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1999 996 C2 Cab 6 speed 34K miles, not raced--driven--but transmission never jacked around. Yesterday while coming to a stop there was a periodic clunking noise from transmission. It occurs when rolling with clutch in. So now I trying to guess what it is...probably a chunk of metal broken off and getting caught in a gearset, probably final drive or differential (sorry, I am not knowledgable about the specific design of the 996 transaxle). After coming to the first stop with the lunging (already knew it was bad news), I tried to move off once, to see if I could limp it to the dealer (not far away) and there was a clunking. Tried one more time, and with light pressure in first car was impeded. I was able to roll it forward and backward by hand without any unusual resistance, so that's why I suspect some chunk occasionally getting stuck the works. That's when I called the flatbed.

I haven't found any similar posts...and I suspect bad news is on its way to me.

Anticipating that the dealer will say $7K because they don't work on transmissions, my question is, if this is something in the final part of the transmission or the differential, can that be fixed without replacing the whole transmission? Or does this sound like the dealer will say replace the whole thing only?

I'm in the Bay Area, and would like to get some advice as to what to do, specifically:

Should I have it moved to a local Porsche tranny shop before the dealer opens it up tomorrow morning? If the advice is a shop, are there suggestions as to who and where?

Am I delusional about this being able to be fixed other than by replacing the whole transmission? I ask because I don't know how separate the final part of the transmission and differential is from the gearbox.

...one sad owner asking for advice.

Edited by NonBeater
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It may not be the transmission, could be a CV joint where the bolts have backed out. At least this can happen with the boxster. Could be something else.

Since you already have it at the dealer (no clue which one since there are a few in the Bay Area) let them see if it is the transmission. They can tell if you have an internal transmission problem without removing the transmission and taking it apart, unless you have a stupid mechanic. No sense in having the transmission opened to tell you there is a problem, since they will not fix it and tell you to get a rebuilt.

Since I assume you are out of warranty next time if Sunnyvale is close you should take your car here.

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=4742

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Thanks. It's at Stevens Creek. I did initially suspect a CV joint while I was waiting for the flatbed. I didn't have a flashlight but got under the car and grabbed each of the halfaxles and yanked them back and forth laterally and also tried twisting them. Nothing unusual. I tried to feel around for the bolts but that is a pretty ridiculous thing to do at dusk when the car is on the ground...

Thanks regarding the redirect. I was already looking at the RMG website but didn't see the specifics about working on transmissions. I think I read in Loren's blog that parts for the newer transmissions are hard to come by.

I'll call Bob/crew if the story starts to go horribly wrong at the dealer.

Edited by NonBeater
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I had my tranny done about 2 months ago. No alternative as far as I know. Rector asked for $3000 just to look at it. According to my serveral encounters with them, avoid at all cost. Carlson, ditto, especially a guy called Betto.

Since you are already at the dealer, Stevens Creek is probably the best bet. It costed me about $6800 in total (rebuilt tranny with warranty + labor + tax) at RMG in Mountain View. Bob is a decent guy. $7G is about all right (parts only or parts + labor?)

There was a fresh tranny on eBay for $2000. Probably sold already.

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Thanks for the help gents. Stevens Creek has always treated me well, and I'll have them do the initial debug.

I bought the 996 because the Beater (Mercedes) wouldn't start one morning. I became so upset that I bought the 996 the same day. A cheap fuel pump relay later, I've been trying to kill the Beater ever since so I can justify buying a new car.

Up until now the only other-than-minor 996 problem I've had is a small RMS leak. Stevens Creek fixed it under warranty; they must have done a fine job because it hasn't started leaking again like I read so often on the board.

I never thought that I'd end up with a broken 996 and a still-running Beater.

BTW Tool Pants, thanks for the kick in the pants.

Hoping for blown CV/bolts,

NonBeater

Edited by NonBeater
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Talked to Ron this afternoon. It is a failure inside the transmission, probably in the final drive. As we know, no parts are available, only total replacement ($7K).

