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Old 07-28-2020, 01:14 PM   #1
rivcokid
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Default Slamming into first gear

Since i bought my roadster almost 2 years ago, I've had some intermittent problems going from neutral to first at a stop. Usually, i just move the car a bit and no problem. I had a local chop do a lube job and change the fluids a couple of weeks ago, and the put in some pretty thin oil into the transmission. It seemed like the gears would not stop spinning and it was difficult to shift from neutral to first without grinding/slamming. So, I got some Lubriplate SPO-288 as recommended on the MAFCA site and replaced the oil - it's nice and thick. However, it only made the slamming/gear spinning seem to lessen a bit, but it is by no means gone away. So, is there some adjustment that can be done to the transmission? I really hate to drive it in this condition because I don't want to kill the transmission. Thanks as always in advance!!
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Where does your clutch engage off the floor?
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

As a kid, I was told to put a half pint of STP in the transmission, and I've always done it. I think there are folks who use a LOT of STP.






So I always use what Bratton's sells as 600W plus a half bottle of STP and I have minimal issues getting into 1st. Good luck
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Well, not too far but I'm not experienced to know if it's good or bad where it engages. I don't have problems with it or getting it to go.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Try double clutching..
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

I've done nothing but double clutch the entire time I've owned the car! Now, when I stop, it grinds and slams into gear - that's the issue here.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

I ask because my first thought was maybe the clutch isn’t disengaging all the way.

How is the idle speed?
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Your clutch may not be fully releasing when you hold it to the floor.
1. Is your clutch release arm starting to fail.? Inspect for cracks. Common problem.
2. Clutch arm yoke/trunion nut out of adjustment? May need to be adjusted shorter. Connects clutch pedal to clutch arm at the side of bell housing. You only need about 1" of pedal free play.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

If I remember correctly that oil is a 250 weight. It should be fine.

The question of where the clutch engages is a good one, and, my question too. How far from the floor does the clutch engage/disengage ? It should at about 3-5", or half way between floor and the end of the pedal free-play. The pedal free-play should be about 1.5"

If sitting running with the clutch pedal up and transmission in neutral. When pushing the pedal it takes a couple seconds to ba able to shift into first gear. It also helps to shift into 2nd or 3rd and then right into first.
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivcokid View Post
I've done nothing but double clutch the entire time I've owned the car! Now, when I stop, it grinds and slams into gear - that's the issue here.
Easy there,just trying to help.how much free play does your clutch have?
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

PM sent to 20500

Last edited by Benson; 07-31-2020 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Might pull the clutch inspection cover and observe if the disk stops spinning when the pedai is depressed. In addition to what has already been said, could be a bad pilot bearing which is dragging the input shaft. When not moving suggest downshifting from second to neutral, wait momentarily with pedal still depressed and then ease into first. If still grinding the problem is the flywheel, pressure plate, or pilot bearing is causing the disk to rotate. Another possibility is the disk is hanging up on the input shat spline and leaving the disk in contact with the flywheel. Be sure and tell us the fix.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

No problems shifting into second or third ? You always double clutch, does your engine have a nice slow idle ? If my idle is just 100 rpms higher it will grind gears!
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Don't use STP. It foams.
Never take your Model A to a dealer for anything. They know nothing about them. A couple of years ago, I bought a 1930 CCPU out of Arizona. The seller had taken it to the local Ford dealer for service and other works. What a disaster!. They had relined the brakes and they were so far out of adjustment that they were dangerous. They had replaced the ring gear (on the flywheel) but the put it on backwards. Clueless. They greased some of the fittings but not all and they put the mileage for the next oil change 3,000 mile sdon the road. How stupid can you get - the car has no oil filter!
I could go on and on about their incompetence.
Back to the OP.
If the gearbox has been filled with a low viscosity oil, replace it with the proper oil and I think you'll find all will be well but after you press the clutch pedal down, pause for a moment before engaging 1st gear.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

You never stated your idle speed. There’s a difference between advanced and retarded idle speed also.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Sea/Tac View Post
You never stated your idle speed. Thereís a difference between advanced and retarded idle speed also.
I agree with Chuck. Itís easy to forget to retard the idle after the engine warms up.

I also like to gently push the gearshift down so you can feel when itís ready to go into first gear rather than trying to slam it into first. Had the same problem with an early 356 pre-A Porsche that had square cut gears.

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Old 07-29-2020, 07:02 AM   #17
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Synchro99- I bought a Model A in 1990 from a middle-aged lady whose husband had no interest in cars. So she had it serviced by the Exxon dealer down the street. It only had brake rods on three wheels......

