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New trans am owner, clutch issues related to spec stage 2

This is a discussion on New trans am owner, clutch issues related to spec stage 2 within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Hello all, I recently purchased a beautiful 99 trans am ws6. The previous owner had the transmission rebuilt and put ...

  1. #1
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    1999 Trans am WS6

    New trans am owner, clutch issues related to spec stage 2

    Hello all,

    I recently purchased a beautiful 99 trans am ws6. The previous owner had the transmission rebuilt and put a spec stage 2 clutch in, as well as an aluminum flywheel, and replaced the master/slave clutch cyls.

    He says that a few months later, he noticed a problem getting it in gear when the clutch pedal is depressed as well as some clutch chatter. He called the shop he had the work done at and they said that this is relatively normal after some time of use, and bleeding the hydraulic clutch system would fix this, but he never had time to do it.

    I just had that done today, and it is SLIGHTLY better, but still a pain to get into gear.

    Problem is that when I depress the pedal, i have to VERY SLOWLY, put it into gear. If I move the shifter too fast or try to force it into gear it will grind. If I just push it up against the gate and gently keep pressure it will eventually slip in. Reverse is similar. While moving it's not too terrible to get into gear and actually moves in enough to drive, just unfortunately shifting to neutral and back in at a light is a pain, and reverse is a nightmare.

    Since I bled the system out, I'm rather at a loss of where to proceed next or what troubleshooting to perform next without tearing the entire tranny out and checking everything by eye (Something I do not have the time or ability to do, and since I just purchased the car, do not have the cash to be able to do heh.)

    Thank you so much in advance for any assistance.

    -Bez

  2. #2
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    The problem is that something is grabbing the transmission input shaft and spinning along with the engine. When that happens the synchros have to work extra hard to match (synchronize) the the speed of the gears for a smooth engagement.
    There are only 3 possibilities I can think of:
    1. Something is wrong with the clutch hydraulics and the clutch is not being fully released (ie air in the system, worn master or slave).
    2. Something is wrong with the clutch itself thats not allowing it to fully release.
    3. The pilot bearing is bad and binding against the trans input shaft.

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    Hey Cutlass,

    Followup to this just in case you are interested. We found the problem. Not only was the flywheel toast, pressure plate burnt, and pilot bearing shot.... the pressure plate they put in did not have a self adjuster, so once the clutch wore the slightest bit, it went to hell.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    I am interested!! Thanks for the follow up info.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Ok, i have been lurking here cause i put a stage 2 spec in myself, and little less than a year later, 4th gear is kind of a lost cause. I can rarely get it into 4th. It usually grinds like hell. They supplied a spacer to put in, and i put it in behind the slave. Now, it seems like the spacer isn't long enough. Thick enough I mean. Do I need a thicker spacer now? I haven't tried rebleeding the system. I honestly don't think that will do anything. What do you think Cutlass? And to bezerker, what do you mean? That's kinda scary. Do I have the same thing?

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    If 4th gear is the only gear you have a problem with, then its not clutch related. Its either synchro problem or the input shaft is misaligned due to a bad pilot bearing, input bearing, the bearing or bushing between the input shaft and mainshaft/output shaft,bellhousing to engine isn't properly aligned(like the alignment dowel pins are missing, bellhousing isn't tight to the engine, bellhousing is cracked, etc), or the transmission isn't aligned to the bellhousing(loose bolts, etc).
    4th gear isn't actually a gear in this transmission, it achieved by connecting the input shaft to the output shaft. So any misalignment issue there can cause shifting issues.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Oh...hmmm. az_gt, I reread your post. You can't get into 4th at all? That could also be a shift fork issue. The aluminum 3-4 shift fork is known to bend. A bent shift fork could also give you that problem.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Every once in a while when i am babying it, ie driving it like normal people do, it will go in gear butter smooth, but a hard acceleration leaving third into fourth, or downshifting into 4th doesn't go. The clutch was tight when I first put it in, like it engages almost form the floor. Also, if I am sitting in gear, with the clutch pulled, and goose it hard a couple of times, it starts to go. That's with the clutch pulled in. I can pull the tranny again, but what am I looking for? The pilot bearing was impossible to get out. All it was was a brass bushing. Do I live with it until I can get a new tranny? Or pull it, and hopefully fix it?

