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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm back again with another problem and I would like to see if anyone has any ideas what it might be. I recently replaced the clutch on this car (when I bought it, it wouldn't go into gear at all or move.) I was told it just needed a new clutch. Ok, did that. Then I realized I needed new Shift cables as well...Ok, did that. I finally got the car up and running...Although I had to push start it because it wouldn't start with a jump. So, the car is running and I drive it around for about 15 seconds...Stop at a stop sign. Go into first again, and right as the car was about to start accelerating, something felt like it kind of popped and the car wouldn't move. I could hear like a grinding noise that seemed to only make a noise when I put the car into gear and tried to go. Luckily I was right in front of my driveway...I let the car sit for a second as I'm trying to put it back into gear with no luck and still hear the noise...Wait about 2-3 minutes and surprisingly the car somewhat got power to the wheels again and started rolling, I got the car about halfway up my driveway then it gave out again. Now, when the car is just idling I don't hear any noise, but when I put it into gear and let go of the clutch...It almost sounds like something is spinning and kind of grinding (similar to if you stripped out teeth on something and it was just grinding as it spins) The car still doesn't move, it just makes that sound. Any clue what could be the problem? The fact that something is spinning is telling me the car goes into gear, but just can't transfer the power. My first thought was the tranny is just toast. Maybe a CV Axle snapped? Maybe the transaxle is done?
 

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@pRoJeKT19
Bummer
I would pull it apart and check the clutch. The tranmission is essentially the same as the transaxle (both are together) and if you are going to keep the car it will have to be separated from the motor anyhow.
Anything you are describing will be obvious it it involves the clutch. If the clutch looks fine (installed correctly and not damaged) then it is the trans (-mission or -axle).
The only thing I could think for the grinding is if the cable mechanism is not adjusted correctly there could be grinding when shifting into gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does it happen with all the gears including reverse?
I can't say for sure if I tried reverse or not, I'm pretty sure I did. But I believe it is all gears. Unfortunately I can't test it out as the starter got damaged as well now so the car is just lifeless in my garage again.

@pRoJeKT19
Bummer
I would pull it apart and check the clutch. The tranmission is essentially the same as the transaxle (both are together) and if you are going to keep the car it will have to be separated from the motor anyhow.
Anything you are describing will be obvious it it involves the clutch. If the clutch looks fine (installed correctly and not damaged) then it is the trans (-mission or -axle).
The only thing I could think for the grinding is if the cable mechanism is not adjusted correctly there could be grinding when shifting into gear.
The grinding is constant while it's in gear and only starts once the clutch is released, it's not as I'm shifting or anything like that. It basically sounds like stuff is turning and wanting to go but the power just isn't being transferred to the wheels. I'm pretty confident it's the transaxle that blew up which like you said is basically just the transmission. I have the car jacked up, and when it's in gear and I spin a tire, the other tire also spins (opposite direction) which I believe means the axles themselves are fine...I'm not super familiar with the internals of a transmission, though. I suppose it could also have something to do with the clutch, but it seems like the clutch is doing it's part because the grinding noise only starts when it's in gear and clutch is released. So the clutch is engaging something, but whatever that something is isn't doing what it's supposed to. I'm not even sure "grinding" is the right word to describe the sound. It's more of a deep "vroo vroo vroo vroo" type sound. Like the same sound you'd hear if you were to strip the head of a screw and continue spinning over it with a power drill.
 

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Classic "i thought i put my CV axles all the way into their sockets, but i didnt really".
Hah, wouldn't that be something...
I did have a hell of a time getting mine in. That C-ring was just slightly bent and it absolutely would not go in.
I had to take it out and reshape it with a hammer on a deep socket the the same diameter as the inner C-ring groove.

I will be replacing the other side with a new clip when I replace the boots this spring.
 

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On the DSM's, we left the strut undone and used the whole assembly as a big ass slide hammer to knock the trans side in. Never failed after that. You can tell when it goes in too lol. My ex roommate didn't do it and got stuck pulling out of the driveway for this same reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Classic "i thought i put my CV axles all the way into their sockets, but i didnt really".
The car is currently jacked up, and when I have it in gear and spin a tire, the other one also spins. Would that mean that the axles are ok? Or could one still not be all the way in? My initial thought was maybe an axle snapped or something along those lines, and that was the "spinning" noise I heard..But thought that since the wheels are spinning together, that eliminated that idea. It definitely felt like something "popped" out or snapped when I first experienced the loss of power. Also, oddly enough, when I spin the wheels by hand now that it's jacked up I don't hear that noise. It seems to only happen when the car is turned on
 

