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Old 04-04-2013, 05:38 PM   #1
Mr Wrex
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Member#: 332887
Join Date: Sep 2012
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Orange County, NY
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

Default 2012 WRX - clutch/tranny problems

My car now sounds like the one in this video. Here's a few points to describe when it happens:
- only under semi-hard to hard acceleration
- does not change noise/pitch/volume when going around long turns
- sound can be heard in all gears when accelerating
- does not occur when moving fast in neutral or when clutch pressed in and in gear




Here's a link to an album with pics of my clutch:
http://imgur.com/a/wZYG9

Here's a link to an album with pics of my transmission:
http://imgur.com/a/vPNUz

FINAL UPDATE!
Just got my car back and we replaced the 5th gear and synchro. Holy crap did I shatter those badly Car is working perfectly now , but seems to whine more the faster I'm moving... me thinks a bearing is shot or something because I only hear it when accelerating somewhat hard. Overall it cost quite a lot to fix, diagnose, clean, and repair, but I'm happy to finally have my baby back.

This whining sound seems to only happen in gears 3-5, but it happens in 1-2 as well (hard to hear over gear sound). It only occurs under moderate/heavy acceleration and the noise increases as the mph does. Sounds kinda like a straightcut gear.... I really hope I don't have to tear it apart again. This whining sound seems to be a symptom of a worn input shaft bearing. Gonna get that replaced once I install the PPGs... my mechanic also put synthetic gear oil in my tranny, so maybe it's that? The weird thing is that there is a faint sound like something is rattling around toward the front of the transmission, but it only makes that sound when the clutch is and in neutral... pushing the clutch in makes it stop (obviously because the tranny isn't spinning).

UPDATES:
April 8 - Clutch, throwout bearing, pressure plate replaced. Problems still exist, but clutch pedal is working now as expected
April 9 - Towed my car to a mechanic I actually trust
April 10 - Stopped by to drop the trans with my mechanic after work. Initial diagnosis (case not split yet) is that a shift fork is bent, but a synchro gear/ring could be shot as well.
April 11 - Split the case open and saw 5th gear was completely gone. All of the teeth were blocking the linkage from shifting out of 2nd gear.
April 17 - Finally got my car back! Still making some weird noises, but I'm so glad to have my baby back!

Original Post
I've had my 2012 WRX for about 7 months now and it has about 18k miles on it so far. I almost have every bolt on short of a turbo installed on my car, so I knew it was just a matter of time before it started having engine or tranny/clutch problems. Now on to the story...

On my way to work, I was accelerating lightly in 5th gear to merge into the right lane so I could get off the next exit when suddenly, my car started to rev freely. At first, I thought I somehow broke my 5th gear, but when I tried to switch gears I noticed that my clutch pedal was so stiff that not even Unabomber himself would be able to push it in. I slowly pulled off to the side of the road and when I came to a stop, I noticed this weird sound from inside of my car (it sounded like someone was shaking a tin can filled with marbles somewhere between my engine and transmission). I shut off the engine immediately to make sure nothing else would be damaged and called a towing company to have it flat bedded to the nearest stealership.

It's at the shop being ripped apart either in the next hour or sometime tomorrow morning. I have bad trust issues with stealerships and I was wondering if anyone knew what might possibly be wrong with my car, just so I can attempt not getting ripped off on repair costs. I have searched what would cause the symptoms I've experienced, but nothing seemed to match exactly what I experienced. I really appreciate any insight you guys can give me.
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Last edited by Mr Wrex; 04-19-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
RoadKillDMD
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Sounds like your clutch done blowed up...
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
Mr Wrex
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

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If that's the case, I can't wait to take pics of how bad it looks. I've felt clutches go before, but DAM this one WENT. In the event that it is a blown clutch, I'm assuming I'd have to replace:
- clutch
- Pressure plate
- flywheel (or resurface it?)
- throwout bearing
- flywheel bering

Also, is it safe to assume this will take about 4-5 hours for a pro to do? Being carless really sucks
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
Mr Wrex
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

Default

So I was right about the clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing, and flywheel dying on me. Does $600 in parts sound fair for all OEM? I was really hoping I could do an upgrade to the Exedy stage I, but I need my car back on the road ASAP.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
Mr Wrex
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Orange County, NY
Vehicle:
2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

Default

UPDATE:
So the stealership finally got around to replacing the clutch and other related tidbits (just as a safety measure) and I'm still hearing that "tin can filled with marbles" sound, plus it's stuck in second gear. I'm bringing it back to my local mechanic today and he'll start by pulling the plug to check for gear teeth. At this point, it's starting to sound like I may have completely shattered the first/second gear shifter fork and that may have grenaded my gears, causing the transmission to lock up and blow my clutch as well. I was having weird symptoms before my tranny went, specifically the car idle dipped when coming to a stop. This only happened when I was coasting to a stop in first with the clutch in, never when I was in neutral or any other gear. Looks like I'll be doing a full PPG rebuild

