M32 Gearbox - 159 1750 Tbi 200 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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M32 Gearbox - 159 1750 Tbi 200

Hi,

What's the M32 box like in a 159 TBI 200? Is it any more (or less!) reliable with the petrol engine (ie. lower torque) than with the diesels?

I'm getting my 159 on Sunday. What sort of preventative maintenance do I need to do on the gearbox to ensure it's as reliable as it can be?

Thanks
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I also have a TBI and this gearbox. The TBI engine in the 159 has the same torque as the 1.9 JTDM 150PS.
This M32 can also be found in following engines (for the 1.8 MPI I'm not sure).

1.75 TBi - 200 PS (147 kW) - 320 Nm (240 lbft)
1.8 MPI - 140 PS (103 kW) - 175 Nm (129 lbft)
1.9 JTS - 160 PS (118 kW) - 190 Nm (140 lbft)
2.2 JTS - 185 PS (136 kW) - 230 Nm (170 lbft)
1.9 JTDM 8V - 120 PS (88 kW) - 280 Nm (210 lbft)
1.9 JTDM 16V - 150 PS (110 kW) - 320 Nm (240 lbft)

Since the TBI engine is newer than the 1.9JTDM, there might be less feedback about failed M32 gearboxes.
Or maybe the TBI uses the revised more reliable version of the M32?

I did an oil change two weeks ago at 82000km (~51000m), hoping it will help keeping it alive. Knowing that it was running nice without any signs of failure. I used the widely recommended Fuchs Titan Sintofluid 75W80 oil and filled up around 2.8L, slightly more more than the 2.4L that are recommended by GM/Alfa for this gearbox.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 23 Old 08-03-19 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the information

I am picking the 159 up on Sunday. The previous owner has just done the gearbox oil and has (by all accounts) taken very good care of the car with regular specialist services and lots of preventative maintenance carried out.

Going forward, I'd like to keep the gearbox running smoothly. How easy is it to replace the oil?

Thanks again.
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I don't where your based but there is a chap in Yorkshire (Halifax?) who can replace all the bearings in situ for under £300 if they ever did get noisy. I had the M32 in my old 1.9 diesel and was fine way past 100K but perhaps I was just lucky.......

The failures tend to be most common on the diesels. Prevention seems to be the best remedy as above get some Fuchs gear oil in it and you should be good to go.
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It is very easy if you can lift the car, and bit less without a lift since you have to take the lower engine cover off. Then it is just opening and closing some bolts. Draining and filling oil. Since the TBI engine is rather compact, there is enough space and everything is easily accessible.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnut View Post
I don't where your based but there is a chap in Yorkshire (Halifax?) who can replace all the bearings in situ for under £300 if they ever did get noisy. I had the M32 in my old 1.9 diesel and was fine way past 100K but perhaps I was just lucky.......

The failures tend to be most common on the diesels. Prevention seems to be the best remedy as above get some Fuchs gear oil in it and you should be good to go.
Thank you. Yes, the guy I'm getting the 159 from has recommended the same bloke to me, so it's definitely something which I'll be mindful of, although Halifax is a fair trek from Worcester. But if it saves me a few hundred ££ then it's definitely a trip worth doing if I ever needed to!

I'm not planning on ragging the car so I don't envisage I'll have any issues with the gearbox (the car is currently on 76k miles, last serviced at 71k and gearbox oil done recently).
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Its a simple job to change the oil but remember to make sure you can undo the filler plug which is an 8mm allen key bung on the top of the box, look down just behind the battery before you drain the old oil out, you will need some kind of pipe and funnel to get the new oil in.
Its safe and recomended to use 3l of oil over the standard 2.3l to help keep the top bearings lubed and use a good quality correct gl4 spec.
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Some of the newer M32 gearboxes had some small improvements, better cooling and improved oil lubrication
https://www.courtenaysport.co.uk/Gearbox-Rebuilds


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None of this generation of Alfas got the upgraded gearbox. It came too late.
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The probable reason why you hear of less M32 gearbox failures on the TBi is that there are far less of them around, and they are likely to have done less miles.

Many 1.9's ended up pounding the motorways, where as less TBis would have done.

The M32 box is made by Getrag not by GM by the way. The F40 was a GM box and is pretty much bullet proof in comparison.

Of course Getrag could have built the M32 to a GM design...
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Hello,

As an owner of a 159 1750 TBi Sportwagon (111.850 Miles, 180.000+ Km's), I might have something going on with my gearbox... or not...

Listen to the sound in this video:

I can hear this sound in 4th and 6th gear when putting load on the gearbox (accelerating). As the RPM gets higher, the sound disappears in 4th gear and gets less noticable in 6th gear. The range when it is most noticable is at certain RPM's (around 2000 if I remember correctly).
Looking at the anatomy of this gearbox, it is why i'm thinking of the input shaft outer bearing.

Engaging 2nd, 4th and 6th gear make my gearstick jump about 3mm back to neutral position. It is not going back and forward, just a little "getting in position" kind of movement. (Gearbox mount?)

