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Old 08-01-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
Rm2011
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Default Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Hey everyone,

First of all, I have posted a thread similar to this one a few months back. Unfortunately none of the suggestions turned out to actually be the problem. Here's what's going on:

2000 Saturn SL- 160,000 miles

Stock everything


It seems as though I have a strange "rattling" sound when I Rev the engine to anything past 2400 RPM. It starts at 2400 RPM everytime without fail. It will happen in gear or out of gear, and clutch position doesn't affect it at all. I have confirmed that it is not the exhaust (not heat shield), not the HVAC system.



The best way I can describe the sound is if you had 10-15 very small ball bearings and shook the them around in a plastic container. It's starting to get very annoying.


The sound sounds like it is coming from the center console, down low. Like where the heater core pipes enter the cabin.

The only thing I can think of is some kind of bearings have been released in the transmission and the sound is being carried into the cabin. I recently replaced the transmission fluid to see if this would solve the problem, but it has not. I can not hear the noise outside the car when revving the engine via the throttle. Also the noise does change based on the engine speed.

Any ideas at all? Anything is appreciated.

Thank you!!

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Old 08-01-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

If it happens in neutral with the car stationary then it can be located.

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Old 08-01-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If it happens in neutral with the car stationary then it can be located.
I have tried, and as best I can tell it is coming from around the firewall, or under the 'hump' between the passenger and drivers side under the center console. The that's as specific as I can find unfortunately.

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Old 08-01-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

What were the suggestions that were given so no one will repeat it here, again?

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Old 08-01-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
What were the suggestions that were given so no one will repeat it here, again?
The suggestions were the heat shield and catalytic converter.

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Old 08-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

I suggest taking a video with your cellphone, upload it to Youtube and post a link to it here. It can be hard to get good audio this way but if you can get your handset right down in there it should pick it up.

Edit: I just looked at your recent posts, found your original thread and copied the link you posted to hear the sound. That is extremely annoying!

I went through something similar a few months ago, and it did turn out to be the heat shield:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191281

Last edited by Inky; 08-02-2013 at 09:33 AM..

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Old 08-05-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inky View Post
I suggest taking a video with your cellphone, upload it to Youtube and post a link to it here. It can be hard to get good audio this way but if you can get your handset right down in there it should pick it up.

Edit: I just looked at your recent posts, found your original thread and copied the link you posted to hear the sound. That is extremely annoying!

I went through something similar a few months ago, and it did turn out to be the heat shield:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191281
Thanks for the link to your thread. Unfortunately the sound has to do with RPM opposed to hitting a bump, so that leads me to believe it is the transmission. I'm at a loss at this point. Any other suggestions? The sound is driving me nuts!

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Old 08-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

do u have a precat?
what about the catcon? bang it with a deadblow hammer only

...
now with problems and getting a newer car but not a saturn :(
My 95 SL2 white top of the line car Priceless..

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Old 08-05-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Look under your car right where your center console is with the e-brake and cup holder. Your catalytic converter is there which is a huge bulge in the exhaust pipe. You want to hit it with a hammer to see if you can hear anything loose inside. You should hear nothing move inside when you strike the converter. If you do, it needs to be replaced.

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Old 08-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

I do not have a precat. I have hit the catalytic converter with a deadblow hammer and do not hear any noise. This completely baffles me. If anyone is interested I can post a link to the sound I recorded so you can hear exactly what it sounds like.

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Old 08-05-2013, 10:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Post a recording

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Old 08-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Here is a recording. It is a lot louder than what I am hearing because I put the phone down by the firewall where it sounds like the noise is coming from.

http://youtu.be/rBDNY4iA1K0

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Old 08-05-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Well, that is a definite odd one. Sounds like it may be inside of the heater box.

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Old 08-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Well, that is a definite odd one. Sounds like it may be inside of the heater box.
Well, I think you nailed it. It is definitely inside the HVAC unit. Now I don't understand why it would happen whether the air is off, that is definitely where it's coming from.

Do you have any suggestions as to how I can disassemble the unit to investigate further? I'd really like to avoid disassembling the whole car...

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Old 08-06-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

The bottom comes of relatively easily and the rest can be disassembled in place. Best done in cool weather though. Heat gun is required to heat up old plastic so the sealer will release and tabs do not snap off. This should show how to how to get the bottom off. Don't disconnect your heater core, just drop the bottom off and see what you can see. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=150968

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The bottom comes of relatively easily and the rest can be disassembled in place. Best done in cool weather though. Heat gun is required to heat up old plastic so the sealer will release and tabs do not snap off. This should show how to how to get the bottom off. Don't disconnect your heater core, just drop the bottom off and see what you can see. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=150968
Well, it is coming from behind the heater core it sounds like. My guess is that it's in with the evaporator for the AC but I can not seem to find any way to access it. I really just need to disassemble the entire HVAC unit I'm assuming but it does not seem like this is going to be possible without ripping apart the entire dash?

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

The top comes off as well but it is tricky. If you are going to tear into that box then an ALLData subscription is a very good idea so you have the drawings and directions to get it apart without breakage. http://www.alldatadiy.com/index.html

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

Thanks for the suggestion, Oldnuc. Unfortunately I do not have the extra money to purchase a subscription at this time.

I THINK I may have found the problem, however. When replacing my ECTS just over a year ago, the old sensor broke off inside the head. This led to having to pull it apart piece by piece to extract it and retapping the threads. I thought I recovered all the pieces, but apparently not. I have a feeling a piece of it has become lodged inside the heater core and that is what I am hearing. That would explain why I only hear the noise while revving the engine. I am in the process of draining the coolant and removing the core to flush it out.

Another question for you (or anyone else) while I'm here- I have a "vibration/rattle" somewhere in the HVAC system that only happens when I have the control in the "Top" as opposed to floor- or mixed position. To get rid of the noise, I usually move the control to halfway between the "top" and "bottom" vent control. I thought maybe the sound was coming from the blend door, but I can't seem to locate it. Any idea?

Thanks for all the help!

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: Debris rattle sound at 2400 RPM

The various doors are inside of the box. This will give you an idea where the parts are located. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=162508

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