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Transmission grinding issue

Old 09-28-2015, 11:31 AM
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Transmission grinding issue

So i recently bought a rx8 2004 with 61k miles on it. owner said first gear was gone, second gear grind-ed when warm, and reverse needed a synchro, but others "worked". So i got it home (had it hauled). The reason i bought it was it looked good, perfect inside out, engine sounds strong, and was cheap. So i get it home and the first thing i noticed was you can shift in every gear perfect when car is off no clutch. i took that as a indication that tranny may be OK and it would/is clutch issue. He mentioned getting a new clutch installed right before the problems started. I checked the clutch pedal, i could wiggle it side to side a little but nothing too extreme. pedal didnt feel as stiff as my cheap daily beaters, and i could travel about a inch or two freely before i could feel it firm and stiffen up. I put new gas in it, and fired it up this morning. let it idle for 5 mins or so, then hopped in. I tried first, just to see what would happen and it seemed to go in fine, but in not used to the shifter so im not 100% it went in all the way. Well i pulled clutch out gave a little gas, nothing extreme, and immediately stopped when i heard constant grinding. So what i want to ask you guys is where to start? Does it seem like a clutch issue? Or time to dry my tears on a new trans? If you need any other info, just ask. PS. owner never recalls changing trans fluid???
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:52 AM
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I would pull it and ensure the clutch was ever changed and if it was, verify that it was done correctly. You can also have the trans fluid tested by sending it to blackstone labs. But really the issue just needs to be properly diagnosed.

http://foxed.ca/rx7manual/2003mazdar..._S01_0553.html
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:16 PM
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ok thanks, i will do that! Anything specifically that would cause that problem that you might know of? just anything that would help me out. If not then i will get to wrenching
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:23 PM
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Well problems getting into gear can be caused by a bad clutch (improperly installed) or by a bad clutch pedal. Grinding issues are typically the synchros going in the transmission.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:56 PM
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Well its going into gear, just wont move and grinds when i release clutch and throttle a little, i can also feel the shifter shaking in my hand when it grinds.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:00 PM
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Sounds to me like a clutch issue but without seeing it in person it's hard to say.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:04 PM
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Finally got around to wrenching on it today, drained trans fluid, and the diff. The fluid looked like gray sludge and chocolate milk. Could that cause the grinding perhaps and changing it work? .....or does that mean my trans is already shot from poor maintenance...
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:47 PM
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So today I had some time off from work finally, so now the transmissions off and took the pressure plate and clutch out. The clutch is a 6 puck clutch it looks like...and it seems like its worn out, I cant tell, I am really not familiar with the material used on the pucks. But It looks like it should have a sandy orange material similar to sandpaper or brake pads...And its worn to the metal behind it. I googled worn out puck clutch and the pictures looked spot on, so i can only assume its toast. All I am trying to ask is would that cause that issue? or am I only skin deep in the problem. So far I plan on new clutch/pressure plate+new bearings all around+lightweight flywheel+braided ss lines and some other stuff. Do you think that would take care of it...or is that issue inconstant and it just so happened to be almost all worn out. Kinda confusing since the prev owner claimed new clutch. I pretty much saw through that one though. Any input from anyone is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:02 AM
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Any input from anyone would be great! Anything to support or negate my conclusion would be awesome! I am gonna order the parts and would like to know if I need to send out for a transmission also. Any test I could do on trans while its out? Such as rotate drive shaft while in first to see if it makes the grinding sound? Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:09 PM
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Yep, I am going to get the Exedy Oem clutch. Im thinking fidanza flywheel also..I will have to look into what the best LTWT flywheel is. And new bearings. Clutch pedal assembly I will replace too, may be suspect. And SS clutch lines. Now as far as the transmission is concerned, no test (apart from splitting it open) can decide if its working or not? turning input shaft in gear? Or do syncro's not work like that. Sorry my ignorance is showing
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:31 PM
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Well I did a test of sorts on the transmission. I turned the input shaft while feeling the output shaft and all the gears work perfect. I ran through them trying to duplicate a grinding noise or anything but i couldn't. Reverse worked also, output shaft turned opposite of forward gears no issues. But that doesn't necessarily mean the synchronizer's are still intact and good, does it?
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:41 PM
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Anyone want to weigh in on this? Here's the deal. I'm ordering all of the parts to put in the car, and I want anyone's opinion on this. Should I go ahead and order a transmission? Or should it be ok, and risk putting it all back together with the new parts. I want to avoid redoing it as I don't have a lot of time away from work. The logical thing would obviosly be transmission but if I could save for rims and tires that would be nice. Also if I go the transmission route should it be new or used...I can source a used one with 60k miles on it for 700$, and I know MazdaMart sells *new* transmissions for 2000$. By new I'm assuming rebuilt with 0 miles. Anyone's input on anything I've posted would be awesome! Thanks guys
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:17 PM
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Anyone comment on what they would do, I'm ordering it all tomorrow morning so I need to know by then. Just anyone please comment...say whatever you want, I just need some comments on this dammit.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:46 PM
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It sounds like your master and/or slave cylinder were bad, or you had air in your clutch hydraulics. That inch or two of free travel is indicative of this. So your clutch wasn't fully disengaging.

