My symptoms were first a random rattling noise at slow idle and also just as the engine was switched off. After about a thousand miles or so a typical bearing noise also developed. Listening under the car, the noise seemed to come out of the openings in the torque converter housing. Using a stethoscope, it sounded like it was in the central part of the tube.
    The basic steps for torque tube replacement with an automatic transmission are:
1. Disconnect battery ground strap.
2. Remove rear wheels.
3. Disconnect multi-pin plugs in the front of the spare tire wheel well and pull the wires through from below.
4. Disconnect oxygen sensor in fuse panel and remove complete exhaust assembly and heat shields. This would be a good time to replace the oxygen sensor.
5. Drain ATF and remove reservoir.
6. Disconnect axle shafts at transmission end and suspend in a horizontal position with wire or chain.
7. Remove the two bolts that mount the transmission to the rear suspension crossmember. Mark the position of the transaxle with respect to the cross member so that it can be reassembled in the same position. This will affect the rear wheel alignment.
8. Suspend the rear of the transaxle from the stabilizer bar using light chain with hooks or a cargo strap with a tightening ratchet.
9. Mark position of toe eccentric and rear suspension cross member for reinstallation, remove the brake calipers and suspend with wires, and then remove entire rear axle assembly. One list member left the trailing arms connected at the front pivot, (toe eccentric), and just swung the suspension assembly down out of the way.
10. Remove clamp bolt completely from the rear of the drive shaft.
11. Disconnect selector lever cable from the transmission lever and unbolt cable housing from the case. Disconnect parking brake cable from the lever next to the driver's seat and pull out from rear.
12. Remove feed lines for ATF cooler and plug holes in case and ends of line fittings
13. Pull off vacuum hose on modulating pressure box.
14. Disconnect control pressure cable on transmission by pushing small locking bar of guide away from transmission and twisting guide in a
counterclockwise direction. Use cable housing to pull operating rod up and disconnect from the cable.
15. Remove front and rear reinforcement plates from under the tube.
16. Lift transmission slightly and disconnect holding chain, (strap).
17. Remove cross brace over front of engine to prevent interference with the oil filler.
18. Lower transmission only far enough that central tube/transmission mounting bolts and control cable can be removed.
19. Raise central tube back to installed position, reinstall the rear brace with two bolts and insert a block of wood to hold the tube in the installed position.
20. Pull back transmission and lower. Depending on mileage you might consider having new bearings and seals on the torque converter and new seals on the axle shafts installed while the transmission is out.
21. Remove lower rear half of the flywheel housing cover plate.
22. Loosen the clamp bolt on the front of the driveshaft.
23. Lower tube enough to remove the clamps holding the ATF cooling tubes, the vacuum line and the selector cable housing to the tube and the four bolts mounting the tube to the flywheel housing.
24. Slide tube back to remove. Depending on mileage, you might want to remove the flywheel and replace the rear main crankshaft seal.

    I hope that I have got this all correct. Good luck.

Don Burrows
87 S4, A/T
300TE 4-Matic wagon

t 09:36 PM 8/17/2003, Rock wrote:
I recently replaced a bunch of clutch parts due to rattles from the drive train, and a metal screech when the clutch was let out. I replaced the TOB and clutch arm bushing, as well as the crank pilot bearing since I was there. I probably should have replaced more, but everything else in the clutch SEEMED OK to me. Well, I still have the rattle and the metal screech, so I need more advice. I'm starting to suspect the torque tube, but I don't have an understanding on what goes on in that part. Seems to be a black box (at least to me).

So here's the current symptoms. When idling and clutch disengaged (pedal up), there's a rattle from somewhere, but I'm having a hard time pinpointing it. The rattle will only go away when the clutch pedal is ALL the way down. I assume at that point the shaft is fully disengaged from the engine and not spinning, or maybe turning slowly. If I let the pedal up at all, the rattle returns. Also, as I mentioned, under any sort of aggressive use of the clutch when starting from a stop, there is a metal screech.

I have to assume its either the clutch (looked OK, but maybe I'm missing something since I still get a jutter when starting off), torque tube, or tranny. I've read that maybe the metal screech is due to the splines on the shaft being worn away, and maybe the tube is sliding under heavy loads from friction from the coupler bolts. The small clutch shaft looked OK, certainly not worn away to where it would spin. I didn't think to check how the central shaft end looked, or to check the coupler (although the clutch end of the coupler wasn't worn at least).

So, what goes on in the torque tube? I'm under the impression there are bearings that may be my rattling. Does the tube connect to the tranny through another splined coupler? Is the TT most likely my problem, and is there any way to verify or test it?

'79 Euro 5 Speed


Immediately check the couplings at each end of the driveshaft. If the couplings are loose, you can destroy the transmission input shaft, which is a MAJOR expense and hassle.

The torque tube assembly consists of:
The outer housing - a steel tube that rigidly connects the engine bellhousing with the transaxle, making one rigid unit.
The inner driveshaft - a steel shaft the turns with the engine to drive the transmission The bearings that support the driveshaft in the housing

The couplings that connect the drive shaft tot he clutch shaft on the front and the transmission input shaft on the rear.

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists


Torque converter shaft bearings could be bad.

900.052.122.00, takes two of them, about $25 each I think.