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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was pulling into the driveway the other night, for the first time there’s a new noise coming from the 4 speed or clutch, at first I thought it was the pilot bearing. A dispute I had with the machine shop assembly person was over the installation, I thought it was supposed to go in only one way, he said it didn’t matter so I’ve always wondered if it’s in backwards, now I know that there’s stamped printing on the top of the sleeve that faces out but didn’t know that then. The clutch alignment tool was easy to install into the bearing but the transmission was a PITA. I read on another forum that even if it’s installed backwards it shouldn’t matter once the shaft is in that it’s taper is only to help guide the transmission shaft in. Then I read on the internet with the symptoms it’s having that it’s likely the entry bearing in the transmission. Then when I talked with Gil he said that there’s a needle bearing in the transmission only used between 1st, 2nd & 3rd that wears out and could possibly make that sort of noise, he advised me to try using 85w140 transmission lube since I live in a warm climate. I evacuated a quart and replaced it with the heavier lubricant. Still no difference. Overall the transmission does seem quieter but the noise is no quieter. I’d like to think it’s the release bearing since I’ve always had problems with that before, it came and went with no harm done but this has a slightly different sound. So I’m hoping that maybe someone else has a similar noise and it’s a normal wear and tear item such as this needle bearing Gil mentions, he said that the transmission can still run for years like that. Right now I have no idea if it’s transmission or clutch related. When driving in 4th even slowly I cannot hear it but the tire noise on the road is also a bit too loud to hear it anyway. The noise is almost undetected in neutral but sometimes I think I can hear something but it’s very well pronounced in the lower gears. It’s difficult to hear but can anyone identify what it might be?
https://youtu.be/xIeGulr4KIc
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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Can you describe the noise better? Is it a light rattling sound? I can't quite be sure what I am hearing in the video..... is it the light 'locomotive'-like sound? With it disappearing when the clutch is depressed, then the release bearing area is at the top of the list. It could be a as simple as the release bearing now being very slightly in contact with the pressure plate release fingers in normal running and constantly turning.

The pullback spring on the release arm could be gone;l that is easy to visually check for. Or, the clutch adjustment needs to be tweaked just a tad to allow the release arm to pull the bearing off of these fingers. If the clutch release arm was originally adjusted so the release bearing was close to the pressure plate fingers with the clutch pedal at rest, then wear on the clutch disc will naturally cause the pressure plate release fingers to move further and further out, and eventually the gap between these fingers and the release bearing will close up and this adjustment will need to be done. So you could just be experiencing normal wear on the clutch disc.

Assuming you have a 1.9L, this is done at the ball stud adjustment over on the back side passenger side of the bellhousing... it can be hard to reach. If you adjust it, loosen the locknut and turn the adjusting stud a bit CCW, as viewed from the rear. Watch when you loosen/tighten the locknut, as the ball stud may turn with it, so keep track of that. The clutch will release/engage at a slightly lower position, so don't over do this. I'd try 1/2 turn on that stud to start. If you adjust it CCW too much, then the clutch will not fully release, even at full pedal depression, and you will have trouble shifting, etc.
 

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Yes, it does go away
On the pilot bearing, did you use the bushing or the needle bearing. The needle bearing will cross with a Pinto. I have it written down, but I moved all my books down to my shed a while ago. I didn't hear anything in the video. The throwout bearing can make a noise. It seems pushing in the clutch might increase the noise. I'm lost to be honest with you. Jarrell
 

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Can you describe the noise better? Is it a light rattling sound? I can't quite be sure what I am hearing in the video..... is it the light 'locomotive'-like sound? With it disappearing when the clutch is depressed, then the release bearing area is at the top of the list. It could be a as simple as the release bearing now being very slightly in contact with the pressure plate release fingers in normal running and constantly turning.

