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Playing card in the spokes? 1938 Buick (Jezebel) transmission sound?


Guest Palehorse13

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Guest Palehorse13

Good evening.

I am brand new to the forum and you have already saved me untold hours of "WTF, over?!" with your observations, counsel and advice regarding a brake issue with this 1938 Special (Jezebel).

Once we got the brakes working we went driving around with stupid grins on our faces, like we owned the world (which we kind of did). :D

At one point when the "owner/operator" was shifting from first to second and that ungrateful harridan of a car started making a noise not unlike a playing card in the spokes of a bicycle.

The noise increases with rpm and makes the noise in reverse, 1st and 2nd gear BUT SHUTS UP IN THIRD. :confused:

I have heard similar noises when a spring from the clutch disk has come loose, and in completely different circumstances when the starter pinion was "riding" the very edge of the of the flywheel teeth, BUT the noise didn't go away when you shift into third!

The owner/operator (Roger) opined that it was possibly a synchro. I am not sure what to think other than it is going to be relatively obvious once we tear her apart and probably expensive.

Have any of you had any experience of this sound?

The motor purrs, so I agree it is transmission related but that is as far as I can get.

Thanks,

Scott

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Scott,

Have you checked the fluid level in the Tx ?

My first thought would be to drain and refill the Tx and check the drainings for metal bits (steel or brass), and while you have the drain plug out, stick a magnet in the drain hole and feel around the bottom of the case with it. You never know what you'll find.

Section 7-12 of your Buick Shop manual, will describe various Tx noises and their causes.

Mike in colorado

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Guest Grant Magrath

So, the noise is when you shift gears, or constant in those gears? If when shifting, the synchros are worn and will need replacing. The good news is that North West Transmission Parts can supply you with re-manufactured ones in exchange for your old cores (and a few dollars of course!)

But re-reading your post indicates that it is constant in those gears. Possibly the speedo cable or speedo gear?

Or, as Mike said above, you may have a damaged gear, since there's no noise in top. Buggar!

Cheers

Grant

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G'day Scott,

Curious !! I'd take the Transmission's top cover off first and have a little look/see. You may have a worn selector or a detent spring that has crapped itself. I'd try jacking the back wheel up, put it into neutral and turn the rear wheel, maybe the noise will be obvious without all the engine and road noises. Try it in the gears associated with the noises with the clutch depressed and again have a listen. (I'll state the obvious) If you do that with the box cover off watch out the oil doesn't throw out all over the place. It might even be worth draining the oil first. If the intension is to rebuild the box anyway, it might still be worth doing first.

Danny

Edited by danhar1960
bad spelling or maybe fat fingers.... (see edit history)
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Here's something to consider...

Take off the top cover - you will be able to inspect the plate that determines how far the shifter rails travel when the gear selector is moved. You'll have one for 1st and reverse, and one for 2nd / 3rd. Also, a detent ball and spring that is held in place by the cover. This mechanism works to ensure the 1/R is in the neutral position before the 2/3 is moved. Look for wear in any of these parts. It could be that you are leaving one set of gears slightly out of position when shifting. It all gets better in high gear because this is a straight-through arrangement. Worn pieces could be built up with weld, then ground or filed back to the proper dimension. When re-assembling, take care that everything lines up before tightening the cover bolts. It always take me about three tries.

Of course, while you are in there, flush the whole thing out with kerosene, and inspect gear teeth, synchros, etc.

Just a thought.

Jeff

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Guest Palehorse13

All,

All outstanding ideas! Thank you.

I dont know how far we will get this weekend, but at the very least I would like to get the old trans grease/fluid out and replace it. As an aside I think it is so cool that it is so easy to drain/fill things on this car. Even the gas tank has a drain! On the bottom! Where a drain belongs!:cool:

I will look at the manual but do I understand correctly that I can take the top cover off the transmission with the trans still in the car? Is there an inspection door for this in the floor of the car like for the master cylinder? That would be beyond cool.

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Palehorse,

Before you go ripping up the carpet, consider going underneith and wire brushing all the screws, and soaking them with BP blaster.

That way you might not break off all of those 70+ year old screws. And don't forget the "neverseize" for when you get back to them 70 years from now.

Section 7-12 also addresses clutch chatter/misalignment noises

Some gear whine in first and second is part of the charm of these old cars. Lots of kids have never heard anything like it.

The younger ones often say the inside of my car smells like "grandma's house". Don't know if it's the mothballs or the "Depends" ????

Mike in colorado

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)
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All,

I will look at the manual but do I understand correctly that I can take the top cover off the transmission with the trans still in the car? Is there an inspection door for this in the floor of the car like for the master cylinder? That would be beyond cool.

That is correct. There is a cover/access plate on the floor over the transmission. Remove that (I'd go with Mike's suggestion about the cover screws) and it will allow you to then remove the top of the gearbox off to have a look.

Danny

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"The noise increases with rpm and makes the noise in reverse, 1st and 2nd gear BUT SHUTS UP IN THIRD. :confused:"

When the cover is off the trans, closely examine the clutch gear and the counter gear drive. Damage on either of these two gears, such as worn through hard coat, will give the sound you mention. Another possibility are worn bearings in the counter gear/shaft.Good luck .... RonJ

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Palehorse13

Sorry I have been so long in getting back.

In the interim we had debris from the gas tank clog the fuel lines, have rebuilt the carb and replaced the fuel pump and NOW the distributor is acting up ("other than THAT Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?")

I (hope) I have linked four (4) videos of the "playing card in the spoke" sound I have been so poorly describing to you. I have NEVER done this video stuff before so excuse me if I have linked you to some whole other web site.

2013-01-05_13-43-02_473_zps47c8ba0d.mp4 video by palehorse1368 | Photobucket

2013-01-05_13-47-29_722_zpsb166d69f.mp4 video by palehorse1368 | Photobucket

2013-01-05_13-48-00_9_zpsfdca8909.mp4 video by palehorse1368 | Photobucket

2013-01-05_13-50-10_460_zps9229b779.mp4 video by palehorse1368 | Photobucket

What do you think? Any ideas as to what is causing the noise?

Thanks,

Scott

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