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481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

This weekend we went to a small town: Ilkley, beyond Bradford.
From Bradford to Ilkley there are some very steep hills, up and down. Not very high, but very steep.

I have driven my van over such steep hills before, and there were no problems.
But now I started hearing a knocking noise from front of the van.
Gearbox maybe?

The problem comes when driving up the hill, in any gear. First it starts quieter, then it goes louder, and louder, and louder. It has a rhythmic knoking, acording with the speed.

At any point, when the noise is there, if I press the clutch, and then release it (with, or without changing the gears), the knoking dissapears for a short time, but if I carry on driving up the hill, the noise comes back in the same manner.

Now the knoking noise is there, even when I drive on motorway and there is a small (not so steep) hill, but very long.

There is no knoking noise when driving on flat, or when driving down hill.

The gearbox is a Syncro, 5 speed manual. But the rear shaft is removed, so right now there is only 2wd (on front). I suspect the gearbox, as I already had a problem with it, when driving in Belgium 4 months ago, the bearing inside the gearbox, for the rear shaft got broken and I had to take it out.

But, could it be the CV joints?
Or something else?

Anybody got that before?
Any ideeas?


481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, what's got to do the vacuum pump with the van going up-hill?
Yes, gearbox has got the right level of oil in it. Just checked.

Fingers crossed.
I looked for the problem under the van, and I found that the driver's side front drive shaft, has got some wear in both inner and outer cv joints.
So I thought, anyway I have to replace them. I better start trying to solve this knocking noise by fixing that drive shaft.

Just to let everybody know: The grease inside the cv boots was long gone. The cv boots were still in good order, no cracks or splits, but no grease left. So even if you do not see any splits in your cv boots, if you have the oportunity, than check the grease and refill. My van has 136000 miles.

After buying both inner and outer joints (£60), and replacing them myself in 2 weekends, the noise seem to have dissapeared.

I needed to weekends to do the job:
1st weekend to take the drive shaft out,
that week ordering, receiving and re-building the drive shaft
2nd weekend to put the drive shaft back.

Big problem when I removed/fit back the drive shaft:
The book says to remove the shock absorber, and eighter use a special tool for compressing the upper arm, or releasing the torsion bar.
Both failed to be removed/release due to rusting.

So I had to improvise a tool to compress the upper arm, and I just released the shock absorber from the bottom (top was rusted).
After 3 hours job done.

I hope that was the problem.
I already tested it on some hils, and there is no knoking noise anymore.

But who knows? The van is from 1994, and as I said, it already crounched to bits a bearing inside the gearbox, when in Belgium.
I just ordered the bits to fix that too.
Awaiting for them to come,
Then I have to use a metal company's services to rectify a pinion gear, replace an original bearing with a different one, and hopefully the rear transmission is going to work again.
Oh, I just remembered, I have to check the viscous coupling, as I suspect it locked on.
Next weeked.

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