The pullback spring on the release arm could be gone;l that is easy to visually check for. Or, the clutch adjustment needs to be tweaked just a tad to allow the release arm to pull the bearing off of these fingers. If the clutch release arm was originally adjusted so the release bearing was close to the pressure plate fingers with the clutch pedal at rest, then wear on the clutch disc will naturally cause the pressure plate release fingers to move further and further out, and eventually the gap between these fingers and the release bearing will close up and this adjustment will need to be done. So you could just be experiencing normal wear on the clutch disc.

Assuming you have a 1.9L, this is done at the ball stud adjustment over on the back side passenger side of the bellhousing... it can be hard to reach. If you adjust it, loosen the locknut and turn the adjusting stud a bit CCW, as viewed from the rear. Watch when you loosen/tighten the locknut, as the ball stud may turn with it, so keep track of that. The clutch will release/engage at a slightly lower position, so don't over do this. I'd try 1/2 turn on that stud to start. If you adjust it CCW too much, then the clutch will not fully release, even at full pedal depression, and you will have trouble shifting, etc.
Yep, good place to start.:yup: Jarrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can you describe the noise better? Is it a light rattling sound? I can't quite be sure what I am hearing in the video..... is it the light 'locomotive'-like sound? With it disappearing when the clutch is depressed, then the release bearing area is at the top of the list. It could be a as simple as the release bearing now being very slightly in contact with the pressure plate release fingers in normal running and constantly turning.

The pullback spring on the release arm could be gone;l that is easy to visually check for. Or, the clutch adjustment needs to be tweaked just a tad to allow the release arm to pull the bearing off of these fingers. If the clutch release arm was originally adjusted so the release bearing was close to the pressure plate fingers with the clutch pedal at rest, then wear on the clutch disc will naturally cause the pressure plate release fingers to move further and further out, and eventually the gap between these fingers and the release bearing will close up and this adjustment will need to be done. So you could just be experiencing normal wear on the clutch disc.

Assuming you have a 1.9L, this is done at the ball stud adjustment over on the back side passenger side of the bellhousing... it can be hard to reach. If you adjust it, loosen the locknut and turn the adjusting stud a bit CCW, as viewed from the rear. Watch when you loosen/tighten the locknut, as the ball stud may turn with it, so keep track of that. The clutch will release/engage at a slightly lower position, so don't over do this. I'd try 1/2 turn on that stud to start. If you adjust it CCW too much, then the clutch will not fully release, even at full pedal depression, and you will have trouble shifting, etc.
Yes, that’s a pretty close description of the noise. It’s rhythmic but in an unhealthy way almost like a large loose cable wobbling sound. Definitely at its worst when in low gear, clutch fully released. It seems exasterbated when climbing uphill or decelerating downhill. Your suggestion seems harmless to try. I have a better collection of pictures than I thought. Here’s the clutch arm being measured as it would sit with the return spring in place (yes I did replace it and it’s good) another shot of the pilot bearing, the face of the shell is to distorted from his installation job to see any stamping. Would there be any bad cause and effect if our guy at the machine shop did install it backwards? I believe that I loosened and re tightened the lock nut on the clutch adjuster to avoid a wrestling match with it when I needed future adjustment, it. This new clutch has about 10k miles on it give or take, shifting is very smooth as it’s always been. I’ll be removing the exhaust manifold soon, that could be a good time to give the adjuster a half turn out as you suggest, I’ll give it a look today. One final thought maybe not related, at least once or twice an outing I like to wind the engine in second to 50 mph or so to yellow line and get some undesirable vibrations from underneath towards the rear of the engine only when it’s running out of power, once in a while power is good and it’s smooth I just always thought it was engine related running the larger 2.0 valves through the stove stock exhaust. Only because on smoother revs with more power it went away. Sometimes depending on the density and temperature of the air and engine there’s nothing there after 5500 that’s when it does it’s excessive vibration thing. I’m almost always under 13:1 afr when I hit WOT like that by the way. I didn’t experience that vibration with the 1.9. The only other thing that was different was running the transmission back then on older sludgier lubricant. I haven’t tried it since the new noise. I’m kinda curious so I’ll give it a rev with the thicker tranny lube and see if it’s any quieter that could tell me weather it’s transmission vibrating I’ve been experiencing or not. Let me know if you want any more information and thanks for the suggestion.
 

