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Old 06-24-2018, 12:37 PM   #1
kimohands
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Default Transmission Clunking Between Gears

95 Saturn SL1, Manual Transmission

When the clutch is pressed in and I move from one gear to the next I hear a loud clunk. It's not difficult to get into gear nor does there appear to be any impact on how it drives in gear. If I put it into gear gently it doesn't always clunk but when I let out the clutch it does. if the car is off or I'm sitting at a stop sign or a light it does not clunk into gear so it seems as though I have to be moving. it sounds similar to what I would expect from a ball joint or strut.

I have replaced all of the mounts as well as recently doing new control arms and tie rod ends.

I'm worried it may have something to do with the differential pin but I'm not sure.

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1995 Saturn SL1 SOHC 5Spd

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Old 06-24-2018, 02:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimohands View Post
95 Saturn SL1, Manual Transmission

When the clutch is pressed in and I move from one gear to the next I hear a loud clunk. It's not difficult to get into gear nor does there appear to be any impact on how it drives in gear. If I put it into gear gently it doesn't always clunk but when I let out the clutch it does. if the car is off or I'm sitting at a stop sign or a light it does not clunk into gear so it seems as though I have to be moving. it sounds similar to what I would expect from a ball joint or strut.

I have replaced all of the mounts as well as recently doing new control arms and tie rod ends.

I'm worried it may have something to do with the differential pin but I'm not sure.
Sounds like you are due for a new clutch, pressure plate, and throw-out bearing.

If the differential pin was coming undone, you should hear some kind of grinding, as it works itself loose until it severs itself and goes flying out the side of the transmission.

Which, with a SOHC, I really don't see the tires being capable of actually spinning at a high enough rate of speed to generate the centrifugal force needed for that to occur.

Your top speed is limited to 108mph, and if you are cornering at that speed, then maybe you'll toast the differential.

Under normal driving, it is not as big of an issue. Welding these pins is usually only some on Saturns used in circle track or autocross racing.

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Old 06-24-2018, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

I doubt it is the differential pin. That should be a one big noise event, and then the fun is over. If your clutch was not fully releasing, that could cause it to bang into gear. Check your floor mat and make sure it is not under the pedal.

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Old 06-24-2018, 08:28 PM   #4
kimohands
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

The clutch has just under 20,000 miles. However i did burn it up pretty bad the other day, fair amount of smoke. Only time I have ever had trouble getting up a a ramp. I'm not sure how fast you can damage a clutch like that but it does seem plausible at this point.

I guess I'll grab a kit and see what happens.

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Old 06-27-2018, 11:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

So i'm not totally convinced its the clutch. I was driving around earlier and noticed a few things.

I push the clutch in
Take it out of gear - POP
Put it in gear - POP
Let off the clutch - POP
Slow down then hit the gas - POP

It sounds like its coming from under the center of the engine to the passenger side.

...
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Have you checked your motor mounts? Perhaps one of them has loosened off and the engine has too much movement. Likely the lower dogbone or the upper motor mount on the passenger side if you're hearing it on that side. I had an instance where the upper motor mount nuts loosened off (from the studs on the timing cover) and caused a clunk noise.

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Old 06-27-2018, 12:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Mounts are all nice and tight.

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Old 06-27-2018, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

It only happens while the wheels are turning.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimohands View Post
It only happens while the wheels are turning.
You mean when you are moving? Or can you replicate this with the car up in the air by spinning the wheels?


Check the front swaybar for separation?
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=181022

I've heard a few people say that Florida's humidity with ocean salt can cause rust, though others say their FL cars are rust free

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

While moving i mean.

No, i just replaced my control arms and checked the sway bar. I can feel the clunking in the shifter knob. Like i can feel the gears clicking into place. Thats how i would describe it anyway.

Im wondering if there isn't something internally wrong with the transmission. Im not above replacing it. I already have trouble with my reverse lights not working because the mechanism in the transmission that lifts up an activates the switch doesn't go high enough.

