Please don’t let it end this way (Source: TheSamba.com)

My poor old VW Transporter Dual Cab Chassis syncro is not having a good year. 270,000 kilometres and 16 years into its life and it is finally having conniptions.

Drop it down to the nearest capital city back in June to get the timing belts changed on the Tdi engine (needs them every 90,000 km). It came back hale and hearty, tuned up and pulling like a train. While I came back $1,700 poorer.

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Only dud thing was a noisy gearbox which was put down to a by now long in the tooth dual mass flywheel and perhaps an input shaft bearing.

Two weeks later...the dual mass flywheel ended itself by blowing a hole in its side and filling the bell housing with bits of metal.

A week and a half off the road with a local mechanic willing to take on the job while a new clutch plate (the original one was actually still fine) and a new single mass flywheel were fitted. This involved having to take both the engine and gearbox out to break them apart...something that was mildly complicated by the all wheel drive train. And I’m $3,800 out as a result.

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After this piece of heart surgery, things seemed fine initially. However, minor things were missed such as one headlight not being reconnected while the other came loose from its mounting. The earth for the spot lights and the second battery wasn’t reconnected. And the single mass flywheel meant things were noisier in general. And then the gearbox noise came back. And yesterday there’s a solid driveline clunk on each tyre revolution when in reverse...

Damn...

It’s back in the shop now and the shop principal is making the sort of noises that say this is not going to be fun. Or cheap. If the gearbox is toasty then it is going to have to be sent away for a total rebuild as there’s no capacity in town to do it. [sigh]

I know it’s old and I know it’s well used but a new one is many tens of thousands of dollars and I don’t want to have to work longer and harder just to pay off a loan and make a bank happy (finance on cars is not cheap here). Used ones are rare and similarly hammered. So it’s carry on with this one until ‘something’ happens I suppose...

[UPDATE] I have the VW back. One of the driveshaft coupling bolts on the back of the gear box had come adrift and the low reverse gear was making it shift and clunk. It also accounted for the increased driveshaft vibration.

Now that it’s tightened up, it’s all good...

Input bearing noise is still there but the feeling is that until the bearing starts to make rumbly noises rather than the squeaky whine it does now then keep on trucking.

[whew] now I can afford a new set of tyres....[sigh]