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Discussion Starter #1
At the risk of sounding like a complete Noob (not saying I'm not at all but still...)

I'm interested in getting some feedback from the various professionals and gear heads about the best ways to break-in a manual transmission and ensure protection of synchros.
 

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Seconded. All of my cars have been very well broken in already. The engine should already be broken in from the factory but you have to break in everything else. I have heard that you should get a few thermal cycles in before pushing the trans too hard because those cycles help anneal gears and strengthen them. Beating on an unstrengthened gearbox could cause microfractures that greatly weaken your gears.

Of course, gears come pretty well heat treated these days, so I don't know how much of that is relevant anymore.
 

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Drive it like you robbed a bank from day one! That way it breaks in to hard driving and not a soft easy going drive (same goes for the engine).

If you plan on driving hard, break it in hard. If not and you do a soft break in period and then drive hard. From my personal experience, that is when things break and don't hold up under stress/strain. Whereas if you break it in that way, it will be nothing new to the car when you get on it and drive hard later; the car is use to it, as this is what is was given from the beginning and is not new stress/strain to the engine/tranny/drivetrain.

Again, just my personal opinion and what has worked well for me.
 

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At the risk of sounding like a complete Noob (not saying I'm not at all but still...)

I'm interested in getting some feedback from the various professionals and gear heads about the best ways to break-in a manual transmission and ensure protection of synchros.
Dealership/Porters will take care of the engine break in. Nothing to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Im glad to see some varying opinions...the last manual gearbox I drove was in my 2005 S4 and I wasn't real easy on it from the get go, never had an issue with the tranny or engine. Im interested to see guys with years of experience with Fords, if they have a particular method for breaking in these engines and drivetrains.
 

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I'm not sure how heat cycles would help harden any metal, normal trans temps are 160* or up to 200.

I can say I have never really bothered with any break in procedure on any new vehicle I purchased. When I bought my Balt SS I was doing No Lift Shifts with the salesman when he delivered it to me, and when I did the PDI with 7 miles on it. I drive my vehicles hard from day one and have never had an issue. There is a fine line between driving hard and abuse though. When I was at rally school the mechanic was telling me how a person who understands this may get 5 events out of a trans compared to 1-2.
 

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Im glad to see some varying opinions...the last manual gearbox I drove was in my 2005 S4 and I wasn't real easy on it from the get go, never had an issue with the tranny or engine. Im interested to see guys with years of experience with Fords, if they have a particular method for breaking in these engines and drivetrains.
The only thing as mentioned in the owners manual is to not cruise at a constant RPM (aka work the engine). Engines like to be worked, don't be afraid to do so. I see a lot of problems in my trade from vehicles not being driven hard enough, way more then being driven too hard.
 

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There is no real "break-in" procedure for manual transmissions. I've gone through 2 new cars that never had tranny issues and I didn't do anything special. You'll be fine... Just don't grind the gears. Find out where the clutch engagement is to know how far you have to push it in/let go and that's it... Your synchros will be fine. And rev match so the gears don't get shocked.

Engine break in is another story. You'll get differing opinions there... I say follow the manual and you can't go wrong.
 

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I doubt the transmission will need much in the way of a break in. When I bought my 2012 Mustang GT, I was hard on the car from day one. That transmission probably saw ~500 no-lift shifts, the only problem I ever had with it was the skip-shift solenoid would keep it out of gear sometimes until I unplugged it.
 

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I'm not sure how heat cycles would help harden any metal, normal trans temps are 160* or up to 200.

I can say I have never really bothered with any break in procedure on any new vehicle I purchased. When I bought my Balt SS I was doing No Lift Shifts with the salesman when he delivered it to me, and when I did the PDI with 7 miles on it. I drive my vehicles hard from day one and have never had an issue. There is a fine line between driving hard and abuse though. When I was at rally school the mechanic was telling me how a person who understands this may get 5 events out of a trans compared to 1-2.
The heat cycles would be for the clutch, it probable needs at least 200 miles of normal driving (not all at once) before using launch control
 

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I've heard that its beneficial to find some slow moving traffic (not stop and go, moving, just at a slow pace) and to just go shift happy for a while, I feel that wherever I heard this also mentioned not to really go crazy until you've shifted approximately 1,000 times (I assumed that was throughout the range of gears, I didn't remember that as 1000, 1st-2nd, 1000 2nd-3rd, etc). I have absolutely no clue if there is any validity to it, or to be honest, if I'm remember things correctly.

I do think the transmission would innately have its own break in period though, it is a mechanical part.. Heat cycles make sense to me, metal shavings, micro fractures, etc.

Personally, I'll probably take it fairly easy until I feel extremely comfortable with all gears engage/disengage points and RPM thresholds, then I'll head straight to some of my favorite roads and pray there aren't any cops.
 

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The heat cycles would be for the clutch, it probable needs at least 200 miles of normal driving (not all at once) before using launch control
I was referring to Randman's comment about annealing gears and strengthening them through a few heat cycles.

OEM clutches should be good to go though. I think Kevlar is the only material that really needs a break in procedure. As long as you don't roast the disc I don't see an issue with hard launches from day one. The way the AWD system is in the RS too, I think it will be a little forgiving with launches from what I have seen with the front tires spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All good info...ill be driving my rs about 400 miles from the mountains back to the beach...almost all highway besides a detour down tail of the dragon/deals gap, NC.
 

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Tires
WARNING
New tires need to be run-in for approximately 300 miles (500 kilometers). During this time, you may experience different driving characteristics.

Brakes and Clutch
WARNING
Avoid heavy use of the brakes and clutch if possible for the first 100 miles (150 kilometers) in town and for the first 1000 miles (1500 kilometers) on freeways.

Engine
WARNING
Avoid driving too fast during the first 1000 miles (1500 kilometers). Vary your speed frequently and change up through the gears early. Do not labor the engine.
http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/vdirsnet/OwnerManual/Home/Index?bookcode=O32143&marketCode=GB&languageCode=EN&VIN=&div=f
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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I'm sure it will be miles ahead of the POS XR and XRS trannies I've had in my '04 Matrix (same as the celica gt/gts ones I believe). The first locked up at 109k (due to an apparent shoddy material quality for a bearing used inside, cost cutting measure, few thousand affected and denied, denied, denied by Toyota), and the 6-speed I have in there now from the XRS lost it's 6th gear synchro and won't stay in 6th. I haven't had a speeding ticket in a while, so I got that goin' for me...which is nice. (>_>)
 

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All good info...ill be driving my rs about 400 miles from the mountains back to the beach...almost all highway besides a detour down tail of the dragon/deals gap, NC.
Perfect! You will get every range and possible speed(s) on your 400 SMILE journey, from dealer to home!

Have to admit, a bit jelly about that! That's a nice drive to have day 1 of delivery!!!
 

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I've never heard of a break-in period for a transmission, but there is one for the clutch. In a high HP/Torque car there is a greater risk of glazing if you get it way too hot before it is broken in. I doubt this is an issue with the RS as it's not really a high HP car. Glazing can also be an issue with new brakes.

As for engine break in, you will hear differing opinions from different engine builders. Most will recommend you don't cruise at the same RMPs for long periods of time. My school of thought is to short shift (maybe limit it to 5,000 RPMs) for the first 500 miles, or so. I will then do an oil change. From that point on I will drive it like any other car (hard). Most of what I am planning on doing is probably overkill, but I'd rather be a little extra careful.
 
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