Moral of the story, make sure you save up a LOT of extra cash in case **** decides to hit the fan.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
foolycooly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Wrex View Post
UPDATE:
I was having weird symptoms before my tranny went, specifically the car idle dipped when coming to a stop. This only happened when I was coasting to a stop in first with the clutch in, never when I was in neutral or any other gear.
I don't think that's related--same symptoms in my 2011 wrx at stock, stage 1, stage 2 OTS, and stage 2 protune and i've heard numerous other accounts of it as well.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
BroBroBroBroBro
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why would you replace with a stock clutch....you said you have all this other crap...thats retarded if you launch it 50 times your gonna be toast in 20k miles..
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
Mr Wrex
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Location: Orange County, NY
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroBroBroBroBro View Post
why would you replace with a stock clutch....you said you have all this other crap...thats retarded if you launch it 50 times your gonna be toast in 20k miles..
The stock clutch is weak and typically breaks before the transmission does. Unfortunately, my transmission was doomed to fail and when it did, it took the clutch with it. The initial diagnosis was that I shattered my clutch and we thought replacing it would fix everything, but then all the other problems came up. I'll be upgrading the transmission with everything from gears to billet forks, but I still want the clutch to be weak just in case my axles can't take the added stress. Once I save up more, I'll go back in and replace both the axles and the clutch and THEN I can start messing around with launch control and whatnot.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
Tripintaz
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When you say every bolt on minus turbo, what else is there that you have beyond stage 2? I thought these transmissions could at least hold out on stock turbo setups.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
BroBroBroBroBro
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equal headers+frontmount

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pm xluben before you do anything...he did a 6 speed swap and its proving the best. keeping the stock axels and stuff too.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:58 PM   #11
Mr Wrex
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripintaz View Post
When you say every bolt on minus turbo, what else is there that you have beyond stage 2? I thought these transmissions could at least hold out on stock turbo setups.
I was under the same impression, but things just happen I suppose. I wasn't even running my e85 map when the tranny blew. The strangest thing is that I was shifting into 5th and as I slowly let go of the clutch, it went. I was able to shift into every gear but 1st and 2nd (only with the engine off). Here's the relevant mods:

POWER:
q300 cbe
invidia catted dp (wrapped)
GS 38mm up w/ EWG (coated)
GS EBCS
GS MBC
GS PnP exhaust manifold w/ x-pipe (coated/wrapped)
PtP Turbo blanket
DW 65c fuel pump
ID 1000cc injectors
PW TMIC
Forge BPV
Cobb SF Intake

MISC:
Group-N Tranny/engine mounts
KB Pitch Stop
KB short shift w/ bushings

I have plenty of other mods, but they're not related to the transmission.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BroBroBroBroBro View Post
pm xluben before you do anything...he did a 6 speed swap and its proving the best. keeping the stock axels and stuff too.
After I called the guys at Andrewtech, I made sure to pm him. Ben's the man I would probably do the 6-speed as well, but I love the 5mt ratios and it'll be a lot less work.



I'm still finding it hard to believe that my transmission not only went before my clutch, but that it took it out after it died. My car is going to be off the road for a total of 2-3 weeks and I'm very fortunate to have friends and family that would go out of their way to ensure that I can get to/from work without complication. After talking to the guys down at Andrewtech, I will be upgrading to the following:
1-2 straight cut gears
3-4 helical cut gears
5 gear OEM (hopefully i didn't blow mine...)
Billeted shift forks (might keep the OEM one for reverse and 5th?)
Exedy stage 2 clutch (once the new OEM wears down enough)

My local mechanic is going to help me drop the trans and split the case after hours so I can see what's going on. Although I'm sad to see it go, I'm excited to take pictures so other Nasioc members can see that tranny failure can happen at different power levels and how severe it can be.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:14 PM   #12
xluben
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10.9s @ 128mph

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I'm really interested to see what the inside of this tranny looks like. Make sure to take a few pictures
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:23 PM   #13
Mr Wrex
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DGM (sedan)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben View Post
I'm really interested to see what the inside of this tranny looks like. Make sure to take a few pictures
Pics will come tomorrow! We just ripped the tranny off and I was wiggling/spinning every part I could from the outside. The linkage is totally jammed in 2nd and the gear shafts spin freely from both sides. If it's a simple little fix like the 1-2 shift fork, I'll just replace it with OEM for the time being and order all of the PPG parts I listed previously. I figured it'd be worth the cost to get my baby back and keep testing the strength of the OEM internals
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:56 PM   #14
pilkarz
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Location: Chicago, IL
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2012 WRX Sedan
DGM

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Just out of curiosity, how much power were you making with your setup? Did you launch the car often or perform very aggresive shifts?

