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View Full Version : Time for some repairs (clutch, transmission)



WolfTDI
07-31-2012, 11:39 AM
The trip to Deals Gap was excellent. The wheels, tires, and suspension worked fantastically well. I have had some transmission whine for some time now, so I was a little apprehensive about the trip but forged ahead anyway.

After my 600 mile drive up, I developed a rattly noise at low speed (under 10 mph) that is proportional to wheel speed, regardless of engine coupling. After multiple runs on the Dragon, the gear whine became more noticeable in first, second, and third. Again, I decided to keep abusing the car.

Rear main engine seal is weeping a bit, as are the trans input shaft seal and rear seal (the latter of which has been replaced not long ago). I am thinking the throwout bearing, input shaft bearing and driveshaft bearing are on their last legs. Upon departing NC, I noticed a spongy clutch peadal that faded to nearly nothing halfway up the Cherohala Skyway.

No fluid loss, but gradual demise of clutch pedal. I lost it completely about halfway through GA. I had about half life left on the front brake pads before departing, now they are ready to change (squealers are activated). Timing belt change is due as well as oil, coolant, brake fluid.

To summarize, I will be:

pulling the transmission and rebuilding or replacing
replacing the driveshaft (bad u-joint)
replacing clutch master and slave cylinder
probably replacing clutch assembly
replacing engine and transmission seals
changing timing belt /wp
replacing brakes

I am just glad I made it back under my own power. Road trips are always interesting.

minuteman048
07-31-2012, 08:46 PM
Hope you have it done by the next Dawn Patrol and definetly by the Miatober Meet at Sebring. A master clutch cylinder change is on the menu before I go to Boone. Still original and I like to prevent failure before it happens.

Have the stainless steel hydraulic clutch hose but won't be changing that unless I pull the trans or engine. A real bear to get to. Remember I had a time reinstalling it on Jesters car when he swapped his short nose crank engine. Let me know if you need any help. Have access to a really great floor jack, pedestal fans and an electric impact wrench.

One piece of advice, DRAIN TRANS BEFORE REMOVING! If you disregard this advice you kind of will whind up looking like I did working on Jesters car. Jester, please post that oil bath photo.

Jester~
07-31-2012, 09:04 PM
My bad!
http://i1217.photobucket.co m/albums/dd384/estermiata/0c5cab0f.jpg

Wolftdi, that's quite a to-do list! Glad you had fun and the car performed so well for you. Sounds like a blast!

User
07-31-2012, 09:35 PM
That rattly noise could be your thrust bearing saying goodbye. Mine rattles like crazy as well but I'll wait till it grenades or wares through the pressure plate.
Drop the gear box and check the input shaft for play. If it's excessive or feels like a coffee grinder than maybe it's time for a replacement. They're cheap enough and I know where there are a few. One you can even drive before you decide.

minuteman048
07-31-2012, 09:47 PM
Do you mean throwout bearing?

User
07-31-2012, 09:52 PM
Forgot my US terminology setting.
Yes, the throwout bearing.

minuteman048
07-31-2012, 10:35 PM
That's what I figured. Thrust bearing means real trouble.

User
07-31-2012, 10:45 PM
Thrust bearing means real trouble.
Or a great excuse to build a Monster.:bow2:

minuteman048
08-01-2012, 08:02 AM
You know it.

WolfTDI
08-02-2012, 05:42 PM
That rattly noise could be your thrust bearing saying goodbye. Mine rattles like crazy as well but I'll wait till it grenades or wares through the pressure plate.
Drop the gear box and check the input shaft for play. If it's excessive or feels like a coffee grinder than maybe it's time for a replacement. They're cheap enough and I know where there are a few. One you can even drive before you decide.

Ok Boris, I am ready to see my options for used transmission. The throwout bearing and pilot bearings are fine. There is no excessive play on the input shaft. There is plenty of noise within the transmission when the input shaft is turned by hand. While driving, the noise is much more pronounced in first, second, and third. I am thinking I have some needle bearings that are crap and possibly some gear teeth that are pitted. This is the original transmission but it has been "rebuilt" as some point, as it has plenty of blue silicone globs coming from the seams. That does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the quailty of the work that was done. Since these things are so cheap, I think it would be better to just find a good used unit to put in instead of tearing into the case.

Let me know what you guys find out there.

minuteman048
08-02-2012, 06:52 PM
03 5 Speed for $350.00 with 92,000 miles at Parts Group:

http://www.partsgroup.com/store.aspx?category= Miata-DriveTrain&Page=0

Then there's always Boris' used transmission sales.......faggatab outit

User
08-02-2012, 07:03 PM
Planet Miata is cheaper plus there are other options which may be cheaper still.

