2000 Integra: "toc" noise: Drive train? Trans? Suspension?



Acura Integra 2000 Auto coupe 1.8. This is a little complex, so thanks for everyone’s indulgence. Background: I skidded in slush close to home (VT) & hit a utility pole in April. Hit the RF tire square on - replaced whole RF corner - control arms, tire, wheel, bearing, steering rack, knuckle, everything. Also replaced 4 shocks, rear control arm bushings, very careful alignment (twice - second time to verify). Drives great! accelerates, shifts, corners (4 new michelin performance tires), 31 mpg, smooth ride.

About 6 wks ago I hear a “knock” or “toc” sound (light hitting a plastic or steel cup with a pencil) when stepping on gas after coasting, not loud. Then got louder, also heard it when shifting from neutral to drive.

Lately, will also make the sound after coasting a distance (from my house to first stoplight is a long gradual slope) UPON COMING TO FULL STOP at light. Sound happens about .5 seconds after coming to full stop. This is only the first time after coasting and stop - not on subsequent trials. Also, when first driving off from home, will make noise on shifting from first to second, but not after up to operating temperature. First shift to drive may elicit a double: i.e., “toc…toc”.

HOWEVER - after driving 1 hr at high speed, cannot get the thing to make the noise. Observed this pattern: When car has sat at least 1 hr, (2 is better), will make the knocking noise on initial shift from neutral to drive, now also from reverse to neutral. No noise on first acceleration, BUT I hear it on all subsequent. May also sound after coasting and braking to stop, but this depends on how long it has sat. Several reps coasting and accelrating, it gets quite loud. The works heat up enough, no more noise.

This sounds a lot like play in some mechanism.

None of this EVER happens in reverse. Trans fluid remains at normal level, always.

Any ideas? Should I be looking for trans problems, suspension, axles/cv joints, any ideas? I don’t have time to run to this specialist and that one just to be told it fits conveniently in their specialty. I would like to start by having the right kind of mechanic look at it.

Thanks for any guidance.