Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

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Goobie
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Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by Goobie » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:00 pm

Right, didn't really want to start a new topic for this but nothing really related popped up when doing the usual forum search.

Bought my Axial Flow shifter from Rotary Rev's around two or three years ago and only just install it last week. It came as just the main stick as pictured below. I did question it at first as I had seen before they came with a spacer, and fitting parts, but was told this is a new version or at least at the time of purchase it was therefore only this part.

As my R3 is missing a host of interior trim parts at the moment it was no big deal sticking this in. Now here's the thing, popped it in with no drama and nipped up the three bolts that hold the main stick in, then gave it a go to select gears and no no.

Some reason where I nipped up the three bolts it applied to much pressure and was causing it to stick/stay where ever I pushed it. So back out it came to smear some special grease over the pivot section and same thing. For some reason with only doing a very light nip on the three bolts gave me what I would call normal gear shift play when selecting.

Now this brings me back to the comment about seeing before they come with a spacer! I've checked the fitting, I've google it and so on, not found anything telling me I've fitted it wrong etc. So this is what happen, I left the three bolts just lightly nipped up and it was great as said BUT, this only lasted two days then I couldn't select first gear. No drama, I'll just nipped it up as maybe come to lose but then the shifter yet again doesn't want to slip between gears. After a little more investigating I was able to get it into first, but only if I very gently pushed the stick to the left before upwards. Clearly this was down to the lose bolts though.

Next idea was, removed and 180 degrees the unit, no. Now I couldn't/can't engage fifth gear! So out it come and factory stick back in, no problems.

Thing is, felt great and shorten the front/back throw nicely and a huge amount for left to right but will not play ball when clamped down.

Am I missing some thing really obvious here or should there be some short of spacer between it and that's causing my issue?

Any thoughts or pointers?

Ps, While it was working right, no buzzing issue or odd vibrating etc that people have reported, it was great intill it decided it didn't want me to select first gear.
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Last edited by Goobie on Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by bigpete » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:13 pm

Axial Flow RX-8 Short Shifter
R3 AXIAL FLOW SHIFTER INSTALL GUIDE


The shifter is delivered with a kit having two plates, 4 screws, 2 dowels and a plastic rod.
The small plate and plastic rod are installation tools only.

Remove the console top as the S1, refer to the S1 if need be, but it is self explanitory. There are two new things to add. To remove the shiftboot just yank on the boot to remove. We've been doing it this way for years now and have better results at not breaking the tab than the old way. Removing the wire clips has been the hardest part of getting things apart. Now we've started just using a 90 degree bent needlenose under the clip and prying it up and off. Works fine, you can put it back on or not.

Remove the stock gate by taking the three bolts out, and lifting the shifter. Be sure it is in nutral with the brake on. Next remove the 4 12mm bolts that hold the shift tower to the trans. You might want to let it cool down before this.
You will not be able to remove the casting without a puller. This s due to the dowel pins. Here is where the little plate and plastic rod come in. Drop the rod into the place where the shifter was, then bolt the little plate where the shifter lockdown used to go. This will snap the casting off. It doesn't take nuch pressure here. Remove the plastic rod from the trans.

Turning the casting over on a bench you will remove the existing dowel pins. You can do this with a vice grip pliers by holding the pin and twisting. A screwdriver under the pliers sometimes helps. Install the new pins provided by tapping them in. Be sure they are tight, if not centerpunch on each side of the pin.

Clean the surfaces with some sort of thinner or acitone. Use a small (1/8 inch) bead of high temp RTV on both the trans and the tower. Place the spacer plate on the trans and then the tower. Using the dowel pins to align things up it only goes one way.

Use the 4 new bolts (13mm) to hold the casting down. You will find that a 13mm wigely socket helpfull here. 1/4 or 3/8 drive.

Put some greese on the sphere pivot of the stick. Don't worry about the lower bearing as it will sit in oil. If you are not in gear the lower bushing should be level and you can drop the shifter right in. Be sure the upper bearing sleeve has the two notches over the pins. It will not seat otherwise. Everything should drop in without force.

