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· Registered
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A new Engine doesn't cure the problem either.

Fired it up this morning and sure enough, right around 3k rpm i heard the noise in 2nd shifting to third.

Dealer said they didn't hear anything on the test drive (after engine install).


Could be anything and nothing at this point.

Kinda points away from a motor problem.

some possibilities:

Gearbox has something rattling in it.
Input shaft is loose
Clutch fork making noise
Throw out bearing
catalytic converter

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: fixer on 2001-12-29 19:46 ]</font>

· Registered
337 Posts
Hey fixer,

Based on the sound frequency of the noise, it sure sounds like the tranny. One way to find out is to poll some 01/02 GT owners with automatics. If their cars make the noise, it's the engine, if not, it's the tranny.

Another test is to compare the occurance of the problem with people who have installed aftermarket shifters: does the sound change in any way (if yes, it's again most likely the tranny).

Given the fact that there is a metal tolerance problem (grinding while cold for the 1-2 shift, and notchy in 3rd and 4th), it again points to the 3650 as being the likely culprit.

The best way to find out is to place two microphones directly on the transmission, on both sides (for stereo). Drive the car, get it to make the noise. Listen to the sounds with headphones on (to get the spatial position of the sound). Do this same test by putting mics on both sides of the engine bay.

It will then be possible to locate with reasonable certainty the location of the sound source.

· Registered
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I heard a couple of people with automatics have this noise, but i think they were confused with the injector/fuel rail tick.

This is a full blown rapping/knocking sound.

I have a mechanics stethoscope i guess i could try to use, but its a shot in the dark.

I just don't know what else is left besides the trans.

Take the shifter boot off and probe the shifter and the top of the gear box when cruising down the road.

the noise does go away when the clutch is disengaged ( pedal pushed in)

I thought this was wierd.

And it seems to happen the worst in second gear.

I'll try to make the noise in third tonight.

No noise at all in 1st.

I's a shot in the dark but maybe the "new shift fork assembly for 1-2" that is being installed as the shift fork fix is the culprit.

Even if the automatics do have it, it could still be something really dumb like a strange noise the oil pump makes when the oil is most viscous.

If the noise were to be recorded in the manner you suggest, that doesn't really point toi a tranny becasue if its an exhaust noise (rattling cat converters) then the mics would pic it up to (the cats are right next to the trans).

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: fixer on 2001-12-29 20:27 ]</font>

· Registered
1,065 Posts
Sorry the sound still exists.
I highly doubt it's an exhaust noise. I had the knock before my mods and I still have it after going to a 2-cat highflow MAC "H". No change in the noise.
One funny thing though (that may point to drivetrain or tranny) I don't get the noise when revving to 3,000-4,000 rpm in neutral, only when in gear (but then I get it whether on or off the throttle, but much worse on the gas).

· Registered
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Same here. Try pushing in the clutch at the instant you hear the noise BUT KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE GAS so as to maintain rpms. The noise will vanish.

· Registered
1,065 Posts
When I had the mech and supervisor at the local Tucson Ford service center drive my car one morning they questioned the Ford Hotline. They were told Ford was aware of this problem, that it was caused by fuel injectors, and that it was to be fixed with a computer program reflash for our cars in the future...Does that sound logical to you?

· Registered
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>
On 2001-12-29 22:37, Dennis wrote:
When I had the mech and supervisor at the local Tucson Ford service center drive my car one morning they questioned the Ford Hotline.

So the tech hotline told them that it was a defective engine also?

<TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>
They were told Ford was aware of this problem, that it was caused by fuel injectors, and that it was to be fixed with a computer program reflash for our cars in the future...Does that sound logical to you?


I think someone in that process got lost or wasn't paying attention. The injectors/fuel rail noise is constant and is orders of magnitude QUIETER than the cold engine tapping we're getting. And this injector clicking is perfectly normal and is constant no matter cold or warm.

The sound we're hearing is like a marble dropped on a counter top.

The explanation given to you does kinda sound logical if, in a roundabout way, what they meant was that the MAF is erroneously calibrated for cold engine operation and the injectors that are on the car.This would cause a brief lean condition that could lead to detonation.

I'll be a monkey's uncle if this noise is the injectors by themselves. If its the noise the injectors make from opening and closing, a computer reflash is not gonna fix it.

If the techs questioned what the hotline said, what did the techs think was the problem?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: fixer on 2001-12-30 00:08 ]</font>

· Premium Member
3,989 Posts
I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out injectors were the culprit. Not the injector making the noise, but causing it (detonation). They do some weird monkey-ing around with stuff to get emissions and CAFE in check. This may be a long reach, but newer Ford Diesels have what can only be called "cackle-knock". I believe it is thought to be an injector issue as well.

