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Old 11-06-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default Gear Whine when on throttle, gone when in neutral

Ok so let me start out by sating I have a 1993 1.6 5 speed. Im pretty sure it still has the 1.6 diff with VLSD (which still works surprisingly decent). At least im pretty sure its the 1.6 diff, it has the fins and funny looking ears on the halfshaft flanges but not rubber isolator on the driveshaft. I got the car about mid August and absolutely love it. However it has had a gear whine since i took ownership. It hasn't really bothered me seeing as how it doesn't affect driveability but as I've been fixing everything else on the car I've come back to the whine.

To give you a description it isn't noticeable until about 25 mph and is present in gears 3-5. The noise changes pitch as I accelerate and almost sounds like a turbo spooling up which wouldn't be an issue if it was actually a turbo spooling! But anyways whenever I push the clutch in or take it out of gear the noise is gone. And the noice seems to get louder if i get on the gas. For example if im cruising the interstate at a steady 70mph, its there but not too loud. HOwever if I get on it it gets louder. Now I know the 1.6 diff is not known for its strength but it sounds to me like it is coming from the transmission since the noise is only present when in gear. Also the previous owner said the clutch had just been replaced before I got it. It seems to engage smoothly and without incident but could the problem lay in a botched install job? In addition the diff and tranny both have fluid. I haven't checked the driveshaft and ujoint so can't rule them out, but honestly don't know what i'd be looking for anyways.

I've tried to include all the details I could for an accurate diagnosis. Perhaps someone on here has had the same issues.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
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The transmissions on the miatas are loud. They make whining noises all the time. I've driven a lot of them, and they all do it. It's grinding and clunking you want to look out for.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Cool, I've been looking aroun it it seems that the miata is just a noisy car which I'm ok with, but I just want to make sure I'm not going down the highway when all of a sudden my gears decide t weld themselves together or some ungodly mess like that
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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All gear whine is going to sound like its coming from the transmission, whether its the transmission or the diff. I had a girl ride in my trunk once (long story), and she said it was loud as **** in there. If it was the diff, the noise would be present under the same conditions, just because it does it in gear doesn't necessarily mean it can only be the transmission.

I'd check the diff/trans fluid for anything odd looking, this sounds a bit more severe than the average gear whine, I've never had it under acceleration, only on decel.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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I usually hear it on accel. It sounds almost like a really faint supercharger.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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I had a girl ride in my trunk once (long story)
You can't throw that tidbit out and not fill in the details.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:19 PM   #7
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You can't throw that tidbit out and not fill in the details.
We were having buttsex It was 3 people, and one Miata. She was tiny.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:57 PM   #8
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I usually hear it on accel. It sounds almost like a really faint supercharger.
Yea its not so faint its pretty loud. Im thinking im gonna drain the diff fluid and check for metallics flakes...or chunks.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:16 AM   #9
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We were having buttsex It was 3 people, and one Miata. She was tiny.
I've gone out longboarding with my buddy and his girl before, both in the passenger seat. I wouldn't feel safe putting someone in the trunk, esp a chick. You may be the best driver in the world, but you get rear ended by the right car/truck/suv and that could end up ugly.

If you do a search on the tranny whine you should find a few threads about it. Mine has done it for quite some time now. Some say its what it does before it breaks.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:08 AM   #10
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I've gone out longboarding with my buddy and his girl before, both in the passenger seat. I wouldn't feel safe putting someone in the trunk, esp a chick. You may be the best driver in the world, but you get rear ended by the right car/truck/suv and that could end up ugly.

If you do a search on the tranny whine you should find a few threads about it. Mine has done it for quite some time now. Some say its what it does before it breaks.
Thankfully it was a 1/4 mile drive up the street.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:12 AM   #11
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Thankfully it was a 1/4 mile drive up the street.
1/4mile? She didn't have legs? That's why she was so tiny?

For some reason, the Miata wears out shifter boots pretty fast. It is very common that they are worn to shread on older cars. The result of this isn't anything that damages the car, but it does let noise and heat from the tranny into the cabin. The shifter turret is supposed to be filled with oil, which are often missing if the boots are gone.

It is an easy fix. Lift the center consol and have a look.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:39 PM   #12
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Ok so I was able to make a little video of the in cabin noise. Theres no picture because i dont have a snazzy little holder but i dont care about the way the sound looks! So I hope this helps

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Old 11-07-2011, 03:53 PM   #13
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that sounds awful.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Torkel View Post
For some reason, the Miata wears out shifter boots pretty fast. It is very common that they are worn to shread on older cars. The result of this isn't anything that damages the car, but it does let noise and heat from the tranny into the cabin. The shifter turret is supposed to be filled with oil, which are often missing if the boots are gone.

It is an easy fix. Lift the center consol and have a look.
Yea my shifter boot looks like it had a bad fight with a wombat and it's torn to ****. However im guessing that there shouldn't be that much noise coming from the tranny.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Yea my shifter boot looks like it had a bad fight with a wombat and it's torn to ****. However im guessing that there shouldn't be that much noise coming from the tranny.
I "heared you video" and you are right: That's not the issue. That sounds expe... I mean really bad.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:56 PM   #16
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What fluid is in it? You sure it's full? Old/ low/ really crappy fluid can cause transmission noise.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:20 PM   #17
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Thats def not the gear whine most of us refer to. That sounds straight up broken. lol

I'd start looking around for a replacement ASAP.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:26 PM   #18
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Default Damnit Bobby..

Damn, really not what I wanted to hear . I was hoping it wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds..The thing is theres no vibration or grinding, clunking or hard shifting. I can shift into all gears smoothly without a problem. Well if worse comes to worse is there an oem upgrade? Is the 6 speed a stronger option or would I be better sticking to the 5 speed?
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:29 PM   #19
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What fluid is in it? You sure it's full? Old/ low/ really crappy fluid can cause transmission noise.
And in response to that I am not sure if its full, or if there is just a little bit of fluid in there. I will change the fluid tomorrow b4 work, and perhaps give the diff a refresh too. My guess is that the fluid is probably old. The P.O. seemed to be completely void of knowledge...thought I was getting a good deal on a car, maybe i'm the one void of knowledge! O well you live and ya learn!
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:32 PM   #20
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Holy ****. That is horrible. Depending on how long you've been driving it like this, if its really just a low/no fluid issue, you're probably too late. Look for a tranny/diff.
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