushy" versus the slick and deliberate feeling I get going into gears after startup. The problem is still there as soon as I turn off the car. The only solution is to let the car sit and cool down.

I am not sure where to start looking to address this issue. Should I start with changing the manual transmission fluid? I know it is a "lifetime" fluid but I am thinking the problem may have to do with the viscosity of the fluid once it heats up. Living in Florida, heat is definitely something we deal with year-round. Motul Gear 300 seems to be a popular choice, correct?

Would really appreciate it if anyone has any insight on this issue as the car feels great to drive upon start up but just becomes less enjoyable as time passes.
 

Aero_MK7

New member
Location
Florida
Your shifter probably just needs an alignment.
The end of this doc has instructions. Pretty simple.

http://www.forgemotorsport.com/?download_id=35

Other possibilities are a badly worn bushing or something sitting on one of your shifter cables.

It's not your fluid.

I have aligned the shifter several times as I have installed the following:

OEM short shifter
Replaced plastic side to side relay with metal one
Main pivot bushings on metal relay
End link cable bushings (front to back and side to side)
Bracket bushings
Dieselgeek Superslider
Dieselgeek shifter shaft bushings

The feel is where I want it to be as I removed much of the slop. If only it didn't go away after the car started to warm up.
 

icin235

Passed Driver's Ed
I have aligned the shifter several times as I have installed the following...

The feel is where I want it to be as I removed much of the slop. If only it didn't go away after the car started to warm up.

Gotcha. You didn't mention that ;)

I've done all the shifter aftermarket stuff on my past 6spd VWs. All of it should make shifting better not worse. I've never had fluid be the cause of my shifting issues.

I suggest just taking a closer 2nd look at all the components if you're sure the alignment is good. Almost sounds like a possible clutch disengagement issue. Failing hydraulic bearing?
 

Edona

New member
Location
Berkshire
Car(s)
Mk5 Gti golf
When I first start my car shifting feels smooth and effortless. As the car starts to warm up at around the 10-20 minute mark (depending on outside temperature) the shift lever becomes noticeably more difficult to move. It is a much stiffer feeling that could best be described as "mushy" versus the slick and deliberate feeling I get going into gears after startup. The problem is still there as soon as I turn off the car. The only solution is to let the car sit and cool down.

I am not sure where to start looking to address this issue. Should I start with changing the manual transmission fluid? I know it is a "lifetime" fluid but I am thinking the problem may have to do with the viscosity of the fluid once it heats up. Living in Florida, heat is definitely something we deal with year-round. Motul Gear 300 seems to be a popular choice, correct?

Would really appreciate it if anyone has any insight on this issue as the car feels great to drive upon start up but just becomes less enjoyable as time passes.
Hello. Did you find out what the problem was in the end? Mine is doing the same, however when i also move the gearstick after the stiffness comes, theres a squeeking/rubbing noise on the gearstick if i move it left to right. Once the cars cooled down its fine. Please let me know if you found the solution! Thank you!
 

Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
19 GTI 10 MZ3
Hello. Did you find out what the problem was in the end? Mine is doing the same, however when i also move the gearstick after the stiffness comes, theres a squeeking/rubbing noise on the gearstick if i move it left to right. Once the cars cooled down its fine. Please let me know if you found the solution! Thank you!
Have you replaced anything in the shifting mechanism? I had an issue with stiffness when the car was warm, and it went away when I replaced my aftermarket counterweight slider with an OEM part. This was on a mk4, not sure if it could be a similar issue on the mk7. Additionally, you could try cleaning your slider, if there's any gunk on there it could be causing some stiffness.
 

Aero_MK7

New member
Location
Florida
Hello. Did you find out what the problem was in the end? Mine is doing the same, however when i also move the gearstick after the stiffness comes, theres a squeeking/rubbing noise on the gearstick if i move it left to right. Once the cars cooled down its fine. Please let me know if you found the solution! Thank you!
Hello! The problem turned out to be the Super Slider not fitting properly in my setup and once it expanded with the heat it caused friction. I switched back to the stock shift lever slide and the problem went away. When the car was hot, I disconnected the shifter cable end links and at that point my shifter immediately went back to normal. I knew the problem had to be with my setup so I was able to troubleshoot it that way. I hope this helps!
 

2018gti

Go Kart Champion
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Car(s)
Golf GTI Autobahn 6M
Hello! The problem turned out to be the Super Slider not fitting properly in my setup and once it expanded with the heat it caused friction. I switched back to the stock shift lever slide and the problem went away. When the car was hot, I disconnected the shifter cable end links and at that point my shifter immediately went back to normal. I knew the problem had to be with my setup so I was able to troubleshoot it that way. I hope this helps!
Now that you say it, I think I notice the same with mine. It definitely feels crappier, more rubbery/friction the longer I drive. This $25 piece of plastic also didn’t take out any of the side to side play I was thinking it would. Overall 👎
 

Sub-to-Dub

Go Kart Champion
Location
Arlington, VA USA
Car(s)
'17 GTI Sport 6MT
I know this is an old thread but wanted to add that I recently encountered the same issue Aero_MK7 outlined above.

