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Everything posted by the_bard

  1. Ah. Mainshaft = input shaft. I thought the mainshaft referred to the output shaft. I learn something new every day. By the way, don't look up the Wikipedia article to find the definition of mainshaft: "Sometimes the term mainshaft refers to just the input shaft or just the output shaft, rather than the entire assembly." Like that clears anything up. I should've mentioned that my thoughts the other day are directly related to how far I want to dig into that old transmission; I got the impression from a write-up somewhere that getting to the input shaft wasn't too bad of a job. That would imply that pulling the output shaft is going to be harder.
  2. Hey... I got to thinking tonight (anyone smell the smoke? ), and I came across a thought which seemed blazingly obvious after the fact. Since the noise is directly related to the vehicle's speed, and not the engine RPM, that pretty well guarantees it's the main shaft bearings, doesn't it? If it were the input shaft bearings, the noise would vary with engine RPM. Not that it does me a bit of good right now, but I do feel better having come to that logical conclusion Edit: I suppose it could be wear on the gear teeth, but only the final drive gear. If it were any of the first/second/etc. gears, then it'd only make noise in when the transmission is shifted into that gear.
  3. I'm going through something similar with my Baja right now; odds are some bearing(s) is shot in the transmission (the rear diff is also suspect). My plan is to drive it three hours away hoping the transmission holds up for the trip to the garage I plan on working in. There's a local "Pick a Part" or "U Pull It" yard; transmission runs for $125 (core included), rear diff's for $60. I plan on yanking one or two depending on the condition, weather, and how long it takes to pull them. That way, I have options. I'll probably slap the used transmission and rear diff in, then take a look at the innards of the original transmission and rear diff. I bet you saw the same thread I did, detailing the operation. If rebuilding it works, great! I've got backup in case the used one fails at some point down the road. If not, I got to take a transmission apart. Yay! ;oD You aren't too from Allentown, looks like. Harry's is down that way, if I remember right; http://www.wegotused.com/
  4. Back on my old '97 OBW, all I had to do is remove the radiator, tip it upside down, and give it a mild shake. I would recommend draining it first . Got a mineral deposit the size of my thumb out of it, plus lots of little bits the size of hail I wouldn't want to be standing under. Sometimes it's pretty obvious... P.S.: The garage I bought it off of couldn't figure out why it kept overheating...
  5. Yep, still got all five gears. I'm kicking myself for breaking one of my cardinal rules (Always change all the fluid when you buy a new car); I let the "low mileage and only a few thousand to the scheduled maintenance anyway" convince me to just check the fluid levels and call it that. On the other hand, the damage may have already been done, and I'm just wishful thinking now. Meh. This gives me a chance to tear the tranny and rear diff down. Call it educational. My dad would call it character building . Maybe it'll serve as a lesson to someone else, too. I'm gonna park her for a few weeks, 'til the holiday season is over and the wife can get away for a few days. A three hour drive gets me to my sister's garage and the local Pick a Part yard; hopefully it'll hold together long enough to get me there. If not, I've got premium AAA (the one with 100 mile tow... so I gotta make it at least halfway ). I'll look for a '00-'04 5MT OBW, extra points if there's signs of a leaky headgasket (less likely that the used tranny is FUBAR). Finding a broken timing belt would be nice, too... isn't there an inspection cover I can pull real quick to look, without turning the engine over? Anyhow, I'll swap the transmission and rear diff, then haul the old ones back up to my garage to pull apart at my leisure. It'll be interesting
  6. My '06 Baja (which is supposed to be based off the '00-'04 OBWs, so I assume it's the same) has a mechanical linkage; a stiff piece of wire leading from the climate control mechanism down to the passenger side's footwell. The "vent" is accessible from the footwell, too. I can snap pics tomorrow if you need 'em.
  7. Oil change is done. Photos are up on Picasa: https://picasaweb.google.com/104146683416628136158/TransmissionOilChange12042012?authuser=0&feat=directlink There was sludge on the plug, with metal mixed in. Nothing huge, but I could pick out the pattern of the magnetic field. If I had to guess, the sludge on the plug was less than a 1/4 of a teaspoon: The oil was nasty, though; not the color I wanted to see: Changing the oil did nothing to alter the symptoms. I wasn't expecting it, but it'd be nice to have been pleasantly surprised.
