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Old 29-12-2017   #1
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Smile Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Hi All,

Where can I buy a replacement viscous coupling for a 1.2 petrol Panda 4x4?

Or alternatively where can I have it reconditioned?

I assume with age the oil inside the unit has thickened to a point that it no longer allows enough slip. I could drill a hole and tap / fit a bung, but not sure
the old oil will run out, or what grade of oil to use to refill?

Any information / suggestions very welcome,
Thanks

Steve
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Old 29-12-2017   #2
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

It's some mad silicon based fluid that has weird thermal properties.
The couplings have a stack of lots of thin plates inside - I wouldn't drill and tap if I were you. The disks deteriorate and change shape or loose their ability to transmit torque to one another or to their shaft/housing.
They fail in two ways; open (supplies no torque) or closed (overloads every component of the driveline 'til something breaks.
You can remove the propshaft to make the car 2wheel drive permanently.

The coupling can be tested easily by doing the following:
1) put the car in 1st gear
2)chock the front wheels, release the handbrake.
3) jack up one rear corner of the car until one rear wheel comes off the ground.
4) grab the airborne wheel and try to turn it by hand. If it doesnt turn at all then your coupling has failed "closed" which is bad. If it turns very easily and fast then your coupling has failed "open", which means you are 2wheel drive. If you can turn the wheel slowly with a lot of resistance then your coupling is fine.
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Old 30-12-2017   #3
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Hi,

So ours looks like its failed closed, so have taken prop shaft off, so now 2wd.

But where do I get hold of one, or get it reconditioned?

I asked the local fiat dealer and they said they didnt have the part listed as a spare so couldn't help?

We do use the 4wd, so seems a real shame they don't support these as a spare part?

Thanks
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Old 30-12-2017   #4
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by MerlinPoly View Post
I asked the local fiat dealer and they said they didnt have the part listed as a spare so couldn't help?
That's ridiculous.
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Old 30-12-2017   #5
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

There are two different rear coupling arrangements and which depends on which year yours is.

It seems they changed supplier in 2008, from a GKN coupling to a Magna Steyr one.
These Magna Steyr all appear to have an electropneumatic coupling, the GKN's haven't

You need to identify which yours is.
If it's a later Steyr, it could be the electropneumatic actuator that's the problem.

But I suspect it's an earlier, pre 2008 GKN if Fiat have trouble sourcing one, so you might need to find a used diff/coupling or someone that can rebuild yours as it might have over heated and locked up the plates.
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Last edited by Goudrons; 30-12-2017 at 12:05.
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Old 30-12-2017   #6
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Yes, it's a 2005, so will be the GKN one.

I have contacted 3 companies that recondition the
Landrover one's, and so far one has said they can recondition
my unit for around 250, if I send to them, will take 2-3 weeks.

I am guessing a new one even if I could source would be more that that?

Thanks
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Old 30-12-2017   #7
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

From Fiat it looks like a complete rear diff, which is silly.
Found this article: http://www.carpages.co.uk/fiat/fiat_...4_20_10_04.asp

And GKN website: https://www.gkn.com/

If mine, I'd be firing off an email to GKN asking where to purchase a replacement.
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Old 30-12-2017   #8
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Hi,

I have emailed GKN, will wait and see what they say.

The Fiat dealer didn't even mention being able to buy the whole rear diff, although I can imagine that would be really expensive?

Thanks
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Old 30-12-2017   #9
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by MerlinPoly View Post
Hi,

I have emailed GKN, will wait and see what they say.

The Fiat dealer didn't even mention being able to buy the whole rear diff, although I can imagine that would be really expensive?

Thanks
A little over 1000 I think.
One off a crashed car might be an option.
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Old 01-01-2018   #10
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

any way of adapting a landrover one to fit?

when my coupling failed on my toyota starlet i looked into the option of the landrover unit and it wasnt a million miles out. it was a cheap option

in the end i just bought i new unit from toyota which wasnt cheap (around 400). this was off a later model and i just needed to move the exhaust hangar and swap one of the flanges over for it to work.
any other 4wd fiats that may use a similar unit?
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Old 02-01-2018   #11
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

I have looked around the breakers, they seem to go very quickly.

I have had a quick look at the Landrover ones, think they are longer, so
could involve a fair bit of engineering to get one to fit.

I am waiting on replies from;
GKN
The reconditoning place for a proper quote. (they normally do Landrover ones, but suggested around 250 last week)

I will post both replies for everyone.

Thanks
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Old 03-01-2018   #12
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Hi,

I have sent my Viscous coupling off for reconditioning,
to NCA Motors in Essex, cost is 250 + vat
and will take 2 - 3 weeks.

I will let everyone know what it's like once I get it back and fit it.

Thanks for all the help
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Old 20-01-2018   #13
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Viscous coupling has now been reconditioned, it's leaving Monday, should be back with me Thursday.
We will fit it and test it, then update the thread.
If this works, it's by far the cheapest way to keep the 4x4 function going another ten years?

Thanks
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Old 25-01-2018   #14
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Coupling arrived back, and looks good, was quite rusty when I sent it;-

now looks the business, will fit it this weekend and test

Thanks
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Old 29-01-2018   #15
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Re: Viscous coupling for Panda 4x4

Hi,

Well reconditioned viscous coupling fitted, and working excellent, you can feel the difference driving when you have the steering near full lock.

So if anyone else wishes to go down this route;-

NCA Motors,
contact charlotte@ncamotors.com
Or go on ebay and look for seller Selltot

They are Landrover specialists, but they can do any viscous couplings.

I am well impressed, panda drives superb again.

Thanks for all the help and advice

Steve
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