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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, after having it confirmed that the gearbox bearings need sorting I'm trying to figure out who to take the car to.

Symptoms are constant whine which is road speed dependant in all gears, including clutch in or out and twitching gearstick in 1st and 5th gears. After hoping it wasn't the box, it of course was all along.

I'm willing to travel if the workmanship and cost is good. So far I have looked at:

WG Motorworks in Kent - £499-£599 depending on how many bearings need sorting. Highly rated amongst Vauxhall lads and work on a fair few VXR's with this box it seems.

Thorpe Garage Lincoln - £677 - £1037. This is my local area.

Halifax gearbox 'n clutch - forum post from an Astra owner said around £425ish

Does anyone have any recommendations about who can sort this flipping box out at a reasonable cost? Ideally I would want a courtesy car while I wait too.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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From my search M&T in sheffield come up as well... Gearbox Specialists In Sheffield | M & T Transmissions - no idea of their work, but they seem to know their stuff with the M32.

No idea about this place, but one of the vauxhall threads pointed at this chap in halifax who advertises through ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M32-6-spe...arings-M32-M20-Gearbox-inc-fit-/191843533930?

... sounds like he knows his stuff, but don't know about quality of work - that is an insanely cheap price!

In terms of a courtesy car - the places which do it without removing the gearbox sometimes mention it being a "drive in drive out" or "while you wait" service as the time for the work is in hours rather than days, so always worth asking how long the work would take as it may be worth you just finding a coffee shop to wait it out rather than sorting out a courtesy or hire car (especially with anywhere that's a long drive). I know that's the case with WG Motorworks from what I've read - people tend to just wait around locally. Low end hire cars can be pretty cheap for a day, so with the money you might save going to a transmission specialist that doesn't have courtesy cars then even if you pay out for a hire car you'd be quids in :).

I have seen lots of positive comments on WG Motorworks on forums (I imagine you've seen similar).

I did find a few more options down south when looking into getting mine sorted, but the places I found don't offer anything over and above the options you've found which are nearer to you/cheaper.
 

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Another thought that springs to mind in evaluating places - worth asking what they believe tends to cause the failures, and whether their repair work will avoid a repeat down the road :). And perhaps also worth asking if they check the pre-load (some gearbox specialists think excessive preload [over shimming] at the factory on some boxes is contributory factor, so will check and can re-shim). Also ask if they offer any sort of warranty on the repair.
 

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It's going to happen again in about 85k (mine lasted about this). Warren did mine, did a very good job and has cured it for now. It's an inherent design failure of the M32 box, apparently the way to reduce it is to replace the gearbox fluid every year and top it up more than recommended?!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, I have messaged the place in Halifax with the 300 quid ebay listing as there is quite a lot of good feedback on his Facebook page. Seems to be able to do the work at the best price and is reasonable close to me.

If I do get the work done I'll update the thread with the outcome.
 

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Funny this thread came up as mine has started showing early signs of failure, only just noticeable in 2nd gear. Warren repaired mine about 50k miles ago although I've recently had a gearbox oil leak which has probably sped up the deterioration. Decent bloke and does a good job. The 400bhp corsa vxrs he does are mental. I hear The halifax one is pretty good but a bit of a journey obviously.

As pow said, there's no long term fix for these, the gearboxes are just rubbish. Luckily they're not all that expensive to repair. Not that I particularly like forking out for a second repair in under 3 years mind.
 

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Funny this thread came up as mine has started showing early signs of failure, only just noticeable in 2nd gear. Warren repaired mine about 50k miles ago although I've recently had a gearbox oil leak which has probably sped up the deterioration. Decent bloke and does a good job. The 400bhp corsa vxrs he does are mental. I hear The halifax one is pretty good but a bit of a journey obviously.

As pow said, there's no long term fix for these, the gearboxes are just rubbish. Luckily they're not all that expensive to repair. Not that I particularly like forking out for a second repair in under 3 years mind.
Does Warren check the preload/shimming? I've read in a couple of places which talk of finding M32 boxes having been overshimmed (excessive preload) from the factory. Which bearings did he do on yours? Certainly low oil won't be healthy (esp. as overfilling is often recommended to improve life).