  8. When we finally buy a house, I'm going to talk the wife into letting me spend a few grand on a proper lift. I'd feel more confident going into this if I could easily access the drivetrain without crawling around underneath it on the "not so level" asphalt floor of my garage. There has been some noise from the transmission with the clutch engaged (pedal not pressed) in first and second gears, but it's been a distinctive gravel sound, much like that of loose heat shielding. I've been keeping an ear on that; the sound itself hasn't gotten worse, and it's nowhere near a whine. It disappears after third gear, or I can't hear it over the road/engine noise. I wouldn't say that the fluid that came out of the rear diff was sludge; the viscosity wasn't thick. It flowed fine; the color and the "sparklies" were off, though. I expected on changing the transmission fluid over this weekend, before I sent it off to the garage. That T-70 plug on the transmission stymied me, though. I'll pick one up later this week; the local Advance Auto Parts store carries them, so I luck out a bit. Got the gear oil and a nice new clean drain pan waiting. Once I've got the fluid out, I'll take a few pics and post 'em here: the fluid itself; the drain plug (before wiping it down).
  9. Yeah, that torque converter can come in handy. I really wish money was no object; if I won the lottery, I'd buy a container load of those dual range transmissions from the Aussie's and have 'em shipped over for the board. I'm just more comfortable with my understanding of how a manual transmission works, at a basic level. Yeah, I understand basic planetary gear systems too, but elevate the complexity to a modern automatic transmission, and I may as well be waving incense and sprinkling holy water. Looks like I'll have a solution set up by early January; if y'all do another run, hopefully it'll be after that. Maybe we'll have snow by then, too.
  10. I missed this one; local shop says that noise is coming from my transmission; best guess is one of the input shaft bearings, so I'm glad I wasn't abusing it further on the trails. I do want to catch the next one... I'll keep an eye out on these forums.
  11. I sucked up my pride and dropped it off at the neighborhood shop this morning. They said they'd throw it up on the lift and give a listen; as long as they could diagnose it on the lift quickly, they'd give me a free diagnostic. They gave me a decent deal on pulling my right rear wheel and solving the slow leak (just a dirty bead; they cleaned it up and remounted it for $25). They state the noise is coming directly from the transmission, not the transfer case or the rear diff. Their bet is the "main" input shaft bearing (front or rear, I don't know... I'll ask for clarification when I pick it up tomorrow; I'm not sure they'll be able to differentiate between the two simply by listening). Seems the 5MT has a bad rep for this, looking over the forums. I can say that there's always been light noises from the transmission centered around what I expected was the throw out bearing (see http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=131656 and http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2330624 ). I just never got around to address it, and those noises never got worse. Well, until a new noise showed up . So now I'm thinking about pulling the transmission and following the guide here: http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=90182& to take a look at that input shaft and its bearings. I get the impression that if the garage is correct that the bearings are bad, and the shaft itself isn't worn badly as a result, I can have a shop press new bearings on fairly economically. If the shaft is worn, I ought to be looking for another transmission. If I totally botch the job splitting the transmission and looking at its guts, then I can chalk it up to a learning experience and replace it. On the bright side, I expected transmission issues when I bought the Baja. The price was good enough that I could factor in another transmission and still come out cheaper than a comparative Baja in the Northeast. I'd rather not spend the money if I didn't have to (we're saving up for a downpayment on a house purchase), but if I gotta do it, I won't cry. Update: My sister offered up her garage, a three hour trip away. It'll be better than trying to do it in mine (asphalt floor, not a level spot in the place). It'll just have to hold together for the drive. There's a local Pick A Part (U Pull It) yard there, too, offering up transmissions for $125. I'm thinking it might be worth it to pull one just to have it handy and have more options than simply replacing the bearings on my existing transmission.
  12. I assume the failure of the transfer case support bearings has the same symptoms as a failed rear diff's pinon/ring gears? If so, I might want to buy or rig up one of those Chassis Ears (my wife has a spare stethoscope laying around I can butcher, I think... rig up a microphone and a way to secure the cable...) and have a listen to the transfer case versus the rear diff.
  13. Yep, that's the color of the fluid. I initially thought the same, since the sound seemed to be coming from a distinct corner. The whole "sound moving around the car, swapping corners" bit threw me off, though. I've also taken it down a straight road without traffic, swerving back and forth across the lane, trying to load up the wheels. It didn't change any behavior in the noise. Regular turns didn't change it, either. I'll do that when I get home tonight, with a good strong magnet (from a hard drive).
