Trying to figure out exactly what happened ...
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This is a discussion on Trying to figure out exactly what happened ... within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Weird mechanical issue today. I pull out onto a busy highway from a turnaround after spotting a nice slot that ...

  1. #1
    Wants to Sell His Honyota Civilander..Any Takers? BigDaddyRex's Avatar
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    Trying to figure out exactly what happened ...

    Weird mechanical issue today. I pull out onto a busy highway from a turnaround after spotting a nice slot that I should easily make it into with some enthusiastic acceleration. Roll into first without an issue and when I get near redline I attempt my shift to second. This is where I embarrassingly admit to an absolutely hacked missed shift - grind, revs run to redline, rolling in neutral. I've done it before, will miss one again, but it sucks every time. Anyway, I suddenly realize I can not get the car to go into any gear. Clutch fully depressed, but the stick won't slip into any gear slot. I threw on my hazards and managed to roll it to the side of the road and stop without further incident. Car sounds fine, but the clear smell of burnt clutch permeates the cabin. Try as I might I still can not get the car to slip into any gear - not even close. Just feels like I can't even find a notch to start in. After several minutes I turn off the car and let her sit. After about 4-5 minutes I fired her up again, and was able to get it into gear, but it still felt ... I don't know, thick. Within a few minutes, though, the shifting was as smooth as ever and the smell had dissipated. I got back on the road and babied her for a bit, and there were no odd noises or sensations to be had. Later I tried a few aggressive shifting runs and there is no sign of problems.

    What the hell did I do? I'm thinking I must have heated some part up to the point that things swelled up and kept me from getting into gear, but if anyone can give me a better idea of what I did and how it caused that issue I would love to hear it. Also of course wondering if there is any long term issue I should be looking for. Any informed thoughts would be appreciated.
    - Chris
    2011 WRX DGM (The Fastest Color) 5DR
    Cobb AP Stage 2 93, Cobb DP, RAs, STS (the dream comes true ...)

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    Registered User wrx1234's Avatar
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    You roasted your clutch pretty bad... subtract 10k miles to your clutches longevity.
    2009 WRX - Catted DP, Torqued performance stage 2
    2011 Sportwagon TDi
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    Wants to Sell His Honyota Civilander..Any Takers? BigDaddyRex's Avatar
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    Appreciate the response, but I'm hoping for something more technical. I'm just trying to get a grip on what happened, why it became unusable, and then resolved itself.
    - Chris
    2011 WRX DGM (The Fastest Color) 5DR
    Cobb AP Stage 2 93, Cobb DP, RAs, STS (the dream comes true ...)

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Trying to figure out exactly what happened ...

    I can't disagree with the response. Since nobody else was there only you have a picture of what actually happened, and that may not be accurate since you were busy at the time.

    From the description you may have overheated the disc. Usually this causes the disc to slip. Frequently this is temporary and resolves itself (happens at tracks all the time for example). Your description of being unable to select a gear with the motor on, then the issue going away does point to this. The odour implies a clutch problem, and although it can't exclude a gearbox problem there is no additional reason to worry about the gearbox -- beyond the grinding during missed shifts of which you are aware.

    I'd take more time to do things because this stuff can get pricey.

    Note that if you again cannot engage a gear with the motor on, yet can with the motor off, and/or the clutch slips when the car is in motion, it's time for a new disc usually, meaning it's actually time for a full clutch kit.
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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Sounds like the clutch welded together, then broke loose again. I did a similar thing on a hard launch, I drove to a red light and everything was fine, but when the light turned green I couldn't get the car in gear. I finally rolled it to the side of the road and after investigating I discovered I could slip it into gear with the car off.. so I started it in first and drove home shifting without the clutch. When I pulled the clutch the pressure plate was welded.. installed a new clutch and everything was fine.

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    Wants to Sell His Honyota Civilander..Any Takers? BigDaddyRex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    Sounds like the clutch welded together, then broke loose again. I did a similar thing on a hard launch, I drove to a red light and everything was fine, but when the light turned green I couldn't get the car in gear. I finally rolled it to the side of the road and after investigating I discovered I could slip it into gear with the car off.. so I started it in first and drove home shifting without the clutch. When I pulled the clutch the pressure plate was welded.. installed a new clutch and everything was fine.
    Wow - luckily mine didn't go that far, but I can see it happening. Glad that the problem was resolved.
    - Chris
    2011 WRX DGM (The Fastest Color) 5DR
    Cobb AP Stage 2 93, Cobb DP, RAs, STS (the dream comes true ...)

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