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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

(apologies for the long description - might help in understanding my issues - thanks for reading!)

I've been worried about my Auto gearbox for about 12 months. I have a 2002 2.5 Tdi Automatic, she has done only 120k.

Last year whilst on holiday we started getting a juddering from the transmission when setting off. And after a while when on the motorway, especially on inclines below 1800 rpm. Luckily it was at the end of the trip but we all had a long and painful slow limp all the way home, worrying if we would make it.

So once back and after a bit of research, I found out that it is possibly the torque converter and was looking at a £2k+ bill for a recon Auto box to rectify.

But before I took it in to the local garage I thought i'd see if changing the transmission fluid might help. So i decided to replace the transmission oil and filter (around £80). Amazingly this seemed to have worked a treat and have not had a single judder since (done around 2k miles since).

...However this is now always on my mind now and the thought of driving anywhere far makes me a bit anxious.

Since then another issue has arisen (no idea if the previous judder is a factor), about a month ago I had to replace the starter motor, as it was grinding/ whirring but not turning the engine properly. When i took it out there was quite a few fine metal flakes present. I saw that the old starter was probably the original, replaced with an aftermarket one off ebay for £80. Swapped it over and she started first time, so thought problem solved. However over the past few weeks starting seems to be getting bad like before; just a noise and no engine turn.

I've done a bit of research and 'suspect' that the starter ring on the flywheel(torque converter) may be damaged and has now stripped the edge of the new starter, making it not able to engage like the old starter motor.

My quandary now is, do I (if my suspicion is correct) get the flywheel (starter ring) replaced at a cost of an estimated £800 with the still looming future possibility (but not a certainty) of an Auto box failure? Or do i kill two birds with one stone and get the Autobox converted to Manual and the flywheel replaced at the same time?

I've heard that a manual conversion is half the cost of a new recon Auto box? So if I can get a recon conversion for around £1k done this seems to me to be a no-brainer?

What should i do?

Really appreciate any help on this. Also would appreciate if anyone could recommend anyone who can do this or has had it done in the East Manchester/ North Derbyshire area.

Many thanks,
Darryl
 

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I'd recommend it as I've done it myself.
Im guessing its the 88hp so you can use the 02b gearbox.
Best to buy a donor vehicle and get the bits swopped over.
By the time youve sold all the other bits you don't need your £1000 budget will be right.
I was lucky and got my bits in Germany so my bill was around £800.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd recommend it as I've done it myself.
Im guessing its the 88hp so you can use the 02b gearbox.
Best to buy a donor vehicle and get the bits swopped over.
By the time youve sold all the other bits you don't need your £1000 budget will be right.
I was lucky and got my bits in Germany so my bill was around £800.
Thanks.

Did you do the full job yourself or use a mechanic? I'm not good enough to attempt a job like this.

I have limited space on my drive, not enough space to keep a donor vehicle, so am a bit limited that way. Probably my best option is to wait until I can find someone breaking a the right one and get all the bits at the same time I need. Only drawback is i wanted to use the van early this year to get out and about.

I guess i'd get something back for the Auto box and replaced bits as they are working - barring the flywheel. So not having the donor van option increases the cost for me, reducing the option to offset cost.

Did you have to get the parts reconditioned after you bought or was the everything in good condition? And how do you tell a good one from a bad one once its outside of the van?

Cheers
 

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Hi. mate. Do it you wont look back. manual all the way. it will go better and be bettter on derv. good luck
I get 45 mpg on a run with my 2.5TDi 102 (running at 135) van....never had less than 37 mpg, driving in mountainous Norway!
Cruise control allows automatic gear changes on hills etc....
Top speed is over 180 kph.

I wouldn't change my auto for anything! A:

I'm even taking a "spare" box to Mackies in Glasgow (all the way from Norway) to have it rebuilt....for "when", maybe not "if" T:
It's a 'velle box as well...so little higher ratios than the van version :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I get 45 mpg on a run with my 2.5TDi 102 (running at 135) van....never had less than 37 mpg, driving in mountainous Norway!
Cruise control allows automatic gear changes on hills etc....
Top speed is over 180 kph.

I wouldn't change my auto for anything! A:

I'm even taking a "spare" box to Mackies in Glasgow (all the way from Norway) to have it rebuilt....for "when", maybe not "if" T:
It's a 'velle box as well...so little higher ratios than the van version :)
I'm at a point now where its off the road, starter ring on torque converter damaged and looking at a big bill. With the gearbox needing to come out, it seemed to me a good chance to swap it over. However if i'm unable to get hold of the right donor parts its looking like it will have to be postponed and just get the flywheel and starter gear fixed - still poss £800.

I must admit i do like the how the auto drives. Its much more relaxing on long journeys. But i'm looking for long term reliability - and no catastrophic failures in the middle of France :eek: I've never really had any problems with fuel consumption, but that probably cos i drive like an old git.

Not heard of a 'velle' box, must admit mine is a bit revvy at speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
VW Caravelle.
Different versions of the T4 had different gear ratios. (Engine/body style/etc)
Ah, thanks. Makes sense.

Took mine into the garage today to fix the starter motor/ starter wheel issue, mechanic reckons it might be over £2k to do a proper conversion with donor parts.

