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Old 13-12-2012   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NW London
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Gearbox/ Speedometer queries

Hi this is petty much my first post, and it's not a happy tale!

I've now had my Doblo Cargo 1.9 JTD (2002) for a couple of weeks, and I'm gradually getting down the list of stuff that needs sorting out. It's only done 74K miles, but I'm assuming short trips as it was owned by a self employed builder.

This week's bombshell development is that the gearbox bearings are worn, and need replacing as it's rattling on acceleration in the lower gears, increasingly over the last week. If I drive with a feather-light right-foot, the rattle can be kept at bay, but it really needs sorting. Gear selection is fine and there's no jumping out of gear or anything like that.

I've had two (reputable) local gearbox specialists confirm that it's the bearings, and have been quoted 500 +VAT to remove the box, strip down and renew the bearings and refit the box etc.

Having already spent nearly twice this amount on a cambelt/water pump, radiator, battery, tyres and rear exhaust box, major brake/oil/filters service and various security mods, I'm not too pleased to say the least. Looks like I chose the wrong example, but it's too late to go back now.

Anyway, enough moaning, here are my queries...

The speedometer reads disturbingly high. What it says is 70mph, my TomTom tells me is really 62mph. 50mph on the clock is 43mph on the GPS. Wheels and tyres are correct.

I assume that the fault is either in gearbox/sensor or possibly the dashboard. No other obvious faults in the dash, so I'm wondering if the box may have been swapped from a different model. No history as such came with the van, though I managed to trace the former keeper who traded it in having owned it for nearly 10 years, and he says he never changed the box or had any transmission problems. The small-time dealer I bought it from similarly claims that he did nothing to the gearbox than fit a new clutch, and I kind of believe him, though he's not interested in any kind of compensation for the expense of having the bearings fixed. So maybe the box is original. Both the original owner and the trader used the van to tow trailers on occasion.

Is there any way of telling if the box is the correct one for the van? I don't want to spend a load of money on repairing the wrong gearbox only to have more problems as a result of it being incorrect. There's no clutch judder or anything to suggest that I have flywheel problems. If it wasn't for the death rattle (and somewhat lazy acceleration in 5th gear) I wouldn't have noticed any problem. Gear ratios seem fine in low gears, though 5th seems to struggle a bit. Though as my mechanic says, if the bearings are worn, the higher speed performance may well suffer.

Soooo... am I being paranoid, or is the speedo discrepancy a possible sign of mischief??

I really need to get the van on the road. It drives nicely in all other respects, and I need to get working.

Your observations will be most welcome.
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Old 13-12-2012   #2
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NW London
Posts: 14
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United Kingdom 
Re: Gearbox/ Speedometer queries

Just to partly answer my own question, I've just spoken to the gearbox specialist, who assures me that it will be immediately obvious if the gearbox on my Doblo is from another vehicle model, as some adaptions will have been made. Non-Doblo gearboxes won't physically fit without this.

Inaccuracies in the speedo reading can be compensated for in the gear the sensor "reads". As my van has no ABS, the speedo sensor is just on the gearbox, so this should be straightforward.

This puts my mind at rest somewhat, as my confidence in this van was starting to wobble!!
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