4x4Wire TrailTalk

Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what?

Posted By: Nukeiridium

Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/26/13 04:32 PM

Hi all! My Sporty has developed a strange problem and I am hoping someone can help!

When driving, once I reach about 45 to 50 MPH, I start to feel a vibration in the drivetrain, and it gets worse if I go faster. It does it when power is being applied to the wheels to move forward, so if I'm cruising or accelerating it vibrates, but if I let go of the gas and allow the car to engine brake, the noise and vibration stop.

Not only that, but if I accelerate to 50 or 60 MPH and then put the car in neutral, the noise and vibration will continue. HOWEVER, as soon as I put it back in gear, so that now I am starting to engine brake, the noise and vibration stop. Then, if I put it in neutral again, the noise will be gone.

So, the noise is tied to what speed I'm going, not the engine RPM. Engine RPM has no bearing on it, just speed. The other factor is whether the drivetrain is loaded up or dragging / engine braking. Noise only happens when the drivetrain is loaded up.

It doesn't matter what gear I'm in, just the speed. I can go the same speed in 5th or 4th gear and the noise is the same, or even if I'm in neutral the noise is the same, but noise goes away if I engine brake then put it in neutral. As soon as I engine brake even a tiny bit, bam the noise is gone and stays gone until I load the drivetrain (accelerate).

Any ideas? My first thought was the rear differential going bad, or maybe out of balance somehow, or maybe the driveshaft out of balance?

Also the transmission, transfer case, and differential all have enough gear oil in them, I checked that. The gear oil in the rear diff looks relatively clean to me, but has a slightly reddish-brown look to it, is that normal?

Any help would be appreciated! I'm about ready to take it to a shop if I can't figure it out very soon.
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/26/13 05:05 PM

OK there is more trouble!

I have the 5 speed manual transmission and the gearbox is leaking gear oil out of somewhere up high on the gearbox, seems almost like it's leaking out the TOP. I guess I need to pull off the console and take a look up there. From the pattern of where the gear oil is, it seems like it's leaking from near where the shifter goes into the gearbox. How can that be?

The gear oil was really low too because it had been leaking for a few days. I filled it back up for now but I'm trying to find exactly where it's leaking.

The weird thing is I thought it was leaking from the sensor that screws into the passenger side of the gearbox, because that thing had worked its way loose so that it was only hand-tight. I cranked it on tight so it's not leaking there, but the leak didn't go away. I'm not sure if it was ever leaking from there or if the leak was always coming from on top of the transmission.
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/26/13 07:32 PM

Update: OK this is weird!

Driving on the freeway, the vibration was getting worse up to about 60 MPH, then stayed the same until about 70, then all of a sudden, while I was cruising at about 70, there was sort of a little clunk and the noise stopped!

After that, the noise stayed gone for 5 minutes or so, while I cruised between 70 and 75 MPH. I tried accelerating, engine braking, etc. and the noise was staying gone. However, the gearshifter was shaking back and forth more than usual, sort of wobbling around rythmically.

Then after a few minutes, the noise came back <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Doesn't this make it sound like there is a problem with the gearbox? Maybe some bad bearing somewhere that sometimes pops in and out of place or something?
Posted By: DRX350

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/26/13 09:25 PM

Two things I'd check

1) the driveshaft/u-joints, new u-joints and balancing should run about $150-175

2) the transmission - likely primary shaft wobbling in case. This could run $500-1500...
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/26/13 09:50 PM

Thanks DRX350, what I can't figure out though is what the gear oil leak has to do with any of this. Would the vibrations somehow cause the gear oil to leak out the top of the gearbox or something? Or do you think they might be 2 separate issues?
Posted By: Dryver

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/27/13 02:29 PM

+1 on the drive shaft u-joints. I had a nasty vibration acting similar to what you are describing and it was a u-joint. Block the wheels, put the T-case in neutral, get under it and play with the drive shafts looking for slop in the u-joints. Important that your t-case is in neutral so the shafts can move freely.

Can probably pick up a u-joint from a parts store for under $20. Wouldn't worry about the balancing unless you replace it and it still vibrates.