The fact that it happened more when warm, and you had issues getting into reverse, also confirm this.

You may have been OK with new clutch hydraulics I think.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:36 AM
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Well I made a 500$ offer on the used transmission. If the seller doesn't accept that, then I am going to just to throw all the new stuff in there and see what will happen. My next day off from work isn't until more than a week from now so it might be awhile until I get around to it. But I will try to work every night on it.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by theblinkof View Post
Well I made a 500$ offer on the used transmission. If the seller doesn't accept that, then I am going to just to throw all the new stuff in there and see what will happen. My next day off from work isn't until more than a week from now so it might be awhile until I get around to it. But I will try to work every night on it.

While it's not a guarantee, a transmission with 60k on it is very likely to be on its way out as well. From what I've read here, even transmissions with 30k are a risk.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:19 PM
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Well I bought it, and yeah that's kinda what I read, reading around here. But hey, I guess if the old one isn't bad, when the "new" one blows, I'll shoe horn the old one in there In spring, depending on how it feels, if I don't think it can make the season then a s2's gonna be bought
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:46 PM
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I don't know what it would cost, but if it were me i'd throw new synchros in the transmission your bought while you have the whole thing out of the car. Looks like the parts would run a little over $300, and perhaps it could be a DIY? I don't know though, never rebuilt a transmission (not on a car at least).

That way you'd have the peace of mind and could just really take care of the new trans.
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Old 10-16-2015, 07:27 AM
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Given the choice between a used Series 1 gearbox with 60k on the clock for $500 or a brand new Series 2 gearbox for $2000 (via MazdaSpeed Motorsports Development), I'd beg/borrow/steal $1500 for the S2.

I installed a S2 gearbox in my '05 (all of the parts cost ~$2100 shipped to Chicago) and it's been awesome. Absolutely zero regrets and will last much longer.

To qualify for MazdaSpeed membership, you just have to submit results for two races in the last year. Attend two autocross events and submit your times. Then you'll get OEM parts at a steep discount.

If you're interested, here are the part numbers:
P611-17-492 - Bushing $5.31
P610-17-510D - Shift lever $138.56
N3R1-10-901 - End plate $10.42
P6Y1-03-000 - Transmission $1750

To complete the swap, I cut the reverse and neutral pigtails off the S1 gearbox and attached them to the S2 wires. You can test which one is which with a simple multimeter than can test resistance or continuity (which any $10 radioshack unit can).

Last edited by NotAPreppie; 10-16-2015 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
To qualify for MazdaSpeed membership, you just have to submit results for two races in the last year. Attend two autocross events and submit your times. Then you'll get OEM parts at a steep discount.
Note that it doesn't even have to be a race. HPDE events also count as of this year. Where it asks for "race results" just add a receipt for the HPDE.

MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development

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Old 10-16-2015, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
Given the choice between a used Series 1 gearbox with 60k on the clock for $500 or a brand new Series 2 gearbox for $2000 (via MazdaSpeed Motorsports Development), I'd beg/borrow/steal $1500 for the S2.

I installed a S2 gearbox in my '05 (all of the parts cost ~$2100 shipped to Chicago) and it's been awesome. Absolutely zero regrets and will last much longer.

To qualify for MazdaSpeed membership, you just have to submit results for two races in the last year. Attend two autocross events and submit your times. Then you'll get OEM parts at a steep discount.

If you're interested, here are the part numbers:
P611-17-492 - Bushing $5.31
P610-17-510D - Shift lever $138.56
N3R1-10-901 - End plate $10.42
P6Y1-03-000 - Transmission $1750

To complete the swap, I cut the reverse and neutral pigtails off the S1 gearbox and attached them to the S2 wires. You can test which one is which with a simple multimeter than can test resistance or continuity (which any $10 radioshack unit can).
Awesome program. Can't believe I didn't know about this.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rotarywanker View Post
Awesome program. Can't believe I didn't know about this.
It's a great deal.

Seriously, EVERY RX-8 owner that have a vague idea of what a wrench is should attend two "racing" events every year just for the parts discount.
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Old 10-17-2015, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by theblinkof View Post
Yep, I am going to get the Exedy Oem clutch. Im thinking fidanza flywheel also..I will have to look into what the best LTWT flywheel is. And new bearings. Clutch pedal assembly I will replace too, may be suspect. And SS clutch lines. Now as far as the transmission is concerned, no test (apart from splitting it open) can decide if its working or not? turning input shaft in gear? Or do syncro's not work like that. Sorry my ignorance is showing
Please please do yourself a favor and do not get the exedy oem clutch. It sucks. It's so spongy, I hate it. I'm just waiting for it to go out so I can get a new one. Just to show you how much I hate this clutch, I haven't posted in like, over a year and I logged in just to tell you this. Everyone who's driven my car hates the clutch. Don't. Waste. Your. Money. Lol
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:38 AM
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a puck clutch should never go into one of these cars... the transmission is not very kind to that sort of rapid activation abuse.

Originally Posted by detectiveorange View Post
Please please do yourself a favor and do not get the exedy oem clutch. It sucks. It's so spongy, I hate it. I'm just waiting for it to go out so I can get a new one. Just to show you how much I hate this clutch, I haven't posted in like, over a year and I logged in just to tell you this. Everyone who's driven my car hates the clutch. Don't. Waste. Your. Money. Lol
there is nothing wrong with the stock clutch, it engages just fine. if yours is spongy then there is something wrong with your car, perhaps the flywheel was machined and the step not added or you just got a faulty pressure plate which happens.

the engagement is fine, the only real reason one might reconsider the Exedy is that they tend to explode sometimes.. but then again i just pulled a cheap clutch from a car that also kinda spit all the friction material from the plates as well.

Last edited by Karack; 10-18-2015 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Karack View Post
a puck clutch should never go into one of these cars... the transmission is not very kind to that sort of rapid activation abuse.



there is nothing wrong with the stock clutch, it engages just fine. if yours is spongy then there is something wrong with your car, perhaps the flywheel was machined and the step not added or you just got a faulty pressure plate which happens.

the engagement is fine, the only real reason one might reconsider the Exedy is that they tend to explode sometimes.. but then again i just pulled a cheap clutch from a car that also kinda spit all the friction material from the plates as well.
There's nothing wrong, I thought there was when I first got it but I looked it up and the exedy oem clutch is like that, they said they made it that way for daily driving. It engages just fine. It hits you in the back when you dump it, you just can't feel it in the pedal. They feel EXACTLY like the stock clutches that Audis come with if you know what that feels like.
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