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Old 06-27-2018, 01:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

You replaced the clutch but didn't replace the clutch hydraulics? There are several ways to ruin a manual xmission - forcing shifts when gears grind, worn hydraulics that doesn't disengage the clutch completely when shifting gears, and incorrect clutch replacement.

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Old 06-27-2018, 02:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

I've only had the car four years and only put 20k-30k miles on it. It didn't seem like it was well taken care of. I feel like its always been a little clunky but now its inescapable. I replaced the hydraulics with the clutch 3 years ago.

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Old 06-27-2018, 03:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimohands View Post
I can feel the clunking in the shifter knob. Like i can feel the gears clicking into place.
That's weird.

The shifter is only connected via the cables so it is surprising you can feel the clunking at the knob.

Maybe take a look at the shift tower where the cables attach to the trans and make sure all the clips are in place, then check under the console under the shifter are loose?

The former is just a visual inspection, the latter is just a few screws since you don't need to completely remove the center console, just up enough to look underneath and see if anything is loose

edit: ^ ^ ^ probably not this, since you said that you can put it in gear but not get the noise until you let the clutch up. So something is making the noise when trans is engaged only.

Any tears / grease in the CV axle boots?

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Old 06-27-2018, 04:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Just to be clear it pops when moving the shifter in and out of gear without taking my foot off the clutch, the clutch remains fully depressed the entire time.

It does this provided the car is moving.

Additionally it pops when accelerating into gear as i let the clutch out and press the gas.

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Old 06-27-2018, 05:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Interesting problem.
Quote:
The shifter is only connected via the cables so it is surprising you can feel the clunking at the knob.
I can confirm that when my transmission grinds into third I get quite a buzz at the shift knob. That also has to be through the cables.

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Old 06-27-2018, 05:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimohands View Post
I've only had the car four years and only put 20k-30k miles on it. It didn't seem like it was well taken care of. I feel like its always been a little clunky but now its inescapable. I replaced the hydraulics with the clutch 3 years ago.
This info should have been posted in the opening post. With new hydraulics and clutch, unless things went very wrong with replacing these parts, this seems to unfortunately point to the xmission...... Manual xmissions tends to last forever for most divers not abusing them so it's unusual to read about a worn one. In your case, I hope I'm wrong and this turns out to be another hydraulic or clutch issue.

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Old 06-27-2018, 10:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Ok, so it is only when moving and changing gears or letting out the clutch.

Since this involves a shift in lateral acceleration and a shift of the engine and transmission, there are only a few suspects.

You stated the control arms have been replaced. You stated the sway bar is fine. You have stated the transmission/engine mounts are tightened.

This leaves a clutch disc issue or CV shaft issue, and possibly a cracked brake hose causing one of the brake calipers to stick and drag, which would throw off your steering and kill your fuel economy.

Make a video, it you can, and post it.

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Old 06-27-2018, 10:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

And an improperly aligned clutch will actually wear out VERY quickly.

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Old 06-29-2018, 07:16 AM   #19
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimohands View Post
So i'm not totally convinced its the clutch. I was driving around earlier and noticed a few things.

I push the clutch in
Take it out of gear - POP
Put it in gear - POP
Let off the clutch - POP
Slow down then hit the gas - POP

It sounds like its coming from under the center of the engine to the passenger side.
The bolded would lead me to think it's not the clutch and most likely not the transmission. But it's a strange symptom as you describe it, so it might make sense to put the car on stands and see if you can duplicate the popping.

With the wheels not loaded by weight, any clutch or tranny issues should still show up. CV's, axle supports, and anything loose in the suspension system would probably be more likely to show up with the weight and load applied.

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Old 06-29-2018, 01:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: Transmission Clunking Between Gears

So the first video starts with me coasting for about 8 seconds with the clutch petal pushed in the whole time. You can hear the shifter and in the background you can hear a dull popping sound as it manipulates the transmission. It's a lot louder and more noticeable in real life.

The rest of the video im accelerating and you can hear it in between gears.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUzKJ6NlrVk

The second video is a popping sound that just started 20 minutes ago. Repetitive clicking or popping as i drive. You can hear it best 15 seconds in and at the end of the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWjsZFEpHiw

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