Purplesmart

Tranny issues

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Transmission has shaky acceleration from standstill, smoothes out once I reach about 10km/h. Also has rough downshifts on deceleration, and yesterday I had an issue where the car would not engage in gear after startup, I put it in drive and there were a ton of clicking from the clutch actuator and the car started to creep in reverse despite being put in drive. Haven't had that issue other than the one time however. Car has 129,000kms on it. From what I've read on this site and others, it seems that it is a common issue to have a hole wear through the clutch fork. I moved the actuator rod a bit by hand and it feels as though there may be a hole forming, would've taken the actuator off to look today but left a 3/8 ratchet extension at home so was unable to get to the bolts. Going to investigate tomorrow as I can't work on the car at home (strata owned building and strict on rules) and the metal fab shop I work at closes at 5pm on weekends, but I'm almost certain there's a hole developing on the shift fork. Knowing it's only a bandaid fix, I have machined up a part for the end of the push rod using a brass 1/4 inch flare cap, rounded it off to an outer diameter variance of 13.81-13.92mm (basically removed the hex pattern for the wrench) and inner diameter bored out to a variance of 10.03-10.07mm. Question I've got is, what grease should I apply to the end of the rod end that contacts the fork upon reinstallation? I've got some all purpose grease as well as high heat ceramic brake grease at home, leaning toward the ceramic stuff, but looking for input. I was going to use either JB weld or 2ton 2 part epoxy to attach this cap to the pushrod on the actuator, thoughts? Also, what other items regarding the clutch system as a whole should I look and and try to diagnose? Rpm sensor? Wires all appear fine and intact, connections seem clean and not corroded. Not looking to get the fork replaced yet as I've got turbo/EGR issues to be diagnosed by a mechanic (going to hold star automotive in Chilliwack on Friday for that issue), hoping to get this transmission issue dealt with for the short term until I get other stuff sorted. Video is of the part I machined up today, should work fine right? 

 

 

Edited by Purplesmart
Additional information (current mileage on the car)

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any ep grease should be fine..personally id go with whatever thick stuff i had on hand

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id even put grease on the inside and just slide it on the rod..there should always be a bit of tension anyways.and it looks like it will slide on enough to keep itself just fine ...i dont think gluing will help anything

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Awesome. Thanks for the input, immensely appreciated. Sounds like I'll go and pick up some EP grease tomorrow and use the proper stuff rather than what I've got on hand. Had only asked about how to secure it as I had seen a couple guys on the following thread mention they used fast drying silicon... 

 

I do realize it's meant to be under tension against the fork at all times, but have a fear of the cap somehow coming loose or popping off, I realize it shouldn't, but just not very familiar with the clutch setup so I'm more than likely thinking an unrealistic worst case scenario.

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I'd glue it on, personally just to take any chance of it coming loose or possibly vibrating if it could. It shouldn't as LLN says but you never know and my luck it would and drive me nuts!  I'd also service the actuator as well working in a machine shop you have the skills easily to open and close the case well. Do it and clean it as new then install good water proof lube.  I'd use high pressure water proof lube on the end of that brass piece also, but to each their own.  
Your EGR, inter cooler issues are well defined here. Inter cooler will/may have the lower front 1/8" of the tubes rubbed through. Buy new or repair using JB-Weld yes it can be done and is CHEAP compared to an inter cooler rad. Then cut off the plastic shroud that is rubbing by 1/4" along bottom and re-install.  The EGR, remove it and buy a Stickman007 emulator...end of that issue. You can either gut the EGR or install new pipe in it's place depending upon any future inspections in your province and run emulator along side of stock EGR. Hidden out of sight. 
Take the time before spending on a STAR visit if you have to pay for the fun of seeing what is wrong.....just my bent nickle's worth and welcome to the site......plenty of help here for these CDI smarts!

 

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I think I've got the tranny all sorted. 

 

For the clutch fork, it appears I did not have a hole in it, however there was pretty heavy wear and a deep indentation so I think I caught it before it got really bad. Still put the the brass cap I made on the actuator rod to keep from further wear and damage happening to the fork.

20201025_122637.jpg

 

As for the actuator rod, I did get the cap on as stated, but it was such a tight fit I didn't end up using any sort of sealant, I actually had to hammer it on with a mallet, tried removing by had and it just wouldn't budge, so I feel really confident that the rod cap won't be going anywhere, I'll inspect after getting some mileage on the car and see how it's holding.20201025_122514.jpg

 

For the actuator housing itself I cleaned out the housing using a ton of brake cleaner, I never did disassemble the housing, I just sprayed anywhere I could reach, used about half a can of brake cleaner, and let it dry. Once dry, I followed Kane's advice on evilution and applied a very liberal dose of white lithium grease, shook it around to coat all the mechanical components, sprayed more, shook it around again, sprayed once more, then emptied any excess. 

