87 Accord Automatic transmission SHAKES terribly while in drive and stopped -- help!

Discussion in 'Accord' started by Greg, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Greg

    Greg Guest

    I've worked on this car a lot. 1987 accord, carb, auto trans, with
    very low miles--50,000. Yes, 50,000 original miles after 20 years.

    The remaining problem now is that the car shakes and rattles while at a
    stop. When it's in park or neutral, it's not bad. But when it's in
    gear it sounds like a jackhammer, so I generally have to shift out of
    gear at every stop light. The shake isn't visible from outside the
    car, nor is it apparent while looking at the engine, but inside the car
    it sounds like a jackhammer. Loud, as the dash rattles all over. The
    dash is not loose, nor has it even been removed as far as I know.
    While driving or moving over 5mph, there's no abnormal noise. But when
    stopped it's terrible. Same in reverse or other gears. Otherwise it
    works great.

    It passes smog here in california, which tells me that it's pretty well
    tuned. When the idle is over around 1100, the jackhammer is much
    quieter, but the car is tugging and that doesn't feel right. When set
    at factory recommended idle of 750, it's awful.

    My only remaining guess is that it might be the transmission fluid. I
    changed it over a year ago and it didn't really make any difference. I
    used dexron 3, or mercon or whatever the manual says, but it's not oem.
    If anyone is sure that the oem ripoff fluid will fix it, I'm happy to
    pay the $30 extra or whatever, but otherwise I don't want to waste any
    more time & money. It's not due for a change. It just seems to me
    that there's so little wear on the car, that it HAS to be easily
    fixable. But for all I know, there's something wrong with the trans.

    This car belonged to my grandmother, and I don't remember it being
    noisy at all, but as long as I've had it, it's been fairly loud. Are
    these cars supposed to be fairly quiet inside the cabin? Is it
    possible for a non-standard muffler to cause this stuff? Help please!

    Greg, Jan 3, 2007
  2. Greg

    Joe LaVigne Guest

    Perhaps a faulty motor mount? they have rubber that will wear over time,
    and could easily present itself at low RPM...

    While I don't think your transmission is the problem at all, I would
    always recommend using the OEM fluid as opposed to the off the shelf stuff.
    Joe LaVigne, Jan 3, 2007
  3. Greg

    Tegger Guest

    Sounds like the rear engine mount. Some Accords have a hydraulic rear
    engine mount, which can fail in the manner you describe.

    Have the mounts inspected.

    Replacing the fluid now could be a dicey proposition. You may dislodge
    crud that may plug the valve body. But if you don't replace it, that
    will cause damage as well.

    Your car takes ordinary Dexron-III.

    They are, but over time noise intruses into the inyterior as the sound-
    proofing ages.

    Yes. But you may simply have an exhaust leak somewhere.
    Tegger, Jan 3, 2007
  4. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Thanks guys for the responses. Yes, motor mounts. I forgot to mention
    that. That was one of the first things I suspected. I replaced the
    torsion mount (name?), and it was somewhat worn, but replacing didn't
    make much difference. I think my mechanic looked at the other motor
    mounts, and said they looked ok. They're kind of pricy, and not quick
    to install I understand, so is there a way to see if they're bad by
    looking at them? Please tell me how to locate them on the car.

    Greg, Jan 4, 2007
  5. Greg

    Tegger Guest

    The mounts are pretty obvious (you have four), but the one at the rear is
    hard to see without lying on the engine and peering down the back with a

    I don't have a manual for your car so I don't know if you have one of those
    fancy hydraulic rear mounts. If you do, there will be lines coming out of

    How do you check to see if it's bad? Start engine, warm up until idle drops
    to the point where it vibrates. Use pry bar on the two upper side mounts to
    torque engine forward so the rear mount is unloaded. Vibration stops?
    Answer found.
    Tegger, Jan 4, 2007
  6. The hydraulic rear mount (I think you have one, unless yours is too early...
    and only automatic tranny versions had them) is on the passenger side while
    the control valve is on the firewall, near the top, almost dead center. It's
    a small device with a connector on top and two hoses beneath; one goes to
    the manifold and one goes to the mount.

    With the engine in gear and somebody you trust holding the brake, you can
    probably just squeeze your hand in to help the lever on the valve move. If
    that smooths the engine out, you can try silicone lubricant on the actuating
    lever. I hope you have more sucess than I did :-(

    Michael Pardee, Jan 5, 2007
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