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1988 Corolla SR-5
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday on the way home from work, something in my Tercel driveline broke. I was accelerating down a highway on ramp when I lost drive. No sound or indication of problem. It just felt like it slipped out of gear and the engine reved up. I tried all gears and got nothing as the car coasted down so I just pulled off to the side. I looked underneath and verified that it wasn't an axle shaft. I believe either the clutch or the gearbox input shaft, I more suspect the gearbox than the clutch. Thank goodness for AAA!

I guess I need a Paseo gearbox to handle the extra power of the Paseo engine and the stress of autocross. This is the first time I have ever broken any driveline part of any vehicle, but this is also the first vehicle that I have ever auto crossed. :eek:(

I won't be able to look at it for a while, with the Holidays coming up and all, but I will post an update as soon as I figure the problem out.
 

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How do you know it wasn't an axle (i.e.CV joint)? With the car in gear, and the engine idleing, did you see neither axle spinning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Both axles were in place as they should be. I am pretty sure that if it was a broken axle there would be a definate noise as the sucker flails about when I put it into gear.
I haven't had time to do anymore checking since I got it home as I have been preparing my "real car" ('90 V6 Camry Wagon) for a trip to Miami this weekend.
 

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If the axle itself has broken, then it would flail around, and you would notice it. But if it is the CV joint that has broken, you may hear nothing at all. The car sounds and feels exactly as if it is in neautral. Nothing is flailing around, just that one end of the axle is spinning, where it enters the cv joint, and the other end, coming out of the cv joint, is not spinning. Had it happen to me once (on a Mercury Topaz); no noise at all.

Broken cv joints are much more common than broken transmissions (except autos), so I think this is very likely the source of your problem. And that's good news, because it's much cheaper and easier to replace an axle than a transmission. It's easy to check: let the car idle, put it in gear, open the hood, and look down at the axles (where they come out of the tranny). If one axle is spinning, that's the axle you need to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I see your point. That would be a lot easier to fix thah a broken gearbox input shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just tried looking at the CV joints with the car in gear but couldn't see any movement. I could shift into any gear with the engine running without pressing the clutch, and there was no resistance or grinding. I was as if the engine wasn't running. I think the input shaft is shot.

I will be off line for the Holidays. So, to all you Tercel lovers out there "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No. Not the slightest hint, it has always engaged firmly. That is why I believe that something broke.
I moved off and shifted into second gear and when I released the pedal there was just no response.
 

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I think you grenaded the clutch disk. It's the weak link designed to give. The input shaft is much stronger. Good luck, I hope it's not expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I hope that it's only the clutch. But if it was the clutch disk, wouldn't it make some kind of noise when it comes apart?
The one that is in it I got from Advance Auto Parts. Any recomendations on a stronger unit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All who voted clutch disk were right. The rivets that hold the center piece in all sheared.
Can anyone recomend where I might get a stronger disk?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
LOL!
Thanks Tercel GTS.
I just orderded an ACT 4 pad before seeing your reply. I guess I did good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update.
Well! I finally got my new clutch plate. It is a 6 pad design as the 4 pad has been discisontinued. It hads no damping springs. I have it installed and have driven the car around the block. It is not as grabby as I thought it would be but it does shudder a bit on take up. I am hoping that is because it needs to wear in but am not too conserned since it is really a slight shudder.

Thanks again guys for all the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am going to try to take it easy for about 100 miles to wear it in before I try a hard launch. I'll let you know when I try it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update:
I have driven for about 150 miles since I put the new clutch disk in. It has been very difficult, near impossible to make it not shuddered when I moved off from a stop.

This evening when I got home from work, I stopped the car on my sloped driveway and held the RPM at about 3000 as I held the car in place with the clutch. The idea was to burn a glaze on the pads of the disk so it would not be so grabby. It seemed to work, as I can now achieve a not quite perfect, but much smoother move-off .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Another update:
After a few hundred miles, the new clutch (ACT 6 pad) is still very uncomfortable to drive with. I have ordered a new one, a street spec disc. When I do the swap the racing unit will be available if anyone wants it for about $50 + postage, that is less than half the purchase price.

At the ACT website they describe the racing clutch as having a harsh engagement. Now I understand the meaning of "HARSH". It chatters like hell when trying to move off. Good for hard burn-outs but not for traffic lights.
 
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