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Old 30-06-2013   #1
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Driveshafted

This month's problem... the front OS driveshaft.

It started waggling* at 40mph a few months ago. So into our local garage it went. They got the driveshaft reconditioned by a specialist company elsewhere (new inner CV joint) and refitted.

It was fine for a bit, then it went waggly again. So back to the garage. The CV joint on the driveshaft (the reconditioned bit) had somehow shrugged off its gaiter and spewed grease all over the place. So it was re-re-conditioned and refitted.

Now, after a few hundred miles, it's waggling again.

Now the mechanic tells me he's used this company before and hasn't have a problem with them. My feeling is that we tell them to refund what they were paid and buy a new driveshaft instead.

I've read about the 40mph shake on other threads. I know where this fault is, as it's fine after it's reconditioned (for five minutes).

Is it possible that the driveshafts have been fine but there's something else wrong with the car that's shagging them all? Alternatively, is it possible that the shafts themselves are bent, so this is why it gets wrecked after being reconditioned? I'm struggling to understand this one.

Also, this is the wheel that was getting hot, which seemed to be the brake dragging. I'm still not sure about that either, but it isn't running hot now (at the moment anyway). Could a hot brake wreck a driveshaft? Surely brakes are meant to get hot? I would have expected the tyre to explode before the driveshaft got damaged - its CV joint is a long way from the brake disk.

The mechanic thinks that the Croma driveshaft is unique, not a Vectra one. Can anyone confirm or deny? If it's not a Vectra one then is there a chance it's a Signum one? I don't fancy Fiat dealer prices.

Alternatively, is there a discount Fiat parts supplier I could get one from?

We're almost at the tether end now - the other half wants to get rid of it. I just know it's a belter of a car when it works nicely, plus it's almost worthless to sell.

Help!

* "Waggling" is the best description I can come up with. When accelerating, it feels like it pulls left then right rapidly, so the car shakes from side to side. Passengers can feel it too. It's always at 35-45mph, only ever when accelerating. The harder I accelerate, the steeper the hill, or the more people on board, the more pronounced it is.
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Old 30-06-2013   #2
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Re: Driveshafted

The right hand side one on an auto 1.9 is diffrent to a vectra one. The vectra one splits in to 2 the croma one don't, i found out after about a week of trying to split it
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Old 30-06-2013   #3
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Re: Driveshafted

Thats the side that is suported by the bearing and carrier that mounts to the sump right?Is that bearing goosed.Or a problem with a disc on that side out of balance has it?Or an engine mount letting the engine sit low?
My bastards starting making grinding noises going around bends from the front hubs.Suspect wheel bearings,but i never use it and for some reason the disc edges build up in rust and scrape on the back plates.I hope its just that.
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Old 02-07-2013   #4
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Re: Driveshafted

Hello Doofer--- Well I did this to death on another thread, in my view the inner CV is an engineering nightmare, like if you ask directions in Ireland they say "I wouldn`t have started from here"?
To summarise:-
1- Refurb on this joint just involves a quick bearing change on the male part, the "spider". This looks like a three point star with bearings on the ends.
2- The grease which packs the joint has a profound effect on the "wobbling," both the type of grease and the amount- it has a spec and volume specified by Fiat although I recon any CV grease will do.
3- The rubber gaiter has an internal shape which matches the outer shape of the female section of the joint- known as the "tulip" for obvious reasons. Not getting this seated properly or not far enough on the tulip will result in the problem you had with the gaiter coming off the end and all the grease being deposited on the engine undershield and surrounding area.
4- Before paying out for any new/refurb shafts it is always worth repacking the CV with the correct amount of grease, you could find it saves you 000s

My new shaft was compared the the "wobbly one" side by side and the measurements by micrometer& vernier were no different and the play in the bearings was only a few thous different. When it was changed we didnt know about the effect of the grease/amount and it was packed with what my mechanic thought was enough grease but it was still wobbling on a road test. He knew some mates who worked for Vauxhall who put him on the right track, repacked with the right grease/amount all but stopped the wobble on the next test drive.
They also recommend the use of a new jubilee clip on the shaped end of the gaiter as the originals were meant as one trip only but can be used again but are not as secure on subsequent usage.
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Old 02-07-2013   #5
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Re: Driveshafted

If its any consolation (and its probably not) our MkII 2008 Croma (in Italy) also suffered the same problem when touring UK. The righthand driveshaft was replaced under warranty in UK. The following year on another UK tour the lefthand one went. Took it to the same Fiat dealer near Portsmouth who this time couldn't find a problem well it was now out of warranty! We took it our Fiat dealer in Italy and they confirmed it was faulty and offered to replace it with a reconditioned unit. Fortunately we have not had a problem since, with the car now done some 118,000km. There have been so many driveshaft reports that it MUST be a faulty component or simply adesign fault, not that Fiat will ever admit it. If you can stick with the Croma as the rest of it is excellent.
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Old 03-07-2013   #6
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Re: Driveshafted

Thank you all very much for the replies. I want to fix it as frankly the thing's almost worthless to sell but would be very expensive to replace - there's still nothing else comparable to a Croma for our needs: comfy cruiser with reasonable mpg and a huge boot/interior with the seats down.