After installing the Diesel Geek metal side-to-side bracket (which includes the Super Slider) I noticed that when the car had warmed up shifting between gears (especially 3-4 and 4-3) became difficult. There was significant resistance and things felt really mushy.

I went through several rounds of cable adjustment, inspecting clearances, and was starting to worry about a possible hydraulic issue when I found the tip about the Super Slider expanding when hot and creating additional friction. I was working on a cool car every time I went to troubleshoot so I never would have gone down this route.

To fix the issue I used 320 grit sandpaper to remove a little material off each side of the Super Slider where it contacts the channel in the front-to-back bracket. After a few rounds of sanding and test fitting the Super Slider slotted in smoothly with little to no movement. I also added some lube for good measure.

After several trips to get the car nice and hot the issue has yet to return. Still happy with the product but maybe the tolerances are a little too tight? Or maybe there's a lot of variation in the channel on the OEM front-to-back brackets?

Regardless, thanks to folks for posting here and helping resolve the issue!
 
Last edited:

randomVW

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Sac, CA
Car(s)
Golf 7 R
I know this is an old thread but wanted to add that I recently encountered the same issue Aero_MK7 outlined above.

After installing the Diesel Geek metal side-to-side bracket (which includes the Super Slider) I noticed that when the car had warmed up shifting between gears (especially 3-4 and 4-3) became difficult. There was significant resistance and things felt really mushy.

I went through several rounds of cable adjustment, inspecting clearances, and was starting to worry about a possible hydraulic issue when I found the tip about the Super Slider expanding when hot and creating additional friction. I was working on a cool car every time I went to troubleshoot so I never would have gone down this route.

To fix the issue I used 320 grit sandpaper to remove a little material off each side of the Super Slider where it contacts the channel in the front-to-back bracket. After a few rounds of sanding and test fitting the Super Slider slotted in smoothly with little to no movement. I also added some lube for good measure.

After several trips to get the car nice and hot the issue has yet to return. Still happy with the product but maybe the tolerances are a little too tight? Or maybe there's a lot of variation in the channel on the OEM front-to-back brackets?

Regardless, thanks to folks for posting here and helping resolve the issue!
I thought I was absolutely being paranoid when my shifter would repeatedly get stiff over time. I am so glad to have stumbled upon this thread! Using a bit of hi-temp grease worked for a bit, but only lasted a few weeks before shifter resistance increased again. I assume the Super Slider expanded and pushed out all of the grease.

I'm going to follow your route and sand off a little bit of material and try again. I've currently got the OEM block back in now but, hell... I've given $25 to Dieselgeek already. I might as well try and use their product 😂

For reference, I'm using my block with the full APR SS kit.
 

sterkrazzy

Autocross Champion
Location
United States
Car(s)
2018 R
I thought I was absolutely being paranoid when my shifter would repeatedly get stiff over time. I am so glad to have stumbled upon this thread! Using a bit of hi-temp grease worked for a bit, but only lasted a few weeks before shifter resistance increased again. I assume the Super Slider expanded and pushed out all of the grease.

I'm going to follow your route and sand off a little bit of material and try again. I've currently got the OEM block back in now but, hell... I've given $25 to Dieselgeek already. I might as well try and use their product 😂

For reference, I'm using my block with the full APR SS kit.
I just installed a side to side bracket with my apr front to back lever. The super slider was so tight I almost couldn't fit it inside the slot on the apr shifter. With enough force it went in, but I knew right away it wasn't going to feel good in the car so I pulled it out. I had to do quite a bit of sanding to get it to fit and if I wasn't using an electric sander I never would have got it to fit.

Now that I have it so it can easily be slid around it feels pretty good.
 

randomVW

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Sac, CA
Car(s)
Golf 7 R
I just installed a side to side bracket with my apr front to back lever. The super slider was so tight I almost couldn't fit it inside the slot on the apr shifter. With enough force it went in, but I knew right away it wasn't going to feel good in the car so I pulled it out. I had to do quite a bit of sanding to get it to fit and if I wasn't using an electric sander I never would have got it to fit.

Now that I have it so it can easily be slid around it feels pretty good.
I just took my lunch break today to sand my block down a bit. You were absolutely right about the slot being too tight. My mistake was not realizing the APR main lever has a small step up in the slot where the bare metal meets the black anodize. The slider fit in the bare portion alright, but definitely did not fit in the black part. I took some 60 grit to quickly shave material off and test fitted it in the slot. Rinse and repeat. Hopefully I don't have to do it again!
 
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