So, who can clarify the sound (and movement)? Does anyone else encounter the same symptoms I'm having?
Is this sound the beginning of the end and should I start saving money for a repair/replacement? Or is it as simple as low fluid level perhaps?

Hope to hear from the experts soon
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The vid is a BMW E46 M3 with the SMG gearbox. They fail alot, but very different from the M32.

The symptoms you describe sounds like the box passing away.
Get a few hundred saved up, I think it's a box in repair if you're not too late. I think some shops offer a repair that implements some of the later M32 improvements.
I've seen it talked about on here, but I'm not in the UK and didn't take note as to where those shops were.

Some of the vets will jump in on this topic I hope.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lussoman View Post
None of this generation of Alfas got the upgraded gearbox. It came too late.
but for some reason I know only about one TBi with bearing issues (At 130kkm), and know others at >200kkm without any issues with M32. So maybe there were some small step improvements on the way of production? Mine was tunend to 240HP/370Nm and was OK with this for 2.5 year I owned it (sold at 80kkm)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epsonix View Post
but for some reason I know only about one TBi with bearing issues (At 130kkm), and know others at >200kkm without any issues with M32. So maybe there were some small step improvements on the way of production? Mine was tunend to 240HP/370Nm and was OK with this for 2.5 year I owned it (sold at 80kkm)
Maybe they just filled it up higher?
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The 159 is by 2019 a fairly old car and parts might wear out sooner or later. Same with all cars..
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Not quite the same thing. Some M32 boxes were noisy afters 24months and 30,000 miles!!
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Happy to report that my M32 has been performing nicely since I bought the car back in March.

The previous owner replaced the transmission fluid in January and over-filled it (with the recommended oil) which I believe is one of the ways of ensuring that the bearings are sufficiently lubed, particularly in 6th gear.

I thought I had the 'whine' a few weeks ago. Turns out it was my A/C making a funny noise because it needed a re-gas!

Of course, now that I've said that the gearbox is ok it'll start whining at me on my way home tonight!
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Had a 2007 1.9 JTDM 159 with a M32. Had it for 4 years, got to about 90k and it went bang.

Mind you , it was my fault, I had been hearing a whine and rumble in certain gears for a while and crossed my fingers that it would go away (idiot....i know!!) Should have had it seen to, for £1200 ish i could have had the gear box completely renewed.

Instead, it went bang and ending up scrapping the car.....stupid really

I then got a 2.0 JTDM 11 plate with the F40 gear box. I have been told that this gearbox is bullet proof.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaitalia View Post
Not quite the same thing. Some M32 boxes were noisy afters 24months and 30,000 miles!!
And lots of VW 1.4 petrols went bang very early due bad timing chain. And their early DSG7 had lots of issues.
No car is perfect. Too many tales about the M32 from people that never owned one. Itís a easy and cheap repair if it starts making trouble. I couldnít care less...
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Fair enough....but i was just referring to gearboxes. They (M32) ARE a very weak link...nearly 20 years in the trade told me that. Plus both my Astra vans at work had to have their boxes done (same M32) One of the reasons I went 2.0 JTDm rather than 1.9. Some people get lucky though and never have as issue for the whole life of the car,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaitalia View Post
Fair enough....but i was just referring to gearboxes. They (M32) ARE a very weak link...nearly 20 years in the trade told me that. Plus both my Astra vans at work had to have their boxes done (same M32) One of the reasons I went 2.0 JTDm rather than 1.9. Some people get lucky though and never have as issue for the whole life of the car,
Since learning about A & S Clutch Technology in Halifax and the fact that they can replace the M32 bearings in a few hours for £279 (and they do it day in, day out), I'm less worried about it even if it does start to whine...

Halifax is a good couple of hours drive for me, but well worth the trip if/when my gearbox starts to play up.
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Definitely...no one else seems to want to repair them that way and charge loads more. On the Astras at my work I had to get one rebuilt and the other was too far gone and had to be replaced!! £££££! A few on here have had that repair done more than once!
Halifax is over 5 hours from me...so not happening for two old Astras!! If I had the M32 failure (I wont obviously!) in my own car I would probably do the repair myself....does not look too tricky.
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I have listened more careful, did some tests while driving and did some internet research on gearbox sounds.
With almost certain I can say I am hearing "gear meshing". Because the tone of the pitch is different in 4th and 6th at the same RPM. All the M32 (or any other) gearbox whine video's I can find on youtube sound completely different and more loud.
One website dedicated to the M32 gearbox states that the gearstick movement in 2nd, 4th and 6th is mistakenly taken as symptom of worn bearings.

Also found out the driveshaft oil seal(s) is/are leaking (quite dirty area now).
So first thing I am going to do is changing both seals and renew the oil with advised Fuchs gearbox oil. Thinking about it, new gearbox oil has never been done! (shame on me)

I just hope this will somehow make the gearbox more quiet. It feels like driving a ticking time bomb now
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