Chattering noise on Maxim SE

We have a 2002 Maxima SE, 6 speed manual with 127,000 + miles. The noise is similar to what we used to hear from the spokes, when we attached a playing card or piece of cardboard to the wheels of our bikes. The noise only presents itself when the cluch is engaged and the wheels start rolling. It happens in forward and reverse.

The dealer replaced the right wheel bearing assembly and both outer tie rods. But that did not eliminate the noise. They then fingered the transmission. The transmission folks said it was not the transmission or the clutch release bearing.

Confused, we just keep driving the car. Whatever it is doesn’t appear to affect the driveability - yet. The clutch engages smoothly, the shifing is smooth and it does not pop out of gear. We’ve been thinking of selling the car, but this noise has to be resolved first.

Any ideas ?

Does the noise disappear when you’re rolling and you’re clutched in - iow, “freewheeling”?

Yes. The noise disappears when the wheels are rolling but the clutch is disengaged like shifting between gears or just freewheeling) I went to a quiet street and the chattering is louder in 1st,2nd and 3rd gear.

If it stops when the clutch pedal is pushed in even when rolling, and it isn’t the tranny or clutch assembly, and it doesn;t change when turning, than my money is on the inner CV joint. I’ve attached a picture of a typical front axle assembly to help you conceptualize why I’ve guessed this. Basically, that inner joint consists of a number of components, seated within others, that when torsionally loaded (turning force) can be noisy and when not loaded can be quiet.

I would think that if it had something to do with a CV joint then it would never go away, although I suppose the torque difference could be the key.

I’d actually be thinking about something having to do with the throw-out bearing/shift fork. Don’t do this a lot since it bad for the clutch and all of its components, but the next time you go out to try to take a listen wait for a time when the noise is there. Then ride the clutch just a bit - not enough to disengage but just enough to apply some pressure to the shift fork. See if that changes the noise any.

I understand that some transmission place told you its not the throwout bearing - but maybe they’re just as a bad as the dealer who replaced tie rods - ?? WTH??