Do you know if the starter wheel can be replaced or will it need a new torque converter as well?
 

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I have a torque convertor if you need one.
Sound looking ring gear on that torque convertor Steve.
Looks just like the spare one I also have. (rusty....hmmm...)

"Sidebar".....how easy is it to get the convertor off.....mine (the one I need to take to Mackies in June) is still on the van...and there's still a foot of snow preventing me getting to it! No doubt I'll get it off before then! (Just have to take it easy as the whole engine is now supported by a "yellow strap" meant to stop things blowing out of my trailer on the way to the tip!):eek:


dwilko, you're not far away from Steve....take a trip and pay him some money for a good convertor with good ring gear.

Year 2002, that's almost a "new" van.....I suspect that your starter motor must have been NOT engaging correctly for some time if the ring gear is damaged.
What usually happens if the gear that should "throw" out from the motor to the ring does not have lubrication, and so "sticks" half way...so the teeth of one gear tries to eat the teeth of the other.
Problem can also be caused by a "poor" battery...initially the starter throws the gear out, but not having enough power to crank the engine, the gear slips back....and then the 2 gears grind their teeth together.
If you've had a starter motor with bad teeth...not even the best dentist can fix that without getting inside the bell housing and replacing the other teeth.I:
 

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You say you're engine is "a bit revvy at speed"....look at the pic of my dash whilst I was in Germany a couple of years ago!




Now you know why I want the higher ratio of the Caravelle box ;)
 

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Sound looking ring gear on that torque convertor Steve.
Looks just like the spare one I also have. (rusty....hmmm...)

"Sidebar".....how easy is it to get the convertor off.....mine (the one I need to take to Mackies in June) is still on the van...and there's still a foot of snow preventing me getting to it! No doubt I'll get it off before then! (Just have to take it easy as the whole engine is now supported by a "yellow strap" meant to stop things blowing out of my trailer on the way to the tip!):eek:


dwilko, you're not far away from Steve....take a trip and pay him some money for a good convertor with good ring gear.

Year 2002, that's almost a "new" van.....I suspect that your starter motor must have been NOT engaging correctly for some time if the ring gear is damaged.
What usually happens if the gear that should "throw" out from the motor to the ring does not have lubrication, and so "sticks" half way...so the teeth of one gear tries to eat the teeth of the other.
Problem can also be caused by a "poor" battery...initially the starter throws the gear out, but not having enough power to crank the engine, the gear slips back....and then the 2 gears grind their teeth together.
If you've had a starter motor with bad teeth...not even the best dentist can fix that without getting inside the bell housing and replacing the other teeth.I:
From memory the torque convertor is just 3 or 4 nuts at the rear........15mins work.
I have 2 of them so if you can't be bothered to remove yours you can have one of mine.T:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I see the ring is welded to the TC so no option just to bolt a new ring on. Will have to see in the next day or two what best option is if the transmission has to come out.

Thanks for the pic, now makes it a lot clearer to me, i've peeked in the starter motor hole but only glimpsed a small edge of the ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sound looking ring gear on that torque convertor Steve.
Looks just like the spare one I also have. (rusty....hmmm...)

"Sidebar".....how easy is it to get the convertor off.....mine (the one I need to take to Mackies in June) is still on the van...and there's still a foot of snow preventing me getting to it! No doubt I'll get it off before then! (Just have to take it easy as the whole engine is now supported by a "yellow strap" meant to stop things blowing out of my trailer on the way to the tip!):eek:


dwilko, you're not far away from Steve....take a trip and pay him some money for a good convertor with good ring gear.

Year 2002, that's almost a "new" van.....I suspect that your starter motor must have been NOT engaging correctly for some time if the ring gear is damaged.
What usually happens if the gear that should "throw" out from the motor to the ring does not have lubrication, and so "sticks" half way...so the teeth of one gear tries to eat the teeth of the other.
Problem can also be caused by a "poor" battery...initially the starter throws the gear out, but not having enough power to crank the engine, the gear slips back....and then the 2 gears grind their teeth together.
If you've had a starter motor with bad teeth...not even the best dentist can fix that without getting inside the bell housing and replacing the other teeth.I:
thanks - almost new ha, i wish.

Its actually a new starter (ebay), the old one packed in a month ago with the same issue. The new one started fine for a few weeks the went back to some intermittent starting then eventually just spinning / not engaging.

Could the torque converter be the problem? Meaning maybe too much resistance/ jamming? Last year i had to change the transmission oil and filter as it was juddering. That seemed to cure the judder, was relieved. Kind of thinking might be linked now?

As for 2nd hand torque converter, might this be a bit of a gamble, is it best to get recon/ new, as lots of labour hours cost removing the transmission? Don't fancy a repeat in 12 months ideally... Will have to see what my options are in next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You say you're engine is "a bit revvy at speed"....look at the pic of my dash whilst I was in Germany a couple of years ago!




Now you know why I want the higher ratio of the Caravelle box ;)
Is that photo-shopped :eek: That's like waterboarding your van! It must have sounded like it was about to explode.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
steve124 said:
From memory the torque convertor is just 3 or 4 nuts at the rear........15mins work.
I have 2 of them so if you can't be bothered to remove yours you can have one of mine.T:
Appreciate that. Is there any way to see how much life is left in them?
 
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