If it is detonation, is it also possible that it could be caused by oxygenated fuels used in certain parts of the country during winter months?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 01GTB on 2001-12-30 00:48 ]</font>

· Registered
92 Posts
I still think it's exactly what Ford is afraid it is. Piston slap.

I honestly think you just got another bad engine because there's no fix that's really feasible.

I just picked up mine after 3 days at the dealer. In waiting for the "engine expert", they hadn't even driven it yet. I really don't want a new one, partly because of serial numbers and partly because there's something inherent wrong here.

How about a bore job? I bet that'd fix it! :smile:

· Registered
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
99.99% of piston slap issue occur at start up and in neutral. this means no load on the engine.

This knocking sound occurs only in 2nd gear or higher at light-moderate accleration.

I just got in from running the car again after a long set-time. I accelerated quickly in second gear (little over half throttle) and no noise at all in second then when i was in third i backed off the throttle and approached 3k rpm at light accel and the noise come on as strong as ever.

Bottom line: this noise is load dependent.

· Registered
155 Posts
I have got to agree with you guys on detonation. Load dependent 'marbles dropped on the floor' sound at medium load is classic symptom. Piston slap is usually triggered going from heavy load to no load at shift points, and injector noise is always around. This engine is very hard to diagnois because everything is interrelated. Lean conditions could be caused by flakey control pulses from computer to injectors, sagging fuel pressure, sticky injectors, wrong size injectors, bad O2 sensor, or screwy MAF sensor. I don't think it is the computer control program because most engines run fine. Right now I suspect injector problms. Has anybody's dealer changed out their injectors, or run flow calibrations to make sure they are matched?

· Registered
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Most techs wouldn't have the time or patience to run any calibration measurements.
But it would be instructive. Usually the factory would do something like that then tell the techs what to do.

Screwy thing is, you'd have a hard time convincing a tech that detonation might be the problem because the noise only occurs briefly when cold and under light to moderate acceleration. This is kinda opposite and counterintuitive to what most ping/detonation situations occur from. But if closed loop is running off an erroneous MAF calibration, then its entirely possible.

· Registered
337 Posts
If you do a stereo sound sample, you will be able to place the sound in 3D while playing it back with headphones on (a binaural recording). I think you will be able to tell the difference between tranny noise and cat-rattle noise (which it does not appear to be from previous posts).

Has anyone heard the sound in 1st or 5th?
Do people with cars that never crunch have the sound? (I would expect no). I'm guessing crunchers == rattlers. This would imply out of spec bearings and/or gears. As the transmission heats up, it gets closer to spec (I still hear the rattle when hot, only less so).

Do people with the aluminum or carbon-fiber driveshafts hear the rattle? Perhaps less?

Again, stereo (binaural) recording the tranny and engine will pinpoint the origin of the sounds in 3D.

*** After the following research, it sure sounds like it's the transmission: ***
See the "sounds like a bunch of marbles in a coffee can" comment regarding the C5 Corvette's Tremec 6-speed (2nd to last paragraph below).

Did a google search on "transmission rattle", found some interesting hits: :
V10 Manual transmission rattle - TSB 21-13-97 - replace clutch disk and propshaft

I had a rattle from what I thought was my tranny. It only happened a higher revs when the engine was cold. Unfortunatly, the rattle turned out to be a loose connecting rod. When it broke, it took out the block and the starter. Hope that's not your problem!

In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] (Hugh Johnson) wrote:

>I've got a '97 Mustang GT with a 5-speed, of which we recently took
>delivery. So far, the car is great, with only a few quibbles. One, which
>is particularly disappointing, is a resonant vibration which under certain
>circumstances causes something in the shifter assembly to rattle quite

Well, here's the follow-up to my rattling shifter experience.

I took the car to my dealership's service department and asked them to
check this rattle out, along with a few more initial-quality quibbles I had
with the car. It only had 930 miles on it at this point.

The service manager was quite anxious to please. He took my car in without
an appointment, and gave me a free loaner car. The Mustang was in the shop
for only two days. The result: I got a new transmission! The service
manager said that they could easily reproduce the rattle, and that it was
*not* normal, and that they weren't about to tear into a three week-, 900
mile-old transmission and start swapping out parts. They put in a brand
new one, and will send the old one back to Ford (who I guess will send it
back to Borg-Warner) to figure out what was the matter with it.

So far, I'm mightily impressed with my service department (Leif Johnson
Ford, Austin, Texas). My folks, who both have Fords ('90 Taurus SHO, '93
Probe GT) have not had as good luck with their dealerships -- so I was
expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully, they will
keep it up.

Anyway, the new transmission works fine, doesn't rattle or vibrate anymore,
and actually seems a little quieter. My original tranny seemed to whine a
lot on the lower gears, and the new one is quiet and efficient. Maybe the
original one was quite sick -- I'm glad I've got a new one.

