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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
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Noise when in gear

I get a very disturbing, not too loud though, noise when in gear. It is a scarping, or rattling, noise which seem to follow the rpm. It stops completely when out of gear or clutched.

The noise do not seem to effect performance, at the moment at least.

1. Where should I start to look?
- please treat me as a newbie who has no access to millions of tools or a garage to hoist up the car

2. How scared should I be? Can I go for a ride in current state?


Follow up questions to help diagnostics are welcome.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Re: Noise when in gear

Is the noise present when coasting in neutral? Did the noise start suddenly? It might be as simple as a small stone trapped between the rear swingarm and the drive coupling. Raise each rear wheel off the ground in turn, then rotate the wheel listening for scrapes or creaks. It might be internal, which would obviously be a problem.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Re: Noise when in gear

The noise is not present when in neutral but it did start suddenly. Last time I drove it was the first time I heard it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: Noise when in gear

That does seem to point towards a gear or bearing problem then. But in my experience, most problems turn out to have a simple cause. Have your checked the oil level in the box. You could drain it and there might be clues in the colour of the oil or a generous refill with new oil might help....... worth a try before any more serious involvement.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: Noise when in gear

I second Peter's suggestions. You might find the level/fill plug very tight and difficult to remove. The trick is to use a 1/2in drive extension bar the wrong way round (i.e. the 1/2in drive square over the level/fill plug) and a 1/2in socket on the other end. Try and keep the car level (put it upon 4 STANDS--do NOT EVER work under a jack!!) and use a syringe to refill the gearbox. The gearbox is at the correct level when oil comes back out of the fill plug. The correct oil to use is a good quality 20/50 engine oil---Castrol, Millers, Morris are 3 very good brands (and English) but of course there are other good brands. Also, whilst under the car, check for any gearbox oil leaks which be the cause of low (if it is) oil level.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: Noise when in gear

So, you are both right - I think. This is what happened.

As I, and the car, are currently in Malta with very limited access to both tools and a place to play mechanic I drove around asking for someone to change the transmission oil. About 2 hours later I found someone, on the way there the worst part of the noise suddenly disappeared.
We hoisted the car up, in level, and there was a small leak and almost no transmission oil. Glad nothing worse than the noise seem to have happened.

I had to leave the place and they had to go buy "premium" oil for vintage cars. I later got back when they were done and was told they also trimmed the carburettor. I am so sorry for the latter part though, now it seem to flood and sometimes die on idle. The "garage" who helped me are closed for holidays, just as all "garages" are down here at the moment, and I have to learn the art of trimming a carburettor, fast.
Because - this Sunday we are about to embark on a small road trip to Sweden. Mixed feelings about that at the moment.
Pointers on where to find "FIAT 500 (1972) Carburettor for dummies" are more than welcome.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: Noise when in gear

I'm impressed that you're setting off for Sweden: how far is that. Please keep us posted. Take some oil with you to top up the box....any oil is better than none in an emergency. I'm of (I hope) average build, and I can get at the oil filler plug whilst the car is sitting on its wheels on level ground.....the safest way of all.
Quote Originally Posted by erosby View Post
So, you are both right - I think. This is what happened.

As I, and the car, are currently in Malta with very limited access to both tools and a place to play mechanic I drove around asking for someone to change the transmission oil. About 2 hours later I found someone, on the way there the worst part of the noise suddenly disappeared.
We hoisted the car up, in level, and there was a small leak and almost no transmission oil. Glad nothing worse than the noise seem to have happened.

I had to leave the place and they had to go buy "premium" oil for vintage cars. I later got back when they were done and was told they also trimmed the carburettor. I am so sorry for the latter part though, now it seem to flood and sometimes die on idle. The "garage" who helped me are closed for holidays, just as all "garages" are down here at the moment, and I have to learn the art of trimming a carburettor, fast.
Because - this Sunday we are about to embark on a small road trip to Sweden. Mixed feelings about that at the moment.
Pointers on where to find "FIAT 500 (1972) Carburettor for dummies" are more than welcome.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #8
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Re: Noise when in gear

I will try to keep you posted, and I might need the expertise from in here on the journey. We counted roughly 1930km without detours, that is km to be driven - and upon that we will be on a car train from Verona to Hamburg.

As for the car. Turned out the choke didn't go back more than to "position B" as the wire had been tightened to much - how come I don't know. After fixing this and trying to trim the carburettor it runs fine!
The transmission does unfortunately leak though, estimated to roughly 0,5-1dl over the night. Syringe bought has been bought.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #9
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Re: Noise when in gear

That's quite a lot to lose without even moving. It can only get worse as the car gets hot.
If the box is not now overfilled there are few places it could leak from at a standstill other than the obvious.... driveshaft gaiters or a cracked case. I would guess the leak is between the selector housing and the main box. This could be repaired quite easily with the box still in the car. Good luck.
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Last edited by fiat500; 6 Days Ago at 16:06.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #10
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Re: Noise when in gear

It is a lot, it shall be interesting to see how second night has been.

Thanks for the suggested leak places, I will have a look.
When it was at the mechanic I saw that the right side oil boot was wet, that could point towards driveshaft gaiters I assume.
If it is the leak of your guess, between the selector housing and the main box - how would you go about to fix it?
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Old 6 Days Ago   #11
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Re: Noise when in gear

If the gaiter leaks, that will be the main problem. It's easy to sort as fairly obvious to a mechanic without removing the box. But obviously you need the parts first and sometimes the driveshaft is scored which might make a repair kit partly successful.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #12
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So, there seem to be much less leak second night - see the picture atteched as I moved the car forward about 0,5m after the first night.

Second photo shows where I assume the leak originates. I am trying desperately to find a mechanic to help out but there are holidays both here and in Italy - bummer.
What we will try to do is refill gearbox and find a mechanic along the way - hopefully before something gets worse.
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