Without making any promises, Ron said he would call corporate tomorrow and see if they would do something as goodwill. I did ask him to go through the service notes as I had noted a noise probably a year or more ago when I had it in for service, a noise in the rear end that neither Stevens Creek or Custom Alignment could find. That could have been the early warning that the transmission was coming apart.

In case you were wondering, I do not have an extended warranty on the car. I am hoping that there are notes in the record where I mentioned the unknown noise, before the warranty expired. I don't know if this would sway corporate to offer goodwill.

He noted, as we all know, that these transmissions are built for racing, and a failure shouldn't happen at 34K without severe customer abuse (which there wasn't in this case).

I'll keep the board apprised of progress...

Any opinions on the chance that I will get some percentage off as goodwill, or even (being delusional again) 100% coverage?

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Actually if it is in the differential -- some parts are available for the differential (bevel gears, pinions).

I would not expect more that them splitting the labor with you. If you are lucky they might cover all the labor. MSRP for the transmission is $9511.30.

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As I've done several 996 gearbox's, I'm continually surprised at the parts issues. I must get a ton of calls on them. Matter of factly, I think I blogged (bitched)on this exact subject several weeks agoAs the price continues to rise, I think I'll start to stock them. They are interesting to rebuild in that they are not traditional Porsche assembly procedures. I will let u guys know when I'm totally parts healthy on them. That broken rear issue is unusual in their failures. Mark

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Got a call back from Ron. PCNA will pick up 1/2 of a factory-rebuilt transmission (parts not labor). I was given a parts+labor+fluids estimate of $3500 (+/- $100). Ron said something about the transmission will be sold at 1/2 of PCNA's cost not retail. Don't know if I got that right.

Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth?

Edited by NonBeater
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Update: Stevens Creek got the job done in four days (impressive). New tranny was initially difficult to get into reverse, but it has loosened up now and seems OK although I liked the feel of the original transmission better.

The day I got the car back I reported to Ron at Stevens Creek that there is "grabbing" on the move out of 4th into neutral, and from neutral into 3rd (middle row forward motion). The "grabbing" is only there when the car is rolling thus I assume it is related to something later in the transmission that grabs when the wheels are turning.

We decided that I would drive it for a week, and then see. I was hoping that it would go away in a week (I've got 700 miles on the transmission now including intentional extra time in 3rd and 4th and shifting in and out of those gears)--no change so far.

An hour after I got it back, I took it back to the dealership for evaluation. The tech at the dealership, Manny, drove the car and noted the "grabbing" as well. Ron said that if it doesn't go away that Porsche would replace the transmission again.

I just want my old (pre-failure) tranny back!

Just drivin' it for now.

Ron, Manny and Stevens Creek have been great.

Edited by NonBeater
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  • 3 months later...

Six months later, I thought I'd provide the final update.

The 3th and 4th grabbing never went away, and got slightly worse.

An additional symptom developed: when starting cold, with clutch in fully and transmission in neutral, car would make one clank and if the foot was not on the brake, car would lunge forward up to an inch when on a flat surface.

After about a month waiting for total transmission failure I called Stevens Creek. They took the car, evaluated it, ordered another transmission and replaced it again under warranty.

So far, it is working like the factory original one. Hopefully, this will be the final update!

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Six months later, I thought I'd provide the final update.

The 3th and 4th grabbing never went away, and got slightly worse.

An additional symptom developed: when starting cold, with clutch in fully and transmission in neutral, car would make one clank and if the foot was not on the brake, car would lunge forward up to an inch when on a flat surface.

After about a month waiting for total transmission failure I called Stevens Creek.  They took the car, evaluated it, ordered another transmission and replaced it again under warranty.

So far, it is working like the factory original one.  Hopefully, this will be the final update!

If the car moves with the clutch pedal fully depressed, then you have a clutch problem and not a gearbox problem. The transmission should be completely out of the picture when the clutch pedal is fully depressed.

Maybe caused the grabbing feel too.

It could have been that your clutch system just needed bleeding or adjusting and they ended up fixing that as part of the new tranny. But hey, at least you didn't have to pay cash for the change, only time and enjoyment.

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