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2008 Mazda3s manual trans
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I'm new to this community... hope you can advise me. I just bought an '08 Hatch with manual trans. Engine starts right up, and seems fine, quiet, revs smoothly. BUT, it won't go anywhere under its own power. 95k on odometer, overall good condition, bought for $900 so no major financial risk. I've read several other posts on here, so this morning I tried a few things to help narrow down problem:

[1] First off, previous owner was passing a whole string of cars, said he got it up to 100mph, pulled back into his lane, went to do a quick downshift, shifted out of gear... and then nothing. No big noises [he says], engine was still running, coasted to a stop on the shoulder, had car towed to shop. They gave him a rather high estimate for replacing clutch & trans, and he decided to just unload the car. I bought it, and trailered it home, where it now sits in our carport, while I wait for another project to get moved out of my shop building.
[2] With car in neutral, I can open the door & plant left foot on the ground & get it to roll... with it in any gear, it's like the brakes are on.
[3] I can shift it into any gear but 1st. 2nd gear 'maybe' isn't fully engaged, but 3-5 feel normal to me, as does reverse.
[4] Started the car and let it warm till the idle dropped to 1000rpm. I can shift it into any gear, and notice the rpm's come up to about 1250, but no movement of car... and I can shift it into those gears without using the clutch, and with the e-brake not engaged........it just sits there.
[5] I don't know just how stiff the clutch pedal should be, but it feels normal to me... noticeable spring resistance kicks in right away, and pedal comes right back up to normal height. [doesn't stay down on the floor]

It'll be some time before I can get it in my shop & up on stands to check hydraulic clutch action [plenty of fluid in the brake reservoir]... hoping the above would narrow things down some for someone more mechanically gifted than me. I'll also figure to check the shifter cables. [I had a Neon that lost the shifter bushings at end of cable--don't know if the Mazda 3 has that problem or not.]
Thanks in advance,
Gary, in central Iowa
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I reckon you're right. A few days more fiddling 'round with my teardrop camper project, and I'll push the Mazda into the shop and start checking what I can. Earlier posts on here from others have given me several things to check on without getting in over my head..... shifter cables, engine mounts, driveshaft clips.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay. Finally got the Mazda in the shop and up on jackstands to raise up the front--wheels/tires off the floor an inch or so. Noticed that I had to have it in neutral to roll it down driveway, so things "somewhat" hook up when it's in gear. I assume that this hooking up is very marginal, since I can start the car, put it in gear, let clutch out, and it doesn't move. At all.
[1] In shop, car was in gear--2nd, I think... and when I turned one wheel by hand the opposite wheel turned in the opposite direction. I think this is what's supposed to happen, right? I'm assuming that this little test also indicates the clutch still has at least a bit of engagement.
[2] Then I pried the rubber boot off the clutch fork/lever. Instant black soot on fingers... groped around a bit, and dragged out black fibrous stuff, kind of like coarse fiberglass insulation. I'm guessing this is fried clutch disc material. I wonder if that last fatal downshift by previous owner at high speed [on a disc that was perhaps already quite worn?] spun it dramatically and cooked the surface layer of what material was left. Sound reasonable???
[3] Was pleased not to see oily greasy gunk anywhere under there... a Road surface Asphalt Vehicle registration plate Automotive tire Bumper
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small blessing.

Took a few pictures... hopefully they're attached... hoping for some feedback, and/or my guessing confirmed by people with more experience. Thanks in advance.
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Talked to local mechanic shop about doing a clutch replacement... didn't hear back for 2 days. While waiting, pulled battery tray out to access shift cables etc... unhooked cables, in case either was frayed internally & binding... nope; once unhooked, shift lever moved them effortlessly. Then tried shifting gears just by moving levers on trans... some did readily; some didn't readily at all. Took off top of console, too... everything there looked clean & proper to me.
So, went to car-part.com and located manual trans approx 200 miles away, "tested good", with 118k on donor car, for fairly low dollars. Spent bulk of yesterday [I'm old] driving up to get it. Yard folks seemed like real deal---hope so.
Cancelled with local mechanic, still not having gotten estimate, and will proceed. Adult son lives next door, and can help if need be.
Ordered LUK clutch kit + flywheel from RockAuto... should be here in a couple days.
In meantime, watched almost an hour long Youtube video on pulling trans, pausing to jot down notes on sequence and things I might not have known... feel fairly ready. I've swapped engines and/or trannies numerous times over the years; just not on a Mazda 3... committed to it, now.
Video I watched..........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkHuWlrtBlI

It's a lot simpler putting the Corolla engine & trans into my 58 Anglia...........
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Finally got the trans out this afternoon... I only work on it piecemeal from day to day. Last 'hitch' was when I removed the bolt & 2 nuts on the aluminum tripod part of trans mount, and one of the 2 studs was seized to the aluminum... so I had to lower it a lot more than I'd have preferred to slide it off the engine & clutch. [starter removal was yesterday's 'hitch'.]
Beyond me taking forever to get it done, it went okay.
Clutch disc debris everywhere... OEM flywheel looks a little cooked.
Up 'n running by Christmas? ...maybe............

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No---the bread trick was a new one for me. I've done basically the same thing using wheel bearing grease packed in there, though... bolt has to fit pretty snugly in the bore, to keep from squirting grease when you hammer it, but it's worked well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Preparing to start reassembling. The 'bread trick' worked just fine!... better than possibly squirting grease around by the 'old' approach I was taught a long time ago. So, thanks for that tip!
Gary

Q: Now that the flywheel's out in the light, I see those fine cracks and some heat-discoloration all over it. I'm replacing it with new LUK unit, but wondered... how deep do they go?... and would a resurface of flywheel have made all or most of them go away?... could they cause the flywheel to self-destruct, if ignored?
[just wondering]
 

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Yes, flywheels can be resurfaced, it just depends on the amount of damage. And if the cracks were severe enough, it absolutely could come apart.

Only a qualified machinist could answer those questions about your specific flywheel. Too many variables to say over the Intrawebz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
New flywheel and clutch components installed this evening. Carefully torqued, etc. [cleaned disc-contact surfaces of flywheel & pressure pl with clean rag & lacquer thinner before assembly] Flywheel lock from scrap of square tubing worked real nice.
Feeling better about it all. Figure to clean up salvage-yard trans tomorrow... perhaps get it installed. Kinda figuring to install starter while the whole works is sagging down low, then jack it all up & get trans mount & rear mount back together. [for a geezer, that's probably parts of 2 days]

Q: Just curious what that label on rear of engine block tells me... mostly production date??
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Merry Christmas to all!
Just in from shop, where the Mazda is back on its feet, with fresh Redline in the tranny, and a clutch & tranny that seem to work like they should... moved it back and forth, tried the different gears out--all seem to engage without incident... I'll have to blow some snow from in front of shop door before I can take it out for an initial cruise. [might wait a couple days, as I don't have insurance on it yet, and the roads are marginal here after recent snow/blizzard]
Tagged son for a hand getting tranny reinstalled, as my jerry-rigged jack system wasn't the best, but with the extra hands and the "dowels" up top of trans, it slid right in.
And I'm a happy camper............
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Guess I didn't explain in earlier post reference to 'dowels'. On the top 2 tranny bolt locations, I dug up some 6" bolts & cut the heads off them... then cut a slot across that cut end, so I could run them out with a big screwdriver once the tranny was installed. Worked good to 'stabilize' the tranny while wiggling it around to get the splines to line up etc before it'd go on forward.
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