Are My Synchros Out Or Do I Need A New Clutch/tranny?

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by Red_dragon, Apr 4, 2014.


  1. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    I have a 2005 Mustang GT Premium coupe with the dreaded T5 transmission in it. I bought the car in January and it had a slight grinding in first, second and third gears, which was CONSIDERABLY louder (and was able to be felt through the shifter knob) when cold outside. Just three days ago the noise got a tiny bit louder and then suddenly I was unable to shift down from third into second or first. I found this out when I came to a dead stop at a light and tried shifting into first to go forward and it would not shift come hell or high water. I managed to get it home (don't ask how, it was a very heart wrenching process. Involved grinding in third :fuss:) and parked it immediately. I don't know when the tranny fluid was last changed as the mechanics at the dealer gave it a short once-over and put it on the bargain lot, and I don't feel comfortable doing it myself. I went back out yesterday, meaning to head to the truck and out of habit got into the mustang by mistake. Started it and shifted through the gears as normal. Suddenly it registered that it was shifting through ALL FIVE gears and nothing was being blocked. So I backed it out of the garage experimentally and almost immediately noticed a sort of fan belt sound from the engine area that lasted about 10 seconds, was loud, and then tapered off to a smaller lower sound, but did not vanish. There was also a pronounced clicking in the clutch or transmission in any gear I did this in.

    What is wrong with my car!?
    #1
  2. F. Jason Garriott

    F. Jason Garriott Member

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    It sounds like a clutch/throwout-bearing issue, Red Dragon. How many miles are on the clutch? Most, if not all Gt's had the Tremec 3650. I think the T-5 is older, a 96-04 thing. If it won't go into 1st at the stop light, shut it down, press the clutch, put it in gear, and start it up. Under way, try to match engine rev.s to trans rev.s. Replace the the clutch/throwout/pilot/rear seal, or you'll kill the transmission.

    Test the clutch? Launch in 3rd or 4th in a safe area. The engine should lug and stall, if the clutch is good. If not, the clutch'll slip, and the car will try to move forward, like a Volkswagen.

    Good luck.
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  3. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    It wouldn't go into first for love or money, shutting it down, sitting there with it on, nothin. And yeah, I had to get it going in third to get it home. Twice. The first time it did exactly what you would expect it to do - Clunkaclunkaclunka *stall* *die*. I managed the second time to balance clutch and gas and it moved very VERY slowly, I then managed to get up to speed on a hill and just kept it in fourth the whole way home (I know what I did killed it probably but there was nowhere I could leave it) It's at a mechanic right now to get looked at on Monday. Now when I start it there's this Vshhhhhhh kinda noise coming from right under the engine, and it'll shift but it's very stiff and tight
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  4. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    And as for miles on the clutch, I think it's got the same as the car, right around 134,000
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  5. F. Jason Garriott

    F. Jason Garriott Member

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    It has to be the clutch. It's not releasing and taking torque off of the transmission to shift gears. Just kidding about Volkswagens.
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  6. racerraj

    racerraj Founding Member

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    Clutch does sound bad. It would have to be fixed before you could determine the condition of the transmission easily. It is not a T5, it is the 3650 as mentioned above.
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  7. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    Right, sorry about the trans error - It's still a heck of a lot of bother for me though so no matter what it is it's dreaded. And yeah, I'm thinking it is the clutch - it's at the shop right now waiting on the mechanic to get around to it, hoping I hear about it soon.
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  8. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    Well, really BAD news. The hydraulic lifters in the engine are bad and they've worn the engine out - it'll have to be replaced. Oh, and the previous owner broke some dog teeth. More than a few. Trans is having to go too….. It's gonna be $4,000 for both new-ish parts and labor.
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  9. racerraj

    racerraj Founding Member

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    I would get a second look. I don't really think worm lifters would "wear the engine out". Transmission - may have been beat on. Lifters may be shot from lack of oil changes - and bad oil can wear the engine.
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  10. timjimmy

    timjimmy Active Member

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    Tired lash adjusters (lifters) can "tire" the engine by essentially reducing. he lift of the camshafts, but they won't wear the engine out unless, like @racerraj said, poor maintenance caused both the adjusters and engine to wear. The good news is that lash adjusters can be purchased for a few hundred dollars, and the repair is as simple as pulling off the camshafts.
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  11. racerraj

    racerraj Founding Member

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    Hey.... Great time for new cams! LOL.
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  12. timjimmy

    timjimmy Active Member

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    Sounds like a good idea to me! If you have access to a valve spring compressor, pull a few roller followers off the valve springs to gain access to the lash adjusters. If the plunger has more than about 1/8" of play, they need to be replaced. Just make sure that the valve locks don't come out of the retainers, because then a valve might drop into a cylinder.
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  13. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    I'll have the guy check it out. The previous owner really drove my poor car into the ground.. its engine is really worn.
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  14. Red_dragon

    Red_dragon Member

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    Oh happy day, I'm about to go through the roof. Took it to an actual ford mechanic who just got back in town. He has suggested replacing all synchros and a timing chain of all things… and has also told me never to take it to who I previously took it to as all he does is scam women out of their cars by trying to scare them and then restore and sell said cars for thousands more than they're worth.

    Something he said also made a ton of sense to me. When it would not shift, the car was very warm and I'd been driving it for a while. It was also about 90 outside… It's been kinda tricky to shift since then but whenever it's cold I have absolutely no issue with shifting except what you'd expect from an abused transmission. His sentence was this.. "Have you gotten it that hot again? No? Well consider this. If it was teeth on the gears being broken, wouldn't you constantly have the same problem with your gears no matter how hot or cold the car is, not just one time when the car got extremely hot?"

    That's what makes me want to agree it's not the gears, at least not completely.

    Something else he said makes a grain or two of sense. If it was my lifters messing up, the noise we heard would be constant from immediate time of engine startup, but it's not. It kicks in 3-5 seconds after the car starts, hence him saying it may be the timing chain. I've driven cars with worn out engines and they don't burn up a 1/4 mile. They try but just can't do it. Leads me to believe mine truly isn't worn like the previous mechanic claimed it to be.

    On one other note - figured out it doesn't shut off at 140 :jester:


    Also - as to any previous post I may have made contradicting what I just said, please disregard them.
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  15. racerraj

    racerraj Founding Member

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    When the "Timing Chain" wears it is not usually the Timing Chain that wears, but the guides and tensioners that wear. And they will cause noise. If oil changes weren't done as they should be, it can cause the guide surface to wear faster than it should. The Timing Chain kit replaces both chains, guides and tensioners. SpartaPerfomance posted somewhere in here about that and the kit he sells.

    Syncros can cause difficult shifts. Usually when syncros are at the beginning of wearing out you still shift be not shifting fast and just pulling with a light pull until it pops into the next gear. Point being, that if it is hard to shift fast, but slower shifts work, syncros are a good possibility. And you can delay the repair by shifting easy. But don't delay too long as other parts may wear too resulting in more parts being replaced.
    #15
  16. racerraj

    racerraj Founding Member

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  17. timjimmy

    timjimmy Active Member

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    I lucked out...last summer when I did cams, and heads, my Ford parts distributor had the kit on sale for $70. Check out shopfreedomracing.com. The website isn't very nice, but it's a great place to pick up OEM Ford parts without the dealership mark up. They have any part you could imagine.
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  18. timjimmy

    timjimmy Active Member

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    For some reason the copy and paste function on my phone won't work, but they have the timing chain kit with tensioners and everything for $139. The only things it's missing are cam phaser bolts.
    #18

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