There's clearly some issue with either the design of the box, manufacture of the box, OEM oil choice or bearings or how it's set up from the factory (or even all 3), but given plenty of M32s seem to last many miles (including on remapped cars) it seems it's by no mean guaranteed than an M32 will fail. The M32 is used in the Lotus Europa S and I don't think I know of anyone Europa owners who've needed a rebuild yet (granted Lotus produced less than 500 and there's only around 100 in the UK, so a small sample size). There's one Europa S that's being used for competition sprinting, has a remap so it's putting out around 245bhp, and which has already done over 65k miles. The Europa I had did around 6-7 track days and when I sold it last year was on 56k miles with no hint of issues (2007 car).

Courtenay have a page on their rebuilds which mentions their view on the issues (they're one 3 or so places I've seen mention the factory shimming)... http://www.courtenaysport.co.uk/gearbox-rebuilds/info_227.html
 

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He swapped the 6 bearings plus some other bearing i think. Without digging out the receipt I can't truly remember. Worked out about £700 (yeah I remember the wallet damage though!). No idea if he checks for m32 boxes being overshimmed. Think it is just the design of the box, he's got corsa and astras running well over 300bhp on these boxes but my bog standard mito is due it's third rebuild. I'll never trust a vauxhall gearbox now, by the sounds of it some of the newer vauxhall boxes aren't much better. Really want shot of my little mito but currently buying a house so i'm stuck for a bit. I think I'll be grabbing a fiesta st, or if I have my sensible head on maybe a seat leon in about 18 months time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He swapped the 6 bearings plus some other bearing i think. Without digging out the receipt I can't truly remember. Worked out about £700 (yeah I remember the wallet damage though!). No idea if he checks for m32 boxes being overshimmed. Think it is just the design of the box, he's got corsa and astras running well over 300bhp on these boxes but my bog standard mito is due it's third rebuild. I'll never trust a vauxhall gearbox now, by the sounds of it some of the newer vauxhall boxes aren't much better. Really want shot of my little mito but currently buying a house so i'm stuck for a bit. I think I'll be grabbing a fiesta st, or if I have my sensible head on maybe a seat leon in about 18 months time.
Sounds ominous mate! I'm hoping that this work will sort the car out for a while. I've got a Leon, a '56 plate admittedly. Great car, but not sensible (28mpg) and due to age not reliable at all. Still love it though. If you are looking at a newer one than mine than of course none of this applies.
 

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...
Think it is just the design of the box, he's got corsa and astras running well over 300bhp on these boxes but my bog standard mito is due it's third rebuild.
...
I'd say the rebuild is not done properly if you have to get it done three times...
 

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Sorry to hijack the thread but I got a quick question thats puzzling me!

Does the gearbox need to be removed for the work to be carried out?

My local gearbox specialist stated that it does need to come out, meaning a fee of £354 (£1081 for the total repairs) for it to be removed and put back in.

However, I contacted the guy on that ebay you provided above and he said it does not need to be removed. Meaning he could do the work in 3 hours at a cost of £300 all in (£170 more if I needed a couple of selector hubs that I think I do).

So it seams to be that the cheaper repairs are done while the gearbox is in the car. Is there any disadvantages to this in terms of the quality of the repair? Or is it just a case of one guy is more knowledgable that the other?
 

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Sounds ominous mate! I'm hoping that this work will sort the car out for a while. I've got a Leon, a '56 plate admittedly. Great car, but not sensible (28mpg) and due to age not reliable at all. Still love it though. If you are looking at a newer one than mine than of course none of this applies.
I'd be looking at the new shape 1.8tsi FR. Unfortunately stuck for a while though. Don't like this sensible house buying malark! Could have something outrageous with all the money I'm pumping away into ISAs and whatnot.

I'd say the rebuild is not done properly if you have to get it done three times...
First rebuild was done by alfa under warranty as it was 5/6 showing the whine so probably just did the minimum and switched out that bearing (often a lot of the low prices for fixes on m32 are just the one bearing switch). A little surprising as I expected a new box but they did the repair. Funnily enough a year or so later 1st/2nd started going so got Warren at WG motorworks to do the all 6 bearings plus another one somewhere and then 2 and a bit years later I got a gearbox leak (this one diagnosed and fixed by autolusso who said the leak was common on these). Which probably resulted in me running the box starved of oil for a while, which isn't great considering most places recommend overfilling them. Hence the impending third. So nothing to do with Warren's handywork although if alfa had switched all the bearings out or put a new box in then I may well only be on my second now which would mean a rebuild after 55k miles (not bad for m32s considering some fail after less than 20k)

So as I said, crap gearboxes ....... but we all knew that.

