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2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding!


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Anthony Starfield
New User
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Oct 3, 2013, 9:32 PM

Post #1 of 8 (4143 views)
post icon 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

Houston, we have a problem! And work was just plain boring until this happened!


My 2001 Corolla has a 5 speed, manual transmission, a 1.8 liter engine and 187,650 miles. I bought it about 2 months ago from a computer geek named Daniel. As far as I could tell, he's a careful, competent driver. I'm a careful driver; I drive like an old farmer.


For the last month or so, it had been making a low level, rubbing, grinding kind of sound. Sort of like when brake pads are just beginning to wear out, but it wasn't the brakes. Sometimes the sound would go away for several minutes. Sometimes it was there when I started the car and for a few minutes after. Then it would disappear for as long as I kept driving.


Then last night, “Captain, we have a problem! The warp engines nay canna take it!”


The grinding sound was suddenly much louder! On top of that, it started making this sound like the bendix (The part of the starter that moves out of the starter and rotates the flywheel to start the engine.) hitting the flywheel, but that didn't seem to be what was actually happening.
It made that hitting sound as often as every 10 seconds for 3 times in a row, then at random times. I had to drive it back to the apartment after work, about 12 miles. It was still making the grinding sound. Then it made another sound, sort of like an orbital metal polisher whirring around or a 1950s, science fiction movie, flying saucer taking off! That was weird!


I drove the Corolla around a few blocks tonight:


With the clutch pedal pressed all the way down, the engine sounds fine.With the clutch pedal up, not touching it at all, and the shifter in neutral, the engine sounds fine.
As soon as I started moving, the grinding sound returned, along with the whirring sound.
Even so, the Corolla didn't seem to have any less power. I was able to park it okay.


The thing I need to know - Is the problem the clutch or in the transmission? And what exactly is the problem?


My best guess is that parts of the clutch (I've read it's the same material that makes brake pads.) have broken and the … is it the pressure plate? … is pressing against the rest of the clutch and the clutch is spinning, so it makes the grinding, whirring sound.


I've never changed a clutch before, but I have replaced several axles (They're called half-shafts on front wheel drive cars. Go figure.) and several timing belts, plus starters, brake pads and calipers, alternators and yada yada. So I figure I have enough experience to tackle the clutch on a Corolla.


If I need a new clutch, any thoughts on the brand to go with or how much to spend? I looked at the ones on the O'Reilly Auto Parts website and there are 3, going for $130, $150 and $200.


If the transmission has a bad part, can I get the new whatever part it is at O'Reilly or Napa? And is it something I need special tools to get out and put back in?


Thank you for your help! I appreciate your time and effort. Enjoy the warm and breezy autumnal weather, Anthony



Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.
-- Clint Eastwood


nickwarner
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Oct 4, 2013, 2:20 AM

Post #2 of 8 (4133 views)
Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

Sounds like the input shaft bearing on the transmission might be on the way out. If it was a clutch component you'd hear it even sitting still and the noise would change by pressing the clutch.

I think you're going to have to pull the trans, in which case you would want to replace the clutch and the rear main seal of the engine while you are in there. I would go with an OE grade replacement to be sure you are getting the right one. You will need to send your flywheel to a machine shop to have it surfaced or it will damage the new clutch. Same principal as turning brake rotors during a brake job to make sure the surfaces are trued up and not glazed so they will allow proper break-in of the new friction material.

I don't think a local parts store will carry the trans parts you need. It will require special tools to do the job, and I would not recommend that someone who hasn't been trained in rebuilding manual transmissions try to get one apart. You may need more than just one bearing. It may be the best bet to take the trans to a rebuilder and let them take care of it for you. They know what they are looking for and where to get the parts. You will save yourself plenty of cash doing the swing work yourself, and have a good car when all is said and done. Make sure you fill it with the proper factory grade lubricant when you reinstall it into the car.

