VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Still fairly new to VW/T4 but have waded in to deep waters right off the bat.
I've removed the 02B gearbox on my '97 Transporter AAB to get a 6-speed kit installed. It's a DKA gearbox meaning woefully undergeared on the highway but easy on the clutch starting off in first. I did this on the floor in my garage, using a jack under the sump, another one behind the sump against the subframe, and kind of letting the gearbox bounce on to me as it came out LOL: C'mon, it's not that heavy! I carried it off and plopped it on to a pallet. But I really don't want to do this again.
The van has over 300,000kms (190K miles) and was on the original clutch. So I'm thinking I can make a replacement clutch last past the life of the vehicle.

I will replace the clutch but I'm not sure what to do about the DMF. At first glance it looks great and feels good when rocked to and fro. But I'd hate to take that gearbox out again, even in 5 years time, due to DMF issues. The DMF is expensive though, so it's not easy to say I'll just go ahead and replace it while I'm in there.

If it wasn't for the DMF I could say the van will go another 200K miles on another clutch based on previous history. With me driving the van now, the clutch will likely last even longer than that. This would suit me just fine, as it means I would likely never be pulling the gearbox again. I am now faced with the task of determining the likelihood that the DMF that's in there now would last the lifetime of another clutch, or even close, or whether it is likely that the DMF will be a problem before the replacement clutch wears out 200K miles or more down the road.

Based on comments I have read in this and other forums, there are DMF horror stories but then there are those that say if the DMF looks good there is no point in replacing it vs those that say to replace the DMF with the clutch. It looks like I'm going to have to take a closer look at the DMF to get a better idea of its condition.

I'm hoping for some guidance here: do I replace the DMF or not?. Can the DMF go for that much longer?

Thanks for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
795 Posts
Don't just replace the clutch on its own or you will almost certainly have problems with the dmf in the future. Down side is that genuine vw parts are really expensive but cheaper parts are more likely to fail. The dmf and clutch was replaced on my van about 4 years 40k ago with luk parts and the dmf faiked just before Christmas and took the bell housing out! I replaced it with a Valeo solid flywheel conversion kit and I must say I'm really pleased with it T:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Muggsy for mentioning the third option, going forward with s SMF. 40K on a flywheel, that's ludicrous! I wonder why some flywheels like mine last well, while others do not. How much is due to quality control vs driving style/usage pattern.

Slightly off topic, I might want to remove the flywheel anyway, to get at the rear crank seal. Now I'm wondering whether that is also something I should replace while I'm in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,151 Posts
If you are going in, you may as well do the lot, i.e. DMF, Clutch, Release Bearing and crank oil seal. I always use genuine parts as I only like to do those sort of jobs once! It would be just your luck to replace the clutch, and then have a judder on take up from the DMF!

The DMF was also O.E. for a reason:eek:

Off topic: not been to Vancouver Island since I came over in 2010 for the Winter Olympics (before that I was last there in the early 90's) ............ BC is a wonderful part of the world, some very good friends of mine live in Chiliwack, a bit outside Vancouver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Seconded from me - do the dmf with the clutch. I changed my cutch with a oe LUk kit 16k miles ago and now the dmf is on it's way out with hideous judder. It's off to the garage next week to be done as I haven't got the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for the input. I come from 25 years of Suzuki cars which seem almost elegantly simple in comparison.

After reading the first response to my original post and some other digging around, I narrowed the options to just two:
A Valeo solid flywheel conversion, or leaving the current flywheel intact. Both options are similarly priced, with the Valeo flywheel kit coming in a little higher. By comparison, replacing the DMF triples the price, which makes it hard to justify.

I now find myself asking if there is a downside to going to a solid flywheel. While there is something said for keeping things original, did the T4 diesels not come with solid flywheels in the earlier years using the same engine/gearbox combination? I would say yes because when I look at parts catalogues, there are often single and dual mass compatible options in the list of replacement clutches. The single mass clutch kits always note the engine number up to 370181. I would estimate that some time in 1995 or 1996 is when the SMF was dropped for the AAB/02B combo.

Over the course of searching for vans I test drove two SWB 2.4D passenger vans (rare here). They both drove great and were 1993 models. I wasn't interested in owning either because of significant body rot which didn't show up in the pictures.

Based on the (il)logic above, perhaps there should be no driveability concerns using a SMF as long as it is suited for the engine/gearbox combo. If one wanted to be really sure about that while ditching the dual mass setup, one would use a solid flywheel from an earlier AAB in conjunction with one of the corresponding OEM replacement clutches targeted at an earlier model.

The Valeo conversion kit is available and well priced. As long as it is well behaved it is a tempting proposition to nip any future DMF problems forever at a price similar to just replacing the clutch alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Off topic: not been to Vancouver Island since I came over in 2010 for the Winter Olympics (before that I was last there in the early 90's) ............ BC is a wonderful part of the world, some very good friends of mine live in Chiliwack, a bit outside Vancouver.
In 2012 I was at Manchester for the World Masters Track Cycling champs. Afterward, I visited a high school friend who now lives in Worcester Park, Surrey, who showed me around London for a couple of days before I headed home. It was while being taxied around Manchester that I realized why transient handling characteristics are valued by Britons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,151 Posts
In 2012 I was at Manchester for the World Masters Track Cycling champs. Afterward, I visited a high school friend who now lives in Worcester Park, Surrey, who showed me around London for a couple of days before I headed home. It was while being taxied around Manchester that I realized why transient handling characteristics are valued by Britons.
Are you a Canadian native? My friends moved from Yorkshire almost 30 years ago.

Worcester Park, must have felt like home. lol. I always tell people there are parts of Vancouver Island that seem more typically British than Britain itself!

Hope you make the right decision on your clutch, did you get the 6th gear conversion done yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes. I grew up on the mainland in the greater Vancouver area then moved to the island to attend university. It's a slower pace here which I like.
The gearbox was sent to Czech a few days ago. They will put in their conversion kit for free, adjusting the shafts for free play and taking care of any other issues, plus for US$100 bore out and install a larger roller bearing to handle greater power if that ever goes through it. I want to know for sure that the kit is installed properly before the tranny goes back on. The difference in shipping cost between the kit one-way and the entire gearbox both ways is probably less than the amount I would have to pay to get the kit installed, assuming I could find a trustworthy transmission technician who would even work on these things.

The original flywheel, dual mass, appears to be in excellent condition, though it is still yet to be removed. The face of the flywheel is super smooth, like glass. So is the pressure plate. I expected to see grooves there. It's tempting to just leave it, but at this time I'm leaning toward the Valeo conversion. Accounting for a set of flywheel bolts required if I remove it to get at the crank seal, the price for the Valeo conversion kit is about the same as just replacing the clutch and keeping the old flywheel. If the old flywheel is retained, it will have to be replaced at some point, and might meet an untimely demise along the way. A solid flywheel will last the life of the van and entitle me to inexpensive replacement clutches or upgrades whatever the situation warrants.

I've got to thank Muggsy 65 for relating with the Valeo conversion experience. This additional perspective so early on has been helpful in assembling the right mindset.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top