Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
SyncroScout
Samba Member


Joined: July 09, 2020
Posts: 27
Location: West Coast
SyncroScout is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:03 pm    Post subject: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

*note I have read the other post here on Samba on the subject.

After a gear oil change (Royal Purple 75w-90), it took 3,5 quarts. -

I recently went cross country with my newly purchased 1991 Syncro with approx 135k miles

I thought the Transmissions after 1990 had the updated 3rd - 4th gear???

As well as hardened nitrided gears??

Came home and she was driving like a champ.

All of the sudden I found the transmission completely stuck in 3rd gear!

It had done a couple of weird things beforehand, it would clunk going into 1st with the clutch 100% fully depressed.

Also it felt like the gear shifter was stuck a couple of times getting out of reverse out of the "lower plane"

Any truth to the later 19990-1992 trannies being immune to the 3/4 slider issue?

Is there anything else that could cause the stuck in 3rd scenario?

The van had fresh shift kit up from , bushings and GO Westy billet shift linkage

Im both bummed and happy that its getting a rebuild at Rancho, the rear locker has been seized since I bought it so I gotta try and look at the brightside.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
SyncroScout
Samba Member


Joined: July 09, 2020
Posts: 27
Location: West Coast
SyncroScout is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

oh ya, tranny has not been pulled out yet....

So there's still time to investigate other possible causes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
SyncroScout
Samba Member


Joined: July 09, 2020
Posts: 27
Location: West Coast
SyncroScout is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

Also its not the clutch slave cylinder, 1st-2nd and Reverse work fine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 6682
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

It was about 1989.5 that VW changed to the “nitrided slider Wink “ with the slightly rounded failure corners.

They still break. Failure is not as “certain” as with the sharp corners slider. That’s the hard part about engineering a “lifetime limiter” part. The square corners design is certain to fail, the question is “when”? Certainly sooner if the van is driven by a lugger.

Rounding the corners increases the fatigue life substantially. Then VW gives it a mumbo-jumbo name like “nitrided” hoping you like their science-word (nitrided) which hides the intent and makes it look like they improved quality, adding an emerging a surface-treatment technology that was previously unavailable.
Constantly improving!!

But mainly its to obscure the fully intentional “square-corners failure point”. Square corners is not a gearbox design “oopsy”.
Exclamation Exclamation A tool was specified on the drawing - to cut that square corner. Exclamation Exclamation

Possibly your van had a “lugging driver”, where your parts accumulated many more lugs (cyclical/fatigue loading, pounding) during its relatively young lifetime.
And your mainshaft bearing would be well-pounded as well. Once it gets “loose” it causes all kinds of trouble. And the 4th gear idler needle getting loose is bad too.
Don’t lug.

A big hairdo on the magnet is dust coming from the races of your bearings. And eventually “gravel” from the substrate of your bearing races (longer particles that look stringy on the magnet). Those are like the gravel that you see on the road near a chuckhole. Some get caught by the magnet for you to look at (if you look). The other 99% are swirling around with your lubricant.

When you see the longer stringy hairdo, start saving $$$. Theres not many miles left. Of course its best to stop driving it because you’re grinding up many other parts, significantly reducing the runtime of your next rebuild.

Its ideal the get that stuff out of your lubricant early & often.

A commod advice given is to wait for chunks. Thats poor advice.

And its likely that your van still had the original oil at 135,000. Lots of people change oil after they “hear sounds”. Which of course is too late.
_________________


'07 EJ25 with '12 longblock, (Peloquin TDB on the shelf), locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system. LiFePO
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SyncroScout
Samba Member


Joined: July 09, 2020
Posts: 27
Location: West Coast
SyncroScout is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

After this rebuild at Rancho, the tranny will get babied 100%

I've read your other threads Sodo - thatks for sharing those hard experiences.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
16CVs Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: February 22, 2004
Posts: 3436
Location: Redwood City, California
16CVs is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

Mike at Rancho is a great guy. He did 2 Syncro transaxles for me last year. Those guys know lots of tricks. Ask him about bearing updates and some little extras they do.
One nice thing about them is that they do not use a lot of Weddle parts which I've heard mixed reviews from.
Pull the transaxle and pull the bell housing off and let it drain over night in a pan. Stuff some rags into the housing and put the bell housing back on and strap it to a half pallet. Buy some cheap cargo straps. Once mounted Rancho can do a freight pickup from their shipper and just add it to your bill.
Get ready to spend 5K, you can hope for less but it rarely is.

Stacy
_________________
1987 Syncro Westfalia Triple knob (bastard)
1989 Syncro Tristar Triple knob "Swedish"
2013 Jetta Hybrid a true "Zwitter"
Samba member # 14980
Call anytime number 650 722 4914 .
Keep Your van running and upkept tastefully for the love of the hobby.
Don't let your van end up in an "abortions" thread.


Last edited by 16CVs on Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Syncro Jael
Samba Member


Joined: December 19, 2013
Posts: 2170
Location: Utah
Syncro Jael is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

I am sorry to hear this, spend the money to put the best parts available in there while a rebuilder has it.

It is expensive but I did "Paul's" billet gear carrier, new gun drilled mainshaft, new ring and pinion, all 4 new gear sets, new low range gear, and "Sodo's" kit to oil the mainshaft. I already have the bearing retainer plate, and oiling plates. This transaxle is now sitting on the shelf in the shop hopefully for a few years.