It may help the guy who has this trans on his bench if you take him for a test drive before you pull the trans out so he can hear it. He knows exactly what he's needing to hear on this.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 4, 2013, 6:59 AM

Post #3 of 8 (4122 views)
Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

You should drive it to your repair shop and have them take a listen to this, just to confirm where it is actually coming from.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Anthony Starfield
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Oct 4, 2013, 3:27 PM

Post #4 of 8 (4107 views)
Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

Thank you for all the ideas, Nick!

I just drove to a library. Now with the clutch pedal pressed all the way down, the shifter in neutral, the car not moving, I can hear the grinding sound, though it's fairly faint.

Once I get moving, then the grinding sound is very loud! I can hear it grinding in all 5 gears, though I noticed in 4th and 5th gear, and sometimes in 3rd, it will also make that whirring, metal polisher, supercharger type of sound as well.

If the problem is the input shaft bearing, will it only grind with the clutch pedal up, the transmission in gear and the car moving?

Could the problem be the clutch release bearing? It that also called the throwing bearing? I'm still learning the lingo.

Thank you much and have a cool weekend!
Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
-- Winston Churchill


Tom Greenleaf
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Oct 4, 2013, 3:49 PM

Post #5 of 8 (4106 views)
Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

Now noise sitting still with clutch pushed to floor not just driving along! IMO this trans is tearing itself up and it's the "throw out" bearing that is spinning w engine running, clutch to floor the trans should be all still inside but maybe the front shaft has worn in and still able to cause noise or harmed more.

This won't be known until inspected, witness by a tech or if what I think, taken apart to see if that trans can even be fixed if this is totally trans problems which seem more likely now,

T



Discretesignals
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Oct 4, 2013, 5:19 PM

Post #6 of 8 (4100 views)
Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In


Quote
I just drove to a library. Now with the clutch pedal pressed all the way down, the shifter in neutral, the car not moving, I can hear the grinding sound, though it's fairly faint.


If you have the shifter in gear with the clutch disengaged (pedal down), do you hear the grinding noise with the vehicle stopped and engine idling?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Oct 4, 2013, 7:21 PM)


Anthony Starfield
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Oct 7, 2013, 2:26 PM

Post #7 of 8 (4075 views)
post icon Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

Thank you for all the ideas and intel! Pardon the jet lag in getting back here.


===”If you have the shifter in gear with the clutch disengaged (pedal down), do you hear the grinding noise with the vehicle stopped and engine idling?”


I could not hear the noise with the clutch pedal all the way down, shifter in neutral and the car not moving. But when I let the clutch pedal up, I could barely hear the grinding sound.


After I got moving, with the clutch pedal pushed all the way down, shifter in neutral and coasting, I could hear the grinding sound and it was significantly louder than when the car was sitting still. Then I took my foot off the clutch pedal, shifter in neutral, still coasting forward and the grinding sound was just about as loud.


Now it's a whole new ball game. I should have just let the car sit, but nooooo. I tried to drive to the local library and the transmission seized! I had to get the car towed. The dispatcher somehow lost my call. It was dark, I was tired and cold, yada yada. But Chuck, the tow truck driver, was a really cool guy! He gave me encouragement and that's what I really need.


Now the car is sitting in the back. Yesterday Tofleif (My friend from church) drove me to Harbor Freight and I bought a few extra tools, including a pair of jack stands. He's also driving me to work tonight. Tomorrow I'll get to work.


I've never pulled a transmission before, but hopefully I can mange that much.


If the problem is a shredded input shaft bearing, will that be noticeable once I get the transmission out?


And does anyone know what size the bolt is for adding transmission fluid? My socket set goes up to 18 millimeters and that is too small for this bolt! Why can't this thing just have a dipstick like an automatic transmission?


Thank you again. A happy autumn week to everyone!


nickwarner
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Oct 8, 2013, 1:45 AM

Post #8 of 8 (4064 views)
Re: 2001 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, transmission grinding! Sign In

You would have to pull the input shaft out of the trans to see the bearing. You definitely have internal trans issues.

If you only have a socket set that goes up to 18mm, you aren't going to be able to get this trans out. You won't even be able to get the axleshafts out. You will either need a more extensive toolset or pay a shop to do this job for you.






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