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  #1  
Old 10-16-2013, 11:49 AM
Mölyapina's Avatar
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Oh my... the Corolla clutch has something to tell me... yes, clutch chatter...

Now that it's been getting colder here in New England, I've noticed a somewhat unsettling behavior in the Corolla: clutch chatter. When the car is cold and I am engaging first (or second from an abnormally low speed), the clutch makes a chattering noise and shakes the whole car. After confirming that I was nowhere near stalling, I figured that it must be clutch chatter because it felt like something I would call clutch chatter. I researched it a bit and found an ASE page on clutch chatter. They listed the following as possible causes:
  • Worn flywheel
  • Worn clutch
  • Leaking crankshaft main seal or transmission front seal
  • Bad pilot bearing
  • Pressure plate wear

I'm trying to guess as to which one of these it may be. I think one of the main clues is that it only happens when cold, but I'm not quite sure what it means . The car doesn't use oil to my knowledge (though I will be watching that more carefully), so I doubt it's the crankshaft main seal, and I'm dubious on the pilot bearing, because I'm not seeing any other pilot bearing failure symptoms -- although the car does squeak when putting in the clutch. The clutch does not slip even when I floor it in 5th @35 MPH (GRUNT GRunt grunt).

It seems to me that if it was a fluid leak, the behavior would not be tied to the outside temperature. My money at this point is on the flywheel or clutch (I learned to drive in this car, so the clutch got some major abuse around 132,000... it is now @ 150,000), but what do you guys think? Why would the chatter only happen when it is cold out? It happens with an ambient temperature of 50 in the morning (the previous night had been in the 40s), but at 60 in the afternoon you have to really concentrate to notice it.

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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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Also, I'm thinking that I can let this go for at least another 5000+/- miles before I fix anything -- does that sound reasonable? I'm thinking of maybe tackling it around Christmas break.
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2013, 12:08 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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heat exapansion vs cold contraction probably. Something might be on the edge of worn and when cold demonstrates an issue, then heats up with use and expands a little. That or its sticky in there and the cold is preventing the release bearing from moving up and down the collar super easily until it heats up.
Like the ASE page shows, it could be anything in the bell housing. Are there any noises at specific times? are you hearing any grinding or squealing with clutch in or out? that will help us narrow down causes.

How many burnouts have you done on this car? be honest now


as far as longevity, its possible to milk a clutch problem for a looong time, just so long as you never fully trust the car, like no really long road trips.

Im sure you could wait to christmas, but no more street racing till then.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
Now that it's been getting colder here in New England, I've noticed a somewhat unsettling behavior in the Corolla: clutch chatter. When the car is cold and I am engaging first (or second from an abnormally low speed), the clutch makes a chattering noise and shakes the whole car. After confirming that I was nowhere near stalling, I figured that it must be clutch chatter because it felt like something I would call clutch chatter. I researched it a bit and found an ASE page on clutch chatter. They listed the following as possible causes:
  • Worn flywheel
  • Worn clutch
  • Leaking crankshaft main seal or transmission front seal
  • Bad pilot bearing
  • Pressure plate wear
I'm trying to guess as to which one of these it may be. I think one of the main clues is that it only happens when cold, but I'm not quite sure what it means . The car doesn't use oil to my knowledge (though I will be watching that more carefully), so I doubt it's the crankshaft main seal, and I'm dubious on the pilot bearing, because I'm not seeing any other pilot bearing failure symptoms -- although the car does squeak when putting in the clutch. The clutch does not slip even when I floor it in 5th @35 MPH (GRUNT GRunt grunt).

It seems to me that if it was a fluid leak, the behavior would not be tied to the outside temperature. My money at this point is on the flywheel or clutch (I learned to drive in this car, so the clutch got some major abuse around 132,000... it is now @ 150,000), but what do you guys think? Why would the chatter only happen when it is cold out? It happens with an ambient temperature of 50 in the morning (the previous night had been in the 40s), but at 60 in the afternoon you have to really concentrate to notice it.

It really doesn't matter which one it is. It's the same amount of work for any of them. Resurface the flywheel and replace all the other parts.

That said, if I were you, I'd drive it a little while first. Sometimes, chatter will go away as the lining wears.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:04 PM
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I tend to side with Larry. Given the amount of labor involved, if I were going in I'd be replacing everything. I'd also rebuild the clutch slave cylinder along the way.

Given your specific symptom, I'd think most about the throwout bearing. But still, if I were going in that far, a new/rebuilt pressure plate and clutch plate would be in the works. I don't know that I'd bother with resurfacing the flywheel, though, as I can't figure out what that would have to do with chatter only when cold. Plus, unless a modern flywheel is seriously abused, they usually outlast the rest of the car.

