transmission clatter in 2nd & 3rd gear

Sun Jan 18, 2004 7:51 am


As of today, I believe I'm the newest member and am very glad I have found this forum.

We were just given my wife's grandfathers Cub of which he purchased new in 1949. I've admired it for the past 20 years as it runs well and has been kept "under roof" all of it's life. As it's in it's original condition, it obviously needs a little of everything of which I intend to give it.

Being a new member, I've looked over many of the posted questions/comments but have not found any info on my question which is: While running in 2nd and 3rd gear there is come clatter. Though it runs smoothly in these gears, I'm assuming this is not normal. Any advice?

Many thanks

Sun Jan 18, 2004 9:52 am

The first thing I would do is drain the oil out of the tranny and see if there is any water in it. Clatter could be noise from rusted worn bearings. Even though it was parked/stored inside all that time the tranny could still collect a lot of condensation over that amount of years if it has not been changed.

Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:59 am

I might add to also check wheel lug bolts and bolt on the final drives

Sun Jan 18, 2004 1:38 pm

Thanks Dogman and John!! That'l be my project for this week......along with ordering a service manual.

Thx again to both of you for the quick reply.


Sun Jan 18, 2004 1:53 pm

Kirk, After ready reading your post I got to thinking about my Cub. It has a good bit of tranny noise butt its hard to describe. I've heard from others that Cubs are noted for having a certain amount of that and is normal. Yet I haven't actually compared mine to others. So when you descibe this clatter I wonder just what you may actually being hearing? I might say mine is more of a grinding noise and it doesn't appear to effect operation. I'm just writing to say you might not want to get to tear it down just yet in case some of your noise is normal. I too am somewhat new to this forum and haven't read to much talk on this subject. I would be interested in hearing what others have to say about their experience with tranny noise.

Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:04 pm

Welcome aboard Kirk, and congratulations on the cub. One of the first things I would do is take detailed pictures of the decalls on it. That way if you should decide to restore it someday, you will have a good record of what type and where they go. If the paint is good, and not rusty, I would have a tendancy to leave that part alone. It's something special to have one that old and still in the original paint.

Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:31 pm


The p.o. on the 49 had the same noise said he rebuilt the gear box and still has the same noise :cry: but it is still working 5 year now :D

Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:52 pm

That's the trouble with having multiple Cubs. I have 3 that are nearly silent. That says some of the others aren't as quiet as they could be. I have a transmission case completely re-done that I expect to be nearly silent too, but it will be a major operation to swap it to that one that is a disappointment.

Sun Jan 18, 2004 8:54 pm

I don’t have the service manual in front of me but, I think the Cub transmission is a conventional design manual transmission.

I can’t understand how you get the same noise from second and third gear. In second gear the input shaft is turning the countershaft to the output shaft. Third gear is turning the main shaft and the countershaft has no pressure on it at all. If you had same noise in first, second and third you can look at the output shaft bearing. If you had noise in first, second and not in third you can look at the input shaft bearing and possibly the countershaft needle bearings.

I guess it could be the rear main shaft bearing but, you would really hear that in first gear.

Does the noise get louder going up or going down a hill?

:? I’m confused but, that’s normal.

Jack Fowler

Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:02 pm

What about the 2nd/3rd gear slider, or the fork that moves it?

Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:55 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:What about the 2nd/3rd gear slider, or the fork that moves it?

Also if the first/rev fork is bent and not properly dis-engaging you would get noise in 2 and 3, maybe neutral too?

Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:26 pm

Jack Fowler wrote:I don’t have the service manual in front of me but, I think the Cub transmission is a conventional design manual transmission.

The countershaft is the output shaft. No matter what gear you are using, there is pressure against the bearings (all of them to varying degrees).

The gears are straight cut and when worn produce a whine. Since it is wear induced, the transmission will be loudest in whatever gear was used most. That is the common "normal" noise. Clicking, grinding, rumbling and clatter are all different noises, each with their own likely causes.

transmission clatter

Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:26 am

Jack asked if the clatter gets worse when going up or down a hill. I honestly can't tell you as I live in Florida where there are no hills. The clatter is the same though in both gears.

Just a little more info on the father-in-law has used it twice every year for the past 40 years to simply disc his garden prior to planting. It was rarely taken out of 1st gear other than to drive it from the barn to the garden.


Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:15 am

Hi Kirk,

I also live in Milton. I'm about 10 east of the city limits off Hwy 90. The old American Farms area if your familiar with that area. At the moment I have the front axle and steering off my '57 but hope to have it back together as soon as the weather lets me prime the parts. Maybe after I get it together you can listen to it and compare the sounds to those your Cub produces. I wouldn't say that mine is silent, but the "wine" it makes doesn't sound too different from my other Farmall's.

Milton too?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:27 am


For an area that's as small as Milton, I'm surprised that we have two enthusiasts on this forum that's from the same small town. Do you have a home email address that I can have to correspond to?