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Old 04-10-2010   #1
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Unhappy Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Had to deploy the Rescue Bravo today as Bunny's 150 manual has had something fail in the drivetrain. It drives and will engage and disengage gears, but 2nd sounds almost like a reverse gear, 5th and 6th feel like the whole gearbox and engine are about to be shaken off the car, and even 3rd and 4th (which I rescued the car using) ocasionally start the shakes then there is a horrible ratting and shaking even in neutral and with the clutch pressed.

My suspision lies with the gearbox and the shaft bearings. Some of the right handers on the route made sounds from the passenger footwell I hope never to hear again.

So, is this a Fiat or GM box? Any cars I may be able to get a low-mileage box from, as I really dont like the almost 2000 price tag on Eper.
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Old 05-10-2010   #2
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Not good!

GM 3 shaft gearbox. Vectra-C / Signum.

When I was investigating my gearbox clack and groan, speaking to a GM Service manager he did say that on some of these boxes then was an issue with the the diff output bearings failings. I gather is to verify as the drive stubs coming out of the diff/gearbox go all floppy.

I was told that to rebuild these boxes requires a load of special tools due to their design so they normally just replace the box.
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Old 05-10-2010   #3
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

So I hear. Quote of just over 2300 for new box, and clutch since the box is off and the car is at 80k.
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Old 05-10-2010   #4
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Very very bad luck there.

Doesn't that repair cost make it a write-off? It might be worth trying to find a scrap Vectra one.
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Old 05-10-2010   #5
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

The probable worst case senario is 2800 based on recon gearbox and new DMF and clutch. A gearbox specialist is coming out to look at the box and see if he can repair it which should shave off a chunk if it's salvagable.

For the cost of repair, plus what you could get for the car in its current state you would probably be looking around 3000-4000. So what can you get for 4000? If you scrub out any city cars and french diesels the choice seems to be very limited. Certainly nothing in the same class as the Croma, except for another Croma. There are a couple of Focus (rustbox?) and Astra (Croma problems but without the redeaming Fiat features?). Plus any hidden problems they might have - and they wont have the benefit of a brand new clutch and fully reconditioned gearbox. So I think the Croma lives on given we dont have the money to buy a new car right now.
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Old 05-10-2010   #6
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Stupid question i know but could it be the engine mounts or subframe?
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Old 05-10-2010   #7
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Nope, although I worry they may be damaged from the shaking.
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Old 05-10-2010   #8
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Quote Originally Posted by Hellcat View Post
So what can you get for 4000?
I was thinking a new similar Croma from ebay, plus a holiday. You could possibly even keep yours for spares (or swap about the best parts between the two then scrap it, perhaps keeping your old engine in the shed) and still have money in the bank.

You're right, there's nothing to compare. I'm toying with the idea of getting a second one if we need a car each again. Anything else at a similar price is either smaller, crappier or older (or all three).

I think you're the first here with such a major failure. Hopefully this isn't what they do at 90k miles.
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Old 05-10-2010   #9
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

what is really sad / infuriating / etc is that in these times a gearbox should last 200K even 300K miles. Just a bunch of cogs on some shafts. There are plenty of old vintage, and no so vintage cars out there doing 200K plus. Makes you understand/realise that old "zimples" is far far better than so called modern simple, quiet, smooth, efficient, reliable and long lasting modern crap!

In the old days they just concentrated on getting input shaft to output shaft power as reliable as possible. A little noise or agricultural feel/response was not an issue.

These days the purists amongst up despise these modern paddle shift, semi-automatic, carlos fandango boxes, but at the same time look for perfection in modern manual boxes. They must be quiet, silky smooth, not talk back, rapid notchless gear changes etc. etc. Couple this desire with economy and I guess we get what we pay for and asked for.

Sadly I don't see these things changing so I guess we have to put up with modern failures and hopefully not have to dig too deep into our pockets.

Maybe simple and reliable diesel electric drive is the answer?
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Old 06-10-2010   #10
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Quote Originally Posted by s130 View Post
Maybe simple and reliable diesel electric drive is the answer?
There's a new concept Jag that has an electric motor in each wheel and is mains chargeable. However, it also has two turbines that run on diesel to charge the batteries and give much longer range when away from the mains supply.

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/News/Se...cial-pictures/

It doesn't have gears, and very few moving parts. It's actually a very simple, elegant system - unlike hybrid engines. The turbines run at the speed required for maximum efficiency, not related to the road speed. I believe this system has been used for decades in diesel-electric trains.

This has to be the future.
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Old 06-10-2010   #11
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

not got any good gearbox repair places near you? if you can take the box in and out your self then some times its not a lot of money to get them repaired.

there a good one near me but a bit to far for you i reckon

he fixed my box and found the design fault that caused it to break and modified that too
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Old 06-10-2010   #12
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Surely at that price for a box you would be better off trying to source another Croma? For your 2400 or whatever for a new box, you will see no return at all for that money. I would be looking at selling your own car as is, which you would perhaps get 800 to 1000 and putting this toward the 2400 and buying another Croma. There are always a few for sale and anyone selling will bite your hand off so you should get a good car for around 3500. Remember a 60k mile 2007 Prestigio auto went on ebay for 4400 recently. For 3500 you have the pick of umpteen cars priced at 4k.
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Old 06-10-2010   #13
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

Sure we could buy another croma for that money... but where sould we be? Same place as if we fixed the box and fitted a new flywheel and clutch.

So it's Croma with known history since 16k + new flywheel, clutch and gearbox versus Croma with unknown history.

I've never had a gearbox off a car before, and the Croma isn't a small car to start practising on. The garage is it with is a trusted garage who I know will do a good job. Plus they're a paid-up trader on here They have phoned around the gearbox places and they're dropping the box off with a local expert.

They even managed to get the gearbox off without removing the roadwheels which was a first for them... Yes I misplaced the locking wheel nut
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Old 06-10-2010   #14
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

sorry to hear about your trouble hellcat, hope it won't be as expensive as you say

can you tell us if there were any signs before the box went and what/how did it actually happened?
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Old 06-10-2010   #15
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Re: Croma gearbox - shared cars?

The only sign was a slight noise in 2nd gear, less than 3 days before the transmission failed.

They haven't had the box apart yet so we can't identify exactly what's gone wrong.
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