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Old 11-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clunking/Snapping Sound During Acceleration

Greetings, Samurai gurus.

I recently bought an 86/87 Samurai to keep me company while my gf finishes school in the Caribbean. I've had it for only a few days, and tonight she broke down on me.

I was decelerating down a hill and at about 30 MPH I shifted into 2nd gear and let my foot off the clutch. There was an obnoxious grinding sound, so as I put it in neutral and coasted to a stop. I put it in 1st, and accelerated and there was a loud sound that I can only describe at a snap/clunk/machine gun sound that was inconsistent, and only heard when giving it gas. It was doing it in every gear. I drove it another 2 miles and it continued in every gear and only when pushing the gas.

I am not sure if the 4 wheel drive is engaged currently, as the student I bought the truck from knew very little about cars and only made major repairs as things broke. But to try and trouble shoot, I pulled back on the 4 wheel drive shifter, which disengaged, and took the entire tranny out. I can't get the 4 wheel drive to re-engage, and pushing forward on it feel like I'm lifting the entire tranny up (I can hear/feel it as I push). This also stopped me from being able to put the truck back in gear. In neutral with the clutch up, I hear a whirring sound now, clutch down I hear nothing, and I can put the main shifter into all it's positions, but no gears engage.

I did notice some fluid on the inside of the rear left tire earlier in the day as well. Some brief research leads me to believe that this is a CV Joint or U-Joint issue. Possibly a cable issue related to the clutch/transmission/drive shaft.

Won't be able to be seen by a mechanic until tomorrow, but I want to be able to tell him what I think it might be, as we are in a 3rd world country and this repair will probably be made road-side. I want him to know what he's up against ahead of time. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If the transfer case is in neutral than there will be no forward motion in any gear. It would be necessary to have the transfer case in a gear for anything to happen.

The inability to shift the transfer case is often a cheap little conical washer under the shifter. They wear out and break making it impossible to shift. Luckily its easy to get to and quite cheap to buy, this deserves inspection. Google Shifter Sheet and plenty will come up. I think oem are nylon but improved materials are available. FYI the trans shifter has one to. One of the first things I did was replace both mine with upgraded pieces.

Samurai Transfer Case Shifter Sheet - Samurai Instructions - Instructions

As far as transmission grinding I would recommend chalking the wheels and sliding under for an inspection of the motor/trans/transfer case mounts. Check the U joints and make sure everything is solid before suspecting possibly a clutch issue. This of course if your comfortable doing this sort of thing, if not find a tech you trust. Does the engine make this strange sound with the vehicle not moving?

Oil on the inside of a wheel is typically a brake wheel cylinder or an axle seal.

It's somewhat difficult to diagnose sounds without hearing it, If it's going to a tech please keep us posted on what it is.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, finding a trustworthy mechanic when you're new to an area is kind of a daunting task, but it's currently with a guy who has a Sammy as his daily driver. He pulled it to his shop, and called to tell me the transfer case is destroyed, and that I should replace the whole thing costing roughly $350 US for a used one. Thing is, I don't really care about being able to shift out of 4WD, and am ok with it staying in 4WD. We did discover the mounts were broken, so I'm thinking if I replace the mounts, and manage to get it back into gear, I can avoid replacing the entire case. Also, I don't see why I couldn't just get a rebuild kit and replace the components instead of the whole assembly.

I just spoke with another mechanic today, and he thinks it is probably a loose clutch cable causing the grinding and popping. He's going to visit the other mechanic and take a look at it for me to see if the t-case was even removed and checked in the first place, or if this guy is trying to jerk me. I am pretty savvy when it comes to working on cars, but I am a long way from home and don't have a single tool to work with.

I will report back when I hear more.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have serious trust issues so take this for what its worth, I would want to SEE the broken pieces and even then I would wonder if they were mine to begin with. "Destroyed" is a broad term. Pulling a Samurai incorrectly alone can do lots of damage to the drive train. I wonder if he can tell you specifically what the issue is...

Parts for the cases are readily available and they are not complicated to work on. The factory mounts do bend and distort with some good ol' hard use/abuse.

Mine was badly abused when I got it, before and aft of the mounts. I had to start from scratch to be comfortable with its durability.

I hope your new tech can sort this.

Tony
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree, seeing is believing. I am going to make a surprise visit tomorrow and see if the case was even removed, and if it was I want to see the inside of it. Won't be hard to get it to the next mechanic's shop, he's about 3 houses down the road in the direction of my house.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Update: Clutch is good, pressure plate looks clean. Gear box is engaging, although we did notice some filings on one of the connections points. Removed the transfer case, and forced it back into 4WD H. The washer for the shifter was definitely cocked and out of position. Drained all the oil in the t-case (stuff was NASTY), gassed everything out, and are going to replace the fluid and reassemble and test this afternoon. If the noise is still there, going to have to inspect the U joints for sure.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So what happened? I have a samurai that just started to make a noise yesterday with acceleration. It's kinda squeeky like a belt, but it's coming from under the car. My mechanic (also on a Caribbean island-med school) doesn't know what it is. It sounds like it follows the acceleration in timing; as the speed goes up, so does the noise. And it's not all the time, about 75% does it make this noise, and in every gear at "low" RPM.
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