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Oh No! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks!
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metropoj
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:17 am    Post subject: Oh No! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks! Reply with quote

I picked up a 90 Vanagon GL for the Automatic. 140,000 miles on the ownership. Tested it out, shifted great into all gears etc. Covered in tons of oil, grease and caked with dirt.

Disconnected from engine and found this Sad

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Took the tranny out and pressure washed, and found this !!

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What would cause such mass destruction ? I can see the flex plate break causing some shrapnel but this seems pretty extreme.

Also, aside from missing a vent cap, I see that rust has taken its toll on studs to separate the transmission from the final drive ... I think I found the part numbers for what I need to put new ones in, taking these out may be a challenge !

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Lastly, there is a metal plug for lack of a better term that is rusted through. My search through 010 rebuild manual pdf and Bentley don't really highlight what this is .. Anyone please ?

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I would certainly not attach this to a 1.8t and expect it to stay connected but I was planning to hook to my 118hp TiiCo with a new FAS Flex plate. Thoughts ??
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mackaymanx
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

Plug is an alternate dipstick position, when used in other applications
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

Wow, that poor housing...... Shocked Shocked Shocked

I had a tiny pinhole on that blanking plate, yours however, is way more rusted away.. Used JB Weld to seal it up. Since yours is much further along in rust, you just need to look for a thin metal disc that you can epoxy into the port, perhaps with an o-ring sealing under it for good measure. I haven't found the blanking plates as a new part when I searched for them in repairing that trans of mine, so that's why I tried the JB weld route for the tiny pinhole.

Water likes to sit in the shallow depression that the set-up of the recessed blanking plate allows, so either you get a plate level with the trans case to prevent that, or you add or spray body cavity wax on the outside of the plate once you've installed whatever you come up with , to prevent rusting all over again on the new repair part.

AS far as I can tell, the stock plate is like a Water Freeze Plug on an engine, sort of a cup type arrangement with a tiny lip to it. And I think the trans case casting has a taper to the hole, it's not a straight diameter from what I saw when I was working with mine .That's probably what helps lock the cup blanking plate into the trans when it's installed.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

When a floor jack is positioned under the engine as a place to jack up the Vanagon the stress on the bellhousings causes cracks to appear. Once started the cracks will continue to get longer.

These cracks are so severe you would think the transaxle fell off a table.

The only safe places to jack up a Vanagon are the two jacking points in front of the resr arches, underneath a trailing arm if lifting only one side or the engine mount crossbar that supports the engine.
Never try to use the flat engine bottom or transaxle as a jack point.

I'd be looking for another bellhousing even though this looks like it held together by welding it.
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kourt Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

Adding to what Steve M. is saying, there are some fast-and-cheap tire shops that will attempt to jack customer vehicles by placing a single, large floor jack under the differential to lift both rear wheels at the same time.

We have a lot of these types of shops in Texas and they do provide valuable services, but you have to watch them with eagle eyes.

I've seen it done dozens of times on pickup trucks and caught them trying the same nonsense on my van. I had to bark out some quick and dirty Spanish commands to keep them from ruining my van's automatic transaxle. I learned my lesson and only use national tire chain stores now.

This has all the signs of the transaxle being used as a jack point.

In this case, you'll want to replace the entire differential section of the transaxle, but I would be looking carefully at the transmission side as well--especially the bolts and steel angle used for mounting the forward part of the transaxle.

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metropoj
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

Oh boy, what a mess eh.

Aha, I wondered about them dropping the tranny trying to remove it on a jack and losing it but this jacking up by the bellhousing makes sense. I would suspect it would really wrenched on the TC at an angle as well Sad Damn.

Well, it's coming further apart regardless for sealing up anyways, throw more money on the bonfire....

Now to start looking for a diff case up here ....

