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Old 07-25-2015, 09:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Samurai 'kicks' when releasing the clutch... please help

Hi everyone,

I was looking for a solution to my problem and bumped in to this forum, great place for all of us Suzuki fans!

So here goes, i have a 90' Samurai i bought recently, it's in a good shape all around and i am generally happy with it. Its all stock but i plan to add lift, wheel spacers, new bumpers and winch etc...
Now, the problem i have is when i shift from 1st to 2nd gear, more often than not, i get a kick somewhere behind me i think and the the car goes OK. By kick i mean as if i released the clutch very very fast and the car jumps. I just did a full service with a lot of thing being done, oil change, new brakes, new wheel bearings... Mechanic there told me its all normal behavior but somehow, i still dont believe him. Shifting to other gears is all good, even shifting down from 3rd to 2nd is ok but i get a kick only from 1st to 2nd... every 100 or so times this also happens when shifting from 2nd to 3rd but not as hard. Also this does not happen every time but every second time i would say.

Now, i should mention that i am driving 2012 Audi A4 as my main ride and was driving mainly Audi's recent years so i have not used to any funny sounds or strange behavior. I do understand that Samurai is rough and that it has a lot of 'normal' strange sounds but this kicking when shifting to 2nd is not something i see as normal.

Many thanks in advance,
Alek

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Old 07-25-2015, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is the clutch pedal ACTION smooth throughout its travel?

It sounds like you may have a mechanism "hang-up", not readily apparent during the slow initial launch in first gear, but more pronounced during the quicker 2-3 (and above) shifts.

Possibly a frayed / binding cable, clutch arm ball pivot worn out, or even a pressure plate malfunction.

Give this some thought, and welcome aboard!
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Old 07-25-2015, 03:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi MAX, many thanks for you quick reply.

As for the clutch pedal action, it goes relatively easy some half way and then it starts to release and sometime i get a slight kick even when in 1st gear from standing still.

I had a bit of a play today and noticed that the 'kick' is much less pronounced when i let of the gas pedal completely when hitting the 2nd gear, then it starts smooth in 2nd but as soon as i gently hit the gas it kicks again. When i really try hard to release the clutch pedal very very slowly then everything goes ok and smooth. I was driving friends Samurai a month ago and haven't noticed this behavior s i guess there must be a problem somewhere. As i said, a complete overhaul of shafts, bearings, wheels and some engine parts has been done while nothing has been done on the gear box and clutch.

Another thing i've noticed while testing it out is when i drive slowly in 2nd and start 'tapping' the gas pedal gently it starts kicking again and and i hear noises like gears or shafts kicking each other in a metal hitting metal sound, not sure how to explain it better.

The entire problem is more pronounced in HI 4WD than in 2WD while less pronounced in L 4WD.

Many thanks again,
Alek
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Old 07-25-2015, 03:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Personally, I'm having a hard time trying to get my head around the issue based on your "kicking" described symptoms.

Did you also get all GEAR oils inspected and changed?

An underside check of all shafts and u-joints may be in order here, as you seem to be describing some sort of drive-line malady, verses an engine related problem. At least based on your rather vague description of the problem.

Best I can do for now.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, fair enough, my description sucks i know :-)

All oils changed, u joints and shafts overhauled but did not solve the problem. Before the repair there was quite a bit of play on rear drive shaft, now it's barely noticeable.

I am not an expert although i do know a bit about mechanics, to me everything 'sounds and looks' like this: Try to imagine two shafts with a huge play between them... now you hit on a gas pedal and one shaft first moves freely and then hits the other shaft and the car starts going. Thats the image i have in my head based on noise that 'kick' makes and how the car behaves... just like something goes freely and then hits another part to move the vehicle... thats the best i can do to explain.

many thanks for trying to help, appreciated!

Alek
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't think I can help with this, but your not driving on tarmac in 4wd are you.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was for a few meters to test the noise, i am aware thats something not to do.

many thanks,
Alek
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Before the repair there was quite a bit of play on rear drive shaft, now it's barely noticeable.
What precisely was repaired? And this "play", was it up and down or a twisting / axial issue associated with the drive-shaft or rear end gearing?

So far, the only vibe that I think I am getting here is a momentary jerking or slipping, then catching action, based on your description. Your clutch is the only major component that could lead to that sort of action, as everything else is hard coupled or solid metal-to-metal (gears, splines, joints, etc).

A "kick" is FELT. Explain the "noise".

Curious....does the tachometer bounce in conjunction with the kick? In other words, are engine RPM affected?
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not really sure as i dont have a 'repair list' with me at the moment but all the shafts were down, those 'cross' things that connect U joints were replaced, something in reduction box was sorted etc. rear shaft has axial play of lets say 2mm or less each side really barely noticeable it is there... is this how it should be or the shaft must be play free? I think i have a better way of explaining my problem now, image that you shift into 2nd gear, clutch pedal is pressed al the way down and you simply slip your foot sideways to let the pedal jumps back on its own, then the car/gearbox/transmission simply 'kicks' or jumps. I have not noticed any change in RPM change or strange engine behaviour. Other than this issue the car goes like the wind and i do not have a problem reaching 120km/h speed with ease, no vibrations of any sort, no funny noises, engine works as a charm both in idle and under throttle.

As for the noise, it sounds as if someone hits the shaft with a heavy hammer when i release the clutch pedal.

One more thing, sometimes when i go into revers and i press the clutch pedal the car 'jerks' and the same noise is heard like explained above.

Basically, the only thing that was not worked on is tranny box and clutch, everything else has been sorted... or i was being ripped of by mechanic who actually did nothing or done it badly.

My next step would be stripping the entire car, changing the color and completely restoring both interior and exterior but i would really like to sort the mechanics first.

Any further thoughts and help is appreciated.

Many thanks,
Alek
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Check the leaf springs, shackles and their related bushings. Mine had a sharp metallic clank on takeoff and between gear shifts. I replaced the u-joints and the noise was lessened, but still there.
Park it on a level surface and leave it in 1st gear with no handbrake applied (maybe have someone inside the car for safety, in case it pops out of gear and tries to roll away) and have an assistant or two rock the car forward and back while you watch for any play in the leaf springs where they attach to the chassis.
My leaf spring bushings were pretty badly tore up, leading to quite a bit of play. I replaced them and now takeoffs and gear shifts feel tight as a drum with no noise, like I'm driving an actual car instead of a rolling metal basket, LOL.
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