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Old 16-11-2002   #1
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Panda Gearbox

Maybe some of you may be interested as to how my gearbox died [xx(] ...

Even if you're not I'm telling you anyway!

Thursday - 15:30 - heard this loud bang coming from under the car complete with a shudder. After turning off the stereo it seemed okay so I carried on home, distance 8 miles. A bit closer to home there was this whining noise but the Panda has always made noises so it was ignored. Normally I just turn up the stereo ...

Friday - 05:15 - still noisy and getting louder: a little bit worried by now I drove the 8 miles to work with no music ...

14:45 - driving home once again. Still noisy but didn't seem too bad. I must check the bearings or cylinder head gasket soon. Doesn't sound like bearings; normally when I turn a corner the noise changes. Or head gasket; last time that failed I was blowing clouds of steam out the exhaust. Oh God.

1.5 miles from home - oh dear! Severe crunching noises and shuddering to a halt on a busy main road. Muttered expletives. A phone call to a local garage resulted in paying 40 quid for a tow home. I just KNEW I shouldn't have left the RAC.

The tow-truck driver's diagnosis: Looks like driveshafts. What's the mileage? 94k? Why don't you ring Podders? [our local scrappie] No, I mean, it's just about had it hasn't it?

More muttered expletives. That was end of May.

I've looked at the drive shafts very carefully. No apparent problems, so I decided to look under the car properly. Then I found the obvious: a gaping hole in the gearbox casing. Oh bother.

The bang on Thursday was obviously accompanied by the gearbox dumping its oil. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did ...

I did ring Podders - to supply me with a 5-speed gearbox, complete with lever and all linkages, taken off a 1000S with 65k miles on the clock (believed genuine as the interior was nice) - removed by them after having to lift the tatty Uno off its roof first - all for a very reasonable 55 quid - paid by cheque too.

I still need to fit it, but I'll need a clutch first. The last one had been slipping for a while ...

Okay, enough already.

Steve.

1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 16-11-2002   #2
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Hello Steve.
Let us know how you get on please.
Rgds, petel@clara.co.uk
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Old 18-11-2002   #3
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Hope it all works out soon, Steve. We need too keep the Panda flag flying! :D:D

Cheers John

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Old 19-11-2002   #4
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Of course I will. A blow by blow account of fitting the thing will follow as soon as I've braved the British weather. Why, oh why, do I always leave it to the last minute [?]

Steve

<blockquote id="quote">[size=1] face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Pete
Hello Steve.
Let us know how you get on please.
Rgds, petel@clara.co.uk
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

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Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 19-11-2002   #5
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Hope so too. My family are doubting my sanity ... and so am I. Thing is, my Panda is part of me after 13 years and would be extremely upset to part with her now, especially as it's her birthday this week ...

Getting too sentimental in my old age :)
Steve.

<blockquote id="quote">[size=1] face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by PandaMan
Hope it all works out soon, Steve. We need too keep the Panda flag flying! :D:D

Cheers John


<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 04-12-2002   #6
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British weather! I hate it!

As you may have gathered, the deadline for getting the Panda back on the road has been and gone. ;) I have been attempting to move it to my friendly neighbour's front drive to avoid the attention of our local constabulary as the tax has just run out. After taking most of Saturday freeing off the seized brakes due to 6 months inactivity it does at least move with a little pushing on my part! The constant rain hasn't helped ...

I need a clutch first but due to the lack of the readies I haven't bought one yet.

BUT I WILL GET HER BACK ON THE ROAD!!! :D:):D:):D:)

Steve


1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
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Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 07-12-2002   #7
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Hopefully, the clutch, a nice QH one, will arrive early next week.

I've removed the calipers for the time being. They are soaking in brake fluid to prevent further seizure. The rear brake cylinders are fairly new as they were replaced when the copper brake pipes were fitted.

What bothers me is detaching the gearbox from the engine. The Haynes and Porter manuals say to support the engine with a hoist or something ... does anyone know the weight of the 999 cc FIRE engine ?

Cheers, Steve.


1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Copper brake pipes
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 07-12-2002   #8
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If it's any use, I can just about lift the 1108 FIRE engine on my own.
But I do have little spindly arms though :D

Would guess 100kg ?

