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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Mysterious Clunk and hard shift

Hey guys, been a while since I've been on here. Trep's been running great so far, just got 2 issues and I'd like some advice. FYI, its a 98 ES 3.2L with 140k

#1: When I go over bumps there's a heavy clunking noise that sounds like its coming from the center/front of the car. I've determined that its not the suspension that's making the noise but it happens when the suspension "travels" if that makes sense. Suspension is completely overhauled in the front. new bushings, control arms, struts and strut mounts, and wheel bearings. All the steering bushings are new as well. Noise is mainly below 45 mph. above that it pretty much goes away. trans/motor mounts maybe??

#2 Whenever the car downshifts, primarily 3rd to 2nd, when it goes back up to 3rd it really SLAMS into 3rd sometimes even into 4th as well. It only does it when it downshifts first. starting from a stop going from 1st...to 2nd...to 3rd..to 4th is perfect, its only when it downshifts and then upshifts again. Is this cause for concern? Fluid is Bright red and no particles in it.
Better to have it shift hard into gear than slip right?
Thanks for any input
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 01:56 PM
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For your clunking, did you change out the sway bar endlinks too? Those seem to be culprit for a front end thunk 8/10 times.

When was the last time you changed your tranny fluid and filter?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 02:46 PM
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The clunking could also be the sway bar bushings to the cradle being loose.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 05:13 PM
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Might also want to check the four cradle-to-frame bushings. I had one loose and would get a nagging clunk, particularly on washboard type bumps. Also, I had excessive tire tread-wear on that side. Attributed it to the fact that the control arm is anchored to the cradle, and if the cradle is shifting, it can't be too good for keeping that tire properly aligned.....
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Might also want to check the four cradle-to-frame bushings. I had one loose and would get a nagging clunk, particularly on washboard type bumps. Also, I had excessive tire tread-wear on that side. Attributed it to the fact that the control arm is anchored to the cradle, and if the cradle is shifting, it can't be too good for keeping that tire properly aligned.....
Yes, I will check that out. Sway bar links are new as well, I'll have to check the bar bushings tho.
Also, I do need to get it aligned. Honestly the car just doesn't turn right...when i turn the wheel its almost as if I'm leaning the car rather than turning.

Honestly I've owned the car for about 2 years and when I got it the fluid was bright red to begin with so it seemed fine, I still should probably get it changed tho as an insurance measure
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 10:42 PM
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Does it also clunk when you accelerate in reverse? Could be a trans mount.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Does it also clunk when you accelerate in reverse? Could be a trans mount.
yes in a way. My driveway is long and kinda shitty so when I reverse over the bumps in my driveway it makes the clunking noise.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 01:02 AM
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The trans mount could be the reason for the hard downshift too - when traveling forward, a downshift puts stress on the drive train in the same orientation as going into reverse...
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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The trans mount could be the reason for the hard downshift too - when traveling forward, a downshift puts stress on the drive train in the same orientation as going into reverse...
that makes sense. I've never really looked at a mount before. Is there a for sure way to know that its bad?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 09:34 AM
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that makes sense. I've never really looked at a mount before. Is there a for sure way to know that its bad?
Have someone sit in the car with the brake held down firmly, while you stand at the side of the car with the hood up, watching the engine for movement while they shift the car from forward to reverse.

Or, raise the car (with safety stands too!) and try to lift the Trans up by hand to feel for a loose mount. It will take some bench pressing action to do this though.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 11:18 AM
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Or you could just crawl under the car and have a good look at the transmission mount. A good flashlight is a must. The transmission mount replacement is a little tedious, but it's not difficult.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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update...

So i had a friend sit in the car and brake-torque it in reverse and in drive.
In drive the engine was fairly still, but in reverse the engine completely nose dived. Like the front of the engine went down and the rear popped up Id say a good 4 or 5 inches.
Is that normal or could the rear trans mount cause this?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 02:38 PM
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That's a rear trans mount needing changed. Yes, those torque loads would make it move like that.

As said, it isn't too bad a job to change yourself...
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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That's a rear trans mount needing changed. Yes, those torque loads would make it move like that.

As said, it isn't too bad a job to change yourself...
Well I think I'll have to add this to my to do list...Already have a timing belt/water pump job on top of that to do..

Plus its snowing in western Nebraska already I better get my shit together lol
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