Piston Slap: Your Stang? "It Was Waaaaaaaaaay Cool!"

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC commentator talkstoanimals writes:

Sajeev, I have a 2010 Mustang GT with the Track Pack that I love driving – when it works. The problem(s) is, after 6 months and just short of 5k miles, the car has had several driveline problems. First, the clutch failed and Ford replaced the pressure plate, clutch disc and slave cylinder – a fix that took two weeks to complete. A few days later the rear clutches in the differential failed and Ford replaced those – another two days out of service. Now, only 2 months after the first clutch work was completed, it’s pretty obvious that the clutch is failing again based on the way the gearbox resists clean engagement in almost every gear.

So my question is, WTF is wrong with the driveline in this car?

Since I suspect it will come up, here is some pertinent info. I bought the car new with only 11 miles on the odo. The car sees mixed city and highway use. I don’t abuse the clutch, drag race, do track days, or do burnouts (the PZeros are too expensive to destroy doing that). I learned to drive on a manual and have been driving them for 17 years. I’ve also been riding motorcycles for 10 years and have never had a clutch/driveline problem with any car or bike before. Ford has previously fixed the problems under warranty, but I’m getting pretty sick of seeing my dealer’s service dept. Any clues as to what is going on with this Mustang would be highly appreciated.

Sajeev answers:

Consider the fact that the Ford 8.8-inch differential is one strong-ass mother, sought after by people with Jeeps, Camaros and even Volvos (LINK: http://www.forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=64831). Also consider that the Tremec TR-3650 gearbox has a torque rating of 360 lb-ft and sports numerous satisfied customers in the light-duty drag racing arena.

I say the problem is at the dealer, before/during/after the sale. Unless you live in the Yukon Territory or a key supplier didn’t get a bailout, I can’t understand why it would take 2 weeks to replace a Tremec pressure plate, clutch disc and slave cylinder. And there’s simply no excuse for an 8.8” axle failure, given your driving habits. Perhaps the senior members of the B&B recall a certain thread on Mustangworks.com that made it to damn near every forum, entitled “It Was Waaaaaaaaaay Cool”.

Thanks to a mutual friend, I met the “way cool” lady behind the story. I also saw the (now out of warranty, heavily modified) car, though I didn’t see it’s Ford Lightning counterpart, both finished in Sonic Blue. Anyway, this hot-roddess took her Cobra to Northside Ford, and the Cobra service tech thrashed it. Then he bragged about doing the deed–with the cojones to list her vanity license plate–on Mustangworks.com. Northside fired his ass: rumor has it he left San Antonio for to work at a dealership in Houston. If only everybody got what they deserved:

“Well, stangman96 you drove the wrong cobra, i know the lady that owns that cobra and she has seen this posting, i think all hell is going to break lose in your world! If I was her I would make sure you get fired! Next time you do something like this just keep it to your-self or at least get a diff screen name that does not show your in San Antonio!!!”

(Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com)

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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2 of 46 comments
  • Obbop Obbop on Sep 15, 2010

    Consider having a top-notch auto body shop, dealer owned or otherwise, check frame and drivetrain alignment.

  • VerbalKint VerbalKint on Sep 16, 2010
    "WTF is wrong with the driveline in this car?" It was probably assembled by the circus monkeys that assembled my Explorer's drivetrain. "I say the problem is at the dealer, before/during/after the sale. Unless you live in the Yukon Territory or a key supplier didn’t get a bailout, I can’t understand why it would take 2 weeks to replace..." It took my dealer in MI 5 weeks to get a rebuilt transmission for mine. And then they told me the warranty would only pay for two weeks of the five weeks of rental car!
  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...