I know who the Portsmouth dealer is - I've been there too for something else and wouldn't recommend them. They're basically a Peugeot dealer but one mechanic also does Fiats. Hardly specialised experts then.

So would it be fair to conclude that the sensible outcome is to give up on the refurb idea and get a new driveshaft? Is it worth asking the mechanic to re-grease it, taking along a print of the above from Tarquin?

If so then is there an alternative to a Fiat dealer? Or even a national mail order place that supplies genuine Fiat parts a bit cheaper? Or is there a Vauxhall equivalent?
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Last edited by Doofer; 03-07-2013 at 15:54.
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Old 03-07-2013   #7
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Re: Driveshafted

I wouldn't use that dealer either!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Driveshaft parts costs from Fiat will bleed your wallet dry.

Have you gone under that car and played with the driveshafts yourself? Pushing, pulling, rotating etc. etc. The reason I ask is that still may not be a shaft issue.

As for driveshafts contact Kimber Friction in Southampton. I've checked their online parts catalog and they list drivershafts but prices are POA. I have a long history of using Kimbers and no issues. Prices are pretty keen but not always the best.
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Old 04-07-2013   #8
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Re: Driveshafted

Doofer-- I have the training manual that was issued to Fiat mechanics who were sent to Italy to be trained in 2004 (pre launch) so they could pre delivery check the cars. I got it from E Bay for a song. It shows that the the grease spec is Tutela MRM Zero for the "Tulip" CV- amount 140grms and Tutela star 500 for the wheel end CV- amount120gms.
To have such tight amounts specified for each CV shows to me that they must have been thought about during design& testing for torque steer elimination. It is quite understandable that the grade of grease would differ when you think about the heat generated by the brake disc and the resistance to it required by the CV grease at that end. Incidentally the spec amounts for the 2.2 16v petrol are 150gms for the wheel side but 110gms for the Tulip CV, the types of grease are the same however.

If I new how to post photos of the pages I would as it will save me a lot of time on the keyboard for various threads I can help with
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Old 04-07-2013   #9
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Re: Driveshafted

Thank you, thank you, Tarquin.

I'd really like to have something original looking that we can wave at the company who reconditioned it.

Do you have a scanner (ideally) or digital camera. It's pretty easy to post pictures on here if you can get an image of it. Tutorial coming up...
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Old 04-07-2013   #10
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Re: Driveshafted

The image needs to be a jpg file type (the only practical one to use on this forum), and must be below 9.77MB (which is huge). If it's bigger, open it in Windows Paint and resize it (provided you've got a reasonably recent version of Windows). If you're using a Mac then I don't know how.

Click the "Post Reply" button at the bottom left, not the quick reply one that I was using last post. Then you get the full features.

After that, just click the paperclip at the top middle of the grey box, then browse to your jpg file.

Then press Upload.

I'd also be very very grateful if you could include a picture of the front cover or title page to show that this is the Fiat bible.
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Old 05-07-2013   #11
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Re: Driveshafted

Quote Originally Posted by tarquin1867 View Post
Doofer-- I have the training manual that was issued to Fiat mechanics who were sent to Italy to be trained in 2004 (pre launch) so they could pre delivery check the cars. I got it from E Bay for a song. It shows that the the grease spec is Tutela MRM Zero for the "Tulip" CV- amount 140grms and Tutela star 500 for the wheel end CV- amount120gms.
To have such tight amounts specified for each CV shows to me that they must have been thought about during design& testing for torque steer elimination. It is quite understandable that the grade of grease would differ when you think about the heat generated by the brake disc and the resistance to it required by the CV grease at that end. Incidentally the spec amounts for the 2.2 16v petrol are 150gms for the wheel side but 110gms for the Tulip CV, the types of grease are the same however.

If I new how to post photos of the pages I would as it will save me a lot of time on the keyboard for various threads I can help with
Hi, if its not a problem, a full scan of the book would be lovely If its possible, or a hint from where to buy one. Cheers !
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Old 05-07-2013   #12
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Re: Driveshafted

The Training manual runs to 482 pages!! printed on thin card and is in a ring binder.
Best way to go is to keep an eye out on E-BAY as I saw one that was about to finish and could not get a bid in on time . So when the next one came up and it was in Doncaster I made sure I won the auction. 15-- bargain.

Although I am retired even I would not be able to scan/ post all the pages
Best way may be I can scan the odd pages as the problems arise.
It should be said this is not a repair manual, but it does contain a lot of arrangement diagrams wiring diags and schematics fopr the car including a rather fetching circular one with all the imputs into the engine ECU. Some are on E-learn, some are in the car owners manual also but those are like a first school reader
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Old 05-07-2013   #13
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Re: Driveshafted

I am out all afternoon but will endeavour to get get the pics you wanted up on here tomorrow

Thanks for the tutorial
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Old 06-07-2013   #14
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Re: Driveshafted

croma1 001.jpg croma3 001.jpgcroma2 001.jpg

First go chaps hope they are ok for you, I will do the other one you wanted Doofer if these are ok. As you can see the letters on the schematic sketch do not match the Key below it but its self explanatory anyway
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Last edited by tarquin1867; 06-07-2013 at 10:45.
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Old 06-07-2013   #15
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Re: Driveshafted

Hope these two will be ok for you DooferForum 001.jpg Forum 002.jpg
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