[200q20v] re: transmissions

Phil Rose pjrose at frontiernet.net
Fri Jun 8 17:36:08 EDT 2001

At 11:26 AM -0400 6/8/01, DAK wrote:
>I know the transmissions are somewhat complicated, but why not 
>refurbish the existing one? The cost of bearings can't be that bad. 
>I'm not sure about synchros. I suppose labor could be the killer.  A 
>mechanic friend installed a Quaife diff and new bearings iin my VW 5 
>speed for $250. I helped him a little with the labor on re-assembly 
>and re-install in the car and I paid for the diff and bearings. He 
>works at CDI here in rochester now (www.cdicars.com) and I could ask 
>him about rebuilding these. I'm sure people feel more comfortable 
>with a new tranny, but if the case, shafts, gears are in good 
>   David

Hi David,
yep, it can be a difficult call--and particularly if the extent of 
continued ownership is uncertain. If it's a matter of just keeping 
the car "alive" for another year, then the refurb route is certainly 
reasonable. I'm probably somewhere in the middle of that ownership 
span--I have no plans to _ever_ dispose of the car, yet realistically 
it _is_ a 10-yr old car with 125 kmiles and I've already owned it for 
3 yrs. Boredom, I suppose, could become a motivator to make me want 
to sell within the next 2 or 3 yrs.

Refurbing is quite reasonable if you're a bit of a gambler, and 
especially if cash is tight. An obvious concern is the unknown degree 
of tranny use/abuse by my car's PO during his 90 kmiles of driving. 
Of course it shifted well (still does) and sounded good (still does 
except for that minor off-throttle sound) until after I'd been using 
it for my own 25 Kmiles, so who knows what (or who) is to "blame." 
The leaking oil seals resulted in running it on a reduced level of 
tranny oil for some time, and that must have taken its toll.

Anyway, it seems that a lot of tranny refurbishment is done on the 
"let's get 'er open and see what's what" basis. But by the time the 
exploratory part of the surgery is done, most  of the labor (probably 
at least $300) is already owed, and of course there's the possibilty 
of needing rather expensive parts. If you then go ahead and refurbish 
"as needed", you cross your fingers and pray everything else was 
_really_ OK. The best of all worlds would be to have a new tranny 
standing by (or nearby) when the old one is pulled. Then, could 
decide to do just a repair if all looks good except needing some 
small parts or, replace with a new tranny if major wear and tear is 

I'll try to give you a call this weekend, and maybe we can arrange to 
have some other opinions on the source of my noise. I'm sure it 
doesn't portend imminent disaster, but neither is it going to get any 



Phil Rose
Rochester, NY
mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net

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