And before you all say you can lift more than that at the gym, they are a bit awkward to pick up by yourself :)

Pete.
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Old 10-12-2002   #9
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Talking about spindly arms, I'm six foot four and 14 stone, but I still look like one of Lowry's matchstick men. If you stood me behind a lamp post I would disappear ...

When I collected the gearbox from our local scrappie I was all set to pick the thing up - and realised that it is very heavy indeed, and a very awkward shape. I nearly did myself an injury picking the thing up. When you're tall it's a long long way to bend down!

Admittedly the scrappies had cut through the driveshafts and most of the mountings so there are a few extras to remove which may reduce some of the weight.

As an aside it looks like I'll have a couple of tripod joints available if anyone wants them!

Anyway, on Saturday I had the dubious pleasure in watching them flattening the 1000S that the gearbox came from. It only had 65k miles on the clock, a very clean interior and almost mint condition seats. Oh ... sugar [V][V][V] [:0]
Steve


1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Copper brake pipes
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 10-12-2002   #10
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<blockquote id="quote">[size=1] face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by steveyensen

Anyway, on Saturday I had the dubious pleasure in watching them flattening the 1000S that the gearbox came from. It only had 65k miles on the clock, a very clean interior and almost mint condition seats. Oh ... sugar [V][V][V] [:0]
Steve


1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Copper brake pipes
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

And you never salvaged the parts!!! Could'ave made a token offer and accumulated a load of spares!!!;)[xx(];)

No excuses, now then. You've got the gearbox, cars' on the (neighbors!) drive....should be sorted this weekend then!;)

Cold??? Its not cold - its totally freezing!!! Its snowing in Surrey!!!

John

<font face="Comic Sans MS">95 / M
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tinted lens'</font id="Comic Sans MS">




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Old 12-12-2002   #11
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Unfortunately, the destruction had just started when I arrived there. When I last looked, the good stuff had gone, although I did notice the new springs at the front. All I managed that time was a set of new genuine Fiat full size wheel trims, screen washer motors, carburettor and radiator.

Oh and as far as this weekend goes, I'm going to Grimsby (my home town) in my wife's boring Nissan Almera MPV. I'm taking Joni Mitchell's new CD Travelogue with me too.

Anyway, the clutch has arrived for a very reasonable £51.41 including the dreaded VAT.

So I don't have much excuse then, do I?

Steve!


John sez:
And you never salvaged the parts!!! Could'ave made a token offer and accumulated a load of spares!!!;)[xx(];)

No excuses, now then. You've got the gearbox, cars' on the (neighbors!) drive....should be sorted this weekend then!;)

Cold??? Its not cold - its totally freezing!!! Its snowing in Surrey!!!



1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Copper brake pipes
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 12-12-2002   #12
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I've just had the gearbox replaced in my Panda 900 'Dance'. ;)

The diagnosed fault was a worn differential bearing, that was breaking-up and had the potential to launch itself out of the gearbox housing whilst I'm somewhere on the M5 between Cornwall and the West Midlands. So for peace of mind, I think it was worth replacing it. I was also having trouble engaging top gear, and once it was there, it was a game and a half to convince it out of gear again. The new 'box is more precise than the previous one, which became more vague than a New Labour politician.

I believe the differential bearing was damaged because just after I bought the car, I was checking it over with my Dad, and upon checking the gearbox oil level, found it to be below minimum, so we filled it up. This showed up a split gearbox gaiter, which I promptly had replaced. It seems that a previous owner had drained the gearbox oil so as not to show-up the split gaiter, then it didn't get filled-up again. With mileage, it was running dry and started to break-up.

I'm hoping the new noises settle down, but I have a noise in reverse that wasn't there on the previous 'box, and still have a knocking noise when taking a left bend, which was the reason behind having the box replaced. It certainly isn't road wheel bearings, and I have been shown on a ramp that my CV joints are fine. But I have two 265 mile journeys planned over Christmas, so I'll see if it all settles down.