 

I then reassembled the pin to the actuator, applied some silicon ceramic caliper grease to the end of the actuator rod as well as to the dimple in the fork (it's all I had, figured it should work well enough if it's meant for caliper pads), reassembled everything and tightened the housing down while holding it at a ballpark guess of 37 ft-lb or 50N as per the Sachs installation guide found here... https://www.scribd.com/document/319895546/SACHS-Actuator-Installation

 

After all that, I turned the key to position one, shifted through the gears to ensure everything was operating proper and smooth as well as to work the grease further into the mechanical assembly of the actuator housing, started the car up and went for a drive. Drove the car hard to see how it would handle heavier load and it did so without issue. It preformed AMAZING! Better than the car has ever driven, downshifts were smooth, can't believe the difference it made. Thanks for the input everyone here put in on this thread, as well any previous threads regarding this issue. I think I have the transmission issue resolved, but we shall see in time.

 

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Incorrect preload.  Suggest you read Sachs procedure again. 

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1 hour ago, tolsen said:

Incorrect preload.  Suggest you read Sachs procedure again. 

You're correct, read it over again and I had it way too tight. I've readjusted, thanks for pointing that out

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Got another issue that I was hoping the previous repair would help eliminate or at least have it not be so bad. Car shakes at speeds of about 5-10km/h, like, really rattles. What could be the primary cause of this? Bad clutch components (broken clutch springs I've heard are a regular issue)? Suspension related? Bad rear endlinks or rear anti-roll bushings? Wheel bearings? I've replaced all motor mounts, rear crossmember arms, and rear shocks so far. In the vid, the noise sounds like engine knocking but in person it sounds like body panels rattling against eachother or something? I know for a fact the engine has no knock. I can see the wheels shudder when slowly accelerating (rush hour traffic conditions), leading me to believe it must be some bad bushing or linkage, but just uncertain.

 

 

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I should add that the car shifts and drives fine once past around 10km/h, it's only the low speed and slow acceleration that is really bad, otherwise I notice no slip or anything pertaining to a bad clutch under normal driving condition 

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Engine mounts are notoriously fragile.  Check those.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Been having some difficulty with the car this past couple weeks regarding the transmission. Car currently displays the yellow triangle, check engine came on and stated p0702. I have gone through and checked all wiring regarding the transmission, it all looks good (no corrosion/cracks/etc. Checked the abs diagnostics with the scanner I got, and it states that esp/abs passed with no fault, restraint systems passed no fault, but what does have a fault is central electronics, SAM unit control. I have checked all connections to the SAM unit and everything is dry, no corrosion. Could this be due to a faulty actuator and the electronics of the actuator tripping the SAM unit triggering the fault code or something mechanical dieing? Last time I cleaned the actuator, I did see a small chunk of metal, so I know it's in bad shape. Now I'm currently stuck 30 mins from home, and car keeps bringing up the yellow triangle. Other than the actuator, what else could be wrong? 20201104_175007.jpg

Edited by Purplesmart

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Posted (edited) · Report post

After sitting in a gas station parking lot in surrey for 5 hours, trying to figure out what was wrong, I think I may have found the issue (still concerned about that SAM code though). Had a buddy pick up a used actuator from a guy in Chilliwack for me, and as soon as it arrived I got right to work getting that thing bolted in and was able to car drive home with no issues, though we'll see if anything pops up soon. Decided when I got home to take apart the actuator I had in the car, and was pretty surprised at what I found...

 

Upon first opening the actuator, I found a ton of water in the gear assembly, the amount in the photo was less than a 1/4 of what I initially found. The grease was brown, despite being white lithium grease I initially put in there. Goes to show how crappy those seals are at the actuator rod and how crucial it is to throw a couple pipe clamps on them to keep crap out, I will be doing this asap (just need to pick up a couple clamps to do so). Then, out of curiosity, I decided to pull the electrical motor housing apart. There was a ton of condensation in there, enough that there were beads of water in the housing. This had evidently been going on for a long time as there was an immense amount of corrosion as well, so much so that it actually hardened over time and has been happening long enough for rust to develop in the electrical housing as well! Seems the seal of the motor had definitely not held up after 14 years! 

 

With the new-to-me actuator in, car is shifting much smoother, doesn't shudder nearly as much at low rpms (rush hour traffic scenario), and I'm just really hoping this is what the issue was all along. 

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Edited by Purplesmart

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That clutch actuator needs a good proper clean. 

Main reason for ingress of water is corrosion build up on areas where rubber boot seals against rod and housing.  Clean these areas down to bare metal and apply silicone grease when reassembling and make sure mineral grease does not wet rubber which will cause boot to swell.  Do also apply silicone grease to area where motor seals against housing.

