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Old 01-10-2004, 11:03 AM   #1
Scooby Guru
Member#: 37359
Join Date: May 2003
2003 WRX

Default Cold weather clutch and tranny stuff

Search found me this post by brainrally...

I do sometimes double-clutch. Sometimes when the car is cold it gets stubborn about going into 2nd from first, and double-clutching seems to help.
I also noticed that when it's cold out and my car has been sitting for a while, when I first start it up and let it idle for a little bit in neutral with the clutch out, it makes a noise. I gotta wonder if there's an issue with the throw-out bearing. When I first got the car it seemed like the clutch was sticking when engaging. It quit doing that after I had it for a while.
...but there was no answer about the clutch noise.

This morning it was about 5 deg F when I started the car and the clutch was making a nasty noise just sitting in neutral. It went quiet when I depressed the pedal and then came back when I released it. The shifter was almost impossible to move and the pedal felt stiff too. The clutch was very grabby and I had to dbl-clutch all changes into 2nd for the first few miles. I have Castrol 80W90 dino in the tranny and everything is stock.

I have two questions:
1) what's up with the clutch - it did not sound healthy!
2) is the 80W90 causing me problems? I can't find 75W90 locally but will mail order it if the difference is significant.

It could easily get 5 or 10 degress colder here, so what happens then
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:11 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 50216
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Colorado Springs
2005 Honda Insight
1993 Miata, 1953 CJ-3B


The throwout bearing works when the clutch is disengaged (clutch pedal down). When the clutch is engaged the transmission input shaft is spinning along with the motor, and the throwout bearing is not loaded. It's probably spinning, though, so maybe that is the noise when it's cold. The pilot bearing (input shaft into flywheel) is not even spinning, so that's not it.

Mine makes a pretty horrifying noise when first started from cold also, but it quiets down right away. I was worried that it was a bearing on the input shaft but probably not (I hope).

I am still confused about the oil level thing. Mine is only halfway between the marks when cold, but over the top mark when warm. Does the transmission oil expand that much? Or is the dipstick in a "high" place in the gearbox that the oil runs out of over night?

Getting from first to second when cold works better if you do a pretty quick shift. I suspect that's because with the oil so thick, the input shaft slows right down very quickly as soon as you put it in neutral. If you pause in neutral then the input shaft stops, and then the 2nd gear synchros have to try to spin the input shaft and clutch driven plate up to speed, which is tough with everything so cold.

The 1-2 shift when cold is hard on a lot of cars...
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Old 01-10-2004, 11:02 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 39058
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Albuquerque NM
2004 FXT Premium Pkg
Sierra Metallic Gold

Default strange noise

My '98 had the bushing in the transmission housing go out, and that made a strange noise. When I took it in, they replaced everything, including the tranny housing and the clutch too. And I had just had the clutch replaced under warrenty because of clutch shudder. Now, at 60K mi I am on my 3rd clutch, and it still sucks. So maybe I will try an Exedy street clutch...I do not race this thing, but drive a bit on the fast side.

That's why I am now entertaining an AT if I replace my '98 5-sp with an XT. I just don't trust the Subaru 5-sp and clutch. Maybe it's changed now, but I am not convinced.
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