C4 gearbox question
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  1. #1
    Member julian's Avatar
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    Default C4 gearbox question

    Hi pond-folk.

    My mum wants to trade her 2005 C4 hatch petrol manual for a co(ugh)rolla.

    Recently she was told by her mechanic (not a french tech) that the gearbox had a noise and it was not worth fixing.

    She was offered a $1500 trade in. On a 2015 crapolla!

    I drove it. Car is in generally good nick, all the synchros are sound in both directions and there is no vibration driving it.

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    Is there a fault with the little 5 speeds that is subtle enough to be missed by my (reasonably attuned) ears.

    Is the box reasonably easily replaced?

    This is the only reason she is considering a change.

    Julian
    1968 Renault 10
    1977 Mercedes Benz 300D

  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    The gearbox bearings on the MA series boxes can, and do, fail. Repair if they fail, is by replacement. Pre-emptive measures include replacement of the input shaft bearing and seal ($130-odd in parts), comparatively a straightforward and cheap exercise.

    Maybe it's time to seek power of attorney.

  3. #3
    UFO
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    Change mechanics.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  4. #4
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    If he was as good a mechanic as he thinks he is, he'd have diagnosed the bearing problem and quoted to fix it. It is a VERY conventional gearbox, and access is like every small FWD Jap.

    Instead he tries to sell her a car. That sounds a lot like the common anti-Cit arrogance from people who haven't worked on one.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger
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    Is it a 1.6 petrol with the 5 speed MA5 gearbox? The 2.0l petrol is different. If it's the MA5, consider spending a couple of thousand on it with a mechanic (incl. dealer) who knows the model and fix all the likely gearbox issues and get a new clutch at the same time. Probably good for another decade then. Possible issues that might cause grief include clutch release bearing, the input shaft bearing, diff pinion bearing and the selector fork rivet that lets go. Fix these and it should be fine for a fraction of the value of a new car. There are quite a few possible repairers around Sydney and your location may be a factor in choosing one.

  6. #6
    Member julian's Avatar
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    So my brother called me and car now cannot select gears. Any clue on sourcing a new box?
    1968 Renault 10
    1977 Mercedes Benz 300D

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    That will be the selector fork rivet let go most likely.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger
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    It will most likely be the rivet if it is mechanically locked up, but the clutch release can fails too and then you can't easily change gear. Don't just buy some random used gearbox unless yours has broken the case or gears and you need one. Speak with any of Colliers Automotive, European Autocare or Continental Cars who should all know what needs doing an can give you an estimate of the work and cost. You are up for the R&R and a new clutch kit anyway, so your own gearbox overhauled with new seals and bearings and the rivet fixed with a peened bolt.

  9. #9
    Member julian's Avatar
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    The plot thickens. Apparently harsh clashing gear changes for a week, then went bang, with oil seen dripping...
    My question about continuing driving with all these warning signs was met with silence.
    I feel the a new gearbox is almost certainly required.

    What cars are suitable gearbox donors?
    1968 Renault 10
    1977 Mercedes Benz 300D

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger
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    Assuming we are talking about a 1.6 petrol C4 with the MA5 gearbox ... A big bang with leaking oil could mean parts of the pinion bearing have been ejected and broken the case. Examine the case near the diff for cracks and leakage. Pinion bearing failure usually means a new gearbox is needed.

    Another failure mode of the MA5 is where the input shaft bearing collapses because the ball spacer breaks up. If that has happened, it could explain the noise mentioned in Feb and could result in the clutch being progressively more difficult to operate and change gears, followed by a sudden loud clutch failure. When that bearing fails, the input shaft moves off axis and that could explain the leaking oil. It would most likely be repairable in that case with a new clutch and bearing/seal kit.

    There should be quite a few of the same model being wrecked now, so find a gearbox from the same model. The C&P ratio can vary from model to model, so you want to check that in Citroen Service for any donor. Maybe, also from a Pug. Send it to a mechanic for assessment.
    Last edited by David S; 22nd September 2016 at 03:34 PM.

  11. #11
    Member julian's Avatar
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    Great, thanks for the advice chaps.
    1968 Renault 10
    1977 Mercedes Benz 300D

  12. #12
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    That trade-in on the Corolla is starting to look like good value.

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