They are all the same between Vanagon Air Cooled and Wassers, right ? Maybe even back to Bays too ?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

there is no way i would trust any part of this, and it might be cheaper to call German Transaxle or FAS and have them send you a new, warrantied unit. sure it's money on the bonfire, but it's piece of mind at a decent price.
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kourt Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:16 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

metropoj wrote:
Now to start looking for a diff case up here ....

They are all the same between Vanagon Air Cooled and Wassers, right ? Maybe even back to Bays too ?


You don't want the differential case--that assumes you will use some of the existing differential internals. Instead, you want a whole new differential.

Vanagon differentials are exclusive to Vanagons--they are not interchangeable with bay window buses.

It's probably easier to find a whole new complete transaxle, with transmission.

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metropoj
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

OK ! Some updates.

I sourced a couple transaxles: One with a Destroyed R&P and attached 090 Transmission and one that is "good to go", aside from being rusty on the surface that interfaces with the Transmission. The R&P however looked very nice and clean and no shrapnel or unusual bits in the oil.

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Removing my Transmission from my damaged transaxle case was a stupid insane chore !!

It was so corroded. After many poundings with rubber mallet and Wurth Rost Off spray, then finally a bottle jack to carefully separate, it detached itself ..

Look at this destruction ! Smile

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The transmission portion was very clean, the fluid was a little dark I think than normal, but filter was very clean and no one has even buggered around in it before ( no rounded marks on the screws, etc. That's a relief and good candidate for a professional rebuild.


So, regarding this smashed up housing ... I pulled the cover off the Transaxle and the R&P and oil etc. look really nice and clean, like really, really clean, no shrapnel, excessive wear, etc ... I would like to keep said internals and put them into the good case of the destroyed R&P unit.

That being said, I am assuming it is not as simple as such a feat, but need to have someone properly measure things like preload and other things I'm not equipped to do, or can I just mark all the pieces for reinstall into the second case and make sure they line up ?
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kourt Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

It's not super complicated, but yes, you need to measure tolerances and install the components within tolerances. The Bentley offers all of the information needed to do that work. It will require some fine measurement tools, also noted in the Bentley. You cannot simply mark the cases and transfer parts.

I am looking for the hex head bolts that hold the drive output flanges in place. They are different lengths on both sides of the differential, and have a bevel under the hex head--very unique bolts. If you decide to let those go, let me know, I'm interested.

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metropoj
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
It's not super complicated, but yes, you need to measure tolerances and install the components within tolerances. The Bentley offers all of the information needed to do that work. It will require some fine measurement tools, also noted in the Bentley. You cannot simply mark the cases and transfer parts.

I am looking for the hex head bolts that hold the drive output flanges in place. They are different lengths on both sides of the differential, and have a bevel under the hex head--very unique bolts. If you decide to let those go, let me know, I'm interested.

kourt


So, I would guess there would be no harm transferring the bits over and then let a qualified person set them up. I'd think new bearings at the same time too on that task.

I assume the 'setting up' thing goes for the R&P taper bearings on each end of the shaft as well then ....

Re: Bolts. Certainly I will let you know and pass them along if I don't need them...


Hey, thanks for your other super amazing posts on auto tranny fandom. Learning a lot from your travels (as well as Alika's rebuilt post) and many others too. I'm kind of excited to get this auto into the van over the winter ...

That being said, that one picture of the SS table in your back yard containing bits of 3 different trannies all split up gives me nightmares thinking of what I would do with all that Smile ... lol ...


I'm going to post some pics about the transaxle destruction I found on that unit I got for next to nothing just for fun ...
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Last edited by metropoj on Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: Oh No ! Auto Tranny Bellhousing Cracks ! Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:
The only safe places to jack up a Vanagon are the two jacking points in front of the resr arches, underneath a trailing arm if lifting only one side or the engine mount crossbar that supports the engine.
Never try to use the flat engine bottom or transaxle as a jack point.


Under the tranny nose mount is another perfectly safe jacking location that lifts the rear of the van.

Agreed that under the engine or trans to lift the van is abject insanity.
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