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Old 03-13-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
frederik
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Default Weird tranny noise and lots of metal on plug (pictures added)

I will try to explain my problem with my best english. Let me know if that gives you a clue about what might be giving up in my tranny.

Today I started having a sound similar to that of a ligthened flywheel, kind of slack sound in the gears when off throttle in pretty much any gear, mostly between 2000-3000 rpm. Except that I have a stock flywheel. Sounds like something loose inside the tranny when not under power or very slightly compressing.

Additionnaly, when decelerating in 3rd or 4th to a stop, when going below 2k there is a fairly loud low pitched vibration noise similar to a shot wheel bearing, but only for maybe 300 rpm range (2000 - 1700). There was also the usual diff whining when off throttle but it was much louder than before.

It started after a ride in a dirt road, with a few hard 1st speed spinning starts. There may have been some ice spots while I was doing that but I am not sure, I did it where it appeared to be dirt only. I could see that alternating between ice and dirt could cause shocks to the tranny..

I let the car sit for a couple hours. I then had a ride but could not hear anything abnormal when trying to duplicate the sound. Maybe there was metal particles floating around and by leaving the car sitting they all got stuck on the plug.

Additionnally, I should say I have been running with the tranny oil level way too high for a long time. I had the tranny replaced with a used one about 2 1/2 years ago and until today was still running the same oil they put in there when installing it. It is only recently that I found out they put way too much oil (like 1 inch on the gauge). When checking the oil after using the car it is pretty obvious that there are air bubbles in the oil (sign of foaming I guess). It is now my understanding that I should have replaced the tranny oil a few times in the past 2 years (some say to replace it each 15k).

I drained the tranny oil, the drain plug was covered with metal particles. Looks like the larger parts were the "latest". Underneath those larger particles there was the more normal metallic paste.

There are like dozens of more or less 1/8 inch metal parts. I cannot identify any shape, looks like shavings with no specific shape.

Is it possible to identify what is failing by having a look at the metal particles ? My camera has no batteries at the moment but if you guys say it is possible to tell more by looking at the particles I will find a way to post some here.

Also I don't know if it is normal but the "outputs" on the tranny have quite some slack. I can wobble those and also slide in/out by about 1/16 or 3/32.

I noticed oil on 2 locations on the tranny : where the shifter linkage goes in and at the left wheel output.

Right now the car is sitting in the garage with no tranny oil, will be filling it tomorrow. Let me know what the symptoms tells you.

Thanks
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Last edited by frederik; 03-14-2009 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:48 AM   #2
GDR
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Sounds like you have some bearings going out. The frags could be whats left of the ball cages in the bearings.
You need to open it up.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
frederik
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Ok thanks, in fact the fragments may look like bearing housing in pieces.

My previous problem 3 years ago was a 3rd gear broken. The place where I bought the car is specialized in repairing wrecked Subarus so they have some parts. They sold me a used complete tranny for 600$ (CAD) and it cost me like 400$ additionnal for labour to replace the tranny. Do you think chances are I am best to remove and open it before throwing a one in there ? What might be the cost in the end to replace a bearing in the tranny ?

Given the relatively low price they sold me a tranny the first time, I'm trying to figure out if it is better to put another used tranny or try to repair that one.

Many thanks.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #4
FuJi K
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The recent WRX tranny I replaced had a failed center diff. C-clip broke off and the center diff started to fall apart. This resulted in whining noises on and off throttle. There was damage to the transfer gears as well.

I found out where the noise was coming from by putting the car on jackstands and running it in gear. I went under and sure enough sound was coming from the transfer case area.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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Can you take a picture of the fragments?

-Dylan @ DS1
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
frederik
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I ll post pics shortly (more or less 10 minutes)
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #7
frederik
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Here are the pictures, with an usb stick for size reference :





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Old 03-14-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
frederik
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And why was there oil near the shifter linkage ? Was it caused by the oil overfill ?

