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Old 07-14-2002, 09:22 AM
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Post 4-speed tranny making noise!!?

Ive got a 69 camaro with the aluminum 4-speed tranny, Im not sure which model of tranny it is. Just recently, about a week after i dropped in a new engine, it started making a little bit of a grinding and whining noise. Its worst in 1st and 2nd, third you can hear a little, and 4th is fine. I topped it off with gear oil and noticed that the oil in the tranny was a little metalic. I know this can't be good but im hoping it will be fine. Anyone who can give me any input on what to do will help alot.

Another question; On that car, are you suppose to have an idler bushing?? Because I just pulled a 355 out of it and it had no idler bushing in the crank. My new clutch set had one so I pressed it in to the crank of the new 400ci that I dropped in to the car. Im thinking maybe, if the idler bushing isn't suppose to be there then thats what is making the tranny make noise, because it might be putting side pressure on the main shaft in the tranny wearing out the bearings or something, im not sure though. Any input will help. THANX.

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Old 07-15-2002, 12:27 PM
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COME ON!!!! SOMEONE HAS TO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THIS TRANSMISSION!!!!
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Old 07-15-2002, 07:26 PM
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OK, I have rebuilt a few of these transmissions so I thought I might give you a few things to think about.

1. You say you noticed the problem after installing a new motor. Is there a chance you forced it together before it was ready and bent something. Think back when you were installing the motor. Sometimes installing the motor can be stubborn, and you get in a hurry.

2. You say the lubricant was a little metalic. Get a can cut both ends out, install a cloth from the top push all the way to the bottom to form a cup inside the can. Put a catch pan under this. Drain the fluid out of the bottom drain hole of the transmission, thru the can. The cloth with catch metalic parts, if there are any. If you get some you have trouble inside the transmission that will only be remedied by a tear down rebuild, or replacement.
Be sure to refill with new fluid before you let the car down if it checks out ok.

3.By idler bushing are you referring to the pilot bushing inside the back of the crankshaft? Yes that is supposed to be there, and you are supposed to grease it before you install the transmission, and be sure it is seated all the way in. I always push mine on the end of the input shaft to be sure it fits corectly before installing in the crankshaft.

4. Check to see if your shifter is adjusted properly. If not the gears may not completely mesh together. Where the shift arms come together under the shifter there is a position where all of them will line up so you can put a rod thru them usually 1/4 inch in size. Its different on different models so you really need a specific shop manual for this,but maybe you can figure it out from what I am telling you with a high intensity light.

5. Check to see that your throw out bearing does not ride on the pressure plate fingers when the clutch pedel is all the way back. You should adjust this until the throw out bearing is about 1/4 inch away from the pressure plate fingers.

6. While you have the car up on jack stands, try rotating the drive shaft, or have someone turn the tires with the car in gear and listen for any unusual noise. I did this for a friend once and found a bad U joint close to the transmission. For weeks he thought he had a bad transmission when all the time it was the U joint.

I hope this gives you something to work with. Sometimes just talking about the problem with someone else will jog something in your mind that will answer the question.
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:35 PM
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Thanx for the input. When I put the engine in, I did have a little problem mating the tranny to the engine. I wouldn't slide right in so I got it close enough to put a couple of bolts in. I tightened them a little and the engine seemed to gradually slip into place with out to much difficulty. It didn't feel like I was forcing it in so I thought I would be fine, and the tranny worked fine with no noise for a week or about 600 miles(i drove it around alot).
The oil in the tranny had some alot of small metal chips and the sound is getting worse by the day. The U-joints are brand new also. So Im going to have to pull it out. I found out it is an M-21 transmission. Do they sell bearing kits for these or would I have to have it sent out? I was also thinking of saving enough money to get the Richmond bullet proof 5-speed of maybe even the 6-speed. Will those bolt right in without any major mods?
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Old 07-18-2002, 07:59 PM
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It sounds like you installed the engine and transmission correctly. A trick I use when installing a manual transmission to the engine is after aligning the clutch, make sure the engine and transmission are paralel side to side and top and bottom before you try to push the two together. That will save you alot of time. I have seen people struggle with this for hours because they were not paralel to start with.

If you are going to rebuild the transmission your self, be sure you get a service manual before you start. As you take it apart lay all the parts out on a clean surface in the exact order you disassemble the transmission so you can put it back together the same way. Take your time and don't get in a hurry.

I would tear it down before I bought any parts because you may discover buying a new transmission will equal the cost of the repair parts on your old one. I bought a muncie 4 speed for three hundred dollars. The basic bearing and gasket kit was $185.00 which I got at the local parts store. I bought this before the tear down, then found out I needed an input shaft and a 2nd gear. By the time I finished I had a thousand dollars in it. At the time I could have bought a new transmission for $1200 and saved myself all that work. Find out the about price of repairs before you buy any parts. I got it all back in and working great but if I had it to do all over again I would have torn down the transmission first, determined it was too expensive to rebuild and bought a new one. You really don't know for sure until you tear it down. By the way you will need a press and pair of snap ring pliers to disassemble and re-assemble the transmission.

As far a modifications for the 5 or 6 speed goes you will need to discuss that with the manufacturer of the transmission. Two obvious requirements would be a most likely a new or modified drive shaft (1 to$200), and of course a new shifter. Last time I priced a 5 speed shifter it was in the 3 to $400 price range just for the shifter, so you are getting into some money there. Check out all your costs before you buy anything and you won't regret it.
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Old 07-20-2002, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for all the help, Ill let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-04-2002, 07:23 PM
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I ripped apart the tranny and found that the front main bearing was on its way out. Every thing else looked fine so I ordered the bearing for $54. I made my own gaskets and bought a rear seal for $3 and put everything back together, put the tranny in the car, and it worked fine. I havn't had a problem yet. $57 bucks!!! better than spending $100 bucks just to have a shop tell you whats wrong.
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