Now bolt the stock gate back on using the old bolts. Test that you can get all gears. Then you can replace all the stock parts on top.

If you have any problems Email me direct with your feedback. rap@axialflow.com
I would like comments from the first few users to find any problems that may exist.
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by kopite72 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:20 pm

Rod did an install to his sumptuous R3 a few years ago,heres the link...

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=53088#p750719
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:19 pm

Thanks for the above guys, nothing new for me I'm afraid. Two emails, nothing back. I'm debating chopping off the OEM section that's clamped in and swapping it with the one on the short shifter? Only thing is, if that doesn't work then I have no shifter at all, lol. I'm sure I read on here some one did that, but I can' remember why now.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by warpc0il » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:44 pm

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:04 pm

warpc0il wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:44 pm
Have you read this?
https://www.rx8club.com/series-ii-diy-1 ... 200/page3/
Thanks, had a good read but nothing relating.

**UPDATE!**

Pulled the factory shifter out so I got some thing that works to compare the AxialFlow to and was well worth the trouble to.

From the top, the AxialFlow shifter had no free play, would just stick where ever pushed and would need force selecting gears when fully clamped in place. If the three bolts holding it in was done finger tight, gears could be selected but one this is dangerous and two leaves you unable to select gears as it works its self lose.

Now after taking a closer look I noticed firstly the pivot bushing on the ball part on the bottom would only freely spin and rotate around 270 degrees and would get stuck and need effort to spin over one pointy part.

I've circled the section in question, note it has two flat spots either side, assuming this was for ease of fitting the pivot bush. **Picture below is how it came.

Small bit of smoothing over this point now meant the bush would spin freely all around at any angle without any trouble now, so that was problem one sorted.

Another post to follow.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:24 pm

So here is the main issue I found and a pretty obvious one.

The main part that gets clamped down is to big in depth or to thick if you prefer, see circled picture below. This explains why when I bolt it down it doesn't want to move and explains more about my spacer comment previously.

The factory one has flex spring washer between and measures smaller in depth both pressed and depressed, so here we have the problem starring me in the face! See picture's below.

I can only think I've been sent the wrong one that's meant for a different model as it to far out to be an error!
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Leck3000 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:40 pm

Is yours an old version? I think they have since done a redesign for the R3 which is why it was unavailable for a while. Just a thought.

Still waiting for them to produce mine......

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:40 pm

I've had this shifter for three years but now only just got round to fitting it last week, I doubt giving a call to Rotary Rev to swap it would be pain free.

So here's my solution.

The idea was simple, switch them round basically. I got the thinnest blade I could find and carefully cut a slot on the OEM top pivot bushes and spring so I could gently persuade them off without having to cut up the stick and keeping it reversible should this not of worked.

For the AxialFlow shifter, the chucky white sleeve pulled off with little effort so I could just slip the pivot bush off and slot back over the OEM one off the OEM shifter. Give it a good go over with some proper grease and away we go for testing!
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:21 pm

Leck3000 wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:40 pm
Is yours an old version? I think they have since done a redesign for the R3 which is why it was unavailable for a while. Just a thought.

Still waiting for them to produce mine......
Goobie wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:00 pm
Bought my Axial Flow shifter from Rotary Rev's around two or three years ago and only just install it last week. It came as just the main stick as pictured below. I did question it at first as I had seen before they came with a spacer, and fitting parts, but was told this is a new version or at least at the time of purchase it was therefore only this part.
Current latest at the time version, been updated a few times. Wondering if the batch mine come from all happen to have the same issue hence your wait? How long you been waiting for yours?

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:28 pm

Now I've switch that round I popped it back in and perfect fit of course, but now to clamp it down and see if I got any of the same issues?

Well surprise surprise, zero issues!

I've done two days of driving now since I actually did this and still no faults at all. I have the top clamping section three bolts fully tighten and it glides thought the gears perfectly.

I think the main issue has clearly shown it was the pivot bush depth in my case which also brings me back to it possibly being for a different gearbox perhaps, or just a design fault?

Anyway, I just got the buzzing issue to deal with which is just a case of re gluing the white tube sleeve back in place as its lose from pulling it off to switch the bush over, apart from that it feels great and the notchy second and third gear selection when gearbox is cold is no more either.