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az gt eater View Post
    Every once in a while when i am babying it, ie driving it like normal people do, it will go in gear butter smooth, but a hard acceleration leaving third into fourth, or downshifting into 4th doesn't go. The clutch was tight when I first put it in, like it engages almost form the floor. Also, if I am sitting in gear, with the clutch pulled, and goose it hard a couple of times, it starts to go. That's with the clutch pulled in. I can pull the tranny again, but what am I looking for? The pilot bearing was impossible to get out. All it was was a brass bushing. Do I live with it until I can get a new tranny? Or pull it, and hopefully fix it?
    I think its supposed to be a bearing. So if it looked like a bushing, maybe all the rollers fell out. In that case, its shot and you need to replace it. People are getting them out by cutting them to pieces with a dremel tool or similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    I think its supposed to be a bearing. So if it looked like a bushing, maybe all the rollers fell out. In that case, its shot and you need to replace it. People are getting them out by cutting them to pieces with a dremel tool or similar.
    This,, and watch out for damageing or pushing the crank oil galley plug into the crank.. If that happens you'll likely have to pull the motor too...
    :\Users\Steven\Pictures\d6ftg5nh.gif


    Suggestion: If you are particularly irritated by another member's posting habits and are constantly fighting the urge to flame them, you can click on that person's profile, and select "Add to ignore list." This will make that person's posts invisible to you.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Well,from what you said earlier, that's prob my problem. Uggh, one more time.

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    Junior Member adamblake97's Avatar
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    I know this post is old as hell,but cutlass I am having a problem getting my 97 T/A in 2nd gear. it's only second. when i' coming out of first and try to throw it in 2nd it just doesn't go sometimes. doesn't grind at all but if i let off the clutch and pump it once more it goes in with ease. it just take me two pumps of the clutch. what do you think this is?

    97 TRANS AM-MODS-stage two clutch,short throw,cold air intake,front and rear sway bars,full exhaust.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Do you have a skip shift eliminator?
    -------------------------------------
    Kooks 1 7/8" race headers, Kooks ORY, Borla catback, Nitto 555R, LS6 intake manifold, Shaner S3 ported stock throttle body, SLP lid, smooth bellows, JAAM Ram Air kit, Elite Engineering catch can, LS6 valley cover, EGR and AIR deleted, Frost tune, and Simpson Racing child car seat in the back. 13.2 @ 108MPH

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    what rpm are you shift into 2nd? At or below 2k the skip shift that Cutlass is referring to kicks in and locks out 2nd forcing you into 4th. It is to"help" fuel economy.

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    Junior Member adamblake97's Avatar
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    I'm not sure
    Last edited by adamblake97; 04-01-2014 at 03:40 PM.

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    Junior Member adamblake97's Avatar
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    I shift into second at low rpms sometimes but most of the time at about 3500 to 4500

  17. #17
    Junior Member adamblake97's Avatar
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    that is probably my problem because I notice when I shift at higher rpms it goes into second with ease. I hope that was all it was. if it keeps doing this at higher rpms though what could it be?

  18. #18
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    synchros.


    You have 2 options to get rid of the skip shift.

    1) Plug in chip that tricks the ecm (cheapest and easy to fail)

    2) If you have a mail order tune have them eliminate it. I know Frost does this as part of his mail tunes. (cost $150 for the tune, but you get so much more, would hold off till you get headers or some other bolt on stuff before getting the tune)

  19. #19
    Junior Member adamblake97's Avatar
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    okay cool. I guess for now I can try the chip, what is the chip called and where do i get it?

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    SLP skip shift eliminator try here Skip Shift Eliminator Cags Bypass GM LS1 Camaro Firebird GTO Corvette Challenger | eBay

    - - - Updated - - -

    You have an hour for $10....

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