Newbie 159 1.9 JTDM Possible gearbox/wheel bearing noise - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 20 Old 03-09-16 Thread Starter
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Newbie 159 1.9 JTDM Possible gearbox/wheel bearing noise

Hi all,
Brought my Mrs a lovely 159 sportwagon last week, nice and cheap so you can imagine its got a few problems......
Its a 2008, 139,000 mile, 1 owner from new with a sticky EGR/turbo and an engine warning light (just waiting for my obdii reader to arrive as I've lost my other one)

I had a quick go in it last night just to have a spin in it as I drive an L200 (ie the pregnant camel) most of the time, and noticed a noise exactly the same as in this video....


It's consistently present in all gears, clutch in or out, brakes on or off and when coasting.

Any ideas? I have read on another thread that someone managed to quieten down a gearbox noise with some decent oil.
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Garbox noise I had in my former 159 JTDM was not anyting similar to one on the movie you linked.
I'm not sure if I can hlp more, but anyway one qustion raiss, is the noise frequency dependant only on speed or on rpm, so when you chang gear up it starts at lower frequency?
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It's dependant on the road speed, it starts around 15 - 20 mph and gets higher in pitch with speed. Doesn't change with gears or clutch
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in that case i would say either wheel or gearbox bearings. take it to garage, lift and get it diagnosed/confirmed. in my former jtdm i had both, rear right wheel bearing plus gearbox. wheel bearing was showing up at bends/roundabouts, gearbox one was showing up at 35mph up and was not dependant on gear/clutch etc. sometimes(or in most of cases) gearbox noises only occur on some gears, but my case was not a rule(mechanic said that different bearing than usually in m32 failed). i replaced all 6 gearbox openning/closing bearings and 2 of differential just in case. since that time all quiet.
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I've just picked up a 159 1.9 diesel with 66k on the clock and have a sound that sounds just like that but it only starts in 3rd gear and then can be heard in 3,4,5 and 6. More revs equals higher pitch, no revs and no sound.

My mechanic said it is probably a gearbox bearing and that it uses a different shaft (apologies if I'm getting this slightly wrong, not mechanically minded!) after first and second gear.

He also said not to worry if not so loud that it is distressing and would cost about 1.5-2k to take out gearbox and fix.

Apart from that I LOVE the car, although not as much as my 156 SW which is petrol and more fun to drive!! The 159 feels more grown up though so they all fill a need!
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Originally Posted by kernowkarmann View Post
I've just picked up a 159 1.9 diesel with 66k on the clock and have a sound that sounds just like that but it only starts in 3rd gear and then can be heard in 3,4,5 and 6. More revs equals higher pitch, no revs and no sound.

My mechanic said it is probably a gearbox bearing and that it uses a different shaft (apologies if I'm getting this slightly wrong, not mechanically minded!) after first and second gear.

He also said not to worry if not so loud that it is distressing and would cost about 1.5-2k to take out gearbox and fix.

Apart from that I LOVE the car, although not as much as my 156 SW which is petrol and more fun to drive!! The 159 feels more grown up though so they all fill a need!
Mine makes a noise in 5th and 6th - you can change the pitch with the accelerator pedal - almost play a tune if you want. Been like that for many thousands of miles though.
I suspect mine is also connected to the M32 issue, but the 2 specialists who've looked at it both say if it's the usual M32 thing it'll deteriorate rapidly, and certainly within 1,000 miles.
From what I can gather, it's the diesels with the higher torque that are more prone to failing, mine's the 2.2 petrol. Perhaps that's why it's lasting so long, but only guessing.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kernowkarmann View Post
I've just picked up a 159 1.9 diesel with 66k on the clock and have a sound that sounds just like that but it only starts in 3rd gear and then can be heard in 3,4,5 and 6. More revs equals higher pitch, no revs and no sound.

My mechanic said it is probably a gearbox bearing and that it uses a different shaft (apologies if I'm getting this slightly wrong, not mechanically minded!) after first and second gear.

He also said not to worry if not so loud that it is distressing and would cost about 1.5-2k to take out gearbox and fix.

Apart from that I LOVE the car, although not as much as my 156 SW which is petrol and more fun to drive!! The 159 feels more grown up though so they all fill a need!
Depends which bearing, you may have noises on all gears or only on some higher (can't remember exactly what were possible configs).

Regarding repair costs, I paid total around EUR300 (bearings, oil, labour), but it was in Poland, and the bloke who did it is forum member and did repair for me privatelly, so was way cheaper. I know that in Poland AR dealers charged order of EUR500-800.


