Can transmission fluid cause these transmission noises?

Mike1261

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I'm 90% sure (maybe more?) that my TR3650 needs a rebuild.

But given that I don't feel like pulling the tranny right now, I was wondering, could the fluid I used cause the impression that it needs a rebuild?

I'll give you the full back story so you can see where I'm coming from in my uncertainty....

I bought the car in a rush, I test drove it with the top down, and with the top down you can't hear any drivetrain noises at all. As soon as I got it home I parked it because it needed a new clutch, and the throwout bearing started singing as I rolled into my driveway. So I never got to drive the car with the top up before doing the transmission work.

I replaced the clutch and all associated parts in that area, including clutch cable, rear main seal, clutch fork, pivot stud, resurfaced flywheel, etc etc etc. Basically did everything I could think of to avoid having to pull the transmission again as it's up there in my Top 3 least favorite car things in the entire world :)

I refilled the trans with Valvoline MaxLife ATF per someone on the Bob the Oil Guy forum saying they used MaxLife and had buttery smooth shifts.

Put it all back together with a new MGW shifter, and with the convertible top Up now, I could hear lots of noises coming from the transmission:

Idling in the driveway, trans in Neutral, Clutch Out: Lots of noise. I assume input shaft bearing noise. ALMOST sounds like a rattly kinda sound. Clutch In: Noise goes away.

Driving: Whining Noise in every gear. Some gears worse than others. Noise worse when on-throttle, less to almost gone when letting off the gas. (now I'm second guessing... maybe it was the other way around??)

I've driven it normally for 1000+ miles. It doesn't seem to get worse. Everything drives just fine. No grinding gears. No trouble shifting. It just seems to make noise that I can only presume to be gear whine and bearing noise.

I'm debating switching to Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF per Tremec's recommendation. I emailed them asking if it's even possible for fluid to cause these types of noises and if it was worth me trying Mobil 1 ATF before tearing down the transmission. Any question regarding fluid always comes back with (I paraphrase...) "We don't know anything about any fluid other than Mobil 1 ATF, so we're not going to say anything other than use Mobil 1 ATF" which isn't particularly helpful in determining if it's a waste of $40 or not.

Note: Yes, the transmission was filled with the updated quantity per the TSB reducing the fluid amount. And I also didn't notice any obvious metal particulates in the drained ATF when I changed fluid...

What do y'all think? Tranny F'd, or Fluid issue? Is the tranny slightly F'd but using Mobil 1 would give it some extra life? Or do I just need to bite the bullet and tear this thing down?

My dad's planning on installing a 2-post lift in his garage soon that'll get the car 4ft off the ground. So maybe I'll hate pulling the transmission less than before lol.
 

evilcw311

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The noise when your sitting still is your throw out bearing. More than likely you didn’t use a Ford motorcraft piece. The others are all Chinese made and fail very often. Even when they haven’t failed they are noisy at idle. This is why it’s quiet when you push the clutch in.


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Mike1261

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The noise when your sitting still is your throw out bearing. More than likely you didn’t use a Ford motorcraft piece. The others are all Chinese made and fail very often. Even when they haven’t failed they are noisy at idle. This is why it’s quiet when you push the clutch in.


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I used the Ford throw out bearing because the Chinese ones are crap ;-) and the noise was from first start. There's also a good preload on the throw out bearing from the adjuster on the firewall. If I let out the adjuster to let there be slack on the throwout bearing then the noise persists. It's a much different sound to a TB bearing unfortunately :-(
 

evilcw311

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I used the Ford throw out bearing because the Chinese ones are crap ;-) and the noise was from first start. There's also a good preload on the throw out bearing from the adjuster on the firewall. If I let out the adjuster to let there be slack on the throwout bearing then the noise persists. It's a much different sound to a TB bearing unfortunately :-(

Try to upload videos of the noise at different stages.


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Mike1261

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I'll try. AC compressor crapped out yesterday and Florida is hot right now lol.

I just took it around the block and there's no transmission noise other than some gear noise for the first time in 1200 miles. Go figure.

I'll take it for a drive tonight.
 

lwarrior1016

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I'll try. AC compressor crapped out yesterday and Florida is hot right now lol.

I just took it around the block and there's no transmission noise other than some gear noise for the first time in 1200 miles. Go figure.

I'll take it for a drive tonight.
Do yourself a favor, if you keep having noises, drain the oil and put in GM Synchromesh oil. I run it in my T45 that gets shifted at 76-7800 rpm and it shifts just fine. That oil is also stickier and holds on to the gears better.
 

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