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Transmission Time bomb?

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Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

Can't really tell if this is the right location - but post can be moved  right?

Anyway - the whine is getting worse. Shifts good, whine under load and some strong gear box noises when idling in neutral that go away with clutch.

 

About a year ago - I had some leaking from transmission.  Odd - not at the seals  appeared to be from above.

So I cracked open the speedo cover/plug to see if it was low - nope.  Overfull with Chocolate milk... Yikes.  Far as I can tell - the old cover/plug seal was e culprit. Changed that and gear oil twice - but I think the damage is progressively getting worse.  I also have to drive it really nice - which is no fun.

Searching for good used 5-spd, may have found one in KY, (and a Matrix trans local - but have to confirm 5spd)

but the question remains... Will it give any indication before complete failure?  OR - is this a treat it nice and it will just be loud till I get a replacement?

My novice diagnosis is possible input bearing as noise is fairly consistent in various gears. Louder with higher RPMs.

I have a Quaife - I was going to try and install if I ever got down to business with the turbo, but the bank account keeps arguing with me.  What I read says don't mess with rebuilding it if I can't afford to be without a car for a long time - have swapped engines and done some engine work - but not really wanting to tackle a trans internal job.

All input is welcome

 

Thanks - and don't forget to PAY THE MAN by April 18th.... hate this time of year.

 

Cheers

RDawg

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2022 12:09 am
CSPIDY
(@cspidy)
Reputable Member

I had a similar whine from my tranny

pulled it and had a transmission shop replace the bearings with new OEM 

wasn’t that expensive and I did the RNR

as far as when will it fail,

I wouldn’t want to find out

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Posted : April 14, 2022 6:41 am
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@cspidy Thanks CSpidy

I will investigate locally to see if I can find a reputable shop. Knoxville is a small market.

Waiting till failure is not my first choice, but as it is my driver right now, nursing it around town and trying to find an inexpensive drop-in is easier than the Pull it - fix it - re-install it weekend scenario.  Most my drives are less than 20 miles at less than freeway speeds.

This might be the motivation to put in that rear diff.  So many projects - good that the weather is getting warmer.

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2022 7:16 am
dev
 dev
(@dev)
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What brand and rating of gear oil did you use?

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Posted : April 14, 2022 10:02 am
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@dev   The first refill after choco milk was royal purple  (i would open drain plug every few days and take goo out of the bottom of the trans (2-4 oz).  Then add fresh royal P, did this till no more junk came out. This time - complete drain -  (about 4k miles since choco) I put in Redline MT-90

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2022 3:03 pm
dev
 dev
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Posted by: @rdawg

@dev   The first refill after choco milk was royal purple  (i would open drain plug every few days and take goo out of the bottom of the trans (2-4 oz).  Then add fresh royal P, did this till no more junk came out. This time - complete drain -  (about 4k miles since choco) I put in Redline MT-90

 Royal Purple has been known to shear very early and its the worst thing to put into our transmissions. There have been at least three anecdotal reports.

 It may or might not be the initial cause unless RP was initially used.  Changing out to MT-90 is a good move.  

  I had something similar happen to me when I used Motul racing transmission fluid.  It sheared early because it was not meant for road used which causes it to break down early. When this happened my transmission got usually noisy so I flushed it out and replaced it with more Motul and the noise went down a little and then came back even louder.  I released my mistake so I changed it to Redline MT-90 and it did not help initially so I thought it would need to be rebuilt  but over time it got better and less noisy. When I changed it to Amsoil  after that it got even better.  Its completely healed now so it is possible that if you give it some time for the Redline to work it might end up like mine.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted : April 14, 2022 3:25 pm
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@dev Well - I am not in a hurry to change out a trans.  so - I will try whatever fluid (or sawdust additive) that helps it to survive.

What did you used to flush?  I assume this is an in the car process?

 

I can't remember for sure - when I first got the car  - I may have put in Lucas (pre-choco milk)

 

Sounds like Amsoil is next...

 

Thanks for input

 

 

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2022 3:57 pm
Galo
 Galo
(@galo)
Reputable Member

@rdawg ...I had used MT90 in each of my 3 Spyders. My current Spyder was "in the shop" for 3 months last year with the drive train out. I had switched to Amsoil, oh, maybe 2-3 years ago, due to "my" MT90 store moving out of town, and an Amsoil guy was close. Anyway, the Lotus shop that did the repairs put MT90, which they carry/sell, in. I can honestly say I've found zero difference between MT90 and Amsoil, especially in Winter. Yes, this last Winter I had to replace the shift cables, but the gears/synchros behaved the same(my butt/ear dyno/metrics are very honed). Go with either brand, based on their ease-of-purchase.

