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Death of a Reatta


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Don't know how Jr did it but I think he has ruined the transmission on his Reatta (1988). First of all he bought it home as I had diagnosed a EGR problem. After cleaning it I drove it and it did not have a knocking to it but a banging (like putting a 100lb rock in a tumbler), the sound is definitely coming from the driver side of the engine compartment. It drives, but when you hit the gas it bangs (just awful). Any thoughts on my diagnosis?

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I misread your post as you said it was coming from the drivers side.

Noises can travel so try taking the belt off anyway and see what happens. You can just take it off the alternator and let it hang there.

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From my experience the harmonic balance will rattle only at certain engine speeds, if that helps.

But yeah, does it bang when it shifts? All the time? Shifting into drive? Odd shifting and banging while shifting (like between 1-2 gears, 2-3 gears, etc) can be from a bad vacuum modulator

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I read everyones response and I wanted to add one other item and that is there was just a drop on tranny oil on the dip stick. I have no idea how long the car had been driven with the tranny oil so low. I do know he drove the car from Greensboro to Durham yesterday (~60 mile trip).

Know to answer your responses, The banging only occurs as the car is driven. I did not drive it far (~100 yrds), doubtful I got out of 2nd gear. I will remove the serpentine belt and see if it bangs as I drive (raining today, so tomorrow). I'm not sure if it bangs as it is going from one gear to another, but since a vaccuum modulator is so cheap I'll slap one on and see if the banging ceases.

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Lift the front end,remove wheels,inspect drive line. Look for damage to brake rotors.You can block rear wheels and check the front end slowly spining the front wheels. This is best to do with a helper .Apply brakes, put in gear, release brake, let wheels hubs turn,looking for the banging. Apply brake then put in park. This should be done with good jack stands,and level solid ground.

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FIRST THING TOP OFF THE TRANNY FLUID!!! I have read that being a pint low or high can be bad. If it is not showing on the dipstick while running in park you could be QUARTS low. I do not know what would fail but I bet topping it off is a good place to start. Anybody else who knows more about auto trannys agree?

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Hey guys I recheck the tranny fluid this morning. It was still low, my brother had me do something strange. He told me to shift through all the gears to kinda move the fliud around, for some reason I think this work as the level would differ as we added more fluid. We also drove the car again and again, the banging is still there, but surprisingly the car is shifting very smoothly. My brother also noticed the enigine is sitting at a slant (he noticed this as we were checking the CV arm, as Daniel suggested. The arm seems fine no binding or stiffness, or knocking. Is it possible this is our problem that the engine is rocking as we putting demand on the engine because of poor or destoryed motor mounts? Let me know what you think?

Oh and we swapped out the vaccuum modulator from my 89 to his 88, no difference in either car.

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Its been a long time since I have posted but I feel I should since I have had this same problem. By the pictures the front engine/transmission mount has failed causing the engine to lean forward. This causes the engine and transmission to drop down into the subframe inturn causing the inner cvjoint to contact the subframe when under accelleration. since the innner joint from my recolection is a tripod it will bang like crazy. If you look at the drivers side you should see a clean area on the subframe where the cv joint has been hitting.

I hope this helps and its good to be back.

Edited by Gomer
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There's an odd shaped aluminum mount bracket on the transmission side of the engine, in the area underneath the intake. I've encountered two Reattas, including mine, where that has broken so it bangs and that side of the engine/trans sits down a noticeable amount. Check that out too

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