The leak is probably not related. I have the same leak with my 5-speed and no issues caused from it that I am aware of. Have not looked into where it's coming from, so if you figure it out anytime soon, post it up.
Posted By: promodmerc

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/27/13 05:00 PM

+2 on the u-joints. Last summer I was chasing my tail on a vibrtion. Swore it was comming from the front end. My front wheel bearings were loose and bad but that didn't fix it.

I then crawled under and checked the u-joints and man did the rear drive shaft have some play. One of the u-joints had no needle bearings left in it. All it had was metal dust <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" />

As for the leak on top I believe there is a gasket where the shift lever bolts to the transmission. You'll need to pull the center console out to access the shifter.
Posted By: DRX350

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/27/13 05:15 PM

Quote
+2 on the u-joints. Last summer I was chasing my tail on a vibrtion. Swore it was comming from the front end. My front wheel bearings were loose and bad but that didn't fix it.

I then crawled under and checked the u-joints and man did the rear drive shaft have some play. One of the u-joints had no needle bearings left in it. All it had was metal dust <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" />

As for the leak on top I believe there is a gasket where the shift lever bolts to the transmission. You'll need to pull the center console out to access the shifter.


^^^THIS
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/27/13 05:29 PM

Unfortunately I don't have time to work on the car for the next couple of weeks and I need it fixed asap. I gave up and took it to a shop. Hope it's nothing serious. Right now at work we have urgent stuff going on and it could potentially cost me my job if I have to spend a lot of time playing mechanic <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Normally I'd do my best to fix it myself but I just can't deal with it this time. I'll post what they find.
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/28/13 08:34 PM

Bad news. The problem was a bad u joint, but I didn't fix it soon enough and the vibration actually cracked the transmission case, they showed me the crack. That's why the gear oil leaks out.

Kicking myself right now for not noticing and fixing the vibration sooner, and looking into the option of putting in a used/pulled transmission. The shop of course wants a lot of money, what they would recommend is rebuilding the whole transmission in a new case, they want about 2200 for the whole job if we went that route. Not gonna do that. If they quote me a decent price to put in a used one, I'll go that route, otherwise I'll tow it home and park it until fall when maybe I'd have time to do the swap myself and the weather will be cooler.

I thought the vibration was the engine running rough because I had a check engine light and ended up finding a vacuum leak, but it still was vibrating, and I thought maybe I had a bad injector, or spark plug or something <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/28/13 10:04 PM

OK well, the shop called back. They quoted me $2000 to put in a used transmission from a junkyard, because they are only willing to do the job if they can open up the transmission and replace all the seals or whatever while they are at it.

I told them I can't spend that much money on that car so I'm going to drive it home. I'll either buy a different car or more likely, I'll get a used transmission from a junkyard and do the swap myself when I have time. I've done harder jobs before and I just can't make myself pay so much money for this job. I think I can get a used transmission for close to 500 bucks and just do the work myself.

Actually to be honest, I am a little bit excited to do the job myself, crazy right?

Any suggestions on a good place to buy a clutch, throwout bearing, and whatever other parts I will need for this job? If anyone who knows what parts I will need could give me some advice that would be great! I've never swapped out a manual transmission especially one with a transfer case. I am guessing the hardest part will be putting the clutch on correctly and adjusting it or whatever it is you do to the clutch?

I have the shop manuals so that helps!

Also does anybody know, are all the model years of manual transmission compatible with each other? Any gotchas I need to watch out for when picking which manual transmission to put in?
Posted By: Dryver

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/29/13 02:23 AM

Guess I'd better look over my transmission case for cracks... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Peabody

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/29/13 08:06 AM

Check RockAuto. They have clutch kits for your vehicle that have the throw out bearing, clutch, disc and the alignment tool - all in the price range of $98-$135. If you Google RockAuto discount codes, you can get a code that will take a few bucks off your purchase. These are all OEM kits. If you want a performance clutch, you'll have to look elsewhere. If you are on a budget and have no issues with stock parts, there's no harm in looking there. I've bought lots of parts from them and never had a problem. As for replacing the tranny, if you have the skills to do it yourself, do it. You can get a used tranny, new clutch, some extra tools and a tranny jack for less than you'll pay a shop to do it. You can always shop around to see how much a shop will charge to rebuild the used tranny as a drop-off without installation. I think Everet just had his rebuilt. He might be able to give you some good advice on the subject...

