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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so the Spyder was making noise that sounded like it was coming from the transaxle (5 sp). I brought it to a shop a buddy recommended and they confirmed it was the transmission. I don't work on transmissions so I asked for a quote. It was $2000. I didn't want a used transmission so after a little research I wound up paying $2600 for a new 6 speed manual with LSD from Monkey Wrench Racing. Usually I do all my own work, but I just didn't have the time or inclination to do it, so I drove it to the transmission shop. They were going to swap it for $550. So $3000 total. How much do these cars cost now? That used transmission idea is starting to look better. Anyway, he says he'll have it back in a week. What? I wanted to pick it up the same day. I figured if I devoted a three day weekend to it, I might be able to get it done. So I actually started working on it at night after work on a Wednesday.

Side story: while I was under the car, I noticed that the rear quarter panel seemed to be bent just in front of the rear wheel. This was annoying because I just had the car painted like 6 months before and neither my wife nor I could figure out how it happened. It wasn't that noticable from a standing position, so I figured I would keep driving it until someone else hit it (the thing seems to be a magnet).

By Sunday I'm doing pretty well, but when I got to installing the lightened flywheel (more money) I'm following the torque spec and the bolts for the pressure plate strip the aluminum out. I send the flywheel back to Fidanza with the instructions that called out the torque spec. They covered the repair cost and at least return shipping because I was following what was probably old instructions, but it takes like a week and a half to get it back. Then I went on vacation. I spend another weekend putting everything back together. So after having the car unusable for about a month I finally get it all together. It was a small fortune, but I can't wait to see what the 6 speed is like. I start the car and it won't go into gear. Any gear. With the car off, it will go into every gear. So I figured it was clutchy. I bled the system, even though I didn't open it. No air came out. I watched as my wife stepped on the clutch. The fork moves. Enough? I don't know. I don't know how to know.

I called Monkey Wrench. They assured me that the transmission is a drop in replacement and that I should use a stock clutch. He mentioned that sometimes people will hang the transmission on the clutch during install and warp it. I know I wasn't supposed to, but when you wrestle with a 100 lb transmission for about an hour, you can get pretty fatigued. I knew I had done this and figured, he was right and I messed up the clutch. (Next time I'll get a transmission jack or weld up something). At this point I was done. I didn't have the time or energy to mess with it anymore. I drove it down to the transmission shop. If I started the car with it in gear, I could shift into the other gears normally. When I stopped, I had to shut off the engine, put it in 1st, restart the engine. Toward the end of the trip, I was able to push it into 1st as long as I was still moving a little bit.

Now the guy has had it for days and can't figure out what the problem is. He measured runout on the clutch and said I didn't mess it up. He asked for the old clutch and pressure plate to measure against. Today he asked me to bring the old transmission so he could take measurements on that too. When I dropped it off, I noticed one of his guys had put the lift on the body of the car in front of the rear wheel and it was crushing the body panel. That explains where that came from. He's going to take care of that, but this is getting really annoying. I need my car back and it would be really nice if it actually went into gear.

So if you're still with me after all of that, any idea what the problem is? Other than owning a bad luck car?

Please let me know if you've had a similar problem and what resolved it. Thanks and sorry for the long post.
 

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Input shaft from the trans could be binding on the guide on the crankshaft. It's a pretty tight fit. Is the clutch centered properly using a guide? Is there oil in the trans? Just looking for the obvious. Throwout bearing defective?

There are jack points about six inches in front of the rear wheels. Look for a buckle above the wheel arch as well. That happens when the bottom of the fender gets crushed.
 

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I start the car and it won't go into gear. Any gear. With the car off, it will go into every gear. So I figured it was clutchy. I bled the system, even though I didn't open it. No air came out. I watched as my wife stepped on the clutch. The fork moves. Enough? I don't know. I don't know how to know.

I called Monkey Wrench. They assured me that the transmission is a drop in replacement and that I should use a stock clutch. He mentioned that sometimes people will hang the transmission on the clutch during install and warp it. ... the guy has had it for days and can't figure out what the problem is. He measured runout on the clutch and said I didn't mess it up. He asked for the old clutch and pressure plate to measure against. Today he asked me to bring the old transmission so he could take measurements on that too.
If the car won't go into gear while stationary, but will shift fine underway - your clutch disc is not disengaging fully. If the clutch disc is spinning, the synchro's can't make the gears match speeds. I would not recommend cramming it into 1st gear or you'll quickly trash the first gear synchros. You can try leaving the shifter IN GEAR when you come to a stop (with the clutch depressed). This will force the clutch disc to quit spinning at a stop light. Then quickly shift into first.
Need to find out why the clutch disc won't fully release. Does anyone know if a pressure plate can be "bad" and won't retract far enough with normal clutch stroke?

