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Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal on plug
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Brian556
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal on plug Reply with quote

Hi All,

I drained my manual transmission fluid today and the magnet had some metal bits on it. See picture. I do not believe the fluid has ever been changed. I have never used the transmission but I was told it shifted fine. Should I be concerned or am I going to run into any problems?

Thanks,
Brian

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syncrosimon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that is the original oil after 20 years that is not too bad. Will have to see if the box whines, if not then it's most likely OK.
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anthonywesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's normal.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why the magnets there. Your oil is probably not that old as the magnet is actually pretty clean compared to many I have seen.
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gears
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhat beyond normal, I'd say. The R&P is likely what's wearing.
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climber2377
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had this same thing happen to me today, so i figured i check the forum for old threads. glad i did. i feel better now. anyone else have a photo of their fire cracker magnet they'd like to share? my 84 with a MT 191-1 gave me this today...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

also i gave it the old IV to get the gear oil in. slow and steady... i figured 3 quarts should be good... i think i read that they lowered the amount from 3.2 quarts somewhere. anyone else want to chime in on this as well?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3.2 is correct.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, I had a 1980 Vanagon tranny that I thought was making noise. Pulled the plug, it looked like yours. So I bought a used one at a junkyard, pulled the plug and, again, found about the same debris as you did. A friend with multiple Porsches and spare gear boxes, starting pulling drain plugs out of "known good" 911 transaxles. All most all of them were worse than mine, and one had a broken metal piece in it Laughing

Later, when I changed the CV's and found one was toast - the likely culprit of the noise.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

Instead of starting the same thread, wtf came out with the gear oil today? I'm ok with the metal firework display but this other stuff seems bad...

Trans has a whine if I'm on the gas any amount. What broke and how long do I have? Which is really just a guess...

Been driving it like this for a year.

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gears
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

Hmm .. a bit difficult to downshift into 2nd perhaps? Those are pieces of one of the 6 spring steel shift rail guides that's apparently disintegrated. Not good to have those bits slinging around inside ..
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

Trans runs normal... I didn't expect to find that at all. Downshifts in all gears very well. What I really need, is 10 HOURS out of it if it's going to die. Syncrofest and back.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

Good luck so far .. you've retrieved half of what was dispersed when the sleeve cracked in half.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

You'll get your 10 hours. I guarantee it or I'll eat my hat or bald spot
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

For what it is worth I just had my transaxle rebuilt ...

When I was on the gas loud whine .. off the gas it would return to normal ... was caused by the R @ P moving in and out of position ... this caused wear to the R&P .. which will run you about $1000 for the part only.

I also had some cracked shift selectors or guides whatever those things are called ...

Ken porter said I could run the worn RP it might see another 30,000 and then start making noise or more or maybe less...

Now that it is rebuilt it is super quiet ... little stiff getting into gear at times but I am sure that will settle down... Now the loudest part of my Van are the wheel noise... !!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:07 am    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

If you drive with the whine about a year, your r+p is already gone.

And than ppl complain about weak vanogon boxes/r+pinions Wink
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

I'll play...

Today dropped old tranny in preparation for "new" rebuild arriving tomorrow. No sense paying
to ship the oil with my core return, so I drained it & checked the plug, just for giggles:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Sick

FWIW, this is the result of 35k trouble-free miles since last drain (accounting for slight "fuzz" at the tip
o' the magnet) & a mere 500 miles limping home since the definitive symptoms of classic 3-4 slider
hub failure (certainly the source of the heavier chunky flakes at the bottom of the plug/sump)... Shocked

Glad the new box is on the way... Rolling Eyes Cool

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

FWIW, this is the result of 35k trouble-free miles since last drain (accounting for slight "fuzz" at the tip
o' the magnet) & a mere 500 miles limping home since the definitive symptoms of classic 3-4 slider
hub failure (certainly the source of the heavier chunky flakes at the bottom of the plug/sump)... Shocked


A magnet gets much hairier when you let it sit motionless then drain it "cold". The magnet has hours to rebuild it's afro overnight. The normal way is to drive the car, get it warm, and stir up the oil then quickly drain it to get the most swarf out of the trans. The (violent) turbulence washes much of that stuff off, and you get a much smaller magnet afro. Can't compare the two types, the motionless afro is always going to be much bigger.