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Lift only one wheel (or lock the other one if both are lifted) and:
  • Spin the wheel with the car in neutral. If there is noise most likely the issue is in the gear box.
  • Put the car in gear, ask someone to press the clutch and spin the wheel. Get under the car and try to identify if the noise is coming from the clutch area. If you cannot spin the wheel, clutch has issues.
  • With the car in 1st gear or reverse and the clutch released (not pressed), try to spin the wheel. It should not turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lift only one wheel (or lock the other one if both are lifted) and:
  • Spin the wheel with the car in neutral. If there is noise most likely the issue is in the gear box. - There was no noise when I spun the wheel in neutral.
  • Put the car in gear, ask someone to press the clutch and spin the wheel. Get under the car and try to identify if the noise is coming from the clutch area. If you cannot spin the wheel, clutch has issues. - I was able to spin the wheel with the clutch pressed in, but again...No noise was made.
  • With the car in 1st gear or reverse and the clutch released (not pressed), try to spin the wheel. It should not turn. -The wheel did not spin when the clutch was released. I will say, when it originally happened and the car wouldn't move, after sitting for a period of time I actually was able to get the car to move again and made it halfway up my driveway before losing the power to the wheels again. When I lose power, I can put the car in gear and let go of the clutch. The car does not die out, but I start hearing a spinning type noise as if something is engaged, but not able to transfer the power. At least, that is what is sounds like.
I replied to each of the steps in the quote.

I think is what I'll try, is to somehow get the car started and jack it up...Then release the clutch and allow whatever to spin to spin and try to pinpoint the issue like that. For whatever reason the noise hasn't been there while the car is off.
 

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So the good news is that your gearbox seems to be ok.
Since you replaced the shift cables, is it possible that you did not adjust them properly and the gear(s) are popping out when you engage the clutch?
 

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I have to echo the feedback from DrFeelGood. Given what you are saying about the nature of the noise and your starter troubles, I think you likely messed something up in the clutch install. Maybe a missed shim or something. It sounds to me like the clutch never fully disengages. My spidey sense says that the throwout bearing is not installed correctly. Did the tranny go back in without much trouble?

Do you smell anything when it won't move?
 

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It is entirely possible you assembled the clutch disc backwards and it's grinding on the pressure plate.. this will also put enough load on the flywheel that could be why your starter didn't have enough power to crank the engine...
OR
Your shift cable is not adjusted properly.. since you where able to push start the car but not able to actually drive it for more than a few feet suggests that your transmission is not fully in gear (the way the gears are cut, it will hold if the load is on one side of the gear but will slip out when you put the load in the other direction.. when you push started it, the load came from the wheels and when you tried to drive it, the load came from the transmission)..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I really appreciate all of the replies guys, thanks a bunch. I'll try to answer everyone with as much detail I can give. I'll wait to see if any new light comes from the replies I just gave but I am leaning towards just taking it all back apart again and trying to do this over...Maybe as I'm disassembling everything I'll run into the issue. I think before I do that, I'll try to get the car started one more time, jack it up and see if I can pin point where the sound is coming from.

So the good news is that your gearbox seems to be ok.
Since you replaced the shift cables, is it possible that you did not adjust them properly and the gear(s) are popping out when you engage the clutch?
I guess this could be possible, although I've driven stick for the majority of my life and I'm familiar with the sound of a gear popping out or grinding, and it's doesn't really sound like that. The sound I hear when it won't move just sounds like something is spinning, maybe with teeth or whatever, but just barely not grabbing. So it's making kind of a rubbing noise. I'm starting to think I'm just retarded and didn't install the clutch properly.

I have to echo the feedback from DrFeelGood. Given what you are saying about the nature of the noise and your starter troubles, I think you likely messed something up in the clutch install. Maybe a missed shim or something. It sounds to me like the clutch never fully disengages. My spidey sense says that the throwout bearing is not installed correctly. Did the tranny go back in without much trouble?

Do you smell anything when it won't move?
I'm starting to think something along these lines might be the case. I did smell something, like a burn type smell. Wasn't very strong, but it's also not surprising considering something is spinning and rubbing against something else without grabbing like it's supposed to (at least that's how it sounds) I will say, the car drove relatively normal for about 45 seconds. I actually jump started it rolling down my drive way in reverse...Probably a very stupid idea but it wouldn't start and I have to use a winch to pull it back up my driveway. I didn't want to get it all the way to the street just for it to not start or move again. I have a steep driveway. Anyway, the car drove normal. I shift into 1st, car goes...I shift into 2nd and car is still driving fine. I drive around my cul de sac, start driving back down the street up until I hit the stop sign which is right in front of my house, put the car back into first and try to go then bam. It felt like it was about to start moving, and then it didn't and started making that odd rubbing/spinning noise. Weird thing is, it did this for a few minutes as I kept going in first, letting go of the clutch to observe the sound...And eventually I actually did end up getting the car to move a little again about halfway up my driveway and then it lost power again....So whatever it is, I feel like it has the ability to kind of fall back into place. I think it might actually be in place again right now after being pulled back up the driveway since the car seems to stay in gear when jacked up and the tires won't move. I think I'm just gonna have to drop the tranny again and retrace my steps. Also, the tranny did go in without much trouble. I mean, I was doing this by myself so it was kind of a pain in the ass...But overall, I think it went relatively well. I got it pressed all the way against the motor and all the bolts went back in without much hassle.


