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I have a 1997 3.8L mustang, when I first got it, it would make a rattling noise (almost a pop/clunk sound) when I put it in reverse but only sometimes. If I stopped and put it in drive and then back into reverse it would usually stop. Well after a while it would come on (although rarely) when I was driving, the sound would come from under the car. It rarely happens at all in Drive but now it happens quite a bit in reverse almost every other time I put it in reverse. Also the clang/clunk/rattle sound makes the engine idle real low and almost die (but only in reverse). It does not have an effect on the engine while i'm driving, atleast not an effect that i notice. It hasn't died yet but probably only because I put it in a different gear everytime it happens.

So basically it happens quite frequently in reverse and once in a while in Drive. Does anyone know what this could possibly be?
Could it be the drive shaft?
Transmission?


I maintain the car well. It has no leaks, all fluid is well.

I appreciate all input and will def give points!!
 

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You are going to need to determine where the sound is coming from . Do you have access to a lift . If so , get car up into the air with someone inside . Have them crank the car and with foot on brake pedal , put it back and forth into gears with you under to see where clunk is coming from . It should either be from driveshaft or at the rear end . If coming from driveshaft - u joints . If coming from rear end , you have slack in the gears and it will need to be "tightened" up . Only problem with that is just to tighten it up sometimes will cause a "howl" to appear .
 

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It sounds like the transmission is slipping and the drive shaft u-joints might be bad. The u-joints would definitely cause a clunking sound when shifted between gears.
 

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I've only taken my standard transmission class so, just to make sure let ask. Is this a Manual Transmission or an Automatic?
 
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