I have an 83 Spider Veloce with 63k. Shifting into 1st, 2nd and Reverse will grind going in about 60% of the time. I sometimes shut the car off at stop lights and put it in to gear. Same with reverse. Its a daily driver for me in the summer. Any suggestions?
Follow the link above for the complete picture, but a quick answer: First thing, replace the oil with Redline 75W90NS. Give it a few days to settle in, but things should get better. Second thing, bump second slightly before going into first. Not all the way into second, just a bump. For reverse, bump fourth slightly. Second is another story. It probably needs the syncros fixed, but you can learn to be methodical in your shifting so that it's not too bad. You can also learn to double-clutch to make it better. Changing the oil will make everything somewhat better.
This has been discussed a million times, but here goes again. With the car warm and running, push down the clutch and shift into third. Without releasing the clutch, shift back to neutral for a few secs and then into reverse. If you get *any* grind or feeling of moving gears gnashing then the clutch is not releasing fully, probably the pivot pin or air in the lines.
If it passes that test, then the first and reverse grinding from neutral are normal and the "fix" is to touch another gear first to stop the internal transmission parts from spinning. Second gear grind is either shifting too fast, poor choice of transmission fluid, or terminal wear of the 2nd gear synchronizer.
Reinforcing what Tom has suggested, if the transmission shifts ok with the engine off and the clutch down, then check if the clutch is not releasing because of air in the clutch line or slave cylinder; that the pedal has the right amount of play at the top of its travel; and things like that that are mechanical. Also pull the dust boot away from the slave cylinder and see if has fluid in it, the seals may be by-passing fluid.
If these tests appear ok, then there is a good possiblity that there is a problem with the pressure plate (diaphram worn, link rivet broken, etc) or that the clutch driven disc has lost the grooves on the friction facing due to wear and it is not releasing due to a vacumn build-up between the disc and the flywheel. Either way the clutch assy needs to be looked at. This was a very common happening on cars at higher mileage in the sixtys and seventys.
Maybe it could. Reverse and first are usually selected from a stop so if the clutch isn't fully disengaging then it will grind. While moving, the other gears don't need as much disengagement to be selected. My pivot was failing and gave me similar grinds.
Are the 2 pedals the same height?
2nd is another story and may be a bad syncro. Changing the oil can't hurt.