As for the gearbox needing to be removed. If we're talking a typical bearing replacement jobbie then the box doesn't need to come off as far as I'm aware. I suspect more serious stuff would require this. I asked similar when I got mine done as I enquired about doing the clutch at the same time to save money whilst the box was off but was told not to bother as the box doesn't have to come off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Had the box sorted by A&S Clutch and Gearbox in Halifax for £300. Spot on and issue is now fully resolved.

The car is so much smoother through the gears and the twitching has completely stopped. The whine has also gone, but has highlighted that a wheel bearing may now need attention as I can hear some rumbling.... Win some loose some.
 

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Good to hear you've got it sorted - and at a bargain price too!

After sorting my gearbox the garage reported there was some sort of noise that might be a wheel bearing to keep an ear out for. Might be tyres though on mine - I think I can hear the noise they're on about, but I think it changes with road surface and not really with direction change (and I think it's also probably the noise that a transmission specialist was listening to when I took the car to him for a second opinion on gearbox noise - he didn't get the car up fast enough to really hear the gearbox noise but was listening to something and said he was reasonably sure my gearbox was fine and that it was noisy tyres or wheel bearing, and he favoured it being tyres).
 

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Hi all, after having it confirmed that the gearbox bearings need sorting I'm trying to figure out who to take the car to.

Symptoms are constant whine which is road speed dependant in all gears, including clutch in or out and twitching gearstick in 1st and 5th gears. After hoping it wasn't the box, it of course was all along.

I'm willing to travel if the workmanship and cost is good. So far I have looked at:

WG Motorworks in Kent - £499-£599 depending on how many bearings need sorting. Highly rated amongst Vauxhall lads and work on a fair few VXR's with this box it seems.
Have to say - I've just had my Mother In Law's Mito M32 Gearbox sorted through Warren at MG Motorworks.

I cant recommend him enough - this is just the sort of way you need this box fixed. We ended up picking WG as for us as we are an easy 25 min drive to him, it made most sense which is why we used him in the first place, along with the positive feedback he had on line. He is difficult to sometimes get hold of - but don't let that put you off.

Now that we have had the work carried out - seeing how he strips the box whilst only needing to remove the end case is workmanship. He blocks out each Wednesday to do these boxes and I think ours was third out of four cars he had for M32's rebuilds that day.

I got there to drop the car off at 9.00am and he was already half through a VXR. Got there at about 5.30 PM to pick up the Mito, and he had I think the fourth car underway and watched him pull out the internals on a Zafira.

This guy does this job with his eyes shut. His workshop is like a clinic, and is very well regarded amongst the Vauxhall community for tuning.

Having seen his work, and how the box feels after the repair, I would travel far to let him do the M32 repair - There are others out there that can do this job as well and I'm sure they do an equally good job - but they involve taking the box off the car, Warren knows this box so well - he has perfected his technique to do the work in such a way, it just does not need the box removing unless you want the clutch etc.. done at the same time. Every bearing is replaced.

For full details - look at his website and with clear pricing as well.

M32 Gearbox | WG Motorworks

For me - this guy knows how to do these boxes blindfolded and I can quite easily see how in the last five years he has done at least 500 rebuilds! Only negative thing....is that he does not love Alfa's quite the way we do, but don't hold that against him.....even if he did call the MiTo a Vauxhall !!!!
 

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I've been entertaining the idea of getting a 159 M32 gearbox with taller gears if my MiTo M32 ever breaks. Better fuel economy and less engine noise when going at motorway speeds. Who needs to be in 6th gear in town anyway. Very expensive solution though and I hope my gearbox doesn't break.

Doubt they'll even fit, but if they do...
 

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Just thought I would provide an update following my visit to WG Motorworks, gearbox sorted in under 3 hrs, Warren knows his stuff, good to see all the gears out and watch him cleaning the box before putting it together. Well worth the drive down there, the car now runs nice and quiet in all gears.


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