Take care not not to over grease as grease may contaminate motor brush gear.  i now use marine lithium spray grease when lubing these actuators.  Much better than crap white grease.

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i would say you have found the problem.  at least the clutch actuator is simple to swap out.     (mabey they made it that way,  knowing there would be problems with the design).   

i have had the same problem with one of my actuators.  

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I always say it, if you have the ability always take things apart to the state where you can clean it back to a like new state.  IF you do not have the skills or ability then do the best you can do without damaging the unit you're working on. I take all actuators completely apart and make like new. The hardest part is getting the cover back on as securely as it was when new.  Maintenance is the biggest thing we as modern age humans or owners seem to NEVER do....we simply think everything will maintain it'self!   When was the last time you saw a product with a grease nipple  or a way to lubricate it to make it last longer....????  We live in a throw a way society, we are too lazy to do the work and are willing to allow manufacturers to keep building things in this fashion.  Good for them, bad for our pocket book or wallets.

 

 

Great to hear you have found your problem and finally on the road to success.   Now keep going, go after the next possible area that may leave you again sitting in the next parking lot for 5 hours......augh!   This is why my good car is still apart waiting for me to keep restoring it so to speak to a like new state.  I can't allow myself to put it back on the road knowing it's not perfect yet.....well that is unless the beater goes for a turd......
Good luck.....keep it up.....can't let the corrosion win.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Got some issues with the transmission popping up again, thought I was done with it but the car is telling me otherwise... I'm thinking it's electrical based but I just don't know. I've visually checked the wiring to the sensors, it all looks good. I checked the box next to the battery, the electrical board looks brand new and appears to be in great condition. I opened up the SAM unit today to check the electrical board and checked all connections, that board looks brand new as well, no corrosion or signs of burnt out connections, however on my code reader under the abs section I'm getting faults on the SAM unit (which prompted me to open it up and inspect it). 

 

Is it possible that there is a faulty relay within the SAM unit that could be malfunctioning? If so, are they relatively easily replaceable or are they soldered in? Are there any other transmission related relays I can check throughout the car? Could the actuator just need a re-teach? Could it be the TCM under the seat? It was quite damp under there and I dried out the foam/carpet last night, though did not remove that unit to inspect the internals. Only as of yesterday did the problems really ramp up. About 75% of the time I can start the car, put it in gear and go, and the car drives perfectly fine. The other 25% of the time, I start the car, put it in gear, and there's the popping/clicking of the actuator as if it can't find position. No ABS light comes on, no check engine light comes on, no nothing. I found the fault on the SAM unit via code reader by running diagnostic checks on relays, which tells me the faults it found. 

 

There is one other electrical related issue I've found, though I don't know if it could be the root of the issues I'm having. When I put load on the electrical such as pressing window up when the window is already up, the dash lights get really dim, and the engine bogs down a bit (see attached video, you can also hear the engine bog down). Activating signal lights do similar, though not to such an extent, but very noticeable even in daylight. Could this be the sign of a failing alternator, therefore the SAM unit isn't getting the power it needs to function properly? I've checked voltage of battery before startup (12.5V) as well as while idling for 5 minutes (about 14.0V-14.1V). One thing to note regarding the battery, it is not the stock battery, it is a bit of a larger unit. Stock battery was dead when the previous owner had the car and he replaced it with another battery he had on hand. 

 

The only other mechanical thing I could think of is the reluctor rings. There are no cracks, but there is a shallow groove on both driver and passenger side rings worn into the outer perimeter of the ring and they have a fair bit of surface rust built up on them (images below). I have ordered new rings and am waiting on them to come in, more so for preventative maintenance, but I can't see that being the cause for the transmission doing what it is on startup before moving the car. 

 

20201108_185050.jpg20201108_185028.jpg

Any advice is greatly appreciated, I will be booking the car into the shop at Hood Star automotive (would love to get it into Eddy's shop but unable to contact him for weeks now, his shop is 5 minutes up the road from me) for a more thorough look at the electrical as they've got a star machine, but hoping to try and figure it out while I wait for my my appointment. Thanks!

 

Edited by Purplesmart

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Hmmmm.....many questions.....
OK..
Yes there are a few relays within the SAM but from what i have seen and heard they rarely go bad.  Yes soldered in and difficult to remove from what I have read. There are usually only two locations where you'll get damage on the SAM's flexable board. IF you catch it early you will stop the typical fried pins and tracks resulting in a major repair or new SAM.  There is a row of 10 or so pins well documented that will get cold solder joints ( very hard to see even when using magnifying glasses cracks or rings around each actual pin in the solder) this is from those pins being heated and cooled and the solder happened to get hot enough to semi melt but not fully and then solidifying but as it did so breaking the connection between the pin and the board. This results in arching between the two and you then get the fried connection. IF you want to do it right, do all the relay mods we suggest to stop this overloading of these pins. It will save you money down the road both from a tow charge and the repairing of the SAM etc.