  14. I ought to get one of those. I can see where they'd be expensive, though, especially with the "wireless monitoring" portion of it. Makes me wonder why someone hasn't taken a small audio recorder and rigged it up to a 'scope. Use a magnet to stick it to the body and the part you want to listen to, drive, then pull it and listen.' It was grey, opaque unless I was looking at a very thin puddle of it. Even then, the "sparkles" were distributed throughout. It looked like somebody dumped a bunch of really small glitter into NeverSeize. Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to save the fluid in a clean container; I assume that having it analyzed would the purpose, and it'd be worth the cost of the analyzing. Nope, I drained it into the pan I usually use for motor oil. There's always a little of the oil left over after I swap it into a recycling container, so the gear oil is contaminated. Whether it'd make a difference or not in the analyzing, I don't know, considering that I'd be concerned with the amount of metal content in the sample. I did save the oil in the pan (haven't dug out an old oil container yet to transfer it into), so I just ran out to the garage and took a second look, scooping out the mixture into a clear plastic cup. I can make out the old motor oil (there's not much) and the rest of it is grey. Anything more than a 1/8" thick in the cup is opaque. I amplified the whole clip, without picking out any frequencies. The only reason I did that: the original clip required that I turn up the speakers and the computer's volumes to high to hear it. It's definitely not normal gearing sounds. At the ends of the speed range (about 30-32 MPH on the low side; 42-45 MPH on the high), it's pretty hard to hear and the engine noise covers it pretty well. At 35-37 MPH, normal speed for cruising around town, it's definite and loud. The engine noise doesn't come close to covering it up. I suppose I could with the radio; I'd have to be *cranking* it to do so. I've seen dark gear oil before; I haven't seen it with this amount of "glitter". I don't remember using anything with the limited slip additive in it, though, so I'm left not knowing if the glitter is metal or LSA. If I had had half a brain, I would've drained it into a clean container for analyzing. I'm okay with simply replacing the differential. Again, worst case scenario, I replace the differential, it makes no change in the symptoms, and I go chasing down another problem. I've gained experience swapping the diff, and I've got a spare laying around the garage in case it does die some day down the road. I've spent more on less educational endeavours :-p. I believe the NA manual Bajas had a final drive ratio of 4.11 (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong; I pulled it off of NASIOC's forums and didn't remove the diff cover to count teeth). I also believe that the '00-'04 manual transmission Outbacks had a FD of 4.11, too. Seein' as the Baja's allegedly built on the Outback platform, it makes sense to me. So I've just got to hunt down a 00'-'04 OBW, preferably with a little amount of underbody rust and low mileage; maybe something that was totalled due to front end damage or the like. If I want VLSD, I'd better be looking at an OBW that either had it as an option (good luck finding that info in a parts yard), or one that had the whole cold weather package (heated seats, mirrors, block heater). I'll also keep in mind what 1 Lucky Texan mentioned about the viscous fluid in the VLSD not performing up to task at high mileages. There's the clutch LSDs out there, too, but I haven't done much research in that area yet. Any thoughts?
  15. Yeah, I was figuring as much. I figured the Baja had been (ab)used offroad before I bought it, but the price was too good to pass up. One way or the other, I'd be paying for it. As for resolving it: should I look into a replacement diff, or is it worth pulling the existing and getting quotes on rebuilding it? My gut says to look up which diff it is (final drive ratio, etc.) and look for a donor from another model. I don't want to lose that limited slip, either.
  16. It had a thin layer of sludge on it; the color of the sludge was the same as the fluid, grey or dark grey. When I wiped it off on a white rag, it looks black. It had those same tiny shiny specks that were interspersed throughout the rest of the fluid. Consistence was about that of the heavy silicon grease we used to grease farm equipment with. There wasn't much of it, but enough to wipe away. No really big jagged chunks of metal, unfortunately . That'd be too easy.
  17. Swapped out the rear diff fluid this morning; what came out looked nasty compared to the new gear oil I put it. It was grey, interspersed with silver specks. Not sure if that's metal, or if the prior owner had used GL-S or put a limited slip additive in. Since the owner's manual recommended GL-5 75W-90 (off the top of my head), I refilled it with Advance Auto Part's house brand of synthetic, making sure it was GL-5 cert'd 75W-90. It didn't change the symptoms, though. It may have gotten a little quieter, but that could just be my wishful thinking. Edit: If I pull the rear diff out, is there a cover that I can pull off to take a look at the ring & pinion gears? Or does the diff housing have to be split? I'd imagine the latter would be a hassle. For that matter, even if I'm looking right at the the gears, is it likely that I'd be able to visually identify the source of the noise? If there's an obvious high spot or ridge of metal worn, that's one thing; if its a smooth surface worn into the gear teeth, I can see where I might not pick that up.
