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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I can't keep up with the problems! now this noise:

There's considerable vibration throughout the vehicle and the sound effect is a knocking, sort of a slow bubbling/boiling sound.

It's hardly noticeable, almost not even there most of the time when in P or N, which is why I'm ruling out the engine as the culprit, and not nearly as bad in R as in D, but when in D with brake applied or just released and an idle takeoff begun.. wow, it's yelling at me in no uncertain terms that it.. ain't.. happy.

I could try to capture the sound, but the cheesy non-Dolby mic on my camera probably wouldn't do a great job of it.

I should also mention that this tranny has a history of shudder, initially "fixed" with the Mercon V swap, not long after which it started the classic TSB shudder again -- yes, I also drained the TC for a complete swap.
When I detect the beginning of shudder, I back off on the pedal, hoping I've been staving off wear until I can yank the valve body -- I was planning on replacing solenoids, accumulators, then putting new Mercon V in, hoping that all this would perma-fix the shudder and prevent other probs.
I had other things on this car that I was going to get done first, but now this... it's suddenly become top priority.

Based on the description above, what's your guess? If it was tranny fluid boiling or a prob with the TC or mounts, wouldn't it be just as bad in R as in D? Do you suppose it might be a shifter solenoid not completely engaging? Worn out clutch/friction rings, requiring a rebuild?

Last edited by Torque; 11-30-2014 at 11:08 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 10:19 AM
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Knocking could be a lot of things. Reading 11 lines of text, and making a guess is akin to dipping a glass of water from a lake, looking at the water in the glass, and seeing no fish proclaiming there are no fish in this lake.

But, I'll take a stab at it for what it's worth.

It's possible an engine knock might not occur in P/N, but only under load in D.

Sure this isn't a "clunk" when the car moves?

The first thing that comes to mind for a bubbling/boiling sound would be coming from the engine coolant bottle.

As far as that sound coming from the trans.. A restriction in the fluid causing a problem with the front pump's ability to cycle the fluid through the system. A defective front pump in, and of itself. Fluid pressure regulation. Torque converter drain back. Transmission overheating. Transmission fluid low. Transmission fluid overfilled.

Trans shudder may continue to occur, even after fluid change, if the torque converter clutch is too badly worn.

Shudder/vibration can also occur from tire wear/miss alignment, wheel bearings, u-joints, steering and suspension component wear.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 05:19 PM
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I know this is going to get booed, but I think it is your heater core. I don't know why or what they look like on the inside. But every time one of my heater core was about to go. I started hearing this bubbling sound. Almost like a water pipe, or drain. Check and see, there will be a small amount of water a couple of drops. I think it is the air being sucked in and making the bubbling noise. Damn...Ok it sound like a bong...

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushtonracing View Post
Reading 11 lines of text, and making a guess is akin to dipping a glass of water from a lake, looking at the water in the glass, and seeing no fish proclaiming there are no fish in this lake.
My glass does have fish in it. All that remains is to identify the species; biggest clues provided in the first 3 lines.

Quote:
It's possible an engine knock might not occur in P/N, but only under load in D.
I believe the key here is that it's much worse in D with brake applied than in R with brake applied -- and not touching the accelerator pedal. I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that the engine sees approximately similar load in the two modes with the vehicle not in motion.

I tried revving it up with brake applied and found that the knock pretty much disappears. I'm not sure why it wouldn't get worse under heavier load, though, but it seems RPM-dependent (maybe?).

Could be something just loose under there rattling around, I suppose; may need to go exploring for improperly torqued or otherwise loose components. That's looking at a half full glass, though -- optimism > denial today.

Quote:
Sure this isn't a "clunk" when the car moves?
Yup. As per OP, "with brake applied"... To clarify, I didn't mean slowing down, I meant stationary, as in waiting at a stop light.

