View Full Version : Wedge TR8 squeal?

12-21-2009, 10:39 AM
Seems I've been battling some odd noises with my TR8.

Occasionally at start up I get a loud squeal which seems to come from the engine bay. The squeal goes away when the engine warms to operating temp. As I continue the hunt for the squeal I seem to have noticed that it is sometimes connected to my pushing in the clutch and may be coming from the transmission.

So I guess what I'm wondering is, are transmissions/clutches capable of making these loud squeal noises (sounds like a very loud slipping belt). My car has 21,000 miles on it and the noises started a few thousand miles ago.

12-21-2009, 10:52 AM
Larry, Get under the car, I say that figuratively, and have someone do all the things you say causes it and listen. If it was from the trans would it sound like it's from the front?

Mickey Richaud
12-21-2009, 10:55 AM
If not a belt, I can only imagine that it would be the throwout bearing. Is there a way you can get a stethoscope on the tranny housing while it's doing its thing? You may be able to locate it that way.

12-21-2009, 11:38 AM
So I was thinking that possibly it was the throwout bearing. Is it typical for the bearing to make this kind of noise? Solution?

Mickey Richaud
12-21-2009, 11:42 AM
Only solution I know is to replace the bearing.

12-21-2009, 12:00 PM
Might it just be a slipping fan belt that doesn't slip once it warms up? It is getting a bit nippy up there about now...

12-21-2009, 07:33 PM
I've done some reach on my noise and although my question may sound dumb... I've got to ask. Is there any way to get some oil/grease on to throwout bearing without dropping the transmission (inspection hole?)?

12-21-2009, 07:38 PM
The throwout bearing is a sealed unit on the TR7/8s. You will have to do the dirty deed of pulling the transmission. Its 3 hours of fun (if your that lucky!) on your back with 5 minutes of changing the bearing. I have had them squeal before or make a noise when in nuetral and the clutch is release like a dry bearing sound. Looks like you might want to have a clutch kit ready if your going to go that far. You know the deal as soon as you replace the throwout bearing the clutch will go bad.....then check the shifter bushings, transmission mount, etc. Just be prepared!

12-21-2009, 10:56 PM
Michael - any tricks to pulling the transmission?

12-22-2009, 07:48 PM
If it is stock you will need to pull the exhaust down pipes with the catalytic converters and possible middle mufflers 1/2", 13mm, 9/16" or 14mm bolts/nuts or if you have headers remove both sides and possible the middle mufflers. Then undo the shifter 10mm bolt (pull shift boot, knob, rubber boot, shifter retaining cup bolt and then pry the two tension arms over the shifter tabs on each side and remove the shifter (BE CAREFUL TO NOT LOSE THE PLASTIC TAB AND SPRING INSIDE THE SHIFTER), speedo cable 10mm bolt, clutch slave two 13mm or 1/2" bolt, two bolts on the windage tray (oil pan) to bottom of bell housing 11/16" or 17mm bolts, dust shield on the bell housing 10mm bolts(no need to remove), unplug the transmission wiring harness, drive shaft 11/16" or 17mm bolts, then losen the engine mounts (2 bolts at each side) on the subframe so it can be lowered and not stress the rubber on the mount 11/16" or 17mm bolts/nuts. Using a jack support the transmission and put a thin piece of wood about 1" between the oil pan and the subframe so you do not crush the power steering pump metal hoses. Remove the bell housing bolts 9/16" or 14mm bolts with the exception of a few down towards the bottom of the engine. You have to remove the one that has the clutch slave hose bracket or you will destroy the rubber hose that is on the drivers side. Then remove the 4 nuts, 13mm or 1/2" for the transmission cross member. Lower the back end of the transmission down until the wood is wedged (Get it wedged.....) between the subframe and oil pan. Make sure you watch the back of the engine to not crush anything and also any wires on the front that might not have much length to them which may need to be unplugged. Then you support the transmission with a rolling floor jack and remove the last two bell housing bolts and the lower the transmission down. You can wiggle the transmission or get something to split the mating surface of the engine and bell housing. It can be tuff with the steel dowels. Once off of the engine you can either leave it under or drag it our to look things over. This is the time to do transmission fluid, shift bushings, transmission mount, and grease up all the clutch actuation parts (pivot bolt, slide blocks and inside of the throwbearing/main input shaft. The throw out bearing can be removed by using a vice and a socket and tap the sleve out and then tap the sleeve onto the new bearing. Inspect the clutch and well at the same time you might want to rebuild the slave and master cylinders if you have not.

12-23-2009, 09:29 AM
Oh man, I'm tired just reading the steps....

Mickey Richaud
12-23-2009, 09:36 AM
After you've done it four or five times... piece of cake! :wink:

Actually, the biggest pain will involve the exhaust. The rest is pretty rote. Be sure to take notes/pictures as you go. And take care of all the "might-as-wells" while you're at it.


12-23-2009, 09:57 AM
And take care of all the "might-as-wells" while you're at it.

That is why I am tired.... I'd end up doing a full rebuild. LOL.

Fortunately for Larry he has got a fantastic car, so his might-as-wells are much more limited....

12-23-2009, 12:00 PM
"And take care of all the "might-as-wells" while you're at it."

This is the part that stops me in my tracks. Did I mention that my transmission has that nice second gear clunk when its cold? Woody sells rebuild transmissions and can lighten the fly wheel and now I'm close to $2000 after a cluch kit bushings, etc.. I'm also concerned about try to take apart an exhaust which hasn't been removed since the car was new. My question... how bad is this noise really?

12-23-2009, 06:04 PM
Well if the throwout bearing siezes then your looking at short time for it to wear through the clutch cover fingers and then from there you have a huge mess! It will also put some more heat into the clutch cover. At that point its, clutch kit, possible flywheel machining if you dont get pieces in the clutch/disc that eat into the flywheel.The 2nd gear clunk have you changed to fluid to the synthetic/sychro GM type fluid? Here is the other item if you get the transmission rebuilt from Woody and if you have a 1981 is the taller 5th gear so more time for the original gearbox to get rebuilt. I dont think he has any of the 1981 boxes laying around.

Do you need a clutch? I have a stock TR8 cover and disc sitting on the shelf.

The exhaust is three bolte for the down pipe to manifold that can break off which at that point you will need to remove it and drill/tap for new studs. The rest should come apart with some ease.

12-23-2009, 07:06 PM
My exhaust come right off. Well maybe not quite right off. One of the studs came with it.

12-23-2009, 07:14 PM
The exhaust is a 50-50 gamble of coming off with no issues or snapping the studs off......plenty of lube!

12-23-2009, 07:23 PM
None of mine snapped. Just came out

12-23-2009, 08:14 PM
Ok, I'm just curious, as I know nothing about TR8s. On the TR6, the throwout bearing is lightly loaded into the pressure plate fingers all the time, and the bearing is expected to spin. The factory bearings were special free-turning bearings.

Sometimes the bearing gets just a little stiff, or a new bearing is a little stiff (apparently there was a whole batch of bearings that had too much lubricant inside, making them stiff), or people substitute a different bearing that doesn't spin as freely. This causes the bearing to slide against the TOB fingers, which can lead to a loud squalling noise very similar to a slipping belt (but louder).

Any chance that is what is going on here?

If so, the "band-aid" solution may be as simple as adding an external spring to the clutch linkage. The famous "Gunst bearing kit" for the TR6 actually comes with the spring.

If the bearing is slipping against the PP fingers, it is fairly serious. Eventually it will wear the fingers until they break, which will first cause erratic clutch operation and then total clutch failure. Here's a shot of one that is well on it's way to failure.