The work was done at a Fiat garage in Cornwall, using a Fiat re-con 'box and clutch. Apparently, there's this new scheme where my gearbox is sent to Fiat, Italy, and they send out a re-conditioned gearbox, fitted with their own parts, so it's as good as new. Both gearbox and clutch have a two year defect warranty. The 'box was £200 + VAT and the clutch £40.62 + VAT, added to labour costs, came out at £419.02. There goes the student loan [V]

And now, it's filled up with Fiat's recommended 80W/90 Tutella oil and after a week is starting to feel much easier than it did. It feels more precise than the old 'box did. :)

Regards.


Paul
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Old 12-12-2002   #13
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£419.02? Ouch - I bet that hurt ...

Back at Christmas 1979 my little 124 Special's auto gearbox failed by sticking in bottom gear and that little problem cost me £400 *then* for a reconditioned 'box. I had to have a little sit-down after reading the bill. [:0] (insert emoticon for 'falling down in a dead faint') as well)

Actually, on the Panda I have had problems with top gear too and general looseness of the gear lever. This was diagnosed as the linkages wearing out at the 'box end, a square hole slowly being rounded by wear, which was 'cured' by building up with weld and re-shaped.

The long link rod underneath used to pop out of its balljoint regularly too .. all part of the worn linkage problem! The only way I could fix this was to get under the car and press them back together again with large mole grips.

Anyway, the replacement gearbox, currently languishing in the garage, is much tighter as the car it came from had only 65k miles on the clock. It looks a lot cleaner so it has probably been well looked after mechanically.

Although the Tutella oil is recommended by Fiat (as it is in the Porter manual) some people just use standard engine oil. This is encouraged by the Haynes manual. I've had problems with Haynes manuals in the past due to their not being entirely accurate.

I know that with the correct oil in the 'box, the car will run very much quieter so it is wise to run with the recommended juice.

I've also had a split gaiter replaced. Gear oil does not go black like engine oil so it doesn't make such a mess on the drive but it's still a pig to clean up!

I'd keep an eye on the knocking noise. It does sound like bearings but as you say you've had them and the CV joints checked.

If the noise persists I should take it back and complain. Although my experience of main dealers is that they are a grumpy lot, particularly their parts men!

Best of luck,

Steve


1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Copper brake pipes
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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Old 12-12-2002   #14
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Hello steveyensen. I hope your replacement box is alright. You say it came out of a car with 65K on the clock, but mine had only covered 60,214 when I bought it. About 200 miles later, we filled up the box with oil, so before then, the damage had already been done. I had it replaced at 67,736, when I was too scared to drive any further, fearing what it might do on the M5 at 60mph. Suppose it just depends how previous owners have maintained it.

I will keep an eye on the knocking noise though, and go back to the garage if the noise is still there in a month. By then, I'll have driven from Cornwall to the West Midlands, and back to Cornwall, so should give it plenty of time to 'bed-in'. I've only done 354 miles since the work was done so perhaps it needs more time?

Are you fitting the 'box over the holiday? If so, good luck!

Regards

Paul
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Old 13-12-2002   #15
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Oh my gawd. Please don't scare me like that!

The mechanicals looked pretty good, although it was obviously terminally rotten. And the doors, it looked as if they were held together with papier maché and chicken wire!

I'll keep my fingers, toes and any other appendages crossed that it will be successful. I'm hoping to at least drop the old 'box over the holidays, but we will be down in Cambridge over Xmas week with Penny's relatives.

This weekend would be nice but I'm going over to Grimsby to attempt to beat my mother at tenpin bowling. She's 73 but is a cracker of a bowler! Also it's my annual Xmas visit to exchange presents etc.

Steve.

<blockquote id="quote">[size=1] face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by PandaManPaul
Hello steveyensen. I hope your replacement box is alright. You say it came out of a car with 65K on the clock, but mine had only covered 60,214 when I bought it. About 200 miles later, we filled up the box with oil, so before then, the damage had already been done. I had it replaced at 67,736, when I was too scared to drive any further, fearing what it might do on the M5 at 60mph. Suppose it just depends how previous owners have maintained it.

Are you fitting the 'box over the holiday? If so, good luck!

Regards

Paul
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">


1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL
Electronic Distributor
Lots'n'lots'n'lots of RUST!
Copper brake pipes
Currently immobile with a knackered gearbox
Replacement 5-speed 'box in garage ready to fit ...
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