"Think as we think", say many Spyder owners, "or you are abominably wicked, you are a toad". After I'd thought about, I said "I will then, be a toad."
Thank you, Stephen Crane

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Posted : April 14, 2022 4:40 pm
Rdawg liked
dev
 dev
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Posted by: @rdawg

@dev Well - I am not in a hurry to change out a trans.  so - I will try whatever fluid (or sawdust additive) that helps it to survive.

What did you used to flush?  I assume this is an in the car process?

 

I can't remember for sure - when I first got the car  - I may have put in Lucas (pre-choco milk)

 

Sounds like Amsoil is next...

 

Thanks for input

 

 

I didn’t do anything to flush out the old stuff. I just drained and added the MT-90 in hopes That the noise would go away but it didn’t. I just drove it like that for a few months and then I realized that the sound diminished a lot without paying much attention to it. I think what eventually happens is some sort of migration of the lubricants to the bearings which takes some time to reach since the transmissions oiling system is splash lubrication. 

The Lucas transmission fluid is really bad stuff from some of the test results that I’ve seen. It is known to froth which causes a lack of lubrication to vital parts. 

 

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Posted : April 14, 2022 5:05 pm
Rdawg liked
marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Honorable Member

Sorry to hear of your transmission woes @rdawg. I've had a few bum gearboxes for my toy... Way more than I should have in the short time I've had it. Your intuition is correct, if noise is rpm based it's on the input side. Speed based is output or diff. 

Very odd your case got that much water in it... A little water shouldn't be a problem if the car runs regularly, it should burn off and exit via the top vent... Anyhow...

The noise will continue to increase. From the one prior experience I have of reaching the point of failure... It will be unbearably loud before it goes. It won't be a whine anymore, more of a groan. To limp it along, change fluid frequently. Another thing you can do to help some is get drain and fill plugs with magnets on them. Or add magnets to your current plugs. I buy small round neodymium magnets, drill a "seat" for them in my plugs, and secure with loctite red for extra piece of mind. There is a magnet inside the gearbox already, but with a bearing going, at some point it will be overloaded. The plug magnets help you to pull some material out, and also helps you monitor the rate of decay. Once I started seeing a lot of metal on the plug magnets I started drinking (lol autocorrect, leaving that there)... I also started draining and replacing 1qt from cold gearbox every 1000 miles, with car tipped to make the drain the very bottom point, assuming the metals sank. It's a small blessing your issues are in the input side, this gives you more control over the bearing speeds. 

I'd be weary of any used gearbox... Given I'm on my fourth one now in as many years... Even the "low mile JDM MRS LSD 5MT" was a debacle... In fact that's the one I had completely fail, within 5000 miles. Long story there. I was ready to have one custom built but came across a real low mile (~30k) c65 with a quaife already in it from a forum member. It's changed hands a few times before getting to me but apparently it was the original gearbox from BusDriver's car. My own little piece of Spyder history. 

Best of luck!

 

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Posted : April 14, 2022 9:39 pm
CSPIDY liked
marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Honorable Member
IMG 20200518 222236~2

This was the last drain plug pull from the JDM gearbox before it died. When the metal fragments get this big, you are very, very close...

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Posted : April 14, 2022 9:57 pm
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@marsrock7 thanks Mars.  All of debris has been suspension.  The 'cloud' in the small sample fluid i just drained was fairly clear.  That was the first sample I took since my switch to red line.

I have reached out to the 5 spd owner in found to start.the process....  Hoping I dont get into a situation where I NEED the change.

 

Thanks for the pix.

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2022 8:20 am
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@marsrock7 this is great detail, perhaps I will limp this one along for I while linger.

I was sort of thinking about getting a used and having it refurbed and dif install prior to install.  But still managing big spends.

With luck, the noise won't get louder too quick

 

 

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2022 8:42 am
marsrock7 liked
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@dev I really dont remeber what I put in when I first got the car just saw the lucas gear lube on the shelf.. Just remember changing.  After the engine change (bought with a spun bearing 1zz) I drove it pretty hard, but no track days or really long drives.  I am hoping, per the info on this string,  that I have some time to put a strategy into place.

 

Thanks to everyone!

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2022 8:59 am
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Eminent Member

@dev I really dont remeber what I put in when I first got the car just saw the lucas gear lube on the shelf.. Just remember changing.  After the engine change (bought with a spun bearing 1zz) I drove it pretty hard, but no track days or really long drives. 

I am hoping, per the info on this string,  that I have some time to put a strategy into place for the inevitable.

 

Thanks to everyone!

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Topic starter Posted : April 15, 2022 9:24 am
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