5th Gear Syncros...what to do?


Old 04-18-02, 02:02 PM
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Unhappy 5th Gear Syncros...what to do?

Hello everyone.

Vehicle: 1992 Acura Integra RS with 141,000 miles.

There is a slight grind when going from 4th to 5th gear. It usually disappears when I double-clutch unless I'm really ringing up RPM's. I took it to a Acura specialist (too many miles to go to the dealer), and he said he initially said he could take off the side or something where 5th gear could be accessed and put "lapping compound" on the 5th gear syncro to the tune of under $200.00.

Then, when I brought it in for said service, I got a call saying that this transmission wasn't the one he was thinking about, and all of a sudden it was $300.00 just to pull the transmission to access it, then another $200.00 for the lapping compound service.

Here's my question(s).

Has anyone heard of this "lapping compound" stuff, and does it work?

Is it possible to replace just the 5th gear syncro or do you have to replace all of them, and would either be a good option?

Is a used transmission a solution? I considered buying a used transmission for about $400.00 or so and having it put in, but haven't priced the labor on that.

Any input would be great. The car is certainly driveable, but it's just getting on my nerves.
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Old 04-18-02, 05:26 PM
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I would say leave it alone. Likely worn parts which are pricey and have to be replaced. It's going to turn into a gearbox rebuild. That will soak you for a grand. Not worth it on this old shoe.

Just shift earlier and leave it be .
Old 04-18-02, 10:35 PM
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Your mechanic was probably thinking about the older (1986-1990 or '91) Integra transmission. The 5th speed & counter gear, and the synchro assy. were housed inside a small tin cover on the end of the trans. case. Unfortunately, not much lube made its way back to the 5th gear assy & they had a tendency to wear out, especially on cars that saw a lot of highway miles.

The 5th speed & counter gears were easy to replace on these cars. You simply removed the RF wheel & splash shield, then removed the cover. 2 large nuts & 1 roll pin later & you had the gears & synchro in your hand. 2 replacement gears, 2 nuts & a cover gasket cost less than $200 at full list price from my local Acura dealer.

BUT...none of this will do you any good, since Honda redesigned the trans & eliminated the cover in late '91 or early '92. The trans. must now be completely disassembled in order to access the 5th gear assembly.

I agree with Joe_F. That is, since the trans must be disassembled to access 5th gear, it would be foolish to re-assemble it without replacing blocker rings & bearings. This is where your $500 job becomes a $1000 or more job.

If it were my personal car, I'd try replacing the transmission oil with Redline MTL. It probably won't cure the problem, but it may severely lessen the symptoms.

I generally don't advocate the use of additives or so-called "specialty lubricants", but this is one of those times where you've got nothing to lose. If the MTL doesn't work, you can:

a) learn to double clutch

b) live with the grinding


c) spend $1k or more on a transmission overhaul.
Old 04-19-02, 05:34 AM
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Or, one additional option.

Source a lower mileage used gearbox and take the gamble by swapping it. By the time it needs service, the vehicle will likely be very old and not worth the time or effort to fix it at that point.

Try www.junkyarddog.com for a used one, by filling out the parts request form.
Old 04-19-02, 05:57 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks.

Thanks for the input Joe & Knuckles.

I'll look for that Redline MTL sometime today. I apparently had a headlight bulb go last night, so I have to go to Pep Boys anyway, so...

I still have one shop preparing a quote for installing a used tranny. There is a place here in the Atlanta area that specializes in used Honda/Acura parts, and they charge about $400.00 for a used tranny. I'll have to weigh the total cost with the install against the annoyance of the problem.

Again, thank you both for your input.

I've already mastered the double-clutch, by the way.
Old 04-19-02, 07:25 AM
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Sounds good and you're welcome. Let us know the outcome.

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