Taking the advice of the late Roger Kauffman, who was MARC technical advisor for years, I always run straight STP in transmission, differential and steering box. No problems.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Ok - looks like I have a few things to check/play with. First, the place I took it to is a garage here in town that only works on vintage autos - anything American from 1900 - 1970. They've been in business since the 1930s! That said, the oil was still pretty thin.

I'll check the other things this morning and get back. I've not paid that much attention to the clutch pedal, so today I will! Thanks everyone!!
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

I think you should have flush the transmission to get the thinner oil out. You can't get all of the thinner oil out by just draining it. Take the shifter off and flush with Kerosene. JMHO
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

I just recently went through this but my shifting problems was grinding into second and third gears. I posted about this a couple months ago and someon suggested a heavier lubricant to slow the gears down to make gear mesh easier.Meropa heavy transmission oil was suggested instead of the "600" thin foamy crap that I had put in bought from usual vendors. I had left tower off for a week and it was still foam. The Meropa I finally got just last week and it works,that and teaaaching myself to shift into second t about 5-8mph, tough to do.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:55 AM   #21
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

It’s either your clutch not disengaging because of adjustment, or failed clutch lever, or your pilot brg needs changing.
Both are common problems. To change the pilot brg, you have to pull the engine or rear end.
Rule out the linkage and adjustment first. Easy fix. Good luCo.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:51 AM   #22
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Ok - I inspected the clutch and lever and they looked fine. The clutch engages about 1 inch or so off of the floor, and disengages about 3-4 inches from my foot. I am actually having the issue going into 2nd and 3rd also, but not as often.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:05 AM   #23
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

A little grinding is normal because the trans has no syncronizers. Remove some of the free-play and before trying to go into 1st, push the clutch all the way down and wait several seconds to let the gears slow or stop. I usually put it into 1st before coming to a complete stop to avoid the problem you are having. Practise makes perfect.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:14 AM   #24
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Jim - I guess I'm not getting it. This is more than a little grinding that just started. I've tried waiting for .5 - 20 seconds at various times, and have had no real luck with making it better. The clutch is floored whenever I stop and try to put it into 1st. Whenever I have tried to put it into gear with the car still moving, no matter how slow it is going, it's always complained. I see the efficacy of the clutch potentially needing adjustment. Also, the idle speed is at almost dead. I don't have a way of measuring the actual rpms, but I believe if I tried to slow it any more the engine would die. That said, it is acting like trying to shift when the idle is too high and I am more cognizant of maintaining a low idle speed. Thanks. I'll figure out how to do the clutch adjustment and see if that helps!
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:24 PM   #25
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Set the linkage so the clutch is engaged at the 2 inch point. If that does not work, it’s the pilot brg.
You will need a small jack to adjust the linkage, but be sure you are not being fooled by a cracked lever. If it happened all at once, it is probably the lever. A binding pilot brg would show itself over time.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:27 PM   #26
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Start it in first gear, then slide it into neutral, then back into first. It will probably clash, meaning that your input shaft is being driven when the clutch is pushed to the floor.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:31 PM   #27
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Thanks Jacksoniii! I'm going to play with it tomorrow before it hits 106 degrees!
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:21 PM   #28
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Until you get this resolved as to the real problem, do as Jim Brierley suggests.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:47 PM   #29
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

I'll throw this out there. An incident I experienced several years ago with a modern car with a Ford Heavy Duty 3 spd Trans. I had what sounds like the same issue you've experienced with your Model A. Leaving a stop light the car became increasingly hard to shift into first gear to get the car moving from a complete stop. Adjustment was checked, etc, etc. Once rolling, getting into 2nd & 3rd not so much of a problem. After a few weeks of this, one day I stopped for a red light in rush hour traffic. the light turned green and, no way this tranny was going into first, no amount of my trying .......... or horns going off behind me .......... would convince the shifter to go into first. Finally jammed it into 2nd and was able to take off. Luckily I was 1/2 mile from my shop. Dropped the transmission down to find that the front collar around the input shaft (the outer tube where the throwout bearing rides) had cracked around the entire outer perimeter where the tube met the mounting flange, thus causing misalignment of the trout bearing and not enough leverage to compress all the fingers on the pressure plate to disengage. I'm not saying this is your problem but ............ if you end up disassembling things, you might look into this.

