: Clutch / Shifting Issues



wilkinskd
05-17-09, 10:02 PM
We just purchased a 2004 CTS-V, 40K miles. While test driving the car we didn't notice an issue with the clutch and shifting, especially from 1st to 2nd gear. While I realize it takes some getting used to, driving a performance car with a manual transmission, it appears that there may be some issues with the clutch. Going from 1st to 2nd gear, we can never get a smooth shift. There is a clanging noise when pushing the clutch in, and there is a jerking when the clutch is engaged after shifting.

Does this sound like a clutch issue that needs to be looked at, or do we need to develop some patience and learn to drive the car? Thanks for any advice.

darkman
05-17-09, 10:52 PM
These cars are not quite as easy as small foreign cars but they should shift smoothly without much effort. The clutch is actuated by hydraulic set up with a small master cylinder so the the first thing to check when experiencing shifting problems is the level of the brake fluid (DOT 3 or 4) in the clutch master cylinder.

The jerking you describe could indicate a variety things. If it is not the clutch, it could be bad motor mounts or a bad differential bushing. The motor mounts a liquid filled and leak when they break. The differential busihing can be checked visually with the car on a lift.

NormV
05-18-09, 10:36 AM
The easiest is to pull the clutch reservoir cap and accordian inside. Fill to max line and quickly reinstall accordian and cap. Wipe off excess and report back.

You really should go over and replace all fluids when buying a used car. Shit, got to do that with new ones too!


Norm

lollygagger8
05-18-09, 10:59 AM
:yeah:

To be honest, this isn't the easiet clutch I've ever driven, and at first it took some getting used to.

The clunk noise may just be the normal "parade clunk" we mostly all experience, but definitely look for the things mentioned above.

stinkpalm
05-18-09, 12:05 PM
The easiest is to pull the clutch reservoir cap and accordian inside. Fill to max line and quickly reinstall accordian and cap. Wipe off excess and report back.

You really should go over and replace all fluids when buying a used car. Shit, got to do that with new ones too!


Norm

Ok, so the proper way to fill the clutch reservoir is too the max line with the cap off? I was wondering if I overfilled mine the other night with this methodology.

c4ss
05-18-09, 04:52 PM
:yeah:

To be honest, this isn't the easiet clutch I've ever driven, and at first it took some getting used to.

The clunk noise may just be the normal "parade clunk" we mostly all experience, but definitely look for the things mentioned above.


When you say "parade clunk" is that referred to the clunk it makes when driving slow? Just asking because I was never totally sure what that meant :confused:

cvettr/cts-v
05-18-09, 06:03 PM
Just last week I topped off my resivoir. As it is brake fluid used in it I did not want any spillage at all so i put a little in then replaced cap checked and repeated till it was filled when cap put on. If i remember correctly it was just over minimum with cap off reads full with cap on. I had towels all around and under in case of any spillage brake fluid is mean stuff.

gfourth
05-18-09, 06:11 PM
We just purchased a 2004 CTS-V, 40K miles. While test driving the car we didn't notice an issue with the clutch and shifting, especially from 1st to 2nd gear. While I realize it takes some getting used to, driving a performance car with a manual transmission, it appears that there may be some issues with the clutch. Going from 1st to 2nd gear, we can never get a smooth shift. There is a clanging noise when pushing the clutch in, and there is a jerking when the clutch is engaged after shifting.

Does this sound like a clutch issue that needs to be looked at, or do we need to develop some patience and learn to drive the car? Thanks for any advice.

Sounds like that is probably the massive flywheel jerking the car when you let the clutch out in 2nd. With this car, you need to wait a second or two to let the clutch out when you shift (casually), to let the motor wind down a bit so it closer matches the RPM of what 2nd gear likes at the speed you're at.

Hope that made sense.

EDIT: Like others had said above, you probably have some worn out bushings, which would greatly amplify the clanging.

wilkinskd
05-18-09, 08:04 PM
The clutch fluid reservoir was out of fluid. There must have been enough in the line to still work the clutch. I added several ounces and now the shifting seems much smoother, although we still need to adapt our driving to the car. Is there any chance the system needs bleeding, and is there a procedure available to do it? Thank you very much for your advice and suggestions!

NormV
05-18-09, 08:17 PM
Not sure someone reading the service manual might agree. But when I was grinding gears on occasion I pulled cap and accordian it was at minimum. Topped it off and it has been fine.


Ok, so the proper way to fill the clutch reservoir is too the max line with the cap off? I was wondering if I overfilled mine the other night with this methodology.

darkman
05-18-09, 09:33 PM
Not sure someone reading the service manual might agree. But when I was grinding gears on occasion I pulled cap and accordian it was at minimum. Topped it off and it has been fine.

This is same thing I do - in fact I just did it today. Removed the cap, saw the fluid was at the min line, added to the max line, reinstalled the cap whlle collapsing the accordion diaphram. No spillage. (I wasn't grinding any gears before or after though.)

wilkinskd
05-18-09, 09:42 PM
Do you guys think there is a need to bleed the line after the reservoir gets low?

darkman
05-18-09, 09:53 PM
Do you guys think there is a need to bleed the line after the reservoir gets low?

I theory yes, but as a practical matter, no. Although it may depend on how low the fluid gets and how long it goes undiscovered.

