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Noise from the torque converter/flywheel area

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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:04 pm   
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I have heard a metal to metal knocking noise on my 99 'bring for about a month. It is intermittent and hard to pinpoint. I thought I had a bad idler pulley or A/C idler bearing. I removed the belts and started the car; the noise was still there, and having the car on ramps, I crawled underneath while it was running to see what I could hear.

And then I messed myself. :cry:

It seems the noise is coming from the area of the torque converter/flywheel. It almost sounds like a bolt is working its way out of the flywheel and, at idle & in neutral or park, or while allowing the car to coast in gear, it is knocking against the torque converter. That's about the way I can describe it best. Rev the engine; noise goes away. Once driving above 10 mph, the noise disappears, and the car drives normally.

One other note; I am waiting on my local dealer to get some EGR tube gaskets for me; I have a intake leak which is causing a miss at low RPM's. While this is certainly not helpful, I do not think that the two items are related.

I am a fairly-mechanically minded guy; I do basically all of my own maintenance & repair, but this worrys me.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:18 am   
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Jalensi,

While it is a worry, it's not quite a huge worry. Search for posts about the flex plate that is used to couple the engine to the transmission. From what I recall, the noise is extreme, but the solution is not too bad.

http://www.sebringclub.net/board/viewtopic.php?t=5710&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=flex


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 Profile YIM  
 PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:28 am   
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I had the EXACT same problem a while ago. Everyone I talked to thought it was something different 'knocking', but I took it to a shop and using a garden hose as a stethoscope they decided it was in the flywheel area. I had to have the torque converter replaced because it was bad, and the flywheel was cracked so that was replaced too. It sounded exactly like you describe.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:20 am   
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Thanks for the information. I am now going to have to find a trustworthy shop (as my wife informed me that I an NOT going to try to pull the tranny out of the 'bring, and I completely agreed with her!). What do you think, a transmission shop, or a major repair shop, which would be the better choice? I live in SE Kansas, and tranny shops are few.

Thanks, Bandaide for pointing me to BBelloff's post.

Jared


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 PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 11:41 am   
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Update:

Upon putting the bring on a lift to check out the noise, we discovered that we had 2, yes 2, broken engine mounts. We bought the replacements, and after removing both the upper & lower radiator mount, we were able to remove the crossmember that the motor mount bushings are pressed into. Fixed that, and hoped that the noise would go away. You guessed it, no such luck.
I just yesterday finally was able to fix the EGR intake leak.... The dodge dealership had trouble getting the gaskets, and then the bolts were stripped out where the EGR tube bolts to the plenum. I had a machine shop do helicoil replacement threads on the plenum, and it worked beautifully.

So, I had spoken with our dealrship's service manager, and he gave me some ideas on how to check the flexplate - Pull the inspection plate by the starter, remove the torque converter bolts, and push it back slightly... Then try to see if the flex plate is loose on the crank, if it rotates with a wobble, see if we could push on it and cause it to pop loose. No luck - it is solid as a rock. So, after fixing the EGR inatke leak, it will be headed back to the dealership to see if they agree that it is the flexplate, or what they think.

My wife and I have been without the 'bring for the past 2 weeks, but it has rained nonstop, so it's not too bad, yet. ( I think we've recieved 6 inches of rain the past week..... we're not floating yet!)

Eventually we'll get this knocking fixed!


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 PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:47 am   
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So, took the 'bring to the dealer yesterday. Had a couple of guys look at it. They think that the noise is more pronounced in the front of the engine, and the sound is somehow being transmitted to the rear of the engine. Ok, then! The service manager told me that on the 3.0 Mitsubishi engine (the 2.5 bigger brother) that the camshaft sprocket bolt had an uncanny tendency to back out; causing the sprocket to shimmy at low speed, but smooth out at higher engine speeds, until it came off :!: They told me to check that, and also the water pump.

So, back to the shop I went. I pulled the front right timing belt cover off first, as it is easy. Camshaft sprocket on tight. But then, I noticed that the belt was arched a little much between the camshaft sprocket and the water pump pulley. I reached out and grabbed it. :o Suddenly, I felt very luck to not be pulling the engine. The belt was soo loose, that I could pull on it almost half an inch, rotate the water pump, and I could almost pull it off of the camshaft sprocket.

It seems that the tensioner assembly has failed.
So, timing belt replacement, here we come!!!! :D


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 PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 8:18 am   
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hmm, if you are going to replace the timing belt, replace the waterpump as well. it is highly recommended by dozens of folks on this site to do them both. why? apparently if you do one, and not the other, the other fails very soon after.

by the way, where are you doing all of this? do you have a lift at home? if so i'm jealous :D


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 PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 4:25 pm   
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you may also want to check this page out.......

http://t.vago.home.att.net/resources/engine.html#aluminum


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 PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 6:36 pm   
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Mark....

I am very lucky.. A good friend has a Bend-Pak lift that he allows me to use, in his darn-near fully equipped shop. All I have to do is help clean the shop, and the occasional odd-job.

