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Transmission Whine

23 Nov 2022 21:44 #246074 by Stoo
Transmission Whine was created by Stoo
Hi All,

My 2005 Jimny has developed quite a significant whine in 4th & 5th gear at speeds around 40mph.

We changed the rear wheel bearings last weekend in the hope this would fix it, but no luck.

Doing some research I suspect this is a gearbox problem, but before I go to the trouble of removing the box are there any other common problems and/or is there any way to diagnose more accurately?



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23 Nov 2022 22:07 - 23 Nov 2022 22:07 #246075 by jlines
Replied by jlines on topic Transmission Whine
Jimnys do have transmission whine all the time but if this noise is new and is getting worse then it does sound like gearbox failure which in 2005 -2007 Jimnys is very common. My 2005 Jimny went rather suddenly and was worse at the lower speeds 30-40mph from memory.
Last edit: 23 Nov 2022 22:07 by jlines.

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24 Nov 2022 14:41 - 24 Nov 2022 14:42 #246083 by yakuza
Replied by yakuza on topic Transmission Whine
To help the accuracy of our diganose it helps if you could say something about if the noise changes in frequency/hum/tone between fourth and fiftth, and if there is difference between when accelerating or coasting.

mine got a noise that is mad upon strain going uphill and worse in first gear. there is a whine that increase in frequency with speed and does not change with the gears. wich tells me it is the transfer case. probably mostly the chain.

My 2005 gearbox had a slight grinding noise from the bearings in some gears wich was increasing fast. And before i got to think much of it, the bearings gave in and the teeth on the gearwheels lost pieces and the full breakdown was a fact. My recommendaition is to park the car and save the gearwheels while you can still change the bearings.
Mine was a total loss after just a few km's.

Compared to my SJ413 that had a whine in 1-3-5 th gear and was so loud i did not bother with a stereo in the end. But it never broke down.

Norway 2005 Jimny M16A VVT, 235 BFG MT, 2" Trailmaster, ARB rear lck, 17%/87% high/low gears.
Last edit: 24 Nov 2022 14:42 by yakuza.

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24 Nov 2022 15:04 #246084 by mlines
Replied by mlines on topic Transmission Whine
If it is the "gearbox issue" then stop using the car ASAP and get the bearings changed. Otherwise the shaft with the bearings collapses into the rest of the gearbox and expensively destroys it and it turns from a bearing replacement into a complete rebuild


2003 M13 early KAP build.
3" Trailmaster lift with 1.5 Spacers on front
Customised winch bumper and roll cage
235/85R16 Maxxis Bighorns on 16" Rims, 4:1 Rocklobster, Rear ARB locker and on-board air
Corrected arms all-round, rear disks, Recaro seats and harnesses
The following user(s) said Thank You: yakuza

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24 Nov 2022 16:31 - 24 Nov 2022 16:31 #246089 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Transmission Whine
Trying to think how to confirm even though its sounds likely its the box.

Could you
Drain the oil and look for metal
Remove the rear prop shaft and go for a drive in 4WD (its Now FWD only), this eliminates the rear axle and prop shaft.
Worth a go or daft ideas?
Please correct me if I am wrong or suggesting something stupid, its no problem.

Yokohama Geolanders, Sony head unit, NAUTILUS Air Horn, DRL conversion, Rear cargo space, Elvis Bobblehead, transfer Guard, Indian hanging Elephant, Koni Heavy track dampers, Custom SS exhaust, Voodoo Doll, Adventure Rack with LED ight bar, vintage ERIBA caravan usually attached (yes it's slow)
Last edit: 24 Nov 2022 16:31 by Scimike.

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26 Nov 2022 08:53 #246130 by Stoo
Replied by Stoo on topic Transmission Whine
Hi All,

Thanks for the advice so far - let me try to answer the Q's:

The noise is worse in 4th than 5th and almost no noise in 3rd at the same RPM's (although obviously engine noise is much greater in 3rd @ 40 MPH)!

The noise is worse when under power, but is still there if you dip the clutch.

I have changed all the oils and there was no swarf in any of them.

I haven't tested removing the rear prop and driving in 2WD.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.


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26 Nov 2022 09:23 #246131 by Delux
Replied by Delux on topic Transmission Whine
This isnt a legally binding, foolproof way of diagnosing gearbox noise but at work this is how we do it and after hundreds of years of being a mechanic its pretty accurate.

Firstly you need to isolate the noise. Is it 100% from the gearbox? Remember your car has a seperate transfer box and 2 differentials.
Its tempting to jump to suspecting 4th and 5th gear but remember your road speed is relatively high when in these gears. Could this noise be from something other than the gearbox at high speed rather than a noise from these gears? Release bearings on your clutch, fuel pumps, fan belts, timing belts and air intake pipes can all whine so make sure it is 100% the gearbox. I have to say this, not because I doubt your hearing but because if you are goint to the trouble of rebuilding a gearbox you need to know you are going to fix it!

Next, the load test. Is the noise worse on acceleration or over run? Noise on acceleration tends to be bearing noise, on the over run tends to be worn gear teeth. Bearings can groan as well as whine as can gears. Bearings cheap, gears not so!

Next, check the oil. We would typically drain out the oil and filter it. An oil filter box with a bit of blue roll is ideal. Drain the oil thru it into a drain tray or similar. Are there any bits? Gold or brown oil=ok. Grey suggests something has worn and disintegrated. Chunks of metal means something has failed quickly. Gold/metallic means a synchro has broken up.
Grey usually means a bearing has failed allowing something to move and put more load on something else.

Generally speaking if a bearing has failed you would routinely replace all the bearings on the geartrain. Assuming all the bearings are the same age, if one has failed the others wont be far behind.You wouldnt want to change the mainshaft bearings only to have to remove it to replace the idler shaft bearings the following week!

Gear wear tends to be caused by driver error. Every Subaru (and several Kia/Hyundai) gearbox I have had to rebuild has been because the driver has been driving with their hand on the gearstick! When you do this it pushes the gears together so the thin film of oil between gears is squeezed out. This causes the gears to heat up. Hot gears become harder and wear everything they contact faster. Not good!

Its not enough to batter in and change the broken bits, you need to understand what caused them to fail.

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15 Mar 2023 22:18 #248062 by Stoo
Replied by Stoo on topic Transmission Whine
Having changed the rear wheel bearings I'm convinced the noise is gearbox related.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a recon gearbox or does anyone have a good second hand box? I'm based in Kent.

Thanks in advance.


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16 Mar 2023 17:54 #248065 by fordem
Replied by fordem on topic Transmission Whine
I'm really curious as to how you jumped from rear wheel bearings to gearbox related, and I guess that is tied in to what made you think rear wheel bearings in the first place.

Rear wheel bearing noises are going to be road speed related, regardless of which gear you're in, gearbox noises tend to be related to which gear you're in.

It's also, at least in my experience, a very different sound, rear wheel/axles are usually a lower pitched hum whilst gearboxes are a higher pitched whine., the difference being caused by the rotational speeds.

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16 Mar 2023 21:29 #248067 by Stoo
Replied by Stoo on topic Transmission Whine
Good question - I used an electronic stethoscope on various parts under the vehicle (gearbox/transfer box/diffs/axles) whilst driving to try to locate the noise and there seemed to be a louder noise at the rear wheel bearings which, being relatively quick and easy to fix, made sense to be the first thing to try!

To be honest it may have been part of the noise! :-| but clearly there is an issue remaining even after replacing these - which alongside the known R72 gearbox noises leads me to believe that is probably the problem...


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