Berlingo engine/gearbox swap - job for capable novice?
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Thread: Berlingo engine/gearbox swap - job for capable novice?

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Berlingo engine/gearbox swap - job for capable novice?

    Hello

    I have a 2002 Berlingo I with a KFW engine and about 165k on the clock. It has an apparent head gasket leak (loss of coolant, overheating, oil in coolant).

    I have been quoted over $2000 plus to fix and a few hundred dollars more at another mechanics to fit a 2nd hand engine that's done 137k. Unfortunately the car is not worth much more than that and I'm worried that as soon as I fix the engine the gearbox will go.

    I've seen a few later model sub 100k Berlingo IIs with KFW engines for wrecking...

    Is swapping the engine gearbox a difficult task if I were to hire a hoist? I'm pretty handy, but no expert mechanic. Am I likely to encounter any technical issues e.g. computer problems or compliance issues for rego? Anything I need to look out for?

    Any ideas how much mechanics are likely to charge to do the swap?

    I'm pretty keen to give it a go, but I'm worried I might bite off more than I can chew!

    Michael
    2002 Berlingo
    1.4 petrol

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  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Why not service the head, flush the coolant system and replace the top radiator hose plus thermostat?

    This is about a $600 DIY job if you're shrewd.

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Thanks Addo. I've considered that. I thought that it might be easier to stuff up a head gasket change than just replacing the whole engine. I suppose I'm worried about pulling the whole thing apart then either not fitting the gasket/sealing up the head properly afterwards or missing a crack in the head etc...

    Mechanics keep carrying on about how labour intensive it is, so I suppose it freaked me out a bit.

    I'm also attracted by the proposition of fitting an engine and gearbox with nearly half the mileage...

    Haven't ruled out servicing the head myself. I'd love to hear more...

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger
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    If you asked any dealer/mechanic such as Continentals, Jason Hantos, Colliers or Denton Christie, depending on what part of Sydney you are in, they would know this job backwards. The cost would vary, depending on what's needed and to be done. You might just lift the head and replace only the gasket or you replace a lot of other items and service the head too. DIY, you could get out of it for the cost of the gasket and fluids plus your time.

    It's a fairly simple engine and issues that might trip you up are:
    * The head is more likely to warp (check diagonally with a straight edge etc.) than crack, but servicing it professionally would test for that.
    * Setting the timing. just mark everything well unless you will are to replace it with new parts. If replacing, change the rollers and water pump, unless you know they are very recent.
    * Check the liners for erosion where the gasket has let go. Blowby can leave a defect at the sealing surface, requiring a liner change.
    * Bolts - they do stretch, so you need to check if still within spec if you hope to reuse.
    * Exhaust manifolds commonly cracked on that engine. Removing the oxygen sensor from a broken manifold can be impossible.

    You want a manual of some sort with specs. You could download the mechanics hand/data book and even a C3 manual would be good for the engine.

    It's possibly worth a go yourself. If it all goes pear-shaped, you can still have another engine fitted. You'd most likely need to have the new engine number inspected to alter the paperwork, so check with RMS.

    Has the gearbox ever had work? A few of the bearings can let you down, so don't ignore any odd noises. If the engine is to be replaced, consider overhauling the gearbox and clutch at the same time. Most of the labour is in R&R.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Everyone has to do their first head sometime and maybe get it wrong and redo it. Not too hard, but sometimes helpful to have someone to check it for you. You could put a whole new engine and gearbox in more easily, but if the timing belt is nearly due, then it is good to do this while it is out of the car.

    I'm not sure about the electronics talking to each other, but I did this in a Pug 306 and carefully kept the electronic bits in place and reconnected them all. If the same key and computer stuff (usually on the side of the battery housing) is kept with the car and the engine can be reconnected with the same wiring, then it should run.

    If you do an engine swap, you could do with an engine hoist, but it is easier if you first place the car up on some ramps, so that it is easier to get in underneath things.

    If you do the head yourself (there is no way I would pay $2k), buy a good head gasket, head bolts, new water pump, timing belt and tensioners - say $400-500. Then you should get the old head resurfaced ($200) and you should be right. You will need to buy a torque wrench, but it will come in handy in future.

    If you do the head, the key things are to get it resurfaced (just in case and is less frustrating than redoing everything) and BEFORE you start the engine to check it, turn the engine around by hand for 2 complete turns to check that nothing is touching. If it goes clunk and stops, then you have the timing wrong and will have to redo the timing belt, but you won't have done any damage. If you think, stuff it, it should be alright and hit the starter and it goes clunk, then you are up for new valves and pulling the head off again....

    If the Berlingo is a manual, then I ordinarily would think the gearbox should be fine for 300k, but I have had a Citroen C3 with a noisy gearbox at about the same km as yours.

    Good luck. Erik
    David S likes this.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    .... If the Berlingo is a manual, then I ordinarily would think the gearbox should be fine for 300k...
    They won't normally go that far unless they've had a gentle driver. I'd be surprised if this Berlingo has not already had work on the gearbox. Ignoring the clutch release bearing and linkage problems, it's the bearings that let it down, mainly the pinion and input shaft bearings. Odd noises or a failed clutch with an off-axis input shaft are your warnings of failing/failed bearings. Changing the clutch cable can transform a heavy clutch if the release bearing is known to be OK.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Agree with David ,
    having just done the head gasket, it is much easier on 1.4 Berlingo than other cars as you have plenty of room to work,

    but i would suggest strongly that you replace the timing belt and any noisy tensioners.Many more$ if belt breaks!!
    you will need a male torx socket for the head bolts and a tension wrench that goes down to 20nm (many do not!!)

    when you clean old gasket off use only plastic or copper scraper as both surfaces are alloy and any scratches may kead to a leak again , use oven cleaner to help dissolve the old gasket

    good luck

  8. #8
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Just looked at my notes: I paid $560 in parts when the dollar was a bit stronger (2013), to basically do as outlined above (head overhaul plus timing belt etc).

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Thanks so much everyone for your help. I'm tending towards giving it a go!

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Any suggestions on where to get the head resurfaced? I'm in Five Dock.

    Also, re the gearbox. It has a barely audible whine in 5th and to a lesser extent 4th gears. I'm not sure if I'm getting paranoid as I has had a gearbox go on me on another Berlingo a few years back. David, are they the types of odd noises you are referring to?

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