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As well said, the pilot bushing/bearing sees use just in certain circumstances, and not when you are hearing this noise. I've had them dry as a bone or almost falling apart and had no issues LOL.

The 1/2 turn is just a suggestion.... the real point is to get some slack between the release bearing and the pressure plate fingers.

Crawl under there and see if you can move the clutch arm forward a bit by hand; if it is snug or tight, with little or no forward movement by hand, then it is too tight and that is keeping the release bearing in contact with the PP fingers all the time; it'll be spinning the release bearing and wearing it out, like happens for those users who 'ride the clutch'.

BTW, the measurement you show is good, but realize that parts variations, and variations in the machining of the flywheel step. make that just a starting point and not a 100% guarantee of proper throw-out arm adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As well said, the pilot bushing/bearing sees use just in certain circumstances, and not when you are hearing this noise. I've had them dry as a bone or almost falling apart and had no issues LOL.

The 1/2 turn is just a suggestion.... the real point is to get some slack between the release bearing and the pressure plate fingers.

Crawl under there and see if you can move the clutch arm forward a bit by hand; if it is snug or tight, with little or no forward movement by hand, then it is too tight and that is keeping the release bearing in contact with the PP fingers all the time; it'll be spinning the release bearing and wearing it out, like happens for those users who 'ride the clutch'.

BTW, the measurement you show is good, but realize that parts variations, and variations in the machining of the flywheel step. make that just a starting point and not a 100% guarantee of proper throw-out arm adjustment.
I like where you are going with this, anything that involves not pulling the transmission is a good bargain. I’ll check on the spring tension today and give it an adjustment on the nut when accessible. If nothing is discovered with the spring I’ll see if I can get to the nut with the carburetor and all that happy horse stuff in the way.
 

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That is the easy place to start!

BTW, as far as not being noisy in 4th, that could support the idea from Gil that the needle bearings inside the back end of the trannie's input shaft are worn. The input shaft has a round machined recess in the back end of that part (inside the trannie case), in which the nose of the mainshaft rests; there are a set of needles there to support the main shaft nose inside that recess. The input and main shaft are spinning at different speeds in gears 1, 2 and 3 (and reverse) and the needles are there to allow them to spin at different speeds smoothly. In 4th gear, the front slider locks the mainshaft and input shaft together so they spin at the same exact speed. So the needles are out of the picture in 4th; they can be worn and noisy in all gears but 4th, and will be quiet in 4th.

Being 'not noisy' in neutral would be logical, as there is no loading on the shafts and gears then. These needles are part of what keeps the mainshaft aligned properly, and the gears meshed properly, and if they get bad then those things go out of line. (Similarly the front bearing around the input shaft keeps the input and main shaft gears aligned with the countershaft gears, and it could be worn and not as noisy in 4th as other gears.)

That whole area tends to be pretty solid in these trannies with the stock engines at least. But with miles and wear and unknown maintenance by PO's, who knows. And I would not expect this to show up all of a sudden, unless one of the needles disintegrated. It also can make shifting into 4th gear a bit harder.

Edit to add: And you do have the gasket between the bellhousing and trannie, and that area is clean?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is the easy place to start!

BTW, as far as not being noisy in 4th, that could support the idea from Gil that the needle bearings inside the back end of the trannie's input shaft are worn. The input shaft has a round machined recess in the back end of that part (inside the trannie case), in which the nose of the mainshaft rests; there are a set of needles there to support the main shaft nose inside that recess. The input and main shaft are spinning at different speeds in gears 1, 2 and 3 (and reverse) and the needles are there to allow them to spin at different speeds smoothly. In 4th gear, the front slider locks the mainshaft and input shaft together so they spin at the same exact speed. So the needles are out of the picture in 4th; they can be worn and noisy in all gears but 4th, and will be quiet in 4th.

