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Old 06-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Turbospeed View Post
Not disagreeing with you guys but I have had many, many cars and find the 6 speed in the MSM to be delightful. Mine shifts like a Rolex.

Ever drive a Porsche? My Carrera shifted like a Scwhinn, my C5 only slightly better. One of the downfalls of both cars, is that they don't like to be in traffic. They are meant to run up through the gears and get to speed and stay there. 6 speeds are not ideal if you are in stop and go traffic. They are meant to be at speed and give you the proper RPM range for passing or pulling yourself out of a corner etc. If you are in stop and go traffic I would opt for a 5 speed for the sake of your sanity and the life of your wrist.

I love this gear box, but certainly agree that it is geared wayy too short. I would enjoy it much more if I didnt have to shift into second 1.004 seconds into my drive. That can be fixed by a rear gear change. I think highly boosted cars especially need to change the rear gear. Then you have a great tranny for track days and open roads. You gain a bit of speed on the top end as well, with a slight boost in mileage.

I confess, I didnt know people were having any more problems with them than the 5 speed. I'd hate to pay for a rebuild, but I would.
1- Start in 2nd gear...unless you're on a hill. I always do when driving my gf's MSM, though I use 1st out of habit of driving my car...but starting in 2nd is so much better.

2- They're not having failure problems, don't get "bad feeling" with "broken". A TON of people over on mnet have switched to Motorcraft synthetic MTL and report that many of the issues go away. If my GF's transmission gets to feeling funky, I'll do this. Also, there are reports of the bottom bushing/cup on the shifter coming dislodged and causing shifting to go to hell. A $.25 nylon washer fixes this problem (I'd bet that this happens to a lot of people and they don't even know it).

3- Some people have mod'ed ECUs to gain more revvs. I know several people with "normal" Miatas who have tinkered with the ECU to get 7,500rpm+...I'm sure this can be done on the MSM to get another 500rpm safely (if I had one, I'd do it). Check into BEGi as they're workign on a reflashed stock ECU for the MSM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:16 PM   #62
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I used Motorcraft in mine. Shifted fairly smooth. Couldn't complain.

But the 5 speed is still WAYY smoother. Just sayin
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:18 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
Do you realize that there are TWO 6-spd turbo Miatas in my garage? The MSM having 60k on it and the shifting is a smooth as silk. Fluids never been changed, and the car (my gf's) has all the bolt-on mods...stock hp went out the door many miles ago. Mine has been beat to hell and back and is just fine. Driving the 6spd + 4:1 back to back with the 6psd + 3:9 reveals the night and day difference how the gearing feels. I've killed 2 or 3 5spd transmissions around the 190-200rwhp mark..and I've treated my 6spd the same way and it takes the abuse and asks for more. Sure the 5spd can be picked up cheap, but why leave your *** out to dry and risk that ****** tanking at the most unconventional time? Did you bother to try different fluids or replace the bushings?

I really think a lot of it comes down to how people have been treating the 6spd transmissions. Also, replacing a part that is known to be robust with a weaker one makes little sense to me...I mean, would you buy a condom because it is proven to keep you from having a firedick but has less feel, or a cheap condom that is known to fail but feels better?

BTW- I am currently borrowing a 94 and the 5spd in that thing is really pissing me off. It sucks. Not gearing, but effort is way too high.
I must admit: I never tried the 3.9 so I may have been missing out on the night/day difference.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:19 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
would you buy a condom because it is proven to keep you from having a firedick but has less feel, or a cheap condom that is known to fail but feels better? .
Just get your bitches on the pill problem solved

BTW I LOVE my 6speed
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:29 PM   #65
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levnubhin had a dinky *** 200k mile 5 speed in his car all this time. at 300whp. Just now broke it.
Patsmx5 still has his at over 300 on a 5 speed.

There are many other examples of big power miata's still on stock 5sp.

There are also a bunch that broke theirs under 200.

So I'd say its a 50/50 gamble on if and when it breaks. No one knows for sure, even to this day.

Its exactly the same with WRX's. Their box is known as the "glass box" and many have blown up under 250whp. Yet there are also TONS well over 350whp and still intact. Guess biggest deciding factor on if/when it breaks is the driver.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #66
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Did it make a huge difference going to a 3.9? Would you suggest a 3.6 if I were hitting the target 300 rwp range? Of course spool will have to match the gearing so turbo size will come into play.

