You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access
to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to start new topics, reply to conversations, privately message other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join RX8Club.com today!
Crappy situation - breakdown while traveling, clutch/pilot bearing
Well, this all kind of sucks and half of it is already underway, but seeing how I've gained a lot of useful info from reading over old posts in the past I figured I would explain what was going on and see if anyone has any ideas/thoughts.
Long story short, I had the clutch worked on about two months ago - throwout bearing was starting to squeak, and I was at 75k so figured I would replace the entire clutch kit/master/slave cylinders while we were at it. Had it done at a local shop that I've had good work from, and once all was finished the clutch seemed pretty good. They mentioned something about needle bearings being locked up in something related to the driveline/transmission/mounts, but their "driveline guy" managed to utilize some grease and tap on it a bit and get it back together (I'm assuming this was the pilot bearing after doing some research, but not sure).
Jump to this week, ~2700 mile road trip to the east coast. Made it days 1-2 fine with 900 and 800 miles each day. The third day, we get to where we're staying for the night after an 800 mile day, get into the city, hit a few stop lights, and while we're sitting at a stop light and I've got the clutch in I suddenly hear a bit of a rattling/grinding noise which goes away shortly after. After that, can't shift - the clutch doesn't seem to disengage. Shifts into gear fine with the car off, and can start in gear and get rolling that way, and carefully shift if the RPMs are lined up, but nothing with the clutch pedal down. No loss of fluid or anything out of the ordinary that I can see.
Since we're a long way away from home in a city I'm unfamiliar with, I take the car to a Firestone since it's only a few blocks away from where we were staying and we've got one in my home town so any work there under warranty can be covered at home too (ironically, a problem I now have with the local shop now that I'm out of town). I know labor is overpriced, but not knowing the town, it seemed like the best thing for the situation. They determine the clutch/master/slave cylinders are working, as when you push the clutch pedal it engages the arm from the slave cylinder, so it's something internal. We're still 350 miles from our final destination, so we rent a car to continue our trip with the intention of either picking the RX-8 up on the way back next week or figuring out what to do depending on what they find.
They took some things apart later that day/next day and found that the pilot bearing seems to have failed and the needle bearings are gone entirely. It scored up a bunch of stuff in the process. Attached are some pictures of the bearing and I assume driveline (sent to me after we left town).
Since the clutch kit was 2 months old, we're trying to get that switched out under warranty to save some money on it. Labor is going to suck but I've accepted that. At this point I'd like to know what will likely need to be done to completely and properly fix the issue - and if the issue was really due to a bad pilot bearing, etc. Also, with whatever the "driveline guy" at my local shop did - was that likely to cause the failure or contribute to the problem? Being from out of town and in the middle of a trip, of course I'm skeptical that we're getting screwed over somehow - nothing personal towards the Firestone or the guys there, I'd feel that way anywhere I took the car, but the whole thing is ironic considering my super-careful service record with the car. I also realize that things happen and things fail, I just want to make sure we're getting the correct issue identified and fixed and keep it from happening again if possible.
I appreciate any replies, thanks!
This ad is not displayed to registered and logged-in members. Register your free account today and become a member on RX8Club.com!
Obviously the pilot bearing failed, but there's really going to be no way for us to say what the exact cause of that failure was. HOWEVER, if they had issues with the pilot bearing and found a way to "utilize some grease" to fix it... That's a HUGE mistake. Did you get a new pilot bearing in the "clutch kit"?
It's kind of hard to tell from the picture, but it appears that input shaft is scored up too much and isn't salvageable.
I'll have to talk to the local shop and get clarification on what they did with which bearing first. Being that I'm across the country currently, I'm waiting until we're about to head home to try to really figure out who's at fault here. For now I'm trying to determine if it'll be cheapest in the meantime to get the car fixed where it is now, or try to get it back home ~2500 miles and have the shop there fix the issue under warranty.
Firestone wants to try to sand down the shaft and see if it'll be workable - is this a bad idea? I'm guessing that section is normally notched/geared so that wouldn't work, and that the shaft would require a transmission teardown to replace, making it really expensive.
I really feel for you that looks like a pretty big problem caused by a very cheap part.
The first picture is the transmission in the center of the bell housing is is supposed to be smooth and the pilot bearing is almost like a guide bearing to connect the transmission to the engine correctly the teeth a little further back are what connects to the engine to turn the transmission with the selected gear, then the drive shaft to the wheels. The smooth part has been damaged sanding/grinding it down might work but will make it smaller which is not ideal.
The second photo is the center of the flywheel where the transmission is connected to the engine if you look you can see damage in there also when the pilot bearing has disintegrated and damaged its surroundings. That damage will also need to be repaired to allow a new pilot bearing to spin correctly.
I would want the car to go back to the people that replaced your clutch, they said there was an issue with the pilot bearing at the time and the bodged it to work rather then getting a new part. That looks like what caused the damage.
I think it is going to be a lot of work to repair. I don't know how easy it would be to replace the damaged shaft but you may need to take apart the whole transmission which would probably be just as cost effective to replace it (if you do get a series 2 transmission). You also have the engine damage to worry about I don't know enough about it to know how you would fix that but it could mean a partial engine rebuild.
My advise would be to contact the garage that did you clutch and see what they say. A good reputable garage will make sure they fix it to keep a good reputation, especially if they gave you a 90 day warranty or similar.
