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Syncro transmission rebuild every 10-20k miles
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:31 am    Post subject: Syncro transmission rebuild every 10-20k miles Reply with quote

Need another Syncro tranny rebuild after 9,000 miles. I bought a pickup to use as a daily driver, to stop putting so many miles on the Syncro. But now planning a trip to Yellowstone, but the tranny is making more noise than I'd like to hear.

My tranny was rebuilt often:
104,000 (2004)
136,000 (2007)
147,000 (2009, added Subaru 2.5L & Peloquin)
165,000 (2011)

Now at 174,000 (2015), its making that old familiar sound AGAIN ..
In neutral, (edit--->parked) clutch OUT it sounds like this:

WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW

Inside the van, its kinda loud. With my head outside the window, the sound is considerably louder than the quiet Subaru engine.

All rebuilds have been by the same reputable shop (mentioned often here on TheSamba). They have been offering a little "assistance" due to the 3-yearsbetw rebuilds but the R&R COST is a lot. Any idea what's going on here, it's getting awful expensive and a hassle too.

Sometimes I tow a 400 lb motorcycle trailer with either 250-or 500 lbs of motorcycles. Because I'm tranny-challenged I sometimes crawl under and put my hand on the tranny - it's never hot when towing.
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Last edited by Sodo on Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and each time after a rebuild/refresh trans the wowowowowowo goes away for a little while?

else I may suspect a wheel bearing..

do you hold it in 4th gear on big hills/passes at low Rpms instead of dropping to 3rd and keep the revs up?
IMO this driving behavior puts more side load on the bearings while the rpms aren't slinging enough oil and the torque to side load pushes past the shear lubricity of the gear oil in the bearings.. YMMV of course..
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zippyslug31
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand this. I replaced my trans 12 or 13 years ago and around 100k miles with a rebuilt. No problems since.
The past few years are with a 2.5 Subi and 16" wheels, in case it matters.

If you are going through transmissions this often, you must have some other issue.
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gears
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zippyslug31 wrote:

If you are going through transmissions this often, you must have some other issue.


^^ x2 An overly stiff VC comes to mind ..
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for your help & suggestions. I agree that there's possibly something else wrong, but WHAT?

What is a wowowowowow? I suspect a main or countershaft bearing.

danfromsyr wrote:
and each time after a rebuild/refresh trans the wowowowowowo goes away for a little while?


I'm more than a little embarrassed I can't remember the details,,,, Embarassed but yeah it makes some kind of bearing noise. The wowwowow is my current indicator that there's a problem NOW.

danfromsyr wrote:
else I may suspect a wheel bearing..
Makes the wowowowowow noise while stopped, idling, in neutral. Noise winds down to stop if I push the clutch.

danfromsyr wrote:
do you hold it in 4th gear on big hills/passes at low Rpms instead of dropping to 3rd and keep the revs up? IMO this driving behavior puts more side load on the bearings while the rpms aren't slinging enough oil and the torque to side load pushes past the shear lubricity of the gear oil in the bearings.. YMMV of course..


I have a Smallcar install, bellhousing, 2007 2.5L iActive, it doesn't have much power if the RPMs pull down. Pretty much have to go to 3rd gear on hills, always, to keep up with traffic.

gears wrote:
zippyslug31 wrote:

If you are going through transmissions this often, you must have some other issue.


^^ x2 An overly stiff VC comes to mind ..


VC is about 70k miles old, last tested at 120k when I bought the van. It was unable to climb a 2x4 at idle. Climbed up if I raised rpms a little. Turning sharp, the tires don't scrub much (on gravel). My pickup scrubs, but what I scrubbing hear from the Syncro does not suggest it's locked up, not much different than a 2wd. Probably time for a re-test.
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EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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gears
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like the VC isn't the problem. But without knowing specifically which parts are failing, requiring all these rebuilds, we're just wild guessing.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Syncro transmission rebuild every 10-20k miles Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:

Now at 174,000 (2015), its making that old familiar sound AGAIN ..
In neutral, (edit--->parked) clutch OUT it sounds like this:

WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW
.


So you are in neutral, clutch out and not moving, why would that be a transmission noise?
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FrankenSubySyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it make the noise while moving and when parked?
I had that on a 2wd trans. Replaced main shaft bearing and it went away.

The MS bearing bore may be loose since this keeps happening. On my syncro, I switched to the aluminum case (can also sleeve the stock bore) that holds the MS bearing. I also did the tranny cooler using gears internal mods so oil is delivered to both sides of the MS bearing. You may want the cooler if you continue to tow.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568039&highlight=syncro+trans+rebuild
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Merian
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe your tranny wasn't really rebuilt?