Quote:
The first thing that comes to mind for a bubbling/boiling sound would be coming from the engine coolant bottle.
It sounds much angrier than that, unfortunately; a heavier knock. Also, it was doing this prior to the PI intake swap, so I reckon we can rule out the new water pump and anything else associated with the swap.

Quote:
A restriction in the fluid causing a problem with the front pump's ability to cycle the fluid through the system. A defective front pump in, and of itself. Fluid pressure regulation. Torque converter drain back.
Now you're talking, but it being worse in D than R would be suggestive of what?

What I failed to mention in the OP is that there's usually not a problem with lack of power or slipping upon hard takeoff -- when I punch it, she goes. Occasionally, she'll try to stall a little. I ain't leavin' skid marks anywhere these days, though, that's for sure.

Quote:
Trans shudder may continue to occur, even after fluid change, if the torque converter clutch is too badly worn.
What I fear.

Quote:
Shudder/vibration can also occur from tire wear/miss alignment, wheel bearings, u-joints, steering and suspension component wear.
As per OP, the history of shudder is classic TSB Mercon shudder -- i.e., during shift only.

Last edited by Torque; 12-15-2014 at 07:50 AM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by funderbird View Post
I know this is going to get booed, but I think it is your heater core.
I won't boo ya, but I do think you're barking up the wrong tree.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 09:51 AM
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Okay. Knocking noise in D sitting stationary with the brakes applied.

Let's look at the clutch/band application chart.




Now, as we can see in 1st. gear D the forward clutch is applied, and the planetary one way clutch is holding.

Now, what is important to realize is that in D, car is sitting stationary with the brakes applied, the planetary one way clutch is not holding at that moment, but free-wheeling. Once you let up off the brakes, and step on the gas, at that instant, torque is applied to the one way clutch, and it then locks, holding the drum.

This leads me to perhaps believe that the planetary one way clutch is making the noise only when it free-wheels.

Now look at 1st. gear manual low. Here we see that also the forward clutch is applied. The one way clutch is holding...But, the low reverse band is also applied.

The low reverse band holds the same drum as the one way clutch, but it never allows the one way clutch to free-wheel.

So road test the car and attempt to duplicate the problem. Only this time try it with the car in 1st gear manual low. If it does not make the noise it is no doubt the planetary one way clutch making the noise when it free-wheels.

To be clear...That's 1st. gear manual low, car sitting still with the brakes applied. Does the noise stop when you move the selector from D to 1 manual low.?

You did state that it makes the knocking noise in R too. But, not as bad.

Be that as it may, perform the above test, and get back to me, and we'll take it from there.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 12:49 AM
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The slow bubbling boiling sound. I think it is the heater core sucking in air and causing the sound. Maybe a unrelated problem.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rushtonracing View Post
Okay. Knocking noise in D sitting stationary with the brakes applied.
Thanks for the chart. I didn't notice it in the service manual.

I performed the prescribed test and there is no noticeable change in noise/vibe between D, 1 and 2 (went ahead and checked 2 while I was at it).

I also hooked up my scanner during the lengthy test (about 15-20 minutes) and watched the live data numbers, though they may not be much help here.

I've been having a sporadic rough/rolling idle problem since before the [presumed] tranny issue. The PI intake swap had no effect on the bad idle either way, and I had already changed vac lines before the PI intake swap. The MAF and filter were recently checked and cleaned, as was the IAC. I'm at a loss at to what's causing the bad idle (unless it's the tranny).

When idle is normal/smooth:
RPM in P or N averages 800
in R it averages 760
in D, 1, 2 it averages 575
This accounts for the noise being less noticeable when in R, since the higher the RPM's, the less noise and vibration there is. I very slowly increased RPM and could hear the knock/rattle increase in speed (not decibels, though). Once I reached about 775-780, it was no longer noticeable.

When idle rolls/roughens:
RPM in P or N averages 650-750
in R it averages 600-700
in D, 1, 2 it averages 525-600
It was difficult to keep track of this, even using the graphing function of the scanner, so those figures are guesstimates.