Like the faggedaboutit bit.

Joe Morreale
08-03-2012, 10:30 AM
This one's on M.net 50k on it $250. I don't know what shipping would be.

http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=470 298

Try Boris. I think he knows where local junkyard ones are too.

WolfTDI
08-03-2012, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the replies. Treasure Coast Miata has a 41k 2004 5spd for $450 as well. It would be nice to have such a low mile trans, but the rest of the car has enough miles that I am not sure it is worth the premium. I may tear mine down and inspect for the actual damage unless something relatively local pops up for low $$.

Joe Morreale
08-03-2012, 02:40 PM
The good thing about Treasure coast is that you can drive over there and pick it up. Check out bearing and seal kits, from what I've seen they're running $220 and up. That's if you have no hard parts broken. Have you checked through craigslist? You might get lucky and find a bargain, but you have to look often.

WolfTDI
08-03-2012, 03:10 PM
Thanks for all the posts. My inner cheapness got the better of me and I tore into the transmission today. I found a bad layshaft bearing on the bellhousing side. Everything else looks pretty clean.

WolfTDI
08-04-2012, 05:26 PM
Update: $27 at Napa, a few hours labor, a heat gun, pressure washer, and some patience and the trans is back together. New seals, along with a bunch of other stuff from Arlington Mazda are on the way. About all I can do now is yank the clutch and flywheel out, then wait for parts to come in. I figure what i saved by not simply tossing the old trans will pay for quite a few of the maintenance parts I ordered. The good news is the transmission internals looked great. The only defect I could find was a very small chip in the small gear for first. It looked old and already smoothed on the edges. If it were fifth I might be concerned, but that will last forever on first gear.

WolfTDI
08-04-2012, 07:49 PM
For your viewing enjoyment:

Exhaust, ppf, driveshaft extracted
https://lh3.googleuserconten t.com/-wGw07uiSBWQ/UB2y1OSlQkI/AAAAAAAABK4/4NejS1gIMT0/s512/002.jpg?gl=US

Trans out
https://lh3.googleuserconten t.com/-MuqDjNyj5E8/UB2yxwZOwsI/AAAAAAAABKc/0_heqECfT9c/s512/001.jpg?gl=US

This was the bad bearing on the layshaft
https://lh5.googleuserconten t.com/-2RTzmn-gzHA/UB2y2AgzLnI/AAAAAAAABLA/xkzIJAmEN5w/s640/004.jpg?gl=US

Here is the trans all cleaned up and back together
https://lh4.googleuserconten t.com/-wWPmyK-92Pw/UB2y1TVBavI/AAAAAAAABLY/qCIvIVqkVVI/s512/003.jpg?gl=US

Flywheel cleaned up nicely with scotchbrite wheel on die grinder (wrapped in plastic until new clutch arrives)
https://lh6.googleuserconten t.com/-EiDX3Uj4OWs/UB2y1rdKhMI/AAAAAAAABLI/NdM4Ha9SEEY/s512/006.jpg?gl=US

It's beer thirty!

Joe Morreale
08-04-2012, 08:29 PM
Great job on the cheap! Saved yourself a bucketfull of money.

minuteman048
08-04-2012, 09:22 PM
Great job! Hope you had some good fans because it's been hot! I guess you ordered a stock clutch

minuteman048
08-04-2012, 09:25 PM
Great job! Hope you had some good fans because it's been hot! I guess you ordered a stock clutch? Kudos for having the courage to tear into the transmission. Did you use any special tools to pull the bearing?

Jester~
08-04-2012, 09:51 PM
Kudos for having the courage to tear into the transmission.

Agreed, you are a braver man than I. For some reason I have no fear of any engine component...but transmissions scare me so much, that I won't even attempt to repair one.

WolfTDI
08-04-2012, 09:55 PM
A bearing separator and puller would have been nice, but I did not have one. A MAPP torch and small prybar worked quite nicely, though. The whole process would have been a little easier if I had a manual that documented order for component removal. This was not my first transmission tear-down, however. I have already learned that when it comes to gear sets, a little too much pressure in the wrong place gets expensive very quickly. After I pulled it apart, it became apparent that I could have removed a snap ring and the bell housing would have come right off the input shaft bearing without removing the bearing from the input shaft. Oh well, now I know for next time. The MAPP torch destroyed the already bad bearing, but did the job. I used a heat gun to expand the bearings for reassembly. Once hot, they tapped right into place with a pipe and hammer.