DIY?

if not did you have them save all old parts and what did your inspection show?

often people only replace certain parts, leaving others with minute, but damaging, wear or they do not properly and accurately check the tolerances

I dunno re the syncro trans. but that is true of baulk ring pooschey boxes
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zippyslug31
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
VC is about 70k miles old, last tested at 120k when I bought the van. It was unable to climb a 2x4 at idle. Climbed up if I raised rpms a little. Turning sharp, the tires don't scrub much (on gravel). My pickup scrubs, but what I scrubbing hear from the Syncro does not suggest it's locked up, not much different than a 2wd. Probably time for a re-test.


I should have mentioned that I have a driveline decoupler, so my VC isn't really a factor in my comparison. So, perhaps this is the problem with your van and worth taking another look at?
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncro transmission rebuild every 10-20k miles Reply with quote

davevickery wrote:
Sodo wrote:

Now at 174,000 (2015), its making that old familiar sound AGAIN ..
In neutral, (edit--->parked) clutch OUT it sounds like this:

WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW WOW wow WOW
.


So you are in neutral, clutch out and not moving, why would that be a transmission noise?


If I "coast" the wowowows align with vehicle speed. And it emanates from the tranny area. And due to repeated past experience I become pessimistic about my tranny.

Rebuilder is well known. They are looking into their notes but since it is over so many years I dont know what they will offer. I understand the years thing, they have to protect themselves, but Warrantys havent helped me as I pass the time but don't run it many miles.
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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if your dead nuts sure it is the tranny and your going to rebuild it again...buy a different tranny.
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iltis74
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any chance it could be the release bearing? If it's not fully releasing I would imagine it's life would be dramatically shortened. Pressure on it could settle it down for a while. May not fit the coasting bit but something to keep in mind.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That many rebuilds doesn't sound like any fun at all.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday when I started it and heard "the wowowowow", had been sitting for several months. I drove it around today and the sound "went away", which is only mildly comforting.

I'm thinking of feeding it the best oil I can find. I know this is a risky question in this day and age but is there an extreme gear lubricant? I have been using Redline MT90 but at the last rebuild gave up on it when the installer asked what was making me think MT90 was doing any good. He filled it with garden variety 90w he had in stock.

Thinking about Swepco 201 or 210. This will cost $90 on eBay.

Are there "tranny or differential additives" such as moly lubes that are effective?
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darryl recommended to me that I use Swepco 210 after he rebuilt my syncro transaxle. This product has greater EP protection than the Swepco 201. For what it is worth, the Porsche guys (both street and race) have been singing the praises of the Swepco products for a very long time (30 years or so).

Darryl advised that as long as I was very easy on the power and load, it was acceptable to use standard MT90 for the first 500 miles during which the new bearings, and new Weddle 3rd and 4th gears would bed in, then drain the MT90 and associated swarf and fill with Swepco 210.

So far, so good.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check Amazon's prices on the Swepco.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howesight wrote:
Darryl recommended to me that I use Swepco 210 after he rebuilt my syncro transaxle. This product has greater EP protection than the Swepco 201. For what it is worth, the Porsche guys (both street and race) have been singing the praises of the Swepco products for a very long time (30 years or so).

Darryl advised that as long as I was very easy on the power and load, it was acceptable to use standard MT90 for the first 500 miles during which the new bearings, and new Weddle 3rd and 4th gears would bed in, then drain the MT90 and associated swarf and fill with Swepco 210.

So far, so good.


Ditto. I bought a five gallon pail of 210 because Darryl said I should use it.
Good enough for me.
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the last tranny went out on my Syncro it was the main bearing. At first it would only make the noise under a load. Then you could hear it when cold and would lessen when warmed up.

Did you drop the tranny gear oil and take a look for "Unicorn Blood" or magnesium from the case?

When I rebuilt mine last I purchased all new aluminum housings, the main bearing retainer plate, oiling plates, and added a decoupler. I double checked flange angles, added new CV joints and a new driveshaft. I believe the vibration caused by the drivetrain and running in 90 temps for hours at freeway speeds without monitoring the transaxle temp, contributed to my transaxle failure.

Possibly your EJ25, pulling a trailer, and or driving habits could be stressing your transaxle enough for the premature failures?

When it was rebuilt before, what was wrong each time?

Here are a couple clips of a tranny main bearing failure in action and the "Unicorn Blood".


Link


Link

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to drain my tranny fluid and have a look at it. Should I drain it HOT or cold?
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