Incidentally I don't see any 3-4 slider hub parts in the pic, only flakes. Slider hub parts are "broken chunks". Those are probably bearing flakes from the pinion bearing and mainshaft bearing, and R&P tooth flank flakes (??). Why do you say your 3-4 hub broke?

My opinion....

35k is too long for an old trans. Once a trans starts to generate swarf it's best to change oil often and get the swarf out. Metal-contaminated oil is a grinding paste, accelerating the wear, and ruins other parts that might be used again in a rebuild. Contaminated specialty oil is specialty grinding paste. Clean cheap oil drained often is better than contaminated specialty oil that costs too much to dump out.

Tranny oil is like underwear. If soiled you have to change it, period. "And what if you get in a car wreck?" Wink Laughing Laughing Brand name makes no difference, compared to cleanliness. Cleanliness is much higher importance. And the older it gets the more often you have to change things out.

People don't change out contaminated gear oil, and they PAY dearly, and still won't change it. It's because it doesn't fail stuff overnight. And cuz it's no fun. Experienced mechanics will tell you it's OK to run contaminated gear oil, it's very common. But not true. Well it IS OK I suppose; for example it's legal.

But there can be no doubt it's a bad deal to have the oil you expect to lubricate your junk actually grinding it away. If your trans had nerve endings it would chafe like underwear, you know, like crusty......but enuff of that.... Wink If you ASK anyone, the advice is inevitably "gear oil? don't worry about it". Hmmmm. Try asking if it's logical. It's not - contaminated gear oil is detrimental, period.

I think a trans could go 35k miles in the middle of its life, when it's NOT generating (much) swarf. But certainly not after 100k.

Well yours broke a 3/4 slider hub, not much incentive to "save parts" if ur gonna have a catastrophic failure anyway. Which you can't know, HOWEVER if you were gonna rebuild your same trans it's better not to grind up all your precious OEM stuff. Like the Syncro guys sometimes want to keep their own trans if not too old (rather than take an unknown off the shelf).
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
Why do you say your 3-4 hub broke?

NEVER any noise or trouble for 45k miles, then last road trip suddenly stuck in 4th a couple
times, managed to get it out, then grinding into & out of 3rd & 4th the last ~350 miles... Embarassed

- Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual Transmission Drain Plug - metal Reply with quote

3-4 hub can crack bit by bit, and staying completely "together". The first crack probably makes no difference, and perhaps the 2nd crack, it still shifts OK, performing its duty. But possibly not shifting "well" and as such, the trans is generating metal bits (swarf) in the oil, which is fooking up your bearings and grinding valuable gears & shafts quicker towards death.

It generally cracks in 3 places and the 3rd crack is when shifting problems are significant. At the point of shifting difficulty, it may hold together for awhile, But soon will fail catastrophically, letting loose chunks that the gears may ingest and bust up important stuff.

I suppose you already know this but just for forum info etc, theres no way to inspect the 3-4 hub OTHER than observing what comes off (if chunks) and is caught on your drainplug magnet. But for that you have to be looking. Which isn't easy.

Pretty much nobody's doing this. Most people think that "if their trans only has 20k miles left, why bother? -just run it out". But the thing is, if you're keeping the oil clean it could run a lot longer. People are running a horrible grinding soup and getting 20,000 miles, it stands to reason that clean oil will go a lot farther.

Nobody can test this. Fred runs a horrible soup but he doesn't know how many miles. Barney changes his oil but he's got a big engine and a crap rebuild. No way to compare these. But clean oil lies on the side of logical proper maintenance, bigtime.

Well anyway, I've been studying the Vanagon trans pretty intently for the past couple years and learned some stuff. One of which is my own experience neglecting the trans (as everyone does !) Its an often neglected component for several reasons, one main problem is its far beneath the car. And the other is gear oil is unpleasant.

One thing to know is your new trans won't go 150k, 200k miles. Its a bunch of old parts with (hopefully) new bearings & a modern 3-4 hub. Its gonna generate a lot more swarf than a new OEM trans. Unless you enjoyed the R&R + $$$$ You have to get that stuff outta your "new" trans too.
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