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Transmission or clutch noise?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 landozion

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 01:01 PM

97 OBS, 5 sp manual, 220K miles is making a whirring noise that is getting worse. Noise is apparent in all gears including neutral, but goes away when I disengage the clutch (pedal in). Sounds to me like a tranny bearing, but it has been suggested it might be a throwout bearing in the clutch (still original clutch). I checked the tranny fluid, looks good and is full. I do not have the tools or a place to work on this myself, so will need to take it to a shop. My understanding is that you pull the engine to do the clutch, and I dont want to pay for that and discover that its the tranny thats the problem. I have started shopping for a replacement used tranny and am shocked at the prices I am being quoted (over 600$ plus 50 or more shipping). Its hard to justify putting that kind of money into a vehicle with this many miles. (clutch/tranny/labor would be over 1500$, needs a timing belt/water pump/cam seals too) If I knew it was just the clutch I would do it, so... can anyone help me diagnose this noise? Or hook me up with a good used tranny in Utah? Thanks for any and all suggestions!

#2 nipper

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 02:24 PM

Throw out bearing.

When was the clutch last done and what parts were replaced.

#3 landozion

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:43 PM

I value your knowledge nipper, but I was under the impression that if it made noise when the clutch is engaged (foot off the clutch) and stopped making noise when the pedal is on the floor, it was more likely to be the tranny input shaft bearing. While if it made noise while the pedal was depressed or being depressed, that was the TO bearing. Am I wrong on this? It would not surprise me if its the clutch, its original (220K miles), but I dont want to pay to pull the engine for exploratory surgery and find I need a tranny thats more money than the car is worth. I am willing to pay for a clutch job, but probably not for a tranny too.

#4 nipper

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:52 PM

The throw out bearing is rattling around inside the transmission. When you depress the clutch the noise goes away. You are loading up the bearing.

MAN OH MAN you may win the award for the most miles on a clutch! I wouldnt be surprised if it is a thorw out bearing, or a pilot bearing. My money on throwout.

http://science.howst...om/bearing1.htm

Look how the bearing is constructed, and you can invision the noise.

Google it and 98% of the responses are a bad TO bearing. Even people with new trannies are confirming it.

Shaft bearing would make noise as you released the clutch, not just when it is fully released.

#5 987687

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:08 PM

In the case of the TOB shutting up when there's pressure on it, do this. Depress the clutch pedal enough that there's pressure on the TOB, but you still haven't disengaged the transmission. Using nipper's logic, this should put pressure on the TOB causing it to be quiet, but also keep the transmission spinning to hear if the transmission is making noise.

#6 turtlesdove3

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:32 AM

97 OBS, 5 sp manual, 220K miles is making a whirring noise that is getting worse. Noise is apparent in all gears including neutral, but goes away when I disengage the centerforce clutches (pedal in). .... Its hard to justify putting that kind of money into a vehicle with this many miles. (clutch/tranny/labor would be over 1500$, needs a timing belt/water pump/cam seals too) If I knew it was just the clutch I would do it, so... can anyone help me diagnose this noise? Or hook me up with a good used tranny in Utah? Thanks for any and all suggestions!


Take it to a shop. I'm sure they'll fix it . I always tell them that what they diagnosed will be researched upon coz sometimes they sound so damn sure even if they ain't.

Edited by turtlesdove3, 02 June 2010 - 04:58 PM.


#7 landozion

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:55 PM

Well, I have tried the suggestion of partially engaging the clutch to check, and though its hard to tell for sure, it seems to point to the clutch. I have also had it at three different shops, and all said they could not tell without opening it up. Two said tranny, one said clutch. I am just reluctant to spend the money to open it up without knowing how much it will end up costing. If its the tranny, I will have wasted money I could have used for a newer vehicle.
I am also still confused how the throwout makes noise with the clutch engaged. I have spent hours googling throwout bearings. On a site devoted to how a clutch works I found this quote.
"Once the clutch is fully engaged, the release bearing is normally stationary and does not rotate with the pressure plate."
That seems to rule out the TO bearing in my case (noise only when engaged, not when pedal is down). Unless nipper is right that it is so worn that it is rattleing when not engaged. Found lots of other folks posting on this issue too, but few who checked back after having work done to say whether a clutch job fixed it. As of now, I am going to drive it till it gets worse and I can make a better diagnosis (while I continue shopping for a newer subaru or a cheap used tranny). Thanks for the suggestions, if I ever get it tracked down I will post back to help the next person with a similar problem.