You will also find more of these cold solder joints on a few individual pins if you look hard enough for them. Now where or not they are car damaged or poorly manufactured I do not know but I have found a few on one of my SAMs.....it takes a long time searching for them. But worth it when you find one and repair it. To repair a cold solder joint you must remove the old solder and reapply new solder. Yes you can simply reheat the old back up but you risk the chance it won't melt well and stick to the pin correctly as it should. You need a soldering iron capable of high heat not the old style versions without a setable dial. They are cheap from AMAZON. You also need to get the old solder off what is called solder wicking braided wire. You simply place this under the soldering tip and watch it wick all the solder off the pin. Then simply resolder as if it were a new joint making sure it's clean etc. After repairing the area I use clear nail polish to seal the area from moisture.

My carpets are normally soaked all winter and spring and my beater leaks like a siv!!!  I haven't seen any corrosion on that box under the driver's seat yet. I have opened the connection and applied dialectric grease mind you.

You say there is a new battery, did you remove that white connection behind the battery yet or has it been done already? If not do it. 

The actuator will work if you simply fit it with a firm pressure against the clutch fork and won't normally require a re-teach. But I always re teach mine when I remove it.

I would redo those rings also just because I hate rust and if something is relying upon a signal and it's covered in rust it may not get the best signal. But I have seen far worse.

AS for the windows, I haven't had this yet but have read that some do have issues. They say the shut off location for the glass gets out of whack and requires simply readjusting. Evilution I think is where I read that years ago.

Hmmmm.....I'm not sure what a shop can do for you that doesn't use a STAR system to help you solve your issues, personally speaking I would seek out only someone who has a STAR system as so not to spend more time trying to solve a possibly tricky issue in the dark possibly.....just my opinion...sorry.

 

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Huge thanks Willys for pointing me to the little white plug, never even knew about it until you had mentioned it here this morning. Plugs are corroded to hell. Will delete the plug and hardwire it all together when I get home. What exactly is this plug for? 

 

I'll also take a closer look at the SAM unit when I get home if I happen to continue having issues with it. I opened up the unit in a parking lot so wasn't able to give a super close look at it, didn't notice any crack Solder but as you stated it can be very hard to notice. 

 

Thank you so much for the input, it's immensely appreciated. 

 

20201109_105145.jpg20201109_105123.jpg

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Hope this is your problem.....fingers crossed.

Glad to help.

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4 hours ago, Purplesmart said:

Huge thanks Willys for pointing me to the little white plug, never even knew about it until you had mentioned it here this morning. Plugs are corroded to hell. Will delete the plug and hardwire it all together when I get home. What exactly is this plug for? 

 

I'll also take a closer look at the SAM unit when I get home if I happen to continue having issues with it. I opened up the unit in a parking lot so wasn't able to give a super close look at it, didn't notice any crack Solder but as you stated it can be very hard to notice. 

 

Thank you so much for the input, it's immensely appreciated. 

 

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..

 

is that the one in front of the battery?

 

if it is i know some of the wires are for the filter lights and door ajar lights on the dash....i had to solder mine after the car kept thinking the door was open 

 

also side note i have a foxwell 630 too ...but it says elite instead of plus (i dont know the difference) ...i really like it 

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17 hours ago, LooseLugNuts said:

..

 

is that the one in front of the battery?

 

if it is i know some of the wires are for the filter lights and door ajar lights on the dash....i had to solder mine after the car kept thinking the door was open 

 

also side note i have a foxwell 630 too ...but it says elite instead of plus (i dont know the difference) ...i really like it 

 

Yeah, it was the little white plug in the front of the battery inside the battery well. When I took it apart even further to see how bad it really was I could definitely see some burning on the connections and surrounding plastic from it arcing due to corrosion, good thing I caught it when I did. Good to know about what some of the functions it controls, wasn't having any issues pertaining to those but maybe it was causing issues for the SAM unit itself. Hopefully it is the issue that was causing the electrical faults I was having, so far so good, but its been less than 24 hours since the repair and I gotta give it a week or so to see if it really did resolve the issue. 

 

And yeah, the foxwell unit is great! Only downfall I have with it is that when I go to the abs diagnostics section, and go through the options to locate my car model, it only give the 450 up to the year 2005 so I can't select my actual model of smart. but overall it's a great little unit, done well for me pertaining to OBD2 stuff. Not sure what the difference is between elite and plus models, but it works for what I need it to do.

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they may have updates...update files are free on foxwell site 

 

maybe the abs changed that year though....i didnt have the foxwell back when i had the smarts ...back then i used the delphi 150e for smarts and it would communicate just fine with the abs module on the 05 coupe but i couldnt ever communicate with abs module on the 2005 cabrio

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