From experience adding a cooling and filtering system really makes a huge difference. Well worth the cost for parts and installation.

My latest rebuild now has over 8K miles on it and is perfectly quiet, shifting smoothly, and I checked the filters and magnets last night. Minimal swarf.

Cheers,
Ron

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

_________________
1987 Syncro Westfalia Hightop - NAHT
Subaru EJ25 Forged Frankenmotor, Triple Knob.
Jael = (Mountain Goat)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
MarkWard
Samba Member


Joined: February 09, 2005
Posts: 15081
Location: Retired South Florida
MarkWard is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

Mine shifted fine in all the gears. Was inside for an unrelated issue and found this.

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


This was out of an 87 syncro tin top with a possible 170K miles on it.
_________________
Adios
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SyncroScout
Samba Member


Joined: July 09, 2020
Posts: 27
Location: West Coast
SyncroScout is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

OK!

Tranny was rebuilt by Mike at Rancho.

I am very happy with the quality of the rebuild!

Only comment is that the oil they gave me LPT 85w-110 convetional gear oil caused VERY hard shifting and a loss of at least 3-4 MPG.

I ran it for about 1000 miles then dumped it and replaced with Royal Purple 75w-90 and got butter smooth shifting and all my mileage back.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 6682
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

SyncroScout wrote:
Only comment is that the oil they gave me LPT 85w-110 convetional gear oil caused VERY hard shifting and a loss of at least 3-4 MPG.

I ran it for about 1000 miles then dumped it and replaced with Royal Purple 75w-90 and got butter smooth shifting and all my mileage back.


First of all, many folks are finding that rebuilt trannies generate so much 'break-in trash' that it's advisable to change it much earlier, probably 2 or 3 times in the 1st 1,000 miles.
These are folks who LOOK at their magnets.
And those who have the "cringe gene".
Dumping out the trash as often as you can tolerate will help it get thru the break-in stage with minimum damage.
I'd change again at 2,000 miles.

Very unlikely to lose mileage due to gear oil.
A loss of 3-4 mpg would cause your trans to be smokin' hot.
And smokin' too, actually.
3-4mpg loss due to gear oil is not likely.

One thing about Syncros, you have to shift them "slow" and "with two fingers".
Syncro is a 2wd tranny with an add-on 'transfer-case-like-thing-a-ma-bobber'. The add-on gears are too heavy for the little 2WD synchros, thus it does not shift as slick as a 2WD.
See this thread: Syncro transaxle shifts "slower" than 2WD transaxle

A slippery gear oil that is chosen for longevity, will not shift as well. You will have to shift slower, more carefully with a protective gear oil as rancho prescribed.

A gear oil chosen to shift well, allows the synchros to mash thru the oil film and grip the cones, and thus engage the gears.
The bearings and gear faces will mash thru the oil film too.
That's not good.
This 'oil feature' is convenient, but comes at the expense of protecting the bearings and will reduce the transaxle lifetime.
It's a trade-off that some people are OK with, likely unaware.
Its more of a problem if you have a big engine.
If you have the 90 hp 2.1L it's less of a problem.

There is a choice between shifting ease or longevity, you don't get both.
And if you use the slippery oil then shift it hard/fast anyway, you'll grind up your synchros and pollute your oil sooner with grindings from the gears.

A Syncro is an antique vehicle, and many parts in the trans are no longer available (NLA).
You should probably preserve what you have, because if you wear them out, it could be 'game over' by the next rebuild time (perhaps coming sooner).

Recommend to learn how to shift it with an oil that will let the gears, bearings & shafts last longer.

Probably all you have to do is pause a little.
It's almost imperceptably slower.
Say "Toyota" between gears Wink and your trans will feel smooth and snickety.

You might run this by Rancho, I'm curious what he'd say.
_________________


'07 EJ25 with '12 longblock, (Peloquin TDB on the shelf), locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system. LiFePO
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SyncroScout
Samba Member


Joined: July 09, 2020
Posts: 27
Location: West Coast
SyncroScout is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

Thanks for that info Sodo

When I changed the fluid there was almost zero swarf and just some clumps of Moly from that thick molasses like oil.

I seriously lost the mpg!

...and then gained it back

RP is one of the best gear oils out there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
tencentlife
Samba Member


Joined: May 02, 2006
Posts: 9996
Location: Abiquiu, NM, USA
tencentlife is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: 91 Syncro - Stuck in 3rd - Tranny still works other gears Reply with quote

Quote:
Then VW gives it a mumbo-jumbo name like “nitrided” hoping you like their science-word (nitrided) which hides the intent and makes it look like they improved quality, adding an emerging a surface-treatment technology that was previously unavailable.


Nitriding in many variants has been used industrially since the 1920's, it's one of the most, if not THE most common case-hardening technique used in manufacturing.
_________________
See innovative Vanagon accessories at the Vanistan shop:
https://intrepidoverland.com/vanistan/

Please don't PM here, I will not reply.

Hmmm, provincial much?:
Quote:
"I wouldn't go much on whats written on the samba, they love a "theory" and rarely ask any Europeans what is actually correct."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB