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Discussion Starter #1
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, when I put the automatic transmission in reverse, I get a ratteling noise. SOUNDS like it's coming out of the tranny but I can't tell. Stops when I put it in neutral or drive.

Not grinding. Just a rattle.

Any suggestions as to how I might start troubleshooting?

Larry
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Not too many autobox Spiders out there, man, so don't take a lack of response personally. I have no idea what to tell you other than to check the fluid level.

Beyond that it's a pretty standard 3-speed ZF unit, IIRC, so a good transmission shop might have a clue.
 

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What he said. Check under the car. I've had several cars that rattled in reverse as a result of loose exhaust connections, but only made the noise when in reverse.
 

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Check heat shields on the exhaust and anything else than can be rattling under load.

There are nuts/bolts from the torque converter to the flex plate (flywheel) I guess they could come loose and rattle when in gear.
 

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I have a good auto trans out of a wrecked 91 spider I would like to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Check heat shields on the exhaust and anything else than can be rattling under load.

There are nuts/bolts from the torque converter to the flex plate (flywheel) I guess they could come loose and rattle when in gear.
Thanks for that. I would think that the heat shields would rattle in drive as well as reverse.
 

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Does it sound worse inside or outside the car?

A while back someone had a problem engaging drive on his auto. Turned out there was a penny jammed in the selector. Things fall down past those hairy bits round the selector lever. I wonder if something has done that in yours and is rattling against the lever?

Easy enough to check. Press in the button on the gear knob, yank it up and off, then prise up the surround with the D, R etc. and have a look inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What he said. Check under the car. I've had several cars that rattled in reverse as a result of loose exhaust connections, but only made the noise when in reverse.

Conclusion: The part where the exhaust pipe goes into the resonator was cracked but I didn't think that would cause he rattle.

When I had the resonator replaced, we could see that the baffle inside had broken loose and we were able to replicate the sound. Wouldn't have be able to see it from a cursory look.

I did shake the exhaust system when I was troubleshooting but was not able to replicate the noise.

Not sure why it would only rattle in reverse. Maybe it was just more pronounced in reverse. Maybe I just noticed more in reverse.
 

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My experience with exhaust rattles is that they often only manifest themselves in very specific ways. I recently had a cracked weld that only rattled right at 3000 RPM, half throttle or less and only while driving.
 
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