FW: [syncro.org] Don't roll or bump start your syncro in reverse

Here's the equivalent of ABC radio 702 saturdays 10-11am building issues weekly segment ... their famous "Boofhead Of The Week" award!

Oh dear.


-----Original Message-----
From: ... (deleted)
Sent: Sunday, 10 January 2010 1:37 PM
To: syncrolist@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [syncro.org] Don't roll or bump start your syncro in reverse

My 86 syncro had a dead battery one cold morning,in a hurry I didn't want to take the time for jumper cables. My van was on a slope facing up hill so I thought I would just bump start rolling backwards. My old air cooled vw's took this kind of abuse on a regular basis. Any way when I attempted this I just heard a loud grinding sound and realized trans fluid was gushing out the trans. The reverse gear idler shaft is located about a half inch from the outer wall of the transmission. Under normal thrust this isn't a problem because the shaft is pushed inward. By attempting to roll start the thrust is in a backward direction and the shaft literally blows out the trans. $$$ repair cost. had to replace the low gear housing and reverse gear cover and a few other parts. Those parts weren't easy to find here on the west coast. The two wheel drive trans isn't as vulnerable. I'm using jumper cables from now on.


This issue has popped up again and I thought it would be advisable to send out a reminder warning to syncro folks to never clutch start your van in reverse.

A local syncro owner Sam tried this in his syncro and found out the hard way as his battery was flat.

He managed to rip a hole in the side of the gearbox where the reverse idler is located.

An expensive fix would have occurred if I didn’t have a spare section of a transmission.

Check out the damage:

Searching the forum archives, uncovers more discussion on this topic.
In it, disturbing though in particular are the contrary views at Reply 3 (USA expert) and Reply 4 (UK expert).
Goto: re: Don't roll or bu mp start y our syncro in revers e‏

Should ask Rudi I suppose but meanwhile from my past experience, if the need arises, I roll down my street till reaching about 15-20 kmh, then ignition on, engage 3RD gear and then EASE OUT the clutch. No strain discernible.

Years ago I experienced far from help, both flat starting AND camping battery plus an inability to clutch start due to no slope to roll down. Solution for me that got the engine running was to combine the residual energy of the two (flat) batteries utilising previously installed upgraded cables and switchible connector. Lesson learnt.

Hi Ken,

I dont think there is a problem with forward clutch starting - its just reverse clutch starting thats the issue.

Never clutch start in reverse unless you feel the need for a partial gearbox rebuild.