It still has the mechanical gear selection feel when changing, but alittle tamer. I'm putting that down to the little bit of give that OEM bush has with the spring washer as seen in the previous picture's.

There we have it, anyone who finds this thread via the search who is experiencing gear selection problems with a Axial Flow shifter on a 6 speed Series 2 RX8 R3 will now see a how to option should needs be.
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by warpc0il » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:11 pm

You okay for me to move this thread into the DIY section - for future reference?
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Leck3000 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:29 pm

Goobie wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:21 pm
Leck3000 wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:40 pm
Is yours an old version? I think they have since done a redesign for the R3 which is why it was unavailable for a while. Just a thought.

Still waiting for them to produce mine......
Goobie wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:00 pm
Bought my Axial Flow shifter from Rotary Rev's around two or three years ago and only just install it last week. It came as just the main stick as pictured below. I did question it at first as I had seen before they came with a spacer, and fitting parts, but was told this is a new version or at least at the time of purchase it was therefore only this part.
Current latest at the time version, been updated a few times. Wondering if the batch mine come from all happen to have the same issue hence your wait? How long you been waiting for yours?
I ordered mine back at the beginning of March and at the time they were waiting to make a new batch and quoted a months lead time. Just chased them up and await a reply, would like to get it soon now.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by Goobie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:22 pm

warpc0il wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:11 pm
You okay for me to move this thread into the DIY section - for future reference?
Yes, anything that will help fellow owners. I purposely written out the last part with extra wording for the benefit of people’s word choices in the search bar for future use.
Leck3000 wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:29 pm
I ordered mine back at the beginning of March and at the time they were waiting to make a new batch and quoted a months lead time. Just chased them up and await a reply, would like to get it soon now.
Last I saw it said in stock, but prob just not updated the web page.

Make sure you get a couple of good pictures and add it to this thread please. Will give us a good indication of what’s changed or if I just got unlucky with the wrong bush slotted over.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by Leck3000 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:30 pm

Goobie wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:22 pm
Leck3000 wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:29 pm
I ordered mine back at the beginning of March and at the time they were waiting to make a new batch and quoted a months lead time. Just chased them up and await a reply, would like to get it soon now.
Last I saw it said in stock, but prob just not updated the web page.

Make sure you get a couple of good pictures and add it to this thread please. Will give us a good indication of what’s changed or if I just got unlucky with the wrong bush slotted over.
Yes I will do for sure. I very much hope this is an issue that has since been rectified.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by R1DSO » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:07 pm

Goobie wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:28 pm
the notchy second and third gear selection when gearbox is cold is no more either.
Now, I’m very interested in this. I’d put the notchy kickback I get when shifting from 2nd to 3rd with cold fluid down to MT-90 and possibly some synchro ring wear.

I’ve been getting around this by doing really slow 2nd to 3rd shifts for the first 10-20mins of driving. Fascinated to hear that the short shifter might fix this, as well as understanding why/how it rectifies this issue :-k.
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by warpc0il » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:25 pm

See here for potentially useful information
viewtopic.php?p=1280820#p1280820
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by R1DSO » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:13 pm

warpc0il wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:25 pm
See here for potentially useful information
viewtopic.php?p=1280820#p1280820
Thanks Dave. I have checking the 3rd/4th gear spacing on my to do list, just haven't got round to doing it yet.

Part of me thinks the shift stroke adjuster fix may not align with the notchy kickback when changing from 2nd to 3rd that I get. It's mostly when the tranny fluid is cold and I don't get the "popping out" or "grinding" symptoms mentioned; the gear's also not that hard to engage, it just doesn't feel that nice getting there :?.

But, I will definitely check the spacing soon. I have been contemplating whether I installed an AF short shifter at the same time whilst the centre console is out and the shift boot is off. But - seeing as they are on backorder - I'll wait a little while longer for that mod!
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by Goobie » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:22 pm

R1DSO wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:07 pm
Now, I’m very interested in this. I’d put the notchy kickback I get when shifting from 2nd to 3rd with cold fluid down to MT-90 and possibly some synchro ring wear.