Loadtoad... Does the information in the link apply to the 1st gen 2.5L? I did not see if the oil pressure is what causes the tensioner to keep pressure, but that is an interesting idea. I recently switched to Mobil1 synthetic, but the problem was occurring before, I just wasn't sure what it was. Thanks for the heads-up.


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 PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:35 pm   
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jalensi wrote:
Mark....

I am very lucky.. A good friend has a Bend-Pak lift that he allows me to use, in his darn-near fully equipped shop. All I have to do is help clean the shop, and the occasional odd-job.

Loadtoad... Does the information in the link apply to the 1st gen 2.5L? I did not see if the oil pressure is what causes the tensioner to keep pressure, but that is an interesting idea. I recently switched to Mobil1 synthetic, but the problem was occurring before, I just wasn't sure what it was. Thanks for the heads-up.



t.vago can give you a better answer than I can. thats his page and hardwork....


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 PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:57 am   
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Determined tonight that the noise is from the crankshaft bearings. Loadtoad: Information that you posted was helpful, now I have to see the extent of the damage, and what I need to do next.

Sad now....... :cry:

Still working on it, though. Will keep you informed.


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 PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 1:56 am   
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iametarq wrote:
hmm, if you are going to replace the timing belt, replace the waterpump as well. it is highly recommended by dozens of folks on this site to do them both. why? apparently if you do one, and not the other, the other fails very soon after.


Iametarq,

The rest of the reason is more labor $$$ savings than failure rate. The amount of time and effort to get to the timing belt is significant and water pumps are a wear item just like the belt. Usually you will get more life from the water pump than a belt but when that pump is allowed to fail, it will take the belt with it. So after spending all that money on changing the belt, you have a good chance of spending all of it again plus the water pump if you don't go ahead and replace it. Isn't preventive maintenance wonderful! :lol:


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 Profile YIM  
 PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 12:51 am   
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Ok. After a day of sad thoughts, I think that I am going back to where this all started. I have yet to completely rule out the flexplate/flywheel. The dealer service manager had given me some tips on checking it that didn't pan out, but hey, if I have to pull the transmission anyways (if I were going to pull the engine) :!: I might as well go ahead and tear it off too. That way I can have an empty engine compartment. You know, with only the engine left in it! I've got all the gear off the front of the engine (the front of the crank) down to the timing belt & stuff (which, by the way, looks fantastic, even the idler & tensioner pulleys & bearings look new...)

After pulling the timing covers, The timing belt tensioner was indeed compressed, and the slack in the belt was between the camshaft sprockets. I determined to rotate the engine to #1 TDC, and as soon as I rotate the engine 1/8 turn (clockwise, of course!), the timing tensioner re-extended, taking slack from the cam sprockets and putting it where it should be. :? Confused, I re-installed the plenum (took it off to remove those two pesky :x power steering pump bracket bolts) and started it up. Everything in the timing world is just-rite & proper. No shimmy, shake, belt-slap, nothing. Noise still there, definitely coming from the crank, or something attached to it :D (which leads me back to the darn flexplate). I did take note of the sprocket alignments at #1 TDC, and all arrows point where they are supposed to. SO, for now, timing fine, but who knows what else???? I thought about running an oil pressure check (with a mechanical guage connected to the sending unit port). If it is excessively low, then I prob do have some lower-end woes. If fine, pull tranny & inspect the flexplate.


My wife always tells me I do all the hard sh*t first. :roll: Someday, I'll learn to listen... Although I think that I've tried to take the easy road first, I keep thinking that something is going to bite me you-know-where. :lol:


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 PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 1:16 am   
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jalensi wrote:
After pulling the timing covers, The timing belt tensioner was indeed compressed, and the slack in the belt was between the camshaft sprockets. I determined to rotate the engine to #1 TDC, and as soon as I rotate the engine 1/8 turn (clockwise, of course!), the timing tensioner re-extended, taking slack from the cam sprockets and putting it where it should be. :? Confused


Me too! Or uninformed since I haven't had the greater pleasure of tearing my engine down yet. Only my other experiences and ya'lls descriptions. But, my confusion is.....

Since you have the belt rather than a chain, was the tensioner spring loaded? or hydraulically tensioned? My other experiences have left me with the impression that since the belt doesn't require lubrication like a chain, it is normal to use a spring tensioner to eliminate the opportunity for an oil leak to open air.

If it is a spring tensioner then it should have constant tension on it even with the engine stopped. Having it compressed (meaning little or no tension on the belt) makes me think the spring is bent or broken and should be replaced. That would make your noises a symptom of the spring.

I have no experience with a hydraulic tensioner so I don't know if it should be compressed (retracted or untensioned) with the engine off.

If you have the opportunity, I'd suggest a trip to the parts store that has the tensioner in stock so you compare it to your existing.


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 Profile YIM  
 PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 1:21 am   
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Mine DID turn out to be a bad trans, but not the flexplate as originally thought. We never did isolate the cause of the noise but there was a pile of metal in my pan when the trans was pulled and so it was completely gone through. No more noise now, $2600 later. :-/


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