When high fan kicks on and during its operation:
RPM in P or N averages 700
in R it averages 665
in D, 1, 2 it averages 540
These numbers fluctuate and symptoms are worst when the rolling idle starts while the fan is on, since both dramatically drop RPM.

Ignition advance jumps to around +29.5° upon change from any tranny mode to any other mode. It stabilizes after about 8-10 seconds at around +18°.

Fuel trims dance around, but I didn't watch them closely or log them -- I can, if it matters for the tranny issue.

During the test, I punched the accelerator (not to WOT) a number of times in R and D, 1, 2, with brake applied/stationary, and the noise stopped (all modes). Unfortunately, it returned a little later during the test period.
Whatever is happening, it's obviously not permanent (yet).

The other day, I went for an errand and when I returned home, the noise was present in P as well.
Later on the noise stopped in P and was again present only in R and D, 1, 2 (worse in D, 1, 2).
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 06:54 PM
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Check the plug wells for moisture.

That's a fairly common issue.



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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Check the plug wells for moisture.
They were bone dry after the recent PI intake swap, and still are. I used new Motorcraft double platinums, btw.
The sporadic rolling idle occurred before and continued immediately after the swap. Wet plugs/wells is definitely not the cause.

If the culprit isn't the tranny dragging on the motor in a weird way, then perhaps it's the alternator/regulator, plug wires, maybe ignition module(s) going bad, a sensor somewhere (not the TPS, I checked that), or the PCM (I needs me a breakout box).

It could be a vacuum leak, but the sporadic nature of it where idle will go back and forth from acting up for a good while to behaving perfectly fine for a good while would seem to rule that out.

I may try replacing the IAC -- it's an aftermarket and has been on for several years. I removed it for cleaning and saw that its piston/valve moves freely.

Perhaps it's a chicken vs. egg thing: is bad idle causing the tranny problem or vice-versa?


P. S. grats on being a preemie
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 11:37 PM
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IAC is a very possible cause. As well as a dirty throttle body. PCV system not keeping up from excessive blow by causing these two components to clog prematurely.

Check the plugs...again.

Fuel pressure?

EGR valve not seating at times. Carbon build up.

Weak spark from old ignition coils will cause poor idle quality. As well as bad plug wires you mentioned. I know coils don't go bad very often on these cars, but that's not to say they never go bad...

Hook up a vacuum gauge to manifold vacuum and read. Should hold steady. A flicking needle indicates a sticking valve(s). Which can be an intermittent at idle. Then stop sticking at higher rpm's.

Do a compression check. Just to be sure...

It's doubtful the trans would be putting such a load on the engine to cause it to run as you've described. Isolate all possible engine causes first.

These hints are a shotgun blast of buckshot I know.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I'll check those out. It will take a while, though -- holidays and all. If I don't post an update soonish, it's not because I lost interest.

I have a good old brass hand vac pump that I recently put a new, higher quality gauge on, so I can do those tests soonest.

I never did add a fuel pressure gauge to my tool arsenal; guess it's about time I did.

I had to replace one of the ignition packs years ago. Thankfully, I managed to cripple home. The other one hasn't given me any trouble unless this is it.
Then again, it could be the newer one that's acting up. ugh..
I'm leaning toward a different cause, though.

I happen to have a new PCV valve in storage, just never installed it. I briefly checked the old one for rattle when I last removed the intake parts. It seemed ok, but it's quick enough to slap the new one on and find out for sure.

I think you may be onto something with the EGR valve. The dealer may have replaced it when they did the manifold recall swap, which would have been in 2005 I believe; will have to check the service order. I'm positive it hasn't been replaced since then.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 07:32 AM
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Just to be sure we're on the same page about reading vacuum. Just hook up a vacuum gauge to read manifold vacuum while the engine is running. No need to pump vacuum. Although I'm thinking you'll just use the gauge on that pump to read vacuum. But, again, just to be sure we're understanding each other correctly.