Being 'not noisy' in neutral would be logical, as there is no loading on the shafts and gears then. These needles are part of what keeps the mainshaft aligned properly, and the gears meshed properly, and if they get bad then those things go out of line. (Similarly the front bearing around the input shaft keeps the input and main shaft gears aligned with the countershaft gears, and it could be worn and not as noisy in 4th as other gears.)

That whole area tends to be pretty solid in these trannies with the stock engines at least. But with miles and wear and unknown maintenance by PO's, who knows. And I would not expect this to show up all of a sudden, unless one of the needles disintegrated. It also can make shifting into 4th gear a bit harder.

Edit to add: And you do have the gasket between the bellhousing and trannie, and that area is clean?
Yes, vigilance was done in installing a new gasket between the bell housing & transmission. I need to back pedal a little. I AM getting noise in neutral, not as loud but definitely the same noise is present. The only time it goes away is by engaging the clutch. The more I listen the more it sounds like the throw out bearing could be rubbing against the fingers of the clutch plate. I think you hit it spot on. The slack on the clutch arm at rest seems good, I get about an inch of spring tensioned free play on the arm before it starts to engage. I do have some minor slop on the nubs that hold the release bearing. I measured them with a micrometer and the they are a little shy of where they should be. I have yet to look at the adjustment screw on the bell housing yet. When I do I’ll start with the 1/2 turn out like you suggested.
 

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If a sound, as you describe, changes when you touch or press the clutch pedal it's almost ALWAYS the throwout bearing.

Some people, myself included, rest their foot on the clutch pedal. This wears out the TB really quick.

Also, a known reason this will manifest itself is because the clutch fork return spring breaks or comes off. Even the most seasoned Opel driver wouldn't notice this spring breaking or coming off.
 
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Yes, vigilance was done in installing a new gasket between the bell housing & transmission. I need to back pedal a little. I AM getting noise in neutral, not as loud but definitely the same noise is present. The only time it goes away is by engaging the clutch. The more I listen the more it sounds like the throw out bearing could be rubbing against the fingers of the clutch plate. I think you hit it spot on. The slack on the clutch arm at rest seems good, I get about an inch of spring tensioned free play on the arm before it starts to engage. I do have some minor slop on the nubs that hold the release bearing. I measured them with a micrometer and the they are a little shy of where they should be. I have yet to look at the adjustment screw on the bell housing yet. When I do I’ll start with the 1/2 turn out like you suggested.
Well that sounds like plenty of free play in the throwout arm. But if the bearing is loose on the arm nubs, then that might do it. A bit of adjustment will at least test the idea out. Don't be afraid to go more than 1/2 turn; you can always go back.

And OK, on the noise in neutral. It is possible that the needles are involved.... the input shaft is spinning and the main shaft is not; the gear sets are not loaded, but the needles are spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On my old clutch/1.9 engine I was guilty all the way of keeping the clutch in at stop lights, my throw out bearing was so noisy that the only way to silence it was by resting my foot a little on the pedal probably what was mentioned earlier a weak return spring. When I took the engine to get rebuilt they found a worn loose thrust bearing. The release bearing was seized when I removed the old clutch but the clutch still worked. You know where all this is headed, I developed some really bad habits over the years. A year ago I installed the new complete OGTS clutch with a new pilot bearing and since stopped some of my bad habits, I don’t ever push the clutch in at stop lights anymore but First Opel brought up something that I wasn’t aware of and I’m still guilty of doing and that’s keeping my foot on the pedal, probably unknowingly taking up the free play on the pedal. There it is now, what I’m learning from you guys is the release bearing while not putting stress on the crank thrust bearing which I’m vigilant about now, is still making contact with the fingers on the clutch plate if I’m getting this right which then has increased the chances of pre mature wear of the new release bearing. To re confirm the noise does go away when the clutch pedal is pushed down. The top culprit now points to the release bearing going south, I’ll need to stop resting my foot on the pedal, the next thing I need to do is to verify one way or another that it is clear from contact with the fingers on the clutch plate when the clutch pedal is not being used, in other words not getting hung up from going to it’s full return position. Correct me if I’m wrong but if I can move the arm between 1/2” to 1 1/4” before it makes contact with the pressure plate that adjustment should be fine right? No need to adjust the screw on the passenger side? If that’s correct then I’ll focus more on weather it’s returning to that spot or getting hung up from fully returning (assuming my foot isn’t on the pedal LOL) and still making contact against the pressure plate. I’ll check the positioning of the arm when I hear the noise next. Thank you again for the valuable input.
 