#8 nipper

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 05:11 PM

Throwout bearing does NOt make noise with the clutch depressed, it only makes noise with the clutch out. Basically it is rattling around inside the tranny, and get anything rattling around fast enough it will make a whiring noise.

If you can hear it with the pedal down it is pretty far gone. Even a tranny input shaft wont make noise at that point.

It is the clutch.


nipper

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

I value your knowledge nipper, but I was under the impression that if it made noise when the clutch is engaged (foot off the clutch) and stopped making noise when the pedal is on the floor, it was more likely to be the tranny input shaft bearing. While if it made noise while the pedal was depressed or being depressed, that was the TO bearing. Am I wrong on this? It would not surprise me if its the clutch, its original (220K miles), but I dont want to pay to pull the engine for exploratory surgery and find I need a tranny thats more money than the car is worth. I am willing to pay for a clutch job, but probably not for a tranny too.


You got it backwards.

When the clutch is depressed, the Input of the trans is not being driven. I.E. no way for the input bearing to make noise.

When the clutch is out, the TO bearing is supposed to come out of contact with the PP. But the quill the TO bearing slides on gets gummed up and rough and holds the bearing against the Pressure Plate fingers. If the quill is too bad, you can get clutch sets with a repair sleeve.

Trust us, it's the throw out bearing.

You may be able to make some of the noise go away by installing a spring on the clutch for to pull the fork away from the bearing when the clutch is not depressed. I've had to do this even with new bearings sometimes, so you may just want to plan on it. I've had to add return springs to almost every soob I've owned.....first time I start hearing that little chirping.

#10 turtlesdove3

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:07 PM

Throwout bearing does NOt make noise with the clutch depressed, it only makes noise with the clutch out. Basically it is rattling around inside the tranny, and get anything rattling around fast enough it will make a whiring noise.

If you can hear it with the pedal down it is pretty far gone. Even a tranny input shaft wont make noise at that point.

It is the clutch.


nipper


That's a very smart detection.

#11 nipper

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:27 PM

That's a very smart detection.


i try :)

#12 landozion

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:00 PM

Subaru mechanic says he is 99.9% sure its the tranny input bearing, they wont even open it up until we line up a replacement tranny because they dont want it stuck on thier lift. (Not that I was planning on having the dealer do the work anyway). None of the shops in the area wants to work on the tranny, they all say find a used one. So I am right back where I was on the original post, searching for a used tranny. Will any other models or years match up to a 1997 phase 2 2.2 OBS manual?

#13 Fairtax4me

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:51 PM

Here's a check you can do...

Drive down the street get up to a safe speed where the noise is most prevalent. Car in gear, press in the clutch and turn the engine off. (And for god's sake DO NOT take the key out, just turn it back one click) :eek:
Now move the shifter in and out of different gears (clutch in the whole time) while the car is rolling to see if the noise is there in any one or multiple gears or if it stays gone. The gears will engage the shafts and make them start spinning because the driveline is moving. If it's an input shaft bearing you should hear the noise.
If not, you won't hear anything because it's the TOB which isn't moving because the engine is off. The TOB only spins when the pressure plate spins, pressure plate is connected to the flywheel, flywheel is connected to the crankshaft. No crankshaft rotation = no TOB rotation.

Make sense?

#14 1-3-2-4

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:23 PM

Thats a pretty smart idea to try takes the guess work out of guessing.

#15 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:58 PM

I realize this is a zombie thread... but in the interest of useful infomation.... if you want to rule out the TO bearing just operate the fork with the cable slacked off or with the slave unbolted. You will be able to move the TO back so it is NOT in contact with the pressure plate. If the noise is still there in neutral - the input shaft bearing is shot.