On Mon, 8 Jun 1998 19:32:28 -0500, [email protected] (C5 Dave) wrote:

>The transmission rattle and the shifter rattle are 2 different problems.
>The updated shifter assembly 1256-0342 won't fix the transmission
>rattle. I repeat they are 2 different problems. The transmission rattle
>is very common on the 6 speeds and is nothing to worry about. And the
>updated shifter assembly 1256-0342 has nothing to do with the bell
>housing. I see so much bad info in this news group it drives me crazy.

Drives me carzy sometimes too. Your right on about the transmission
rattle. The T56 rattles in just about all it's applications. I've
heard a bunch of F-body owners make comments about the 1st gear

Now it seems the same scenario is being repeated yet again with the C5. A
buddy of mine bought a 98 some time back. Looks *gorgeous*! Silver
metalic, black interior, 6-spd, couldn't be a sexier looking car if it
tried. But I can't even remember all the problems he's had with it so
far. Leaking windows. Rattles. Squeeks. To the dealer's credit they
fixed a number of them, but not all. There's some sort of transmission
rattle that he's had no luck getting fixed. "That's normal", they tell
him. It sounds like a bunch of marbles in a coffee can. Can you imagine
buying a $40,000+ M3 or Supra and having BMW or Toyota tell you "Sure, it
rattles like a child's toy, but that's normal"?? So why should it be
tolerated in a $40,000 car from GM? Then there's the oil leak, and the
sqeaky clutch pedal. Oh, and the paper-thin seats that wore through in a
matter of months. (To their credit, GM replaced this too with no hassle
whatsoever, but still.... will the next one be any better? Or the next?
What about when the car goes out of warrantee?)

Now, I'm not foolish enough to believe that one bad apple spoils the
bunch. But the problem is that these stories are *so* common that one
really wonders what's going on. It seems that among people with the
6-speeds, a very high percentage, like 80% or more, have the transmission
rattle. There are stories of orange-peel paint, hoods not closing
properly, seats wearing out after a few thousand miles, electronic
problems, whining fuel pumps, transmissions popping out of gear, power
seats not working, poor levels of fit and finish, and lots of other stuff.
If it was only a rare occurance, that would be one thing, but almost
everyone I've spoken to in person who owns a C5 has had problems with it.
To be fair, I've read some newsgroup posts from C5-owners who have been
problem-free, but this seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DrivingSimulators on 2001-12-30 05:22 ]</font>

· Registered
155 Posts
My 3000 RPM rattle/resonation started after about 2500-3000 miles. It has slowly gotten worse. Now at 9000 miles it is starting to happen when the car is warmed up as well. Just like 4995's. The fact that it only does it under load is an interesting clue.

· Registered
117 Posts
I have a 2001 GT automatic and I am getting the same noise. I was sure it was the transmission since it would not tick when placed in neutral and revved to over 4,000 rpm's. I e mailed my Ford dealership and he said he has heard nothing about this problem. I directed him to this web site, but I don't believe he even checked it out. Jack your rear up in the morning and get someone to listen to the tranny by putting their ear close to the tranny. I was thinking, how could it be the transmission when 5 speeds have the same noise as I? One weird thing, is that the ticking/ reverbration started right after I installed my tranny cooler??? I'm not taking it to Ford, because all they would do is dent and scratch my car, replace parts that do not need replacing, maybe put in a new engine, to still have that same damn ticking. I am so p*ssed about this I could spit nails!

· Registered
586 Posts
I'm starting to think that if it's a problem that is worthy of repair, and so elusive, that we'll see a barrage of specific failures in the near future that will highlight the location.

I'm willing to drive mine until it goes and get the right fix before I let those goons wreck my baby.

· Registered
337 Posts
'01 Hoofbeat,

If you are getting *exactly* the same noise, then that would rule out clutch+transmission. Another place to look then is the driveshaft and rear end. I get a weird groaning sound when making left turns (only) when the limited slip kicks in (turning on a patch of water, on throttle, etc.). There is a big vibration damper hanging off of the rear end, so engineers had to deal with some kind of vibration.

Spatially, my Bullitt's rattle sound seems to come from the transmission, not the engine or rear end. Mine happens mostly when cold, but also when hot (it also crunches when hot in 1st (downshift) and 3rd, but less so in 2nd).

We really need to record our cars and compare sounds...


I hear ya on driving it till it breaks. However, if you are left stranded somewhere, you'll have to deal with a towing company, and the potential damage to having your car lifted and towed (even with a flatbed)... You'd still have to take it in, just not at a convenient time. I read similar complaints while doing research on "transmission rattle" for other cars with Tremecs (C5, F-Body), and many of them were not getting satisfaction on repairs ("It's normal", etc.).

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DrivingSimulators on 2001-12-30 13:37 ]</font>
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