Yes to stock clutch. I am stock power and have no intention of increasing that anytime soon. It is hard to argue with $107 for a clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing, pilot bearing, and alignment tool. I've spent more than that for a clutch fork for my VW.

As far as fans, I had one but didn't turn it on. Fans are for sissies!

Agent☣Orange
08-06-2012, 10:39 AM
How do you do all this as if it's as easy as changing a bulb??? :blink:

WolfTDI
08-12-2012, 09:12 PM
It is the same as changing a light bulb. Unscrew old parts, screw new parts in. Maybe a few more steps in between.

I made some good progress today (my only day off) and got the rear main seal installed along with flywheel and pilot bearing. The new clutch went in, new input shaft seal, new rear trans seal. Before putting the transmission back in, I found a roll of aluminum tape on my work bench that was collecting dust. I used it to line the trans tunnel from under the car. It should reflect a little of the exhaust heat. In went the trans and ppf. While the exhaust was out, I removed the clamp I had holding the heat shield in place on the downpipe. I cleaned it up with a grinder and rewelded it. Since I had to paint the welds anyway, I went ahead and painted the muffler and visible rear pipes flat black. A little semi-gloss went on as a final touch to the tailpipe. It is all back on the car now. The clutch master and slave replacement will have to wait until the next day off, along with brakes, timing belt, and water pump.

User
08-12-2012, 10:30 PM
You doing the water pump and timing belt because the pump is weeping or just because it's old enough ?

WolfTDI
08-13-2012, 05:58 AM
There is no weeping. The TB looks like it is in good condition but I have no idea how old it is or how many miles it has. I went ahead and got the kit along with a new crank pulley, woodruff key, and crank bolt. I do have the SNC, so I don't want to risk too much on someone else's work.

minuteman048
08-13-2012, 09:00 AM
A bearing separator and puller would have been nice, but I did not have one. A MAPP torch and small prybar worked quite nicely, though. The whole process would have been a little easier if I had a manual that documented order for component removal. This was not my first transmission tear-down, however. I have already learned that when it comes to gear sets, a little too much pressure in the wrong place gets expensive very quickly. After I pulled it apart, it became apparent that I could have removed a snap ring and the bell housing would have come right off the input shaft bearing without removing the bearing from the input shaft. Oh well, now I know for next time. The MAPP torch destroyed the already bad bearing, but did the job. I used a heat gun to expand the bearings for reassembly. Once hot, they tapped right into place with a pipe and hammer.

Yes to stock clutch. I am stock power and have no intention of increasing that anytime soon. It is hard to argue with $107 for a clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing, pilot bearing, and alignment tool. I've spent more than that for a clutch fork for my VW.

As far as fans, I had one but didn't turn it on. Fans are for sissies!

The parts breakdown for the trans in the shop manual which is available on line would have been a good disassembly/reassembly guide.

I have dissassembeld and replaced bearings on a manual 4-SP Dodge trans and its was not too difficult. Rebuilt a motorwhaleboat gear box attached to a Westerbeke Diesel in the Navy. Just getting lazyer in my old age and have no desire to do work like that in this heat. As for your fans comment, I shake my head, another masochist. It appears that the Smurf Blue color attracts your type. Good for you anyway. That's macho, good for you.

minuteman048
08-13-2012, 09:46 AM
There is no weeping. The TB looks like it is in good condition but I have no idea how old it is or how many miles it has. I went ahead and got the kit along with a new crank pulley, woodruff key, and crank bolt. I do have the SNC, so I don't want to risk too much on someone else's work.

How amny miles you got on that beastie?

User
08-13-2012, 11:22 AM
There is no weeping. The TB looks like it is in good condition but I have no idea how old it is or how many miles it has. I went ahead and got the kit along with a new crank pulley, woodruff key, and crank bolt. I do have the SNC, so I don't want to risk too much on someone else's work.

Don't blame you for not trusting anyone around here to work on your car.
I just went through an ordeal where I had to leave my van in West Palm at a mechanics shop. A week into it he threw in the towel and asked me to tow it away.
Once I got it home it took no time to fire the thing up but now I have at least a weeks worth of work to repair all the "mechanics" screw ups. Dork.

As for the Smurf, I'm letting it roll.
I want to see how long before the water pump or the belt gives up the ghost. Care to place bets ?

WolfTDI
08-15-2012, 08:04 PM
how amny miles you got on that beastie?

120k

Tristan75
08-16-2012, 07:55 AM
Great job on that smurf!!

