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The Sage Saga

Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#1
This morning, after 10 years of very intermittent restoration activity (and retirement didn't help as it coincided with becoming a grandparent) I finally set off down the road for the MOT station - but didn't get very far, or beyond second gear, as a howling noise started to come from under the bonnet. My first thought was a slipping drive belt given that I had just replaced both a few days ago - although it wasn't the typical slipping belt kind of screech. So quickly returned home and tightened the alternator belt as it could take a bit more tension. The main belt felt ok.

Set off again and same noise again. So cancelled MOT and had another look under the bonnet. Revving the engine while stationary doesn't produce the sound. There's nothing to indicate that the water pump is failing but there is some play in the idler pulley. When I returned home the second time I free-wheeled part of the way just to check if the noise was coming from the clutch or gearbox but putting it out of gear didn't stop the noise. When the car stopped so did the noise.

So suspicion is on the transmission - perhaps the clutch release bearing? The only items which I have replaced up front are the all the suspension joints, the brake hoses, the outer CV boots, one gearbox driveshaft seal, and the gearbox oil. I did adjust the clutch as it was only biting at the top of pedal travel. It doesn't seem to be slipping but I do have a replacement kit standing by.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. It is a 1986 4GTL.
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#2
I think that I have managed to find the source of the problem - the near side driveshaft does not rotate freely; there is a sticking point which squeaks when you push past it. My feeling is that it is the inner joint that is the source. Does anyone have experience of a similar issue? My next step is to remove the driveshaft and dismantle it - slowly!
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#3
Plan B - tried injecting grease into the inner joint but no discernible difference. So new driveshaft ordered from Mr Auto.
 

mojobaby

Enthusiast
Messages
1,213
#4
Hi Sage, when my camshaft went, it made a tuk-tuk-tuk sound, especially when cornering and also when accelerating or going up a hill and putting a lot of torque/pressure on the wheels.
Hopefully you have found your problem, but if it doesn't work out, I'm wondering if it could be the wheel bearing.
I've no idea how that is supposed to sound, but you have eliminated all other possibilities and narrowed it down very well.
 

mr-reno-139

AKA Paul Cunningham
Messages
2,005
Location
lancing west sussex england
#5
Noticing you changed cv boots are you sure thete is sufficient grease in the boot wheel end
Inner end rarely cause problem
Nothing to lose by pulling clip off cv and checking it
Most cases repacking with grease will resolve issue
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#6
Thanks for these suggestions. I've been busy on other family vehicles and was just about to start fitting the new driveshaft and logged in to remind myself which ball joint to undo in order to release the driveshaft from the hub. But before that I will now try injecting some grease into the outer cv joint as Paul suggests and see if it has any effect.
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#7
An update - so I tried injecting more grease into the outer cv boot but this didn't make any difference. So I removed the driveshaft and again added grease to the outer joint and worked it right in by squeezing the boot. This seemed to help and the stickiness all but disappeared but when I refitted the driveshaft to the car the stickiness became audible clicks!

So out came the driveshaft again and in went the new one which rotated nice and smoothly. Time for a test drive, within the limitations of the short cul-de-sac that I live on, with the same result as before - wailing noise starts in second gear and continues until the car is stopped again. Knocking out of gear has no effect. Jacking each front wheel off the ground and spinning it in second gear does not produce the wailing. So the noise is only present when the wheels are under load. And driveshaft issue wasn't a factor.

I'm now thinking as per mojobaby - a wheel bearing. I think I need a stethoscope..........
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#8
A further update, and perhaps a useful addition to the pool of R4 knowledge - having checked both front wheel bearings and found no free play or any roughness I happened to notice that the offside driveshaft was also sticking a bit on each revolution of the wheel. I also noticed that the new cv boot was undergoing quite a bit of deformation on each turn and realised that I had left it too big (it was a universal stretchy boot). Off came the cv clip and out came a sharp knife to detach a section of the boot. Now when I came to fit a new cv clip (one of the crimped type) I noticed that the crimp was catching on the lower wishbone. There is very little clearance between driveshaft and wishbone. And then the Eureka moment - the weird noise must have been the bulging cv boot rubbing on the wishbone.

Coincidentally I've been having lots of trouble with a loose cv boot on my 406 so I've decided to have a rest from cv boot clipping and ordered another driveshaft!
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#9
Yet another update - after all the foregoing steps and the arrival at a conclusion which seemed to make sense it all went up in smoke (figuratively speaking!) when a further test drive resulted in the noise still being there. So after a bit of ranting and some little swear words it was back to square one.

So the driveshaft issue just isn't an issue when the car is not jacked up. There's plenty of clearance when the wheels are on the road. And now some further evidence has shown up thanks to my son lending an ear to the issue. The noise is not noticeable outside the car and seems to be coming from under the dash. Now given that it is related to the road speed, not the engine speed I'm thinking that maybe it is coming from the speedometer cable - some lubrication required?
 

mr-reno-139

AKA Paul Cunningham
Messages
2,005
Location
lancing west sussex england
#10
If it's speedo cable the fact it's making a noise is probably warning of impending failure you're not supposed to lubricate speedo cables as it ends up upsetting the speedo head itself although I have had speedo head seize up which then makes the cable noisy lol
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#12
Thanks for these comments. It is definitely howling so next step is to disconnect the cable from the speedometer and see if there is any difference.
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#17
All working now without any noises to frighten the horses - took the dash panel out and worked teflon grease into the cable bearing. So good for an MOT - maybe. I am a wee bit concerned about the brakes. Bled them several times and all seem to be working with a firm pedal; handbrake is really good. I'm just not feeling that the front disks are 'biting'. I do have new discs and pads ready to fit but the old ones are not significantly worn. Maybe they just need a bit of use to clean the discs but it's only three miles to the MOT testing centre. The car has been off the road for about twelve years. And, of course, it is the first non-servoed car that I've driven in the past forty odd years. Maybe my expectations are too high?
 

mr-reno-139

AKA Paul Cunningham
Messages
2,005
Location
lancing west sussex england
#18
Speedometer is not an MOT requirement as they've got no way of testing it non servo brakes do take a bit of of getting used to it is quite possible that there is more FreePlay play on the brake pedal push rod then there should be the White van I recently worked on on I managed to get about out a turn and half on the threads don't overdo it it just enough to get rid of the free play otherwise the brakes will stick on you need an 11mm spanner and a pair of pliers to wine the push rod out this makes a big difference to the feel of the pedal
 
Messages
85
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
#19
Actually an 11mm spanner and a 13mm spanner on an 85 gtl. But it worked! Managed to lock both front wheels afterwards. Thanks again for another ace suggestion.
 
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