That said, so long as it's not slipping and the problem doesn't get markedly worse (which might indicate an impending failure in the clutch plate or TO bearing), then I'd just drive it.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
I tend to side with Larry. Given the amount of labor involved, if I were going in I'd be replacing everything. I'd also rebuild the clutch slave cylinder along the way.

Given your specific symptom, I'd think most about the throwout bearing. But still, if I were going in that far, a new/rebuilt pressure plate and clutch plate would be in the works. I don't know that I'd bother with resurfacing the flywheel, though, as I can't figure out what that would have to do with chatter only when cold. Plus, unless a modern flywheel is seriously abused, they usually outlast the rest of the car.

That said, so long as it's not slipping and the problem doesn't get markedly worse (which might indicate an impending failure in the clutch plate or TO bearing), then I'd just drive it.

You won't know for sure if the flywheel needs resurfacing until you get in there. An overheated flywheel with all sorts of checking and bluing can MOST DEFINITELY cause clutch chatter though.
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:14 PM
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Street racing? I do that in the minivan. Toyota Corolla 0-60 is 9.2 seconds where the Toyota Sienna is 7.0. It may not be cool, but it wins more races.

Any abnormal clutch wear is due to me but for a more embarrassing reason than burnouts .

Something that I like about this is that while there are many potential causes for the issue, they are all fixed the same way, so there is no guessing. I've been looking for an excuse to do the clutch before I go off to college, so I guess this'll do.
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:15 PM
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Hey! I should race SirNik's wimpbox Honda in my Sienna! Vroomvroomvrooooom baby!
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
I tend to side with Larry. Given the amount of labor involved, if I were going in I'd be replacing everything. I'd also rebuild the clutch slave cylinder along the way.

Given your specific symptom, I'd think most about the throwout bearing. But still, if I were going in that far, a new/rebuilt pressure plate and clutch plate would be in the works. I don't know that I'd bother with resurfacing the flywheel, though, as I can't figure out what that would have to do with chatter only when cold. Plus, unless a modern flywheel is seriously abused, they usually outlast the rest of the car.

That said, so long as it's not slipping and the problem doesn't get markedly worse (which might indicate an impending failure in the clutch plate or TO bearing), then I'd just drive it.
I'll probably just resurface the flywheel anyway -- I'm guessing it's not too pretty at this point. After what Million Mile Joe did, I'm counting on driving this car 'til the day I die .

Interesting thought about rebuilding the slave -- hadn't thought of that.
__________________
"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."

Last edited by Mölyapina; 10-16-2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air&Road View Post
You won't know for sure if the flywheel needs resurfacing until you get in there. An overheated flywheel with all sorts of checking and bluing can MOST DEFINITELY cause clutch chatter though.
It absolutely can, and I didn't say it couldn't, did I?

Every time I ever came across a flywheel in need of resurfacing, it caused problems ALL the time, not just when COLD, which is exactly what I said: I couldn't see the flywheel causing this OP's specific symptom.

That said, you are correct that there is no way to know if the flywheel needs attention until you're in there, and that's the time to make that call. Still, guessing about it beforehand, I can't theorize any way it could underlie the cause of this OP's specific symptom.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
I'll probably just resurface the flywheel anyway -- I'm guessing it's not too pretty at this point.

Interesting thought about rebuilding the slave -- hadn't thought of that.

that may not be worth it, but its a good idea if it is worth it cost wise. My experience from my old toyota truck was that a brand new slave was chump change, but that was a nearly 20 years old truck at this point. Id do a cost analysis.

My slave was I think under 10 bucks unbelievably.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:37 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
Street racing? I do that in the minivan. Toyota Corolla 0-60 is 9.2 seconds where the Toyota Sienna is 7.0. It may not be cool, but it wins more races.

Any abnormal clutch wear is due to me but for a more embarrassing reason than burnouts .

Something that I like about this is that while there are many potential causes for the issue, they are all fixed the same way, so there is no guessing. I've been looking for an excuse to do the clutch before I go off to college, so I guess this'll do.
you're taking the corolla to college? what happened to the GM sedan?
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:06 PM
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you're taking the corolla to college? what happened to the GM sedan?
No, the Corolla will be staying at home, (although so will I, we are looking at commuting for at least the first few years to save money), but I just want to get it done when I know I'll have time to do it. The thing has 150,000 on the original, I learned to drive in it, and my sister will be learning to drive in it next year, so it's only a matter of time...
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2013, 02:49 PM
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Just pull the front clip from the Sienna and bolt it on to the Corolla. Many problems solved in one fell swoop!

Psst...hoodstack!
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
Just pull the front clip from the Sienna and bolt it on to the Corolla. Many problems solved in one fell swoop!

Psst...hoodstack!
Ah, but there's one major problem with that:



Hood stack? YES!

__________________
"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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