Drive line slack in gearbox 2003 cavalier 5-speed

Car has a violent yanking slack in first gear, so I have to baby it sensitively to take off by keeping the rpm up over 1200 or so. Could bad motor mounts cause this? In gear, with one wheel off the ground, it has two or three inches of rotational slack which of course is not moving the engine mounts. The CV joints don’t seem to be rotating loose. It seems inside the box. How much does a good gear box allow for output transaxle shaft rotation? Is my gearbox about to fail? It feels scary. Fluid looks ok. 150,000 miles. Could all of those little springs in the Clutch pressure plate be falling out and giving rotational slack?

What exactly is a yanking slack? Slack implies the opposite of a yank. Do you mean that the rpm’s come up, but the car doesn’t move, and then the car suddenly jerks and starts moving?

Yeah, sounds like you need a new clutch to me. (if so)

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Open the car’s hood in a big empty parking lot. Take off from stop like normal while watching the engine movement. If the engine rocks a bunch, especially if it “thunks” to the rear when you let out the clutch, then you probably have bad engine mount or mounts.

If that isn’t what you see, then sure, it could be the sprung hub in the clutch. It could also be worn bearing in the transmission, worn CV joints or worn wheel bearings… but you’ll have to touch each and every one to get to the clutch so you’ll likely find out.

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