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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone has seen this issue before. I bought an '02 SMT about a month ago and knew it had transmission issues from the start. At first it had some issues shifting into reverse or first gear, but it would go in if I cycled from neutral to reverse a couple of times. It also had a whine that increased in pitch with transmission speed (no issues in neutral, and pitched down when upshifting). I changed the trans fluid hoping it would be an easy fix. It fixed the noise issue at first, but it promptly blew up. Massive clunking and intermittent lockups. I knew the trans was toast, so I ordered a used JDM SMT transmission from Ebay.

I did the swap last weekend, and swapped over all the SMT components from the old transmission. When I got the car back on the ground, I had the same issues as before (clunking and locking up). I'm now thinking the GSA has failed and is not fully engaging the gears.

Has anyone seen this issue before? And if it is a failed GSA, does anyone have a spare I can buy/borrow to diagnose?

Thanks,
Avian
 

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2003 MR2 with the SMT. Front: 205/45/16, Rear 215/40/17. Sport Tuning T9-2 Black Mach Lip Wheels
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NO!!!!! My 2003 with the SMT is making a whine noise. Is this my future?
 

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Got a video showing the problem?
A detailed video with sound showing things like the shift being made with what’s happening on the dash displays, how the clutch fork is moving with “key on”, brake depressed, and when put into gear, what the select/shift shaft does when first, second and reverse are selected.
In addition, time the seconds the pump runs when opening driver’s door. The other thing I would be listening for is how often the pump runs.
It’s difficult to decipher what people are describing sometimes so I thought this approach might be useful and prevent misinterpretation.
As Cyclehead suggested, codes would be great if there is any. If you’re not interested in diagnostics, you could just keep replacing parts and eventually you’ll get it fixed. Most of the problems with the GSA’s are either a sensor or they’re leaking and sometimes the actuator link. It’s way easier to replace a sensor than a GSA.
 

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test
This might be in your future if you never change the smt fluid. I recommend Dot3 (well maybe I shouldn’t recommend it but that’s what I use)@MerryFrankster 😉😁
Typically whine noise increasing with speed is a bad bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't had the chance to use the techstream tool yet (I had cyclehead send me his loaner), but I'll report back after I have some time this weekend. That would be wonderful if it's just a sensor issue! I'll also try to take a video in case it's not. Shouldn't be a clutch issue since I had the same problem pre and post transmission and clutch/flywheel replacement.

Thank you all for your input!
 

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i ask about clutch as ive had an issue with another platform where my release fork was worn out and didnt allow the clutch to release fully and caused the transmission to bind and not allow easy gear changes
and if the gears arent fully unloading then.... gears grind have hard time going into gear
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i ask about clutch as ive had an issue with another platform where my release fork was worn out and didnt allow the clutch to release fully and caused the transmission to bind and not allow easy gear changes
and if the gears arent fully unloading then.... gears grind have hard time going into gear
I made sure it was greased up really well, and I moved it around when I had it out and it felt smooth. Your hypothesis about the clutch not disengaging all the way to allow the transmission to shift fully is interesting and something I can definitely see happening though.
 

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2003 MR2 with the SMT. Front: 205/45/16, Rear 215/40/17. Sport Tuning T9-2 Black Mach Lip Wheels
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The whining sound in my MR2 is coming from the engine according to chief mechanic at the dealership I work at. I guess I should have never named my car "Mr. Money Pit". Time to crack open the engine. Retirement is pushed back for a little longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The whining sound in my MR2 is coming from the engine according to chief mechanic at the dealership I work at. I guess I should have never named my car "Mr. Money Pit". Time to crack open the engine. Retirement is pushed back for a little longer.
Yikes. Does it whine when you rev in neutral?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I checked for fault codes when I got home from work and there aren't any. The SMT light was on before, but had disappeared now. Maybe it cleared after cycling the the key switch a couple of times.

Two things about the HPU:
  • Pump runs for only a couple of seconds (about 5 sec)
  • Pump comes on every 2 minutes with the key in ignition
  • Pump comes on after a few shifts (stopped, engine off, brakes applied)
I did try to put the car into gear after the SMT light turned off, but it's still clunking and binding.

And I also found out that when I roll the car back and forth in neutral, there's a rapid clicking sound from the front of the transmission.
 

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The whining sound in my MR2 is coming from the engine according to chief mechanic at the dealership I work at. I guess I should have never named my car "Mr. Money Pit". Time to crack open the engine. Retirement is pushed back for a little longer.
Check the idler pulley, the metal one especially. Mine was squealing so loud it hurt my ears. Pinpointed it with a stethoscope.
 

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I checked for fault codes when I got home from work and there aren't any. The SMT light was on before, but had disappeared now. Maybe it cleared after cycling the the key switch a couple of times.

Two things about the HPU:
  • Pump runs for only a couple of seconds (about 5 sec)
  • Pump comes on every 2 minutes with the key in ignition
  • Pump comes on after a few shifts (stopped, engine off, brakes applied)
I did try to put the car into gear after the SMT light turned off, but it's still clunking and binding.

And I also found out that when I roll the car back and forth in neutral, there's a rapid clicking sound from the front of the transmission.
How long does the pump run when you first open the door?
What do you mean by binding?
When you say clunking, do you mean when the transmission engages a gear? That could be the clutch wasn’t fully disengaged for whatever reason.
 

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  • That sounds like a bad accumulator. You can easily unscrew it and check it.
That was my first reaction to the to the 5 sec run time (I think we are looking for around 7 to 8 sec normally) but the 2 min part looks reasonable. IIRC, the accumulator is 10 sec on, 10 sec off, repeatedly. I’m thinking the accumulator is probably ok or the pressure sensor may be a little off.
 

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When you rev in neutral with the clutch engaged, the input shaft of the transmission spins at the same rpm as the engine. If you have a bad input shaft bearing, it will whine.

If you rev in neutral then engage the clutch and the whining goes away, this is a pretty strong indication that it is a input shaft bearing, because when you depress the clutch the input shaft stops spinning.

If the whining noise increases with vehicle speed and is not affected by the clutch then it may be an output shaft bearing.

Input shaft and output shaft each have two bearings. That's a lot of bearings that can go bad.

Engines do not make a whining noise. A bad alternator can whine. Remove the acc belt and if the whining stops you will know.

PS. It's always the case with a transmission issue that people grasp at straws and pray for a diagnosis that does not require dropping and disassembling the trans. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
 

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When you rev in neutral with the clutch engaged, the input shaft of the transmission spins at the same rpm as the engine. If you have a bad input shaft bearing, it will whine.

If you rev in neutral then engage the clutch and the whining goes away, this is a pretty strong indication that it is a input shaft bearing, because when you depress the clutch the input shaft stops spinning.

If the whining noise increases with vehicle speed and is not affected by the clutch then it may be an output shaft bearing.

Input shaft and output shaft each have two bearings. That's a lot of bearings that can go bad.

Engines do not make a whining noise. A bad alternator can whine. Remove the acc belt and if the whining stops you will know.

PS. It's always the case with a transmission issue that people grasp at straws and pray for a diagnosis that does not require dropping and disassembling the trans. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
Thank you for the great information. I removed the belt and the whining is still there. I will go through the other steps later. CEL is off now. Bad gas cap.
 
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