WolfTDI
08-19-2012, 09:12 AM
Transmission is filled with fresh Motorcraft Synthetic Gear Oil, turret filled, boots back on and interior buttoned up. New clutch master, slave, braided stainless line in and bled. I got the clutch hydraulic kit from 5xRacing for $70 and it includes new fluid! Great people, fast shipping, quality looks good. I also ordered Centric brake rotors from 5xRacing. I ordered Porterfield R4S pads from topbrakes.com. They were by far the cheapest option I could find and shipping is free over $100. There were some mixed reviews, but my transaction went very smoothly. The shipping was fast and email confirmations and tracking were good. I installed all of it yesterday and bled the system with some nice smurf blue fluid (ATE Super Blue). It looks super sweet in my master cylinders (brake and clutch).

WolfTDI
08-20-2012, 07:30 PM
Got it all back together last night, filled with fluids, fired it up and saw a steady drip, drip, drip of coolant. Insert expletives here! Of course it was coming from the brand new GMB water pump, or thereabouts. I was too tired to tear back into it then. I dug back into it today and found the coated metal OEM water pump gasket did not make a good seal on the block and therefore was weeping. This time I used sealant on both sides of the gasket, reinstalled timing belt, covers, drive belts, etc. I refilled the radiator, fired it up, and this time it did not leak. I set the timing, changed the oil and filter and cleaned up my workspace. The wheels went back on, I got cleaned up and bedded the new brake pads. It is nice to have the smile machine up and running again.

minuteman048
08-20-2012, 07:48 PM
Don't blame you for not trusting anyone around here to work on your car.
I just went through an ordeal where I had to leave my van in West Palm at a mechanics shop. A week into it he threw in the towel and asked me to tow it away.
Once I got it home it took no time to fire the thing up but now I have at least a weeks worth of work to repair all the "mechanics" screw ups. Dork.

As for the Smurf, I'm letting it roll.
I want to see how long before the water pump or the belt gives up the ghost. Care to place bets ?

I may abuse the Smurf, but my sympathies concerning your van. I have a F150 pickup and 2001SE has a big tow dolly. In the future call me. I would be more than happy to help you out. Im not really such a bad guy. Thumper might disagree though.

minuteman048
08-20-2012, 07:56 PM
Got it all back together last night, filled with fluids, fired it up and saw a steady drip, drip, drip of coolant. Insert expletives here! Of course it was coming from the brand new GMB water pump, or thereabouts. I was too tired to tear back into it then. I dug back into it today and found the coated metal OEM water pump gasket did not make a good seal on the block and therefore was weeping. This time I used sealant on both sides of the gasket, reinstalled timing belt, covers, drive belts, etc. I refilled the radiator, fired it up, and this time it did not leak. I set the timing, changed the oil and filter and cleaned up my workspace. The wheels went back on, I got cleaned up and bedded the new brake pads. It is nice to have the smile machine up and running again.

Don't you just hate when that happens? Have to give you credit for perseverance. Would be too tired to do that after work and have to do it on the weekend. I have a few war stories like that, but I'll save them for Deans. Great job and kudos. Looks like you spent some bucks. All mine just went to the University of Central Florida (UCF). Just budgeting for Boone now.

One thing, I guess it was a lot easier to install that SS clutch line with the transmission out. That job is giving me an anxiety attack.

Maybe a bunch of us can caravan up ther next year.

User
08-20-2012, 08:04 PM
I have a F150 pickup and 2001SE has a big tow dolly. In the future call me.

Thank for the offer but my van is on the large side.
The tow truck that initially came to pick me up threw in the towel and called for backup. Lucky my van was empty or he would have had a hernia.
It's all good, I got the thing towed from West Palm to Naples for $200.

WolfTDI
08-20-2012, 08:11 PM
I really can't see why the clutch line is giving you anxiety. It was a piece of cake for me. I did not have to work around Jester's head, however, when I did mine. My biggest concern was trying to not spill any brake fluid on the paint of the engine bay. The line went in very smoothly. I can help you with yours if you want. I unclipped the hard line from the bulkhead, removed it and blew it out with brakekleen and compressed air. I replaced the master and slave, clipped the new stainless line to the bracket, then threaded it onto the slave cylinder. You should have seen the sludge in my old master cyl. It looked like chocolate pudding!

minuteman048
08-21-2012, 08:12 AM
Just had trouble doing Jesters and don't remember now what was the issue. It was hot even with fans and I was soaked in transmission fluid. I do have a great pedistal fan though.