Mechanics

TRANSMISSION OR AXLE PROBLEM?

1993 Honda Prelude

Transmission problem
1993 Honda Prelude 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 135000 miles

Just replaced shift cable, clutch/flywheel, rear main seal, and mounts in my prelude a few weeks ago. Did this with the motor outside of the vehicle. Changed oil and transmission fluid, too.

After a few days of driving I noticed 3rd gear started to make the steering wheel shake when accelerating. Gradually, this degrade has spread it seems, and 2nd and 4th have the same feel as well; 3rd is dreadfull now. It has been a little over 2 weeks. Yesterday, I noticed fluid surrounding the side and bottom of the transmission; there was a bit of spill when filling fluids after putting the motor in, though, so that may just be spilled fluid.

Here are some details about the new parts:

It is an aftermarket clutch and flywheel. I read another answer to a clutch question and you guys said that contamination and oil on the clutch happens more often with aftermarket clutches.

The mounts are solid steel mounts with eurothane inserts. Vibration from these mounts shouldn't occur above idle RPM's. I've had the same mounts with stiffer inserts in another prelude and didn't have this problem.

Not a new part, but the CV-axles have never been replaced as far as I know. Might have a lot of miles on them.

This might be a separate problem, but my ABS light also came on about the same time the shaking started, 2 days into (almost) fixed car.

I started smelling fluid about 3 days ago, which was about 12 days of driving car. I can't identify the smell. It seems a little different everytime I drive. I just shrugged it off as spilled fluid burning off the exhaust. Um, I only average about 2 to 5 miles a day. Every few days I may have a longer trip (once or twice a week); about 25 miles.


Also, the shaking in the wheel is worse the harder I press the throttle. I can feel the shaking in the gas pedal now, too. I'm thinking it's contamination to the clutch/flywheel, but the way it shakes feels like it's coming from the wheels to the transmission, so I'm not sure what it is in between. It's not the tires, they are new, balanced, and aligned. I'm going to check the fluids tomorrow and see if I can find some kind of leak. Another concern is that this could be my rack and pinion. Or maybe I'm leaking transmission fluid?
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Gamerzpro
August 16, 2010.



Hi gamerzpro,

Vibrations during acceleration are usually caused by CV inner joints out of balance.
Check for excessive side movement of the CV shaft bearings inside the joints. Look out for signs of spilt grease around the area.

Clutch would only judder at partial clutch before the clutch is fully engaged and usually occurs in 1st or reverse.

The ABS indicatro light turning on could be a fault with the wheel sensors and you need to retrieve the trouble code to be sure. Since vibrations and the ABS light are indicating, check the wheel bearings for excessive play, indicating the CV shaft central nut could be improperly torqued and this would cause the steering to vibrate as well. The different gears having different amount of vibrations are due to the difference in torque of the various speeds.

KHLow2008
Aug 16, 2010.
I was thinking it might be the CV axles since it is in gear when it vibrates. I don't know anything about the CV's so they may have never been replaced, and at ~135k miles it could be that the splines are even worn and it's tearing up the tranny. I will look at it immediately to see how sever they are.

About 8 months ago I redid some of the suspension. Upper ball joints were bad so I went ahead and installed camber kits. Lower ball joints had wear in the boots but no play, so I left them as is. Same with the tie rod ends; boots are worn but couldn't find play in them. It's been a while, so it may need the tie rod ends and lower ball joints when I change the CV's.

Thanks a lot for the help. I had ideas of what was wrong and needed some help deciding the first place to put the money. I'll buy some new CV's first and put those in. I'll put those in and get back with the results.

Tiny
Gamerzpro
Aug 16, 2010.
The CV joints seldom wear off unless there is a lack of lubrications for prolonged periods. Sometime servicing and repacking the joints would do if there are no abnormal wear internally

KHLow2008
Aug 17, 2010.