  18. That would explain the change in the noise following the throttle; let off the throttle, and it takes the load off the ring & pinion gears. Sounds like low diff fluid is the best theory so far; all I need now is time to get underneath it and take a look. Worst case scenario: the gears are worn excessively. I don't have a reference handy currently, but I'm guessing the ring & pinion gears are internal to the rear differential housing. At that point, I'll be looking for a replacement differential (finding a matching drive ratio and LSD would probably be easier than finding one directly from a Baja). Best case scenario: the fluid's low. I'm coming up on the 60k maintenance, so I ought to simply change the fluid anyhow. I'll check the fluid for metal, keeping in mind that lack of metal doesn't necessarily imply that the gears aren't excessively worn. Picking up a replacement differential at my leisure as a backup would be a good idea; I'll do some research to match up the final drive ratio and LSD from a donor.
  19. Been a couple busy days at work, so I haven't had much time to check out any of the recommendations yet. Didn't think about the fluid level in the diff; the noise doesn't change when turning, so I disregarded it. I'll need to reconsider that attitude. I did get half an hour on Monday to get the left rear wheel up in the air. The wheel bearing seemed tight, no extra play. No sound other than the usual brake pads dragging slightly on the rotor sound. I ought to try it again, borrowing the wife's stethoscope. The driveshaft's universal joint was tight, no play when I twisted each end in opposite directions. I couldn't listen to the center bearing and turn the driveshaft by hand, too; there was a relative lot of up and down, side to side play in that large rubber portion of the bearing, though. Airbox looked assembled correctly, but I might just take it apart and slap it back together. The intake is missing the little snorkus, but I had it sealed via plastic & tape before the problem occurred. Resealing it didn't affect the noise. I'll get underneath 'er this upcoming weekend, and poke and prod more. I'm not brave enough to put the Baja up on four jack stands and run it up to 40 MPH... that just sounds like I'm asking for one of the stands to fail. That, and my driveway sits at an incline, with nary a flat spot on the property. I might be able to talk the wife into turning a wheel I listen with a 'scope. If we leave one rear wheel on the ground, the transmission out of gear, and turn one wheel in the air, that should turn the driveshaft, correct? Thanks for the suggestions so far!
  20. Bump, plus more information. I took my cellphone and tried to get a good recording of it. It turned out well enough, especially after I amplified the sound in Audacity by 10 db. The first ten seconds is just road noise, then the whine kicks in as I accelerated to about 32 mph. It's on and off as I get off the gas, cruising in traffic. At about forty five seconds, it's pretty evident when I get off the gas, and returns loudly when I get back on it a few seconds later. Directionally... the noise migrates. I swear it's coming from the right rear at lower speeds, then migrates over to the left rear and left front at higher speeds. My wife will say it migrates, too, but depending on where she's sitting, the direction of the sound will be different from my experience.
  21. Ah ha! How did we miss each other? Oh, yeah... I don't lurk in the historic forums often. I'm in Niskayuna, so I'm close enough to Albany to meet up some time. Got a black '06 Baja Sport, Mudrat bumpers on the front and rear, and I believe a 2" spacer lift; the previous owner didn't mention it, but there's a lot of dead cat space, and I haven't gotten in yet to verify that the spacers are there. I'd love to catch up sometime for some light off-roading, but I won't be able to make the Dec 2nd trip. Gotta work that weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Even if I had it off, I suspect I've got a wheel bearing on the left rear that needs replacing first. Don't know how much I'd trust it off the road, but I know the trip to West Sand Lake would be a howl :-p.
  22. According to here: http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/making-sense-of-your-vin.html ... and if I can count, the tenth digit is a V, making it a '97. Oh, wait... you need month. Hold on. Is there any reason you need it specifically from the VIN? It should be on the door jam sticker, if I remember correctly.
  23. Heh. Concentrated on the noise so much, forgot to mention it's a manual tranny. Oh, and I'm convinced one of the prior owners abused her on the back trails a bit. Looks like she's got a two inch lift, and she's sporting Mudrat front and rear bumpers. There are bumps and bruises on the body that are consistent with light offroading. More wear and tear on the mechanical bits than I account for, considering her nearly 60,000 miles. So I don't want to discount anything out of hand...
  24. Good to hear you got through Sandy okay. Not so happy to see Blu in that condition. If I were you, I'd be bawling right now... I'd hate to think of losing my Baja that way. Next time a hurricane is bearing down on NYC, feel free to pack up Blu's replacement and head on up to the Albany area. If I'm out of driveway, you can park on the lawn. There's always a free bedroom, couch, air mattress, and/or tent available. It may not be home, but it's dry.
  25. As suggested by Moosens, I thought I'd get a thread going about a meet at a parts yard. Might be worth using Harry's in Hazelton as a "main base", then hitting the other yards that are surrounding it. Saturdays and Sundays are good for me, as long as I've got enough warning to switch my schedule around at work. Any thoughts on locations, dates?