This is the exact reason why I always suggest people to replace the pilot bearing for any clutch work, same thing for the throw out bearing and rear transmission seal. Its one of those things that cheap that will cause massive damage when fails.
I'm very sure all clutch kit comes with a brand new pilot bearing,might not be the pilot bearing seal since its not that important.
More like the driveline guy there didn't want to try to find a small puller to pull the bearing out. Just squeeze some grease there and hope it will be OK. People like that should be fired without a second thought.
I can't really tell how bad the damages right now but if it left any marks on the input shaft, they owe u a transmission rebuild with a new input shaft. If it left any scratches inside the eccentric, they owe u a new engine. If both, then both
Feel free to ask every single little thing on this forum. a lot of cool dudes will answer your questions accordingly
Yeah, as I mentioned I didn't really like the idea of leaving the car where it's at but considering the circumstances I didn't have many other options. Picking any arbitrary small/rotary shop would have been just as much of a gamble as far as I knew.
I'm going to try to get the car home but it's ~2500 miles away from home right now, so I'm trying to find the most cost effective way to do it.
I also talked to the shop that did the work, and they said they replaced the pilot bearing along with the clutch. Granted, they don't have the car and can't see the extent of the damage, but preliminarily they want to replace the pilot bearing with just a brass bushing instead. They think the pilot bearing failure is weird but still don't think it was causing the clutch to not disengage. My plan is to take the car back and insist everything is fixed completely and correctly. I'll be out the cost of transporting the car home and the diagnostic labor at Firestone but it'll still be the cheaper option if the damage is as bad as you guys suspect.
While we're on the subject, any recommendations for car transport? It's currently in Syracuse, NY and needs to get to Missoula, MT. Thanks for the help so far.
Besides the straightforward way, you might try a wild card. It's delivery season from Elkhart, IN for travel trailers. Perhaps call local RV dealers and see if they have any deliveries coming in. Maybe your car can hitch a pull from a pickup heading west otherwise unloaded.
U-Haul will rent you a trailer or a vehicle and trailer. Probably your best bet if you don't have any friends in the area who can sort you out which I doubt.
Originally Posted by nycgps
U haul is ur only option I think. It will not be cheap.
Wow tried to replace it with a brass crap? Jesus. Even if they said they did replace the bearing, unless I see it myself I would trust them
Yeah, U-Haul is expensive as hell... $2200 for a truck+trailer for the trip. I got Budget down to about $1500 but am perusing uShip too and have got some bids in the $1200 range (I also wouldn't have to worry about gas and stopping/hotels this way).
As for the brass bushing, I agree with your general sentiment, hence my plan to insist everything is fixed legit with the proper new parts. My concern at this point is that the shop is either not going to recognize or acknowledge the extent of the damage, and it's not going to get fixed properly or not fixed on their dime. All I can really do is get it back in their hands, pass all the info I have along, and let them know what I'd like done about it, I guess.
Thanks again, I'll keep this updated as it all goes along.
We got the car back from Firestone Wednesday and the clutch is fixed, in fact it shifts and works better than it did before which leads me to believe the clutch wasn't done correctly by the local shop. We just made it home tonight with no more clutch trouble.
However, the car now smells strongly of burning oil or something - after running for a few minutes and it warms up, the smell is strong enough to be inside the car while sitting at a light or pulling in for gas. On the highway, it's not so bad unless you roll a window down, then it's still pretty strong and comes in that way. Almost smells like propane or rotten eggs or something. I was super diligent in checking oil level at each stop and looking for leaks or anything else out of the ordinary, and noticed that I got the car back with oil/fluid on the plastic cover that sits over the engine when there wasn't any on it before.
My plan at this point is to make an appointment Monday with the local Mazda dealer/service center to have the clutch/input shaft/etc inspected to figure out what needs to be done to get the car back to pre-bearing failure, then take that all to the local shop and see if they want to do the work properly or pay for it to be done at the dealer. If not, I'll start looking for other options.
Burning clutch. But that doesn't explain the oil on the engine cover. Humm. Is the cap on the brake/clutch fluid reservoir intact and properly installed? It should go 'over center' with a little push down while tightening. Is it the right cap? It should have some Japanese writing embossed in the plastic. Is the rubber disk/diaphram intact and in place under the cap? (see pic) When the clutch is depressed, some fluid leaves the reservoir. The diaphram expands a little to make up for the change in volume and compresses when the fluid moves back in after releasing the clutch. If it's not there, it could screw things up.
Yep, the cap is the right one (some Japanese along the bottom, diaphragm intact). I'm wondering if they set the engine cover aside and it got dirty from something else, because when I dropped the car off it was clean and when I picked it up without going anywhere it was oily. They didn't drive the car much except around a few blocks, so if it were something leaking/spraying that much I should have seen it in a 2700 mile trip. There are spots on the top of the cover down by the battery where there isn't any way fluid could hit right in the middle of the cover like it did without making a much bigger mess.
I did some more research last night and yeah, sounds like the clutch is burning which is great. At least it got us home, as the options really sucked if it didn't. It's going to sit in my driveway until tomorrow, then either go to the Mazda service center here or the local shop to get sorted out. Just hoping the input shaft is the only thing that needs to be replaced and that the new clutch isn't hosed after burning it across the country if that's what it was doing.