The idea that you need to bleed the system is drawn from the operation of brake systems. Because brake lines run to all four wheels the extensive plumbing system is large enough to develop air pockets in the middle of the system such that only bleeding will get them out.

In contrast this clutch system is very short and consists of a single line. If you add fluid and pump the clutch and everything works then I think your done. I would only resort to bleeding if some shifting problem persisted.

I do have mine bled occasionally (just like the brakes) to refresh all the fluid because it deteriorates over time.

gfourth
05-18-09, 09:55 PM
Do you guys think there is a need to bleed the line after the reservoir gets low?

When I bought my V, the reservoir was empty. I filled it up and squeezed the black rubber line to aid in getting the air out of the res line. Mine never had a problem.

I would imagine it all depends on how low the fluid gets in that line though.

CadzillaTN
05-18-09, 11:23 PM
I will be a good test mule for this theory if I can ever find the time to take the V in to pay the dealership to bleed/flush the clutch. I pondered doing it myself but after spending time under the car and not being able to find the bleed valve (after several member attempts to help locate) , I couldn;t..

I have a persistently intermittent shifting issue- not the inability to shift, but it does not "fall" into gear. I shifted another members car with the UUC and it felt very smooth. I have not driven another V nor have I had anyone drive mine to validate this problem. Dealer could not duplicate, but as long as the car goes into gear at all, they aren't going to start fixing things that aren't broken.

my reservior was completely empty the first time I checked it (a year after I owned it:hide::hide:) I always thought it was just the crap stock shifter, not a real problem. threw in the B&M, and realized I had a problem..

I think many can top theirs off and it is o-k but I did that and it got no better. either I have air in the line, a bad master/slave (dealer says no leaks), or maybe a clutch problem.

darkman has a popular list of about 20 things to check...

Are you supposed to be able to shift quickly from 1st to second smoothly? if so, I have a shifting problem...I just need to find the time to take it in...

BacDoc
05-18-09, 11:26 PM
You bought a V congrats.

It's the roughest shifting car I've every had the pleasure to drive.

darkman
05-18-09, 11:37 PM
I can do the 1-2 shift quickly and smoothly.

I grew up driving the manual transmissions found in 50s, 60s, and 70s American cars - mostly 3-speed on the column. The V clutch and transmission are easier to drive than those were. The V clutch and transmission are much much easier to drive than the 4-speed muscle cars of the 50s-70s. Those cars required heavy clutch pedal pressure that made them a nightmare in stop and go traffic, and the shift throw seemed like about 12 inches.

The V clutch/transmission are not as easy to drive as the 4 & 6 cylinder toyotas, hondas, and other diminuitive set ups I've driven - but then again they don't have to handle the torque output found in the V.

BacDoc
05-19-09, 08:37 AM
A buddy of mine drove my V and described the clutch feel to that of a compound bow. :lol:

Let's face it, it's not the smoothest car ever. It clunks and bangs like a $2 whore.

dmilamj
05-20-09, 04:56 PM
Definitely not a smooth shifting setup in the V. A Miata it ain't, but then again, it ain't a Miata, and that's the point, eh?

I've found that it's much harder to move through the 0 to 10 mph range really smoothly than in my old Toyota pickup.

It seems like the only way for me to get a nice smooth, easy start is to release the clutch pedal to the engagement point (you know what I mean, point at which the engine RPMs start to drop without throttle and the car starts to move, I'll call that point 0 (zero)). Then as the car builds up speed I actually push the pedal in slightly more, say -1 or -2, then release back out through 0 to full release.

If I just leave the clutch at position 0, the car seems to speed up exponentially, leading to a very not smooth feel. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about or experience this? What causes this?

Of course, if you want really smooth, just start in 2nd.

lollygagger8
05-20-09, 05:07 PM
Shhhhhiiiiiiiittt.....I had a 3-speed T150 in my 79 CJ7 and that shifted smoother than the V.

Try getting used to this shift pattern.......
R - 2
1 - 3

Reverse is where 1st gear is, and 1st gear is where 2nd normally is :doh:

bdubbs
05-20-09, 05:35 PM
I have a similar issue. You will adjust. It did feel like my clutch grabbed a little lower in 2nd than any other gear, but I could be crazy. Can shift smoothly now, i guess I just got used to it. Its smooth to the point where i was wondering my clutch health, that was until it banged again on a poor shift by me.

PISNUOFF
05-20-09, 07:10 PM
Theoretically, our clutch system is a 'self-bleeding' system. The air works it's way up the line to the resevoir. The concentric slave cylinder is very sensitive to old fluid and I've found that routine flushing helps a ton. Most driveability issues can be fixed by properly flushing with new/better fluid.

NormV
05-31-09, 02:09 PM
I agree with Brian the system is self bleeding if the level is going down and there are no leaks. I have had my reservoir clean for over a year and today bleed the system...black-black! It was very dark so just topping off the reservoir after emptying is not enough.

Just an 8mm boxed wrench, brake fluid, and a pan to catch it. Oh, if your home alone the garden shovel work well. :)

Norm


Theoretically, our clutch system is a 'self-bleeding' system. The air works it's way up the line to the resevoir. The concentric slave cylinder is very sensitive to old fluid and I've found that routine flushing helps a ton. Most driveability issues can be fixed by properly flushing with new/better fluid.