MOST of the time on these AWD 5MT's it's the input shaft bearing that's at fault. The TO's typically make noises when you press on the clutch and it gets quieter when you release the pedal. If the noise gets louder when the pedal is released and then louder still when the car is in motion - it's the input shaft bearing.

A used tranny is an option to be sure - but anyone that knows these tranny's can replace that one bearing without spending the $300 to $500 for a used tranny. The bearing is $65 and it's three or four hours to change it. Now depending on shop rates that might mean it's about the same price but the bearing will be new and this is by far the most common failure on the 5MT's. You may get a good used one but you may get one that is going to need the same thing in 50k or less.

GD

#16 1-3-2-4

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:02 PM

The input shaft when the pedal is pressed the input shaft should stop turning right? If you still hear the sound then it would be the TOB right?

I'm not sure how the exedy kit is but does it come with a clip for the TOB? most installs I've seen on Subaru's I don't see any clips at all.

#17 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:13 PM

The input shaft when the pedal is pressed the input shaft should stop turning right? If you still hear the sound then it would be the TOB right?


Correct.

I'm not sure how the exedy kit is but does it come with a clip for the TOB? most installs I've seen on Subaru's I don't see any clips at all.


None of the kits come with clips. You can get them at the dealer for a couple $. There are two that hold the TO to the fork.

GD

#18 1-3-2-4

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:20 PM

Are the clips required? I've seen many installs without them which makes me think not really but puts more wear on the transmission housing?

#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:25 PM

Yes they are required. They are what allows the fork to pull the TO back so it is not in contact with the pressure plate.

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#20 1-3-2-4

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:27 PM

Is a pilot puller needed to get the bearing out?

#21 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:34 PM

No - you remove the flywheel (should be surfacing it anyway) and the pilot knocks out with a punch. Install using a properly sized socket.

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#22 1-3-2-4

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:45 PM

Oh that's simple enough I think I plan on getting a new flywheel just because no telling how much has been going on. both cars I had, had a bad TOB.

#23 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:56 PM

Surfacing is typically fine and more economical (~$25). I wouldn't bother with a new one. They aren't cheap for good one's.

GD

#24 grossgary

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 10:29 PM

1-3-2-4 pilot bearings are really easy to knock in and out, super simple. resurface the fly wheel, you or the machine shop can mic it to make sure it's in spec.

i have what i thought was an input shaft bearing noise - there's a thread on here about it from last year or a few months ago. GD, and others I believe, said it's the input shaft bearing. same thing, always got a noise unless i press the clutch in then it's quiet as can be.

fluid looked good but i got some new fluid in there and it's amazingly quiet right now. probably going to do another change with full synthetic and cross my fingers...or maybe i should just call myself lucky and leave it be.

this is on an XT6 though - the earlier FT4WD trans that typically don't have input shaft bearing issues like the EJ's, so maybe it means nothing, or i was totally lucky, or it's going to come back next week or blow up next month...i don't know but a few dollars in fluid might be worth a shot?

a friend (board member too) had input shaft bearing noise a year or so ago. he also changed his fluid and it's been quiet for like a year now. i think he's also got a thread here. 1997 Legacy EJ22.

#25 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 10:45 PM

this is on an XT6 though - the earlier FT4WD trans that typically don't have input shaft bearing issues like the EJ's, so maybe it means nothing, or i was totally lucky, or it's going to come back next week or blow up next month...i don't know but a few dollars in fluid might be worth a shot?


Fluid is never a bad call - unless what you drain out looks like "glitter pen" or has a whole "prize package" in it with big hunks of metal and mount-everest on the drain plug.

Actually the FT4WD tranny is very little different from the AWD tranny with respect to the input shaft bearing arrangement. I would chalk up the lack of failures on the XT6 transmissions to either a superior input shaft bearing or to fewer of those transmissions in the wild from which to draw significant failure reports..... but I bet it uses the "10 ball" input shaft bearing that is used on the EJ turbo 5MT's instead of the "6 ball" that is used in the NA variants. More balls = better shaft support and less load per ball.

GD




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