1987 Manual Transmission Accord DX - Testing Transmission/Gears??

Discussion in 'Accord' started by Ken Abrahamsen, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. I have a 1987 Manual Transmission Accord DX with 220,000 miles on the
    original clutch (bought the car new). Although the book value of the car's
    not too much, I'm trying to see if it's reasonable to put a clutch in and
    have it last about another 3 years, until I can afford to replace the car.
    The engine's fine, and has started for me almost without fail over the last
    17 years - a *very* reliable car.

    So, is there a easy, reliable way to test the transmission/gears to see if
    replacing the clutch would be a waste due to a so-to-be-failing

    Sometimes it's hard to shift, but I've noticed that *sometimes* if I pump
    the clutch, it will go into gear (if it's one of those times it's being
    stubborn about not wanting to go into gear). Sometimes it will partially go
    into gear and then if I keep the pressure on the stick shift, it will slide
    in the rest of the way. I don't mind spending about $1000 on the car if I'll
    give me another 3 years or so of reliable operation. $333/year isn't much
    over a 3 year period - and sure beats a new car payment at this point in my
    life. Other than the clutch, the front suspension could also stand some work
    (ride's a little 'bouncy' - replace *original* front struts?).
    Thanks for you hints and tips!
    Ken Abrahamsen, Oct 25, 2004
  2. Ken Abrahamsen

    Cosmin N. Guest

    I'm really new to manual transmissions, so I can only give you an
    opinion. Before changing the clutch, try changing the transmission fluid
    with Honda MTF. Avoid regular 10w30 oil, (I can use it in my 01 Prelude
    but it's not recommended) or other fluids that cheap shops use. If there
    is anything wrong with the transmission, you'll know it for sure if it
    still has problems with fresh fluid. If it does, it may be the shift
    fork, but at this point I'm guessing... But it's not the parts that are
    very expensive when repairing a transmission, it's the labour. If you
    decide to replace the clutch it shouldn't be much more expensive to
    repair the gear box at the same time.

    And the front struts may well need replacing, since they are 17 years
    old the seals are probably pretty worn and leaking. But if they lasted
    this long and you can live with the bouncier suspension, they probably
    do not need replacing right away.

    Cosmin N., Oct 25, 2004
  3. Ken Abrahamsen

    Eric Guest

    The symptom you've described, hard shifting into gear, can be caused by a
    worn clutch and does not necessarily indicate a problem with the

    One way to evaluate the transmission is to depress and release the clutch
    pedal with the engine running and the transmission in neutral. If you hear
    any change in the sound coming from the engine compartment, then it could be
    associated with the transmission. For example, if a noise goes away when
    you depress the clutch pedal, then the transmission might have noisy
    bearings. Or if a noise becomes audible when the clutch pedal is depressed,
    then it might be the clutch release bearing (something which is replaced
    with the clutch so it's not a big deal).

    Other problems that can occur are with the clutch release cable. Sometimes
    the wire cable saws through the metal housing at the transmission end. This
    can cause the cable to hang up and might prevent the clutch from fully
    engaging thereby accelerating wear on the clutch. Another problem, which is
    more common on Civics, is that sometimes the spot welds in the pedal cluster
    come apart. This allows the pedal cluster to flex which then doesn't allow
    the clutch to be fully disengaged while shifting.

    Also make sure that the clutch is adjusted correctly. There should be about
    3-5 mm of free play at the end of the clutch release arm. If there isn't,
    then you'll need to back of the adjusting knob on the cable a little bit.
    However, too much freeplay can cause the transmission to be hard to get into
    gear especially with a worn clutch.

    Lastly, manual transmission fluid should be replaced about every 30K mi. If
    you change the oil, be sure to check it's condition. Make sure that you
    don't see any sparkling metal flakes in it which would indicate failing
    internal components.

    Eric, Oct 25, 2004
  4. Ken Abrahamsen

    Howard Guest

    The stubborn "going in to gear" is probably a clutch problem which should go
    away when replaced. If you hear no whining from the transmission when
    driving, if it doesn't pop out of gear while driving and you get no grinding
    when changing gears your transmission is likely still in decent shape. Do
    use the Honda Manual Transmission fluid, it will extend the life of your
    synchronizers in your trans.
    If it were mine I'd replace the clutch.
    "$333/year isn't much" How does $27.75 per month sound? Still better than a
    new car payment. Good luck!
    new car payment at this point in my
    Howard, Oct 26, 2004
  5. Ken Abrahamsen

    KenA Guest

    Just a quick "Thanks" to everyone who's replied!
    KenA, Oct 27, 2004
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