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Manual Transmission Noise

Q. My manual transmission has been making a weird noise. When the vehicle is idling, the clutch is not engaged and it is in neutral, there is a sound coming out of the transmission case/or bell housing that sounds like there are marbles loosely rolling around inside. The noise is very dull though. It stops immediately when I engage the clutch.

Also when driving in gear that noise is gone too. The noise doesn't seem to affect the performance of the transmission, it doesn't slip or anything. I believe I may be needing to replace the clutch (original) soon although that doesn't slip either, but I don't know if thats what would cause the noise.

1995 Chevrolet 1500 4x4
5.7 literTBI
5-speed manual transmission (Cast Iron Case) 170,000 miles

Thanks,
Charles

A. With this type of noise there is a simple rule of thumb. If it makes the noise when the clutch is pressed and stops when released, it is a bad throwout bearing. If it makes the noise when the clutch is released and stops when it's pressed, it's input shaft bearings.

Check the fluid level and make sure it is full. But I would think that the input shaft bearings will need replacing.

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