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Everet

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 06/29/13 11:43 PM

Nuke,
Find another shop.
I had my 5 speed rebuilt by the #1 guy here in the South Bay and it cost $400 + $100 in parts. My mechanic charged me $500 to R&R the transmission and transfer case.
If you are going to replace the clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing, I really like the Kevlar clutch and HD pressure plate I got from South Bend Clutches.

Everet
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 07/02/13 07:11 PM

Well I am currently checking prices with other transmission shops. There is a guy my dad's neighbor who sells used cars uses for all his transmission work, he is supposedly really fair with his pricing. We're taking the sporty to him to see what he would charge to swap in a used gearbox, and replace the clutch while he's at it. If his quote is more reasonable than the first place, I might just bite the bullet and pay for it to be done.

I've had some other complications come up at the same time with my life, with work problems, dating (which I can't really do without a car that has AC), and the AC in my house breaking down now... I just don't have enough hours in the day lately! So if this other smaller shop will do the work for a lower price I might just have him do it.

If he wants too much money though I will drive it home and park it and find the time to do it myself.
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 07/05/13 05:19 AM

Just an update - The smaller shop is estimating about $1000 less to do the same repair job. I think I am going to go ahead and have him do it, I honestly don't want to do the job myself right now and I want my Sportage back asap, and don't want to buy another car right now.

That first shop was just really high on their pricing. The guy I talked to on the phone sounded very coached and trained on how to deal with customers. Everything I said, any concerns I had about the costs etc, he sounded like he had an answer ready from some kind of script. It really turned me off, it's like he had been trained on how to talk customers into paying the high prices. At this new shop where the Sportage is now, the guy just sounds honest and straightforward, and his price estimates are so much lower. Screw that first place! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/butwiggle.gif" alt="" />

The first transmission place was my dad's idea. At the time I had a bad feeling about it. The place is good at what they do but they are expensive. Around here they are sort of the Cadillac of transmission places and their prices are higher. This second place, with the lower prices, was recommended to us by an old neighbor who sells used cars. He takes all his used cars that need transmission work to this shop because the guy is honest and doesn't charge an arm and a leg. Should have taken it there first!
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 07/09/13 07:55 PM

Another update, I found a transmission on Ebay for $380 and free shipping, which seems like a great price to me. I hope it's not in bad shape. It has a 30 day warranty so we'll see.

Local wrecking yards and such wanted $650 for the transmission and I'd have to pick it up myself. The Ebay way is nice, I'm having it shipped directly to the shop.

I also am going to have the clutch replaced while he's in there. He said he won't charge any extra labor to do the clutch at the same time, I just need to buy the clutch kit.

Fingers crossed that there are no surprises, but if all goes well, having this new smaller shop do the job, WITH a new clutch, is going to cost about HALF what the big-name shop quoted for the job WITHOUT a new clutch. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/butwiggle.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Nukeiridium

Re: Bad diff, transmission, driveshaft axle, what? - 07/26/13 10:21 PM

Got it back from the shop, total damage was about $1200 for a used transmission, installation, new U-joints, and a new clutch.

I didn't realize but this sportage has had bad u-joints since I bought it. There was excess play in the driveline which you could feel when switching from accelerating to decelerating, or sometimes when changing gears.

You may wonder why I didn't know this was a problem. Well, I thought all Sportages had sloppy drivelines like that, because before this I had another Sportage, and it was the same way. BOTH must have had worn U-joints but the joints on the first Sportage never started to vibrate.

Lesson learned, it was about a $1100 lesson... At least I paid only half what the first shop quoted me, and that quote did not include new clutch.
© 2021 4x4Wire TrailTalk