I’ve been getting around this by doing really slow 2nd to 3rd shifts for the first 10-20mins of driving. Fascinated to hear that the short shifter might fix this, as well as understanding why/how it rectifies this issue :-k.
That was the exact issue I was getting before the swap, had to granny shift while it was cold but was fine once the gearbox oil had warmed up. I was going to adjust the clutch pedal, but since swapping it over it's spot on from cold so I've left it be.
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3

Post by R1DSO » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:09 pm

Goobie wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:22 pm
That was the exact issue I was getting before the swap, had to granny shift while it was cold but was fine once the gearbox oil had warmed up. I was going to adjust the clutch pedal, but since swapping it over it's spot on from cold so I've left it be.
This is encouraging to hear :D. I’ve adjusted my clutch pedal several times, replaced the clutch/brake and tranny fluids, bled the clutch twice, and changed the engine mounts in pursuit of sorting the issue.

Will check the 3rd/4th gear spacing next. But, either way, it sounds like I’ll be placing an order with Axial Flow, even if just for a tighter shift if adjusting the spacing sorts things.
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by R1DSO » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:24 am

warpc0il wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:25 pm
See here for potentially useful information
viewtopic.php?p=1280820#p1280820
Right, I finally got round to checking my 3rd/4th gear spacing yesterday. As far as I could see/measure, the spacing between the stick and the gaiter is pretty much identical for 3rd and 4th, albeit there’s some free play which makes measuring a bit inaccurate.
A198D6E2-FF33-4535-8416-0AB5AF13889C.jpeg
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The service bulletin on this subject says to make sure that the gear stick is making contact with the gaiter when pushing it in both 3rd or 4th, which it is. It’s potentially ever so slightly easier to hit the gaiter with the stick in 4th than it is in 3rd, but this might just be due to the shift into 3rd being a little stiffer.

The contact between the stick and the gaiter when pushed is enough to hold a train ticket (single, or folded) in place (i.e. it won’t pull out easily), so my read on that is the spacing is correct.
802304D9-1C4E-43C6-A3F5-BCAE8EBFF29C.jpeg
There was a load of perished sound-deadening foam in and around the stick. I took the stick out to clean this up. It didn’t look like any had made it into the tranny oil :shock:.

Unfortunately, when I came to re-install the stick, I managed to bust one of the 10mm gaiter bolts. This must have been made out of chocolate as I was using a torque wrench set to 9Nm (the service manual says to tighten to between 7.8-11Nm). Fortunately, it came out!
0550D879-CAAE-477B-8F42-EC5F7B16E154.jpeg
By my measurements, these bolts are 30mm x 5mm with a 1mm thread pitch. I’l pop down to Halfords/B&Q to pick up a set of replacements as I don’t trust the remaining ones either, now!

I also noticed my rubber shift boot had several holes in it - presumably it had perished. I suspect someone tried to do a Heath Robinson on it previously, as there was a chunk of insulation on top of the boot under the shift knob.
9D0550F9-F0E1-4B59-BFA0-039A7A53C5A0.jpeg
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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by warpc0il » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:31 am

That insulation is normal, unfortunately so are the tears in the rubber on high mileage cars.

You should notice a drop in transmission noise.

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Re: Axial Flow Short Shifter Issue, 6 Speed - R3 Now Modified Solution.

Post by R1DSO » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:24 pm

warpc0il wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:31 am
That insulation is normal, unfortunately so are the tears in the rubber on high mileage cars.

You should notice a drop in transmission noise.

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Interesting. I hadn’t seen that insulation in anyone else’s pics and it looked like it would be more at home in a domestic boiler :lol:.

No R3 rubber shift boots in stock in Europe, so I’ve ordered one via Mazda from Japan for £67. It should arrive in about 4 weeks!
Racing Beat REVi ram air duct
K&N panel filter
Suffix C genuine Mazda coils
Magnecor leads
Racing Beat header
Racing Beat mid pipe with 200 cell high flow cat
Ryan Rotary Performance engine mounts
Heel/toe pedal mod

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