I ask because im considering doing cobb stage 2 and the trans / clutch are a major concern for me.

Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
Mr Wrex
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

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On e85 it was at 350whp/385wtq, oct 93 was 325whp/360wtq. I launched it once on a stage 1 map when my car had 2k miles on it and then once more with all these mods (oct 93 map) at about 16k miles. I only slam gears once in a blue moon and even when I do, I make sure I don't drop the clutch too fast. It's at 18k miles now. If you look at the pictures (link in the first post), you will see that these power levels will wear the clutch quickly if you drive WOT often.

Stage 2 is known to be a "safe" level of power to run on our cars and I think you'll love the power increase! Just know if you modify past those levels, bad things may start to happen. The transmission is always prone to failure when you modify your car, so just drive it nicely until you can afford to upgrade
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:12 AM   #16
gggplaya
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Dark Gray

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Yea, stock 5 speed definitely can't handle that much torque. Most people are saying you shouldn't go over 300ft-lbs on the stock 5speed and 600ft-lbs on the stock 6 speed STI tranny.

But like you, i also prefer the 5 speed gear ratios. So i would upgrade the internals of the 5 speed as well. Gotta Pay to Play, but sounds like a fun car.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #17
Mr Wrex
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DGM (sedan)

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Added pics of the inside of my transmission (see OP). Holy **** on a shingle I blew my 5th gear somehow... I understand if 1st or 3rd went, but 5th?! The linkage was jammed up from all the gear teeth that sheered off, but it's free now and easy to shift. All synchros are fine, gears 1-4 have a normal amount of wear, and the shift forks don't seem to be bent whatsoever. Guess I'll be upgrading 5th gear as well as my forks and 1-4 gears....
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:26 PM   #18
gggplaya
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Damn, wouldn't have figured on 5th gear.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #19
Mr Wrex
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Me either... seems the torque was to much for it to handle and teeth were already starting to go for the past month. When it went, all of the teeth were stuck inside the tranny case where gears 1-4 sit and they probably jammed the linkage so it was stuck in 2nd. I'm really surprised this happened as I thought gears 1-3 were the weak ones. There has to be some other reason 5th decided to grenade on me the way it did...
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #20
gggplaya
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probably because it's an overdrive gear, so it spins way faster.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #21
xluben
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Were any of the shift linkages or forks broken/bent/damaged in any way?
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #22
Mr Wrex
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Well yea I know that. It still doesn't make sense that it'd decide to go as I was releasing the clutch, especially since I was cruising on the highway in 5th minutes before that. It just makes me think something else is wrong and I cannot visually see what it could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben View Post
Were any of the shift linkages or forks broken/bent/damaged in any way?
All forks looked straight. The only problem we had was unjamming that dam linkage shaft that connects to the in-cabin shifter. Once we cleared the teeth from the front of it (the side closest to the engine), it seemed to free up a bit. This is my first time dealing with a transmission and despite the copious amounts of research I've been doing in the past week, I've never heard of this happening to 5th gear. It truly is baffling...
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:39 AM   #23
pilkarz
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DGM

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So follow up question. Did this happen while cruising or while you were shifting (somewhat conflicting stories up top)? If this occured mid shift it would make more sense to me, although im no geartrain expert.

I wonder if that spring / clutch assembly didnt fail first and lock up the geartrain causing the gear to fail. It just seems so odd for a gear to completely shear like that unless there was a large amount of energy going through it.

Btw thanks for the input on upgrading, im very tempted but the whole warranty issue has me second guessing.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:51 AM   #24
Mr Wrex
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2012 WRX stage 2+
DGM (sedan)

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I'll try to be as detailed as possible to give you an accurate sequence of events. I was in 4th gear so that I could pass someone and merge onto the exit ramp. While merging, I pushed in the double clutched into neutral then into 5th gear. At this point, there was no "rocks shaking in a tin can" noise. I revved up a little and slowly started letting off the clutch, which is when the clutch pedal went stiff and the noise started happening. I was cruising the entire way to work, which doesn't put nearly as much pressure on the gears as going WOT would.

When I'm just cruising, I like to double clutch just because... the clutch was working fine right before shifting into 5th, which is why I really doubt the clutch grenaded first. It really seems like the transmission briefly locked up or, if at all possible, was in two gears at once.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #25
xluben
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10.9s @ 128mph

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Wrex View Post
I really doubt the clutch grenaded first. It really seems like the transmission briefly locked up or, if at all possible, was in two gears at once.
This is what I believe as well. I think the tranny locked and then the gear and clutch destroyed themselves because they couldn't rotate properly. It sounds like maybe the linkage was slightly off and engaged 2nd and 5th at the same time.

PS. If you're shifting from 4th to 5th you should not have to blip it to rev match. Even when double clutching, you just have to wait for the revs to drop to the proper RPM. Downshifting you would have to blip it to rev match.
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