Good luck, Bob Bader
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:18 AM   #30
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

I doubt it is a pilot brg problem, likely the clutch pressure plate and disc need replacement, if all linkage checks out. Also look at the motor mounts, if float-o-moters are installed, all bolts must be tight enough to hold everything in place.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:09 PM   #31
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

*UPDATE* - Well, I tried doing the clutch adjustment this morning before it got hot. I ended up adjusting it to about where it was instead of improving it after fighting with the cotter pin for 50 minutes. It's difficult for me since I have no one to help me, so seeing things and how they work isn't the easiest. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I know where I messed up, so back at it tomorrow morning before it hits 107! Stay tuned!
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:37 AM   #32
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

**UPDATE** - Got the clutch adjusted this morning with only about 1 - 1.5 inches of play and it works great! Took it for a drive and not once did it slam into 1st. It did once or twice into 2nd or 3rd, but I think that's going to require an adjustment to the nut behind the steering wheel as opposed to something on the car itself! Thanks everyone for your help!!
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:59 AM   #33
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Great!
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:46 PM   #34
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Outstanding ! Thanks for the update.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:57 PM   #35
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Go for a long drive! 1-2 shift at 5 to 8 mph, 2-3 shift at 12 to 15 mph and no need to double clutch ! It in Fords owners manual
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:01 PM   #36
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Good, right back to post #9 about 10 ago.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:04 PM   #37
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

***FURTHER UPDATE*** Well, my fix lasted about 1 day. Next day, 5 inches of free-play was back and after driving it a bit, shifting became harder and harder. Drove the last mile home in 1st gear. Turns out it was the other thing mentioned a while back - the clutch shaft arm is broken - not completely, but certainly enough to cause trouble. This is the part that so many people here and on the vendors' sites say is prone to breaking. New parts on order and will try it again this weekend!
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:24 PM   #38
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivcokid View Post
***FURTHER UPDATE*** Well, my fix lasted about 1 day. Next day, 5 inches of free-play was back and after driving it a bit, shifting became harder and harder. Drove the last mile home in 1st gear. Turns out it was the other thing mentioned a while back - the clutch shaft arm is broken - not completely, but certainly enough to cause trouble. This is the part that so many people here and on the vendors' sites say is prone to breaking. New parts on order and will try it again this weekend!
Look similar to this?

The pin is tapered, larger on one end than the other, I would suggest a brass hammer or brass drift.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:41 PM   #39
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Mine's not cracked all the way through but pretty close. I've heard that pin is fun to get out - I can hardly wait!
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:17 AM   #40
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Just push the pedal, stick in a piece of 2x4 to hold it down, crawl under and take a look.

Good that you figured it out though.

Shouldn't be too hard to replace and hopefully all be well.
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Old 08-09-2020, 03:00 PM   #41
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

***UPDATE 3*** Well, crap! I've replaced the clutch shaft arm that was broken. I've adjusted the clutch to 1 inch clearance and we watched it through the removed plate, and guess what - it still slams into gear, especially 1st! The transmission is full of oil (as it has been). So, does anyone have any other thoughts? It is hard to shift on occasion, in fact once we simply couldn't get it into 1st. Other times, it works just like it did before this started, although most of the time it does slam into 1st gear. Thanks!!
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Old 08-09-2020, 03:27 PM   #42
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Does the pressure plate look like its working correctly ?

Does the disk keep spinning with the pressure plate ?

Maybe some of the friction material is coming loose from the disk.

Maybe there is a problem with the pilot bearing.

Those problems are rare, but,,,,,
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:23 AM   #43
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Patrick - my friend from the club said the pressure plate seemed to be a bit soft, but this was kind of beyond his specialty.
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:11 AM   #44
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivcokid View Post
***UPDATE 3*** Well, crap! I've replaced the clutch shaft arm that was broken. I've adjusted the clutch to 1 inch clearance and we watched it through the removed plate, and guess what - it still slams into gear, especially 1st! The transmission is full of oil (as it has been). So, does anyone have any other thoughts? It is hard to shift on occasion, in fact once we simply couldn't get it into 1st. Other times, it works just like it did before this started, although most of the time it does slam into 1st gear. Thanks!!
Could you explain to this ignoramus what you mean by slamming into gear?
I haven't heard this expression before.

TIA, Ken
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:17 AM   #45
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Default Re: Slamming into first gear

Ken - the ignoramus here is moi! Imagine you're at a stop. The shifter is in neutral. You clutch in to shift into 1st, and when you do, you hear quite a bit of grinding and a thunk as it goes into 1st. Shifting into 2nd and 3rd isn't as bad, but sometimes there is a lot more grinding than I've encountered in the almost 2 years I've had this car. Back to stop, then GRIND-BAM - it's in 1st etc.

Hope that helps
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