Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 32- Getting sequentially better with S1
flashlight in one hand and metal block off plate covered in liquid gasket in another hand, looking down into transmission tunnel hole
Removing the reverse lockout solenoid was a little tricky because there’s not much room in the tunnel to get the right kind of tool on it.

Again, doing this job with the transmission out is probably much more straightforward. Here, Barry is putting the S1-provided block-off plate over the hole that the solenoid assembly’s removal left in the side of the transmission.

The lockout solenoid assembly has an o-ring that goes inside the hole on the transmission to prevent fluid from getting past. The block-off plate does not have any kind of groove or gasket, and the transmission body has no groove for a gasket, either. Liquid gasket was applied to the surface of the block-off plate before bolting it to the transmission.

You might think that you would install the block-off plate from the top. Don’t think that. We tried to think that, and the transmission corrected us.


looking down into transmission tunnel through hole and seeing a hand working on the side of the transmission
What you really need to do is try to do it from the bottom, unless you have really, really tiny hands.

When doing it from the bottom, it also helps to have someone assist from the top, and even then, you will struggle. Be patient.


drilling a large hole in the transmission tunnel using a hole saw bit
Oh, wow, that is a big hole!

We are working on the car, so, of course, there’s going to be holes drilled.


using a long extension on a ratchet through the new hole in the transmission tunnel
The transmission tunnel and the transmission are really close on the passenger side, and that is the side where the reverse plunger is that must be removed.

The tunnel’s proximity meant that there was no way we could get a tool onto the plunger to remove it. So, Barry drilled a giant hole in the tunnel so that he could access it that way. Sometimes that’s just what you have to do.


close up of bolt-in plunger from T56 transmission
This thing does some magic stuff related to reverse, but S1 says you don’t need it with their sequential something, so it came off.


    1. If you subscribe to my personal YouTube channel I’ll have video from Carolina Motorsports Park where I was beating it up a good bit. Even ended up mowing the lawn at some point! I ran 1:48 which is almost 9sec off the TT2 pace, but this is the first real experiment on the car and my first time at CMP in over a decade. I’ve got a lot to learn about the corner speed limits of the car. Looking at my data it’s basically “yeah just go faster everywhere”. Ha!

  1. Awesome! Those shifters look like so much fun. The date on the vid os wrong? It says 2010. I will check out your You tube.

  2. I’ve driven that shifter before and you really can’t rush a shift with it. My friend wallered one out after a couple of race seasons and it began to miss gears, I think there’s a lot of leverage working against it. That and once worn, I think the housing grows with heat and makes it worse. I had the B&M and it sucked when it heated up. I love my new MGW and don’t see myself running anything else now.

    1. I noticed that the shifter assembly was pretty warm after a session, but I’m also not running a transmission fluid cooler.

      The MGW looks nice, but it’s a standard H-pattern and not a sequential. I didn’t really have any issue with the factory Tremec shifter, other than I really wanted a teeny tiny short handle. That Hurst handle I had was pretty good, but I would’ve liked something even shorter. The THROW wasn’t the problem. It was more the shift handle length.

      We’ll see how the S1 holds up after time. My only issue with it is more user error than a problem with the shifter. For whatever reason, I tend not to push it forward enough, so I end up not fully engaging the next gear down. It’s not really a big deal — just something I need to work on or perhaps adjust the shifter angle a bit more.

      1. The shifter sort of has 2 clunks to grab a gear, don’t let the first one fool you. It can be pretty convincing. I’ve found with the MGW that reverse is an asspain to grab, so if this doesn’t do it for you long term consider the MGW as an alternative to not grabbing reverse when you want 5th. I did that years ago to another T56 with a worn out stock shifter and reverse was never the same after that.

  3. Great article, this Soarer content is always so interesting to read. Great vocab too, automotive project car stories can often fall into “catalogue details” faster than the wonders of gearbox black magic. 10/10

  4. is there a difference between a sequential trans and a sequential shift trans? reason I ask is because I had a chance to get an “ikeya sequential shifter” for cheap but a friend poo-pooed it saying that is not a real sequential trans –can anyone shed some light on the subject

    1. Yes, and no, and kind of. Context matters.

      In the case of the S1, Ikeya, and other adapters, you are attaching a sequential shifter assembly to an otherwise normal tranmission. So, while the activation of gears becomes sequential (you can only select the next or previous gear, “sequentially”), the clutch is still required in order to keep the other parts of the transmission happy (namely the synchronizers on the transmission gears).

      A true sequential transmission usually has an internal construction that allows for changing gears without needing to disengage the engine from the transmission via the clutch. A true sequential transmission may use either a physical shift lever (like V8 Supercar a few years back, late 90s BTCC, old DTM, etc) or shift paddles on the steering wheel.

      Sequential transmissions may, but don’t have to be, integrated into the engine management system to handle things like rev matching. They often still have a clutch for starting from a dead stop, but the clutch is not required for switching gears once moving.

      Where it gets funky is in modern dual-clutch transmissions and automated manual transmissions. I think the Volkswagen-Audi group DSG may have been one of the first “passenger” units on the dual-clutch side, and BMW with the SMG on the E46 M3… maybe.

      In the case of the dual-clutch unit, it is much like a regular manual inside, but there are two clutches and two input shafts and a computer that controls how things work. While the experience is sequential (use a paddle or push/pull on the shifter to get the next gear), there are still clutches and synchros inside. The BMW SMG more or less used a computer to actuate the regular single clutch. These systems may or may not have a clutch pedal at all, as the computers do all of the work, including starting from a dead stop.

      I hope this helps!

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