Hey all, first time poster here with a question maybe someone can get me pointed in the right direction on(I've scanned the FAQs here and other sites, and various forums but haven't been able to find another instance of this specific issue).
I have an 03 Ram 1500 2x4 3.7 w/ M/T that's having some shifting issues I haven't been able to diagnose (nor have any of the local shops thus-far). The issue is an odd grinding/squeeling I get when the car is in gear at high rpms (3000+) with the clutch peddle fully depressed (on the floor) while still in-gear, something akin to what you hear if you come off the clutch with the shifter only part-way into gear. I grabbed some video where you can sort of hear the grinding here:
Everything I can find on forums seems to indicate this is a worn throw-out bearing, but there seem to be a few things that suggest otherwise:
1) it only happens above a certain RPM (3000+), and makes 0 noise if the clutch is put in at lower revs
2) it only happens when in 1st gear, and occasionally in 2nd or 3rd (but much quieter in these cases)
I've had two local shops take a look at it, and neither was able to say more than it might be the throw-out bearing, or possibly some other bearing in the transmission, and they wouldn't be able to say for sure unless they pulled the transmission out.
I've also noticed that First and Second gear are "clingy" and that when I shift back to neutral and/or have the clutch engaged, it takes substantially longer for the RPMs to return to idle than it does in higher gears, on the order of 2 full seconds(I've never noticed this in other M/T vehicles I've had, or if there was a difference it wasn't noticeable).
I've also found that the problem is worst when the engine is cold, for the first 10-15 minutes of driving after starting.
My initial thought was that the clutch was failing, but I've never heard of it happening in such a way that it only effects some of the gears. I figure if it's to the point that the transmission needs to be pulled, I should look at replacing the clutch (since it's still on it's first one, with 120k miles), and possibly some other transmission components, but it seems like throwing parts at a transmission problem is a good way to lighten you wallet quickly.
Any thoughts or suggestions on what the cause might be, or how to narrow down the list of possible culprits would be greatly appreciated.