It is entirely possible you assembled the clutch disc backwards and it's grinding on the pressure plate.. this will also put enough load on the flywheel that could be why your starter didn't have enough power to crank the engine...
OR
Your shift cable is not adjusted properly.. since you where able to push start the car but not able to actually drive it for more than a few feet suggests that your transmission is not fully in gear (the way the gears are cut, it will hold if the load is on one side of the gear but will slip out when you put the load in the other direction.. when you push started it, the load came from the wheels and when you tried to drive it, the load came from the transmission)..
I am pretty certain the clutch disc was put in the right way. I double checked online a few times to makes sure I didn't put it in backwards, then again...I guess I won't know for sure until I take it back apart which is looking likely. Also, to your second theory the car did drive in first and second without any issues, I made it all the way down my street, into the cul de sac, then came back down and stopped at the stop sign. It's at this point the car stopped moving. After letting the car idle and a few more attempts at listening to the sound it was making...I did get the car to move a little again about halfway up my driveway. So I think whatever it is, it's sort of popping in and out of place. Or has the ability to.
 

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Someone else recently had similar issues and then found that he forgot to tighten the pressure plate.
 

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Also, to your second theory the car did drive in first and second without any issues, I made it all the way down my street, into the cul de sac, then came back down and stopped at the stop sign. It's at this point the car stopped moving. After letting the car idle and a few more attempts at listening to the sound it was making...I did get the car to move a little again about halfway up my driveway. So I think whatever it is, it's sort of popping in and out of place. Or has the ability to.
It doesnt take long to test the loose axle theory which fits ALL your scenarios. Im almost willing to bet $20 thats your issue. Hell you can visually check to see if the boots are smooshed more than usual.
A backwards clutch either wont disengage, or will engage, it wont pop out. Same thing with a TOB, you wouldnt be able to shift at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Someone else recently had similar issues and then found that he forgot to tighten the pressure plate.
I made sure to torque my flywheel down to the recommended specs. I even had my buddy help me with that, We marked each bolt we tightened as we did it in a star pattern. So, I don't think that's the issue. I forget, but I think it was something like 50-60 pounds. Maybe even more.

It doesnt take long to test the loose axle theory which fits ALL your scenarios. Im almost willing to bet $20 thats your issue. Hell you can visually check to see if the boots are smooshed more than usual.
A backwards clutch either wont disengage, or will engage, it wont pop out. Same thing with a TOB, you wouldnt be able to shift at all.
I'm hoping that's the case. That was my initial thought, too. I have more free time than usual with this pandemic deal going on, so hopefully I'll be able to figure out what's up by the weekend. Luckily I've had another car to be driving while I'm lollygagging with this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for the long delay on an update, I finally got the car starting up without having to push start it...The car is currently running perfectly fine. Whatever the issue was, it hasn't happened again. I'm not driving it very far (just taking it for spins around the neighborhood.) So, whatever it was it "popped" back into place as I was pulling the car up my driveway with the winch. The only work I did on the car was put a new starter on there, and recharged the battery. Neither of which would have had anything to do with the original issue of not moving. As soon as it happens again (Because I'm sure it will) I'll try to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and update this thread. I'll also try to get a video of it happening. In the meantime, I guess we just keep our fingers crossed hoping it either never happens again, or does happen close to my house 😄
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
So, last night I finally decided to not baby it as I drove and sure enough, I got on it a little in 1st gear and it happened again (right in front of my house too (y).) This time I did crawl on the ground with the E-brake pulled to see what was going on while it was in gear (didn't want it to pop back in and run me over) and the driver side CV axle was just spinning. I'm gonna take it apart today and see where it failed, but from the looks of it, something failed inside the rubber boot that's on the wheel side. I'm not familiar with the internals of the axles but everything was spinning up until that point, which is why the car itself wasn't moving but I would hear a weird sound while it was in gear. Unfortunately it was dark so I didn't bother getting a video, but I am pretty relieved that's all it was. Maybe I'll take a video and post pictures of it when I have it out today just to give you all an idea of what sound I was hearing and hopefully somewhere down the line it will help someone else out. I really appreciate all the help and ideas I got on this post. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I damaged it while removing it. I had a helluva time getting that bad boy out when I did the original clutch job and was yanking on it pretty ferociously. Hopefully this time around it comes out a little more smoothly lol.
 
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