I am planning on a boost build within the next month or so and want to make sure I have everything needed to make the car all it can be. Replaced the 17's with 15 x 9 6ULs and 225/45/15 R1Rs. They are slightly smaller in diameter than the original 17", which of course compounds the issue. I just mounted FM AFCOs in place of the Bilsteins. Got the 3" exhaust, big IC, bypass and FM intake. Also contemplating big brakes in advance of the turbo upgrade. It would be nice to have the rear gears swapped out before trying to tune. Got a line on a 3.6?

So back to the OP. I have a nice car, an MSM, that didn't cost me a bundle. It should be fairly quick by Miata standards and handle quite nicely. No cruise, but otherwise nicely appointed. Who said MSMs suck? You are welcome to park beside me.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:41 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
levnubhin had a dinky *** 200k mile 5 speed in his car all this time. at 300whp. Just now broke it.
Patsmx5 still has his at over 300 on a 5 speed.

There are many other examples of big power miata's still on stock 5sp.



They drive like pussies

Real men like bbundy have killed multiple 5spd trannies



But remember, I am basing my opinion of my own dealings with multiple Miatas, multiple transmissions and my own driving style. The other thing that people forget is that when Mazda chose the gear ratios for the Miata, they did it with the 7k redline in mind. When they dropped the MSM's redline by 500 (8% shorter), they didn't do anything to make up for the change and switching to the 4.1 wasn't much help (oddly enough, the 3.9 is 4.7% longer than a 4.1) , they should have gone the other direction and added a 3.6 (about 11.5% longer than a 4.1). Now they have a gear set that requires excessive shifting and opening the doors up to people's bad habits to make things worse. This is where I don't think it's a good idea to "fix" the problem with a weaker part (ask the n/a FC RX-7 guys how they feel about these gear boxes- I killed 2 of those as well) and one that still doesn't address the lower redline.

Last edited by Doppelgänger; 06-22-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:37 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
They drive like pussies

Real men like bbundy have killed multiple 5spd trannies



But remember, I am basing my opinion of my own dealings with multiple Miatas, multiple transmissions and my own driving style. The other thing that people forget is that when Mazda chose the gear ratios for the Miata, they did it with the 7k redline in mind. When they dropped the MSM's redline by 500 (8% shorter), they didn't do anything to make up for the change and switching to the 4.1 wasn't much help (oddly enough, the 3.9 is 4.7% longer than a 4.1) , they should have gone the other direction and added a 3.6 (about 11.5% longer than a 4.1). Now they have a gear set that requires excessive shifting and opening the doors up to people's bad habits to make things worse. This is where I don't think it's a good idea to "fix" the problem with a weaker part (ask the n/a FC RX-7 guys how they feel about these gear boxes- I killed 2 of those as well) and one that still doesn't address the lower redline.
I do know you've got two miata's, didn't know your SE was a 6 speed, because I didn't think about it, but they all were.. .makes sense.

I know there's been a number of conversations on MS.com about our boxes, and a lot of people have problems, and then again, a lot of people don't. it is somewhat hit or miss. Mine is a for sure miss. Q just wasted his 6-speed a bit ago as well, but it wasn't the gears, it was the shifter mechanism.

As well, my synchros started having SMS and I had the box re-done under warranty by mazda, redoing the 2-3 3-4 4-5 synchros. That's probably part of the issue, I pushed for them to just replace the thing but they wanted it rebuilt. I really think something like the case of other parts of the whole unit might cause problems elsewhere and the best solution for me would be to ditch the whole thing and get a new one.

Either way, I had 2 bushings fail, replaced them, used a washer the second time, that helped. (that is only when the shifter gets stuck side-side, which it no longer does) I replaced the gear oil with Ford full synthetic trans oil (formulated for the GT40) about 10k ago, and it made no difference. before that I ran GM syncromesh from about 30k-50k. I've got a lot of issue with the way the 6-speed felt. Any time you'd be pushing it past about 5k it would be very very high effort to get it into gear, and as well you'd sometimes get "stuck" between a gear because the whole thing was so sloppy and imprecise.

If I blow up the 5-speed I may consider opening up the 6 speed and redoing everything with a few tweaked parts, MER motorsports has a few improved items that supposedly help it out.
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