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Old 12-12-2019, 05:33 PM   #1
DawnR
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Default 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

Hey everyone!
Long time no chat.

My 97' SW2 currently has 227k miles. I am still so in love with my little car.
The speed limit in WI ranges from 55-75mph on various freeways. The past 6 months or so while I am in 5th gear. The RPM's will suddenly jump. This is at random, I cannot find a common factor or driving habit that I can figure.
Cruise on/off. Uphill/level? Passing/not passing.

Does anyone have any ideas what is happening and what I should start looking into.
There are no check engine lights illuminated and no pending codes. I also had my transmission fluid changed about 25 thousand miles ago.

Thank you

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Old 12-12-2019, 09:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

That is often symptom that the clutch is slipping under full engine load.

The next time you are cruising in 5th, at about 3000 rpm and on flat ground, punch the accel pedal quickly to the floor and hold it there. If the rpm increases beyond what you would expect from the car accel, then the clutch is probably getting tired.

This kind of problem usually first shows up when you shift to 5th on an uphill. If you are careful with the shifts, the clutch can last many years more. However, if it is happening with just you or the CC doing gentle non-shift throttle changes, then I think you are likely to need a clutch soon.

I suppose there is also a possibility that the clutch slave-cylinder is getting stuck so that it can't retract enough, but that is very unlikely. And, I don't think the "wire test" will be meaningful.

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Old 12-13-2019, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

Thank you Billr

Can a clutch be done by a DIY'er like me?
I have been very comfortable mechanically with various cars.

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Old 12-13-2019, 05:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

It's doable - fairly well documented. Not sure if a video ever got made, but there are a lot of links with tips in this thread
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=236009

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Old 12-13-2019, 06:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

I'm about to do it. As always I'll document the process.

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Old 12-14-2019, 10:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

I felt like this car was one of the easiest clutches to change. Transmission doesn’t need to come out; just slide into back.

-Robert

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Old 12-15-2019, 02:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

Also --- when you get the tin inspection cover off - ensure that everything is dry. If oil soaked - the rear main seal is likely bad. This will need replacing. Fortunately you are doing the clutch anyway....

If everthing is dry - just the clutch job..

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Old 12-15-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
DawnR
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
I'm about to do it. As always I'll document the process.
AWESOME! That would be so helpful
Thanks...I am not driving much this winter so I very much look forward to your process.

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Old 12-15-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

Generally either the clutch slips or it doesn't. No random RPM blips, just a steady climb until you let off the throttle.

Get to about 70mph in 5th gear and floor it (need the engine around 3k RPM, peak torque), if it's slipping the RPM's will climb pretty dang fast while the road speed either climbs slowly or not at all.

Random blips seem more like a an electrical fault between the cluster, PCM and maybe the ICM if that's where the actual RPM signal is created.

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Old 12-16-2019, 12:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

^ ^ ^
Good call

Does the engine noise change with the RPM blips, or is it just the gauge needle moving, with no change in how the engine sounds or how the car drives?

When you mentioned RPMs, I just assumed that both the needle jumped and the actual engine speed jumped with it.

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Old 12-17-2019, 09:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: 97 SW2 Manual RPM's rev up while Hwy driving in 5th gear.

My original instrument cluster in mine would have the rpm's randomly jump a bit, I think it was the stepper motor getting stuck, or something slightly jamming the needle. I swapped out clusters for another one and the problem went away.

As indicated above, in 5th gear and press the throttle to the floor, if the rpm's smoothly rise above what you think they should, most likely clutch, but if the tach jumps suddenly or is twitchy, it's something else - electrical or cluster

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