I don't agree that failing to use a clutch centering tool will affect anything. The first time you shift gears, the clutch disc will be freed to find it's own center. If you got the input shaft to go through the clutch disc (without bending anything) then the clutch disc center will not cause a problem.
 

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cyclehead;848721I said:
don't agree that failing to use a clutch centering tool will affect anything..

+1^^^

Could be the Splines draging.. Did you check them..

ALSO.. SOME (and I do not know why) People end up using a Longer Clutch Push rod.. I'd have to sit in the Car and Feel the Clutch to see if a Longer Push rod would help your situation..

Cap
 

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Had the same symptoms with an MGB, ended up being the clip for the throwout bearing slipped off and pushed the bearing between the fork and clutch. Are you sure you attached the throwout bearing to the fork correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the replies.

AGSpyder, can you elaborate on the other possible bent body parts? It sounds like you were referring to something higher up, but I didn't quite understand it.

cyclehead +2 on the alignment tool. I never understood the whole thing. Because there is no pilot bearing, the alignment tool is useless. What I do is put the clutch up against the flywheel and get a measurement of the difference in diameter (of the steel part of the flywheel in this case) and the outside diameter of the clutch. Then when I install the pressure plate, I look in the openings around the edge and make sure that the clutch is positioned with the same measurement all the way around. I think I spent about an hour doing this, because if you tighten the pressure plate a little bit too much, you can't adjust the clutch plate. Too loose and the clutch plate falls down. I think centering is most crucial for people who just barely get the transmission in place and start tightening bolts to draw the transaxle to the engine. In that case the shaft may be misaligned and crush the clutch. In my case, I gently (gently as anyone can be with a 100 lb transmission) push the transmission in until I feel it slip into the clutch. I then push the transmission until the dowel pins are partially in their holes. THEN I start drawing them together with the bolts.

There was brand new royal purple in the transmission. I have no idea of the shaft is binding on the crank. I do put a tiny bit of grease on the crank, so I might see a mark there, but I did not look for that at the transmission shop and of course, I didn't pull the transmission the second time.

I also didn't cram the car into 1st when I came to a stop. I just pushed it toward 1st lightly until it went in easily. Plus it was one short drive to the shop. I think it will be fine.

I fully agree that the clutch is dragging, the question is why. At this point, I have talked to the trans shop and I will be replacing the pressure plate and throwout bearing (both came with the Exedy/Fidanza kit) with new Toyota parts, even though measurements didn't show any difference.
 

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If you look at the fender at the highest point above the tire there may be a dimple looking dent. As to the rest of it all seems correct. I used an alignment tool because I had one and it worked well. That was also on a 64 Corvette, 85 CRX and 69 Charger. The Charger was bound on the crank but once I got it into gear and revved it slightly with the clutch pedal depressed it spun free and was fine evermore. I also agree with your finesse versus force method.

Let us know what you find. I love a good mystery.
 

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You state you installed the Fidanza flywheel, by chance did you also install the Fidanza clutch? What you describe is exactly what happened to me after installing both on my last Spyder. Problem was with the disc center coming loose due to poor assembly and/or design. The rivets started coming loose. This allowed the disc to wobble and not disengage completely. One ACT HD pressure plate and SS disc and all problems went away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I bought a package deal that came with an Exedy clutch. I had one my Corolla that drove only a couple thousand miles and there is one in my wife's car as we speak. No problems there, except that they are way, way too soft. If you sit in traffic a lot, I guess that's good and I hate a really hard clutch pedal where one leg looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but apparently you can go too far in the wrong direction. The transmission guy said he saw some marks on the pressure plate that were, I can't remember how he phrased it, off center or something. Unfortunately, he didn't finish it today so we're all still in suspense. Hopefully the Toyota parts will solve the problem.

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the new Toyota clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing solved the problem! I wonder if I can get my money back from Exedy. That cost me a lot of money, time and aggravation.

On the plus side, I really like having a 6 speed. Now I just have to get used to not putting it in reverse from a stop and not putting it in 6th to back out of a space. I think I'll enjoy the learning curve, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not really sure. I haven't had a chance to compare it to the stock clutch yet. Going by what the transmission shop said, it seems like it may have been a little offset to one side of the shaft or something.
 

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Any drag on the clutch disc will cause it not to completely disengage. The disc can be installed backwards, it can bind on the input shaft or bind on the release bearing assembley. I am sure other problems can occur as well will quality control etc.
 
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