And if it is actually a bearing, what can cause bearings to fail in the tranny ? The outputs from the tranny being loose tells me that maybe it is the bearing holding those that are shot ? There is more wobble than what I feel would be normal (the green part is wobbling in relation to the tranny)
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:35 PM   #9
frederik
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Bump.. Any idea ? What does the fragments looks like to you ?
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
GDR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederik View Post
Bump.. Any idea ? What does the fragments looks like to you ?
Its too hard to tell. Its pretty chewed up. If you want any chance of rebuilding this box you need to stop driving it now(if you already haven't).
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:47 PM   #11
frederik
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Ok today they opened the tranny. If you want to skip the details, see the "short" questions at the end of the post.

I was there when they opened it and we could not see any damaged teeth in any gear or diff and all bearings appered ok. They drained the fluid and there was absolutely nothing new on the magnetic plug (since I removed the metal pieces and replaced the fuel last week)

The only part that was obviously worn and that was most likely the source of the metal pieces is the small separator disc right beside the 3rd gear. That disc supposedly prevent the fork (if it is what it is called) from going over the gear (the gear is smaller than the "fork").

Here is a pic of what I am talking about. This IS NOT my tranny, my gears look perfect. This pic is from another thread for reference.

The fork part a) is the one that should be prevented to go over the gear b) by the little disc c). Btw if you know the actual names of those parts let me know.



On a normal tranny, this disc is about 1/8 inch taller than the 3rd gear next to it. In mine it was flush with the gear. To me the size seems to fit the amount of metal found on the plug.

My question is what causes this part to fail. Can the few launches I did on dirt right before the noise started be the direct cause for this ? Can it be an adjustment issue that should be checked before they close the tranny ? I guess leaving the hand on the shifter may cause this but I don't do that.

They are going to put it back together tomorrow with new seals and new 3rd gear/separator disc. Please let me know if you know of something that must be checked before they close it.

They said the other noise while decelerating in gear was probably the pinion and crown that were kind of mismatched or had a machining problem on the compression side only. They said this was frequent problem but with subaru tranny but that does not cause problems, beside noise.

To sum up my questions:
- What is the actual purpose of the disc
- What can cause it to fail all at once
- If this part failed, what else must be checked or adjusted to prevent it from happening again
- What would have happened if I did not open it and just kept running

Thanks
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:34 PM   #12
frederik
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I have found some more info when searching about the third gear disc.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...2#post11809452

Andrew (I think AndrewtechAutomotive) said he has seen them fold over and chewed up (which is exactly what happened to mine).

Some said they dont really see any use for this disc.

Some said that you would have to slam into 3rd awfully hard for that disk to fail (which never happened, why would one slam hard into 3rd anyway ??) or have something out of alignment. What can be out of alignment to cause this ?

I have to know fast because if something is wrong it has to be corrected before they reassemble the tranny tomorrow. Maybe when I am under power the whole engine/tranny shifts forward or rearwards (if ever possible) causing the shifter linkage to push in the tranny ?

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #13
RubbleDTD
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I don't mean to thread jack, but does anyone have any insight on the "acceptable" amount of play in the axle stubs?

Like the OP, I have noticed some wiggle room on my front axle stubs (green axle hubs fit over them) where they protrude from the transmission (I know about 1/32" in/out is normal, but ours move up/down as well). The movement is very slight, but noticeable. I would think the beefy Diff bearings would be designed with little to no slack. Car runs great and no sign of gear oil leakage of any kind. Normal? Maybe just a backlash adjustment issue?

Note to the OP; I also found that there are replaceable gear oil seals behind the axle stub covers (about $5 from SOA), maybe replacing these would solve some of the slop we are seeing in the front axle stubs? -> http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...php?p=25614958

Any further info would be appreciated.

Last edited by RubbleDTD; 03-24-2009 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:09 AM   #14
frederik
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Anybody ?

What caused the disk to fail and will it happen again if I replace it, with risks of damaging other tranny components ? If there is something to do to avoid it in the future prior to reassemble the tranny I have to know now.

The guys there don't really have a clue except constant friction that eventually cause it to break. They will replace it with a good one and put it all back together.

Thanks RubbleDTD for the info, they are going to replace the seals in the process as it leaked on one side. I will let you know if that reduces the amount of play.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #15
RubbleDTD
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^^ Thanks man, much appreciated.
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