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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone, I have an issue with my clutch at least that is what I believe and wanted to get some opinions. I have an 84 Supra 5MGE with 148,000kms on it. It is my first Supra, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can about these cars. I was told the clutch was done about 12 years ago when I got the car. The clutch feels fine and grabs well doesn't slip or anything but it shudders when decelerating only in first gear when the clutch is pushed IN.

Also, I sometimes find it difficult to shift when decelerating from 3rd to 2nd gear and 1st it sometimes is hard to get it into gear, like I really have to muscle it in. Also, when down shifting every once in a while I would even get a slight grind, like the gears were not meshed right. I checked the fluid levels in the master clutch cylinder and it is normal and I have no leaks from it.

The transmission shop owner took the car out and says it is the pilot bearing, that is bad and it is causing a vibration. He suggested a new clutch even though he agreed it felt fine, but said if they are going in there it would only make sense to replace it.

So question #1- Does that sound like he is right? (bad pilot bearing)

I was still concerned about the fact it was difficult to downshift, thought the tranny had issues too as I didn't think the pilot bearing could have anything to do with the shifting issue. Tonight I read some other posts on different car forums about the pilot bearing. Other people who have had a bad pilot bearing wrote about the same issues with the gears being hard to shift and sometimes grinding.


Can anyone tell me if they have had a bad pilot bearing and if the things I am describing are consistent for what I would expect from a bad pilot bearing or does it sound like my syncros are bad too?

Any comments or suggestions to the problem would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Could be driving style. I like to blip the throttle as I downshift, to match engine revs with the transmission speed so it shifts down easier. Forcing the shifter only bends the shift forks.

How does it go into reverse from a stop? Push in the clutch pedal, wait 5 seconds, and then move the shifter into reverse. Does it go in easily, or does it grind? This is a good test to make sure the clutch is releasing properly, and to test the pilot bearing. If the bearing is going bad and binding, it will cause grinding. The vibration could be the driveshaft carrier bearing going bad.

These trannys are known to grind a little in 2nd gear as they age. A good, quick fix for it is to change the transmission oil to Redline Synthetic gear oil. Makes the tranny shift a lot smoother, as said by other forum members.
 

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The mechanic has a good point. If you go in an replace the bearing do the clutch plates. If you have a manual, dropping the tranny is not that hard (2 hour job) if taking your time. The bearing will be hard to remove. Use the wet paper towel trick to remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi there, thanks for the reply. I remember the mechanic saying he examined the drive shaft as well and he didn't seem to think it was the problem, but don't know from a visual inspection if the drive shaft carrier bearing can be readily checked? When I get the car back on the road in April or May I will try what you suggested regarding the blipping of the throttle when gearing down. I have had 5 other vehicles over the years that were standard and never had an issue trying to get it into gear like this, so I know something isn't right. The pilot bearing I believe is bad as the transmission guy said and the vibration I was told is the input shaft wobbling cause the bearing is bad, but I can't remember why but he said I wouldn't feel that wobble when on the gas only off the gas. Which I guess explains that. I hope it is just the bearing that is also the culprit of the sometimes toughness in the shifting and I don't need a transmission rebuilt. I'll post the outcome in the spring in case others experience this.
 

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Are you sure your clutch is releasing properly? What you're describing at the end of the 1st paragraph doesn't sound normal. Based on what you're describing are you sure you are using the right oil in the trans? These transmissions are particular about the oil you use. 2nd gear is in particular a common gear to have a grind with the w58. I've always suggest Redline MT90. The other issue on these transmission is the shifter bushings which is easy to check.
 

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if you are going in to look at the bearing you are going to have to pull the clutch any how to get to the bearing as your pressure plate is blocking entry to the bearing itself. so you will be able to inspect the clutch in the process.

and unless you are doing upgardes on your car a clutch kit from o'reilly's is like $80, comes with the disc, pressure plate and bearing. i had put one in and it has done fine. plus it has a life time guarantee so even if i does go out it's no big deal just another few hours worth of work. though be sure that you check your flywheel to make sure that it doesn't need to be turned.

and like silvermk2 says, i have seen a tranny that someone was actually using tranny fluid in and it didn't look to good. I just use 80/90 gear lube and have had no problems to date.
 
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