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Honolulu Dick

Transmission - Gear Noise [Growling]

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The Honolulu Lulu is a '17 touring. Tranny has been removed and rebuilt - new in-put and out-put bearings and other small parts replaced. Gears showed signs of wear - leading edges somewhat rounded to one side - but, none were chipped, broken or missing. Honed all rough edges smooth. Actually, considering their age, I thought they were in remarkably good shape.

Following the recommendation of other DBC members, the tranny has been filled with 1,500 weight [steam cylinder] oil. We can now shift [carefully] without the grinding/clashing normally experienced with straight-cut [spur] gears.

What has us on edge is the 1st and 2nd gear growling. My son, a licensed mechanic working for a local Ford dealership, is reluctant to drive Lulu. The loud transmission growling noise has him convinced the gears are excessively worn, being beyond further [reliable] use. With all due respect to his mechanical excellence, his experience with spur gears is zero.

How noisy are the early DB transmissions in 1st and 2nd gear?

BTW, Lulu is nice and quiet in 3rd gear. Just the way a well behaved lady should be.

I'm searching for the benefit of your experience here. Trusting that no one minds.

Your thoughts/comments are appreciated.

Take good care - - - - -

Dick R

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Being straight cut gears they all howl in the intermediates. Of course, in top top gear the drive is straight through and the racket ceases. Anyone with some degree of mechanical sensativity and no experience of veteran and vintage cars is usually horrified by the noise.

Providing your car does not jump out of first or second gear the gears are probably ok. Earplugs may help.

Anyway, the usual Dodge driving technique is to get into top gear and hang on to it as long as possible.

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It is the front upper gear in the tranny that makes all the noise. It is the one the square clutch shaft goes in. They wear on both the shaft and the inside of that gear, but mostly the inside of the gear, and it flops around making a huge racket. That gear is engaged differently when in high gear, hence the noise goes away. I have experimented with that gear with the top off the tranny (don't try this at home kiddies!) and have found I could improve it drastically by swapping out that gear. This of course assuming the countershaft and its bushings (or later bearings) are in good condition. One nice thing about these lovely DB trannys, it makes shifting a Model A seem like an automatic transmission!

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Just a second thought. There are a number of clips on Utube featuring DB drives with sound tracks. Check them out, particularly one which involves hillclimbing out of Queenstown Tasmania - a real pull. This should give you a pretty good comparative growl.

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Hi Tony That Dodge climbing out of Queenstown belongs to me. I restored it about 9 years ago and was worried about the noisy first and second gear a old friend who has been around cars along time told me not worry about as the were always noisy. So I used it like that until about 9 months ago when I fond another gearbox I rebuilt it with new bearings. It is still noisy in first and second But not as bad. Drove it from Hobart Tasmania to Adelaide South Australia and back Never missed a beat. I will upload another clip to YouTube soon

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