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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I must preface this post by stating that I know nothing about cars so if this is a no brainer then I apologize in advance. It might be why I couldn't find any info in the forums.

Run down: 2002 SMT with 130,000 miles. SMT was replaced at 85,000 miles

1) Three weeks ago the car started feeling/sounding like it was a go cart. Jerky and has that windy go cart sound. Although it sounds and feels fun, I know it’s not right.

2) Two weeks ago I started the car in the morning, went to go and the car shuddered before going. Next day, same thing but a bit harder. Almost as if it were a manual and I was letting out the clutch to go but almost stalled it. It will also happen at the first two stop signs before I get on the highway. If I gently ease into going I can avoid the sputter. After the car is warmed up on the road everything is fine (still does it if I warm the car up before leaving).

3) This weekend I started hearing a noise from the right side of the engine (this noise could have been going on a bit longer than this weekend as its been 100+ out so the windows are always rolled up). It is a gurgling noise that sounds kinda like a diesel engine. I did find some additional information on this stating that the VVTi engines have a problem with the VVTi Actuator rattling and that it's possible to fix the noise by cleaning the OCV Screen. In that post it also speaks of the Timing Chain and Intake Cam Timing. I point this out because I believe those two things could also correlate to the "go cart" issue. (but again, i really have no idea what I'm talking about). Here is the link to the post. It’s in the middle of the 5th paragraph... http://spyderchat.com/forums/showthread.php?28540-How-to-diagnose-engine-compartment-rattles


Again, I am going to be taking this in in the next day or so. From past experience I know that going into a mechanic with a bit of knowledge on the car issue and guiding them towards the right way is the way to go about it. Most of these guys don't know their way around the car so hopefully I can at least cut down on labor costs. Thanks for any help any of you can provide!!!!!!!
 

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The shuddering on take off could be clutch engagement is off. Unfortunately that doesn't explain why it only happens before warming up. Any way, you can try the "clutch re-learn" procedure. It might help and it won't hurt.

"The procedure is as follows:
1. Warm up your car, until coolant temp guage is horizontal
2. On a straight stretch of road, put car into 1st and start moving
3. At an appropriate point, shift directly from 1st into 3rd
4. On 3rd, rev engine to over 3000rpm, then lift off throttle. Let car coast and rpm drop (without applying brakes) to below 3000rpm and downshift into 2nd. Again, let car coast in 2nd until rpm below 2000rpm.
5. Apply brake and stop car.
Repeat steps 1 through 5 three times." Author: Doufink
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The shuddering on take off could be clutch engagement is off. Unfortunately that doesn't explain why it only happens before warming up. Any way, you can try the "clutch re-learn" procedure. It might help and it won't hurt.

"The procedure is as follows:
1. Warm up your car, until coolant temp guage is horizontal
2. On a straight stretch of road, put car into 1st and start moving
3. At an appropriate point, shift directly from 1st into 3rd
4. On 3rd, rev engine to over 3000rpm, then lift off throttle. Let car coast and rpm drop (without applying brakes) to below 3000rpm and downshift into 2nd. Again, let car coast in 2nd until rpm below 2000rpm.
5. Apply brake and stop car.
Repeat steps 1 through 5 three times." Author: Doufink

Wait, I have an SMT, unless I have totally missed something after 5 years of owning the car, I'm pretty sure I can't skip from 1st to 3rd gear....
 

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Wait, I have an SMT, unless I have totally missed something after 5 years of owning the car, I'm pretty sure I can't skip from 1st to 3rd gear....
Perhaps he meant to do a double shift...also prior to this one must reset the SMT ECU

However, the only method that worked for me was bringing the Toyota official Relearn procedure to Toyota and having them plug into the computer to force the mode to relearn-mode. Fixed all my shudder-starts, creep (when foot off the brake), and grinding.

http://spyderchat.com/forums/showthread.php?47997-Smt-relearn&highlight=SMT

There are many threads for the relearn procedure... Many opinions. My opinion (from the above experience) seems to be different from others.
 

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Although my first thought was clutch related the last two sentences on #2 + #3 raised my eyebrow to precats. 130k miles seems to be a long time to go with precats intact before troubles but you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for the advice. It goes to Toyota in the morning for the relearn then off to the collision center/mechanic for body work, paint job, new top, flushes, struts along with other little stuff. Hopefully I will have a "brand new" "go-kart" back in a few weeks for another 5+ years of glorious driving.
 
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