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Originally Posted by lussoman View Post
Mine makes a noise in 5th and 6th - you can change the pitch with the accelerator pedal - almost play a tune if you want. Been like that for many thousands of miles though.
I suspect mine is also connected to the M32 issue, but the 2 specialists who've looked at it both say if it's the usual M32 thing it'll deteriorate rapidly, and certainly within 1,000 miles.
From what I can gather, it's the diesels with the higher torque that are more prone to failing, mine's the 2.2 petrol. Perhaps that's why it's lasting so long, but only guessing.
likely as well bearings. the good news is that you can likely do a lot of miles with the issue - with my 1.9JTDM 150BHP (later upgraded to190BHP) I did around 60k miles/5 years with noisy bearings, and nothing get worse over time (I bought it with the noise). THe only thing I did was I replaced oil (old was with plenty of metal tiny fractions) at start and added some gearbox repair/additive with some ceramics fractions, and then only last year I got gearbox repaired (and the oil was looking good, so degradation probably really slowed)

Last edited by epsonix; 06-09-16 at 20:19.
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likely as well bearings. the good news is that you can likely do a lot of miles with the issue - with my 1.9JTDM 150BHP (later upgraded to190BHP) I did around 60k miles/5 years with noisy bearings, and nothing get worse over time (I bought it with the noise). THe only thing I did was I replaced oil (old was with plenty of metal tiny fractions) at start and added some gearbox repair/additive with some ceramics fractions, and then only last year I got gearbox repaired (and the oil was looking good, so degradation probably really slowed)
Yes, I'm convinced it is the bearings, even if the experts aren't!
Currently done about 20k miles since I first heard something, so a long way to catch you up yet .
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Makes me feel better about leaving it (and the fact that my trusted guy said is fine), will just turn the stereo up a bit louder

and then turn the stereo off when i drive the petrol 156.....
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I haven't read the whole thread, so apologies if this has already been mentioned.

The sound on the video you posted sounds quite like the sound my last 159 made when the aircon was on but not fully gassed.

try turning off the fans/blowers/aircon and take it out for a drive again.

You never know it might be something as simple as that?

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Replacing bearings in the wheels and everything will be OK
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Replacing bearings in the wheels and everything will be OK
could you please share the secret how do you know this, you seem like sure.
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Replacing bearings in the wheels and everything will be OK
Unlikely I'd have thought.
It doesn't sound like a wheel bearing issue to me, but hope I'm wrong.
Certainly cheaper than a gearbox refurb, that's for sure.
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could you please share the secret how do you know this, you seem like sure.

Yeah, pretty sure mine is gearbox not wheel bearings hence noise stopping when clutch in and not making any noise in 1st and 2nd
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Don't dodgy wheel bearings produce a 'wub wub' sort of sound plus wobbly at high speeds? That's what mines like and I have confirmed play in a wheel bearing plus the alignment is off (bushes need doing too).
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it is easy to check wheel bearings, first you hear much more or only noise while in turns/roundabouts, second you lift car and rotate wheel then you should hear it wrong, and third while lifted you push/pull wheel sides and check for slack.
gearbox can be confirmed while whole car is lifted, engine started, one of problematic gear engaged, proper issue speed achieved (be super careful for rotating wheels while doing this inspection, may need vdc off) and then you can locate where the noise is comming from. my mechanic used this to confirm, and was right
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same to me at higher speed and i dont think its gearbox it dont stop when i put on neutral
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probably you havent read my previous posts. my gearbox issue was noise all the time, any gear or neutral any clutch position, only disappeared below 35mph. noise presence conditions depends which of 6 gearbox bearings has failed(on polish forum there is thread long for hundreds posts about this, and various cases were presented there).e.g.there may be noise only on sone higher gears, also gear lever noticeable self move front/back while playing with accelerator, i think most visible on 3rd gear. btw, rule is to replace all bearings, and in poland people only recomend Timken).
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While we're on the subject of low speed noises...my Qtronic has an intermittent shhh, shhh, shhh, noise, almost rhythmic, disappears once the tyre noise kicks in. Any suggestions on what this might be ?
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(Post Link) post #20 of 20 Old 12-09-16 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies and advice, took it to a place in Peterborough called planet gears. Turns out the previous owner or dealer just bunged a new clutch in it without changing the dual mass flywheel, which was just about ready to destroy itself, which in turn was putting the gearbox under alot of stress. Had a new gearbox fitted with uprated bearings, clutch, flywheel and slave cylinder. 1800 all in. Ouch.
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