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On my old clutch/1.9 engine I was guilty all the way of keeping the clutch in at stop lights, my throw out bearing was so noisy that the only way to silence it was by resting my foot a little on the pedal probably what was mentioned earlier a weak return spring. When I took the engine to get rebuilt they found a worn loose thrust bearing. The release bearing was seized when I removed the old clutch but the clutch still worked. You know where all this is headed, I developed some really bad habits over the years. A year ago I installed the new complete OGTS clutch with a new pilot bearing and since stopped some of my bad habits, I don’t ever push the clutch in at stop lights anymore but First Opel brought up something that I wasn’t aware of and I’m still guilty of doing and that’s keeping my foot on the pedal, probably unknowingly taking up the free play on the pedal. There it is now, what I’m learning from you guys is the release bearing while not putting stress on the crank thrust bearing which I’m vigilant about now, is still making contact with the fingers on the clutch plate if I’m getting this right which then has increased the chances of pre mature wear of the new release bearing. To re confirm the noise does go away when the clutch pedal is pushed down. The top culprit now points to the release bearing going south, I’ll need to stop resting my foot on the pedal, the next thing I need to do is to verify one way or another that it is clear from contact with the fingers on the clutch plate when the clutch pedal is not being used, in other words not getting hung up from going to it’s full return position. Correct me if I’m wrong but if I can move the arm between 1/2” to 1 1/4” before it makes contact with the pressure plate that adjustment should be fine right? No need to adjust the screw on the passenger side? If that’s correct then I’ll focus more on weather it’s returning to that spot or getting hung up from fully returning (assuming my foot isn’t on the pedal LOL) and still making contact against the pressure plate. I’ll check the positioning of the arm when I hear the noise next. Thank you again for the valuable input.
If you have been 'riding the clutch' or 'resting on the clutch', then that is very likely the problem by itself! Yeah, keep that foot off the clutch pedal unless you mean to use it! LOL (And my brother would wear the crap out of TO bearings and clutches by 'hill holding' with the clutch.)

The only reason I can think of that your arm movement is not sufficient is if the pins on the throwout arm are worn so much that the TO bearing is not being pulled back completely away from the pressure plate fingers. Or the TO arm is hanging up like you say.

I am NOT thinking your TO bearing is worn out. If it was, then it would be noisy when you push on the clutch pedal. It is just in constant contact with the PP fingers, making a rattling noise.

BTW: Since we are talking about bad habits, DON'T rest your arm on the gear lever while running. It will wear out the forks and slider rings in the gear box.
 

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If you have been 'riding the clutch' or 'resting on the clutch', then that is very likely the problem by itself! Yeah, keep that foot off the clutch pedal unless you mean to use it! LOL

BTW: Since we are talking about bad habits, DON'T rest your arm on the gear lever while running. It will wear out the forks and slider rings in the gear box.
I had someone test drive a 5-speed Eagle Talon I was selling and he did both these things! I asked him where he learned to drive a manual and then proceeded to tell him not to do those two things. :yup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When I installed the new clutch I just adjusted it to where it always felt comfortable. I checked this morning and I found that I had 2” of free pedal travel. I adjusted it to 1 1/4” but I have a feeling that the pedal height is too high. Does the adjustment screw on the passenger side counteract the pedal height? I haven’t been able to get to that side yet and I will, but I’m trying to understand what the difference is between adjustment at the cable vs. adjustment at the screw? The FSM falls short in differentiating the two. I’m guessing that you’re trying to equalize the two somehow by using both? Can anyone explain the results of either adjustment more descriptively than the manual?
 

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