Crunchy shifting is somewhat normal when cold. Just be extra careful and smooth until the car warms up.
How many miles on your car? Or more specifically, how many miles on the gear oil? What brand and weight is it? Perhaps you just need to drain and refill with the proper oil (I believe Porsche recommends Mobil 1 75W-90).
I have a bit of a crunchy feeling when shifting into second sometimes too, but not always when cold. Don't like it much! Unfortunately, at my dealer, things that cannot be reproduced on command cannot be fixed!
The synchro on second gear is always the one that's used hardest, because the gap from 1st to 2nd is so big: rpm fall by almost 50%, whereas (for example) they fall by only ~16% from 5th to 6th so there is much less of a difference in engine speed.
Eventually, the second gear synchros will get worn to the point that there is a little crunchiness even when warm, but that takes a huge mileage
Preventative measures are:
1) Change more slowly from 1st to 2nd to let the engine revs drop enough (especially when cold)
2) Double-declutch the 1-2 shift for the first couple of minutes in the morning, especially when it's cold
Option (2) is a hassle, but it has helped me keep a number of German gearboxes happy well past the 100k mark, and it's a fun skill to learn.
When changing down gear, press in clutch, put gear into neutral , release clutch, rev the engine to match expected higher revs from the lower gear, press in the clutch, change down a gear and release the clutch. (all done in a quick sequence)
Had to do that for many years on my dads old Renault 18 Turbo, no syncro in 3rd for 10+ years
Basically you are saving the syncro from having to work by speeding the engine a free gears up to the required new speed in the gearbox.
For a 1st to 2nd change
1) Accelerate to (say) 4500rpm in first
2) Push in clutch and hold it down
3) Move gear lever to neutral
4) Allow revs to drop to ~2300rpm and use throttle to hold them there
5) Let clutch out while in neutral with engine speed still at ~2300rpm
6) Push in clutch while still holding ~2300rpm
7) Move gear lever to second
8) Let clutch out
9) Enjoy perfect smooth shift with no strain on synchros or engine mounts
10) Accept adulation of passenger, while attempting to pass it off as no big deal...
In real life, 2-4 happen pretty much together, and 5-6 happen as quickly as you can pump the clutch. On the rare occasions that I get it right (9), I make sure that I get all the benefit that I can out of 10.
Some older guys (I mean more mature people) tend to use this more for downshifting, but I'm convinced that it's 1st-2nd shifts on a cold gearbox that cause the most wear.
Incidentally, once you've got this procedure down pat, you can in theory skip using the clutch entirely as the engine, road, and gearbox layshaft speeds are all perfectly aligned. I don't recommend this for expensive cars, but it did get me home once with a Miata with a busted clutch slave cylinder, and another time when I mangled my left knee skiing and used a ski pole for the initial engagement of the clutch in first followed by 100 miles of clutchless shifting in my old WRX (for anyone on this board who may eventually buy my Cayman, I absolutely promise I've never done this in it)
i have a crunchy 2nd gear when cold. seems fine when it's warmed up.
is this normal, or should i be afraid?!
My car is exactly like this. That first shift into second is always really stiff, and I have ground the gears a few times because of it. It actually seems worse lately as I don't recall grinding the gears before. I have the short shifter as well so it probably doesn't help. On top of that a porsche tech who did a test drive said my shifter seemed stiff in general as well, so it all adds up to a pretty nasty shift into second when cold. It is fine when warmed up.
when it is cold (assuming there is no synchro damage) shift 1st to 3rd slowly until the tranny warms up after a few miles or at least 6/7 shifts it should ease up...if it persists it is a synchro....first and second gears have a special coating they should be ok on a newer car unless it was habitually missed shifted....and try not to hold the shifter when not using it....its not some dumb Hollywood movie where they think that is something cool to do with a manual trans.
Thanks all for your help - definitely reassuring. I'll give double de-clutching a go, and be extra smooth (as I always try to be when cold).
It's worth saying this is one of the best gearboxes I've ever had the pleasure of using - when warm !
it's very hard to shift into 2nd gear in the morning when it's cold. however, as the engine warms up after a couple mins. it becomes easy. do any of u guys have this problem? it's only 2nd gear that has this problem.
oh and i got my oil changed last week and told the technicians this problem. they said they moved the shifting wires, but they said they won't know until the car completely cools down(i guess they were too busy to wait for the car to cool down). but i still have this problem. what should i do?
it gets annoying because sometimes i try to shfit into 2nd gear, it only goes half way in, and as i let up the clutch it grinds the gear....so annoying. should i take it back to the dealer?? thanks.
I know nothing about Porsches, but have solved that exact problem in many other cars with fully synthetic oil, like Redline. It's much more 'liquidy' than stock, therefore much better in the cold. Definitely worth trying IMO. Good luck.