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Old 11-06-2011
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Transmission Grinding

Hey all,

This all started as a simple clutch replacement. The old clutch was FRIED.

So, I thought I had my original problem solved when I'd ripped my drive train apart and put it back together by the book.

Not so much. I have an 02 XTL/FX4 with 88K. Twin stick 5-speed.

Now here's the problem: Occasionally, but more often than not, I'll hear a moderate, continuous grinding noise come from the transmission area. It happens most often if I am trying to simply shift gears. If I double clutch, it will NOT grind 90% of the time. It is also very difficult to shift gears when this grinding does happen.

The grinding can be "felt" through both the gear shifter and and range selector. It doesn't matter if I'm doing 5 or 50, and it doesn't matter if I'm sitting there at idle. If it's in gear, and the clutch pedal is depressed (at idle), it will SOMETIMES grind.

I can also occasionally smell what I think is something burning from the transmission.

I've recently installed a brand new Centerforce clutch kit, using the provided clutch alignment tool, a brand new slave cylinder, torqued everything in there exactly to spec, including the flywheel. I went to have the flywheel machined, but the machinist said it didn't need it so he didn't touch it. The clutch slave cylinder has also been THOROUGHLY bled with brand new brake fluid.. There's NO WAY there is any air in that line.

It has all brand new U-joints, brand spanking new front drive shaftt (which I've POR-15), rear driveshaft has been sandblasted and POR-15. I even went so far as to replace the rear seal on the transfer case. It was leaking a little but I mostly replaced it because I was there anyway and had to remove the flange to the driveshaft (to get a broken bolt out).

Lastly, it worked great for about a week after the repair. The grinding doesn't affect driving at all. It still has plenty of grab and power. I can light up the rear tires effortlessly (which, btw, all 4 rubbers are less than 1500 miles brand spanking new.). It's just very hard to shift when this grinding happens.

Anyway, that's my issue. I MUST have this fixed before mid December so any replies or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Last edited by Decaff2007; 11-06-2011 at 07:01 AM. Reason: Needed to add pertinent info.
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Old 11-06-2011
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the only thing i can think of is that its not fully disengaging the clutch when you shift. you didnt open the tranny so it cant be that. the burning smell is the clutch material. check the gear oil in the trans. im thinking its a much harder clutch for that hydraulic system to move and its requiring more effort to push against that clutch. so what used to be enough hydraulic pressure to move your old oem clutch now is not enough. this is in theory. maybe a fresh master cyl and slave rebuild? i know when i had my 4runner 5 speed when i did the clutch they recommended a new slave for the upgraded clutch.
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Old 11-06-2011
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Slave cylinder rebuild? It's BRAND NEW.

I'll check the tranny fluid and I'm also going to check the jamb nut on the back of the transfer case. There's a chance I may not have tightened it enough.

Other than that, why would the clutch not be fully disengaging?
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Old 11-06-2011
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You speak with too much confidence when you say there is no air in the hydraulic system. The clutch master cylinder points downward, and if air is in it, you can bleed it until the clutch pedal falls off, and if you dont remove the master from the firewall and point it upward, or raise the front of the truck until the master cylinder is level, you will NEVER get all of the air out of them...at the dealer, i would raise the front of the truck with only the two front hoist arms and bleed them
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Old 11-06-2011
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As much as your advice is appreciated and heeded, I don't see how a little air in the clutch master cylinder could be causing grinding in transmission.

Could you elaborate a little on this?

Thanks.

P.S. Is it possible, from replacing the clutch slave cylinder THREE times, that the clutch master cylinder has air in it?
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Old 11-07-2011
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lol your right I didnt read you replaced the slave. In theory (at least mine) if double clutching takes the grinding away mostly (90%) by double clutching your "pumping" creating more hydraulic pressure enough to separate the clutch and shift successfully. that tells me some thing is happening that you have to pump it to create enough pressure in the system so it wont grind. Im sorry but that points to air in the system or the master is bad or not as efficient as a new one. It has been my experience in trouble shooting to make a list of possibilities and start crossing them off the list. the only thing left you didn't replace is the master. The most complicated of issues always have the most simple solutions. try it out get a new master bench bleed it, install and test. Might as well everything else is new. Good luck....
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Old 11-07-2011
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Ok well in that case I have one final question.

If the clutch master cylinder is bad, or has some air in it, can it cause some play in the clutch pedal?

If it can, it may explain everything...
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Old 11-07-2011
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Follow these for the clutch.



The 2nd video is awsome. It shows you how to diagnose the clutch IF it has an issue. Seriously be patient and watch the first 5 minutes.

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Old 11-08-2011
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Ok WOWWW after watching that, I'm 100% convinced that my master cylinder needs to be bled!

Looks like I now know what I'm doing this weekend.

Even if this doesn't stop all the grinding noises, it still needs to be done...
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Old 11-09-2011
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That's a really good video on how to bleed this tempermental hydraulic system. If you want to try a short cut to avoid removal of the components, I've read that some people remove the snap ring on the M/C, back the piston out a bit and let some fluid flow, removing the air in doing so. Let the fluid flow slowly out the top for a few seconds, then slide the piston back in, and don't let the M/C go dry. Only remove the piston enough to let some fluid pass, don't take it out and walk away with it. I haven't personally tried this, some people swear this is a great time saver.

On the grinding, go easy on your tranny until you bleed the clutch hydraulics. This grinding is hard on the syncros in the tranny; if you keep it up you will create a syncro problem which means tranny service. Also, no matter how inviting it may be right now, don't get mad and slam it into gears or abuse it, you risk paying more $ and down time to fix it later. You can damage more than just the syncros.
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Old 11-10-2011
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Well, I understand that.

I need to replace the gasket between the transfer case and the tranny because it's leaking really bad. This could also be the reason for low tranny fluid.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the grinding.....

I'm going to try to get out there today and get the clutch master cylinder bled. Not the best weather but I've done worse repairs in much worse weather.
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