Marry Christmas.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, same page. I mentioned that I have a hand pump to convey that I can also pull down on emissions components to aid in troubleshooting. It's come in very handy in the past. Also have used it to self-bleed brakes.

Car made it out of town and back last night for some xmas shopping. I'm sure it'll keep going thru the holidays and into the New Year when I can put time into it.

Merry X-mas to all (of that persuasion).
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Welp, just as I was about to dig into this problem.. During a brief excursion the other day and sitting in line at a drive-thru, I find that now it's knocking in P almost as bad as in R, which is still not quite as bad as in D. In N, the engine revs up and smooths out nicely.

Holding true to the prophetic thread title, I have had yet another item on this car go kaput: the decorative bird trunk light on the driver's side.

It seems only half the segments at the bottom are missing. I could swear as I walked to the other side they flickered on for a moment, but I couldn't repeat that, so it could have been an optical illusion due to shifting viewing angle.

I tapped on the assembly and nothing happened, so it isn't a mechanical intermittent. I moved the harness around and nothing happened, so it isn't a wiring intermittent.
Hopefully this means a simple fix, but it's another on the growing list of things that are breaking on this car.

edit: Well, naturally it isn't going to be simple. Turns out what happened was about 6" worth of factory glue/weld at the top of the lamp assembly has failed, allowing debris and very likely water between the red lens and housing. Even if that isn't what took out half of the segments, I'll have to try to break the remainder of the lens free to do the repair.

Last edited by Torque; 01-27-2015 at 05:58 PM.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 07:24 AM
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What are you gonna repair it with? Led strip? I wish I knew what you meant by knocking. It would likely make more sense if I saw it in person. You might be close enough to make an appt at the shop sometime.
I had a 08 lucerne in there awhile back with a thumping sound inside the car that would change as the engine shifted around. Turned out the ac line cap was rubbing a harness that sits on the master cylinder and vibrates the firewall making the sound. A few zip ties in the right places cured that.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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What are you gonna repair it with? Led strip?
Dunno yet, first I have to see what actual damage has occurred.
While annoying, this doesn't affect safety, since it isn't in the brake/turn signal unit, so I may just have to let it slide until I get the [presumed] tranny issue resolved.

Quote:
Turned out the ac line cap was rubbing a harness that sits on the master cylinder and vibrates the firewall making the sound. A few zip ties in the right places cured that.
I wish it could be that simple. Unfortunately, it isn't only an annoying/alarming sound, but there's also the heavy vibration of the entire vehicle that accompanies the sound when the tranny is put in any mode other than N. It still does it worse in D than other modes, but R does it and now P does it almost as badly as R.

Quote:
I wish I knew what you meant by knocking.
Knock on wood -- not just to wish me luck with this, but also to get an idea of what it sounds like.
I'll try to capture audio of it. But for now, in lieu of a decent recording, I'll just say it's a heavy-ish knock, as if someone were tapping a long 4x4 beam of hardwood with a 16oz. hammer using light to moderate force (or maybe their knuckle instead of the hammer).
That is to say, it sounds like that being done with the listener's perspective being inside the car, so it's somewhat more muffled and perhaps lower in pitch than that activity would sound like outside of the car.

From the driver's seat, it sounds like it's coming from the area of the TC.
There's no pattern or rhythm to the knocks; they're random, and the severity of individual knocks is random.

When put into N, the engine revs up to normal and the noise and vibration stop.

When I depress and hold the brake pedal and give her some gas while in gear, the knock stops instead of getting worse. It also ceases upon normal takeoff.

IOW, when RPM's go up, the knocking stops.

I'll dig around under the hood and do some tests next time I get the chance and the weather decides to cooperate. I get the feeling, though, that this isn't going to be a